Address To The Toothache – Burns Night

Researching for my "Toast to the Lassies" at the Burns Supper at 
The Celtic Ross Hotel tonight, I came across this poem:

Address To The Toothache 
My curse upon your venom'd stang, 
That shoots my tortur'd gums alang, 
An' thro' my lug gies mony a twang, 
Wi' gnawing vengeance, 
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang, 
Like racking engines! 

When fevers burn, or argues freezes, 
Rheumatics gnaw, or colics squeezes, 
Our neibor's sympathy can ease us, 
Wi' pitying moan; 
But thee - thou hell o' a' diseases - 
Aye mocks our groan. 

Adown my beard the slavers trickle 
I throw the wee stools o'er the mickle, 
While round the fire the giglets keckle, 
To see me loup, 
While, raving mad, I wish a heckle 
Were in their doup! 

In a' the numerous human dools, 
Ill hairsts, daft bargains, cutty stools, 
Or worthy frien's rak'd i' the mools, - 
Sad sight to see! 
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o'fools, 
Thou bear'st the gree! 

Where'er that place be priests ca' hell, 
Where a' the tones o' misery yell, 
An' ranked plagues their numbers tell, 
In dreadfu' raw, 
Thou, Toothache, surely bear'st the bell, 
Amang them a'! 

O thou grim, mischief-making chiel, 
That gars the notes o' discord squeel, 
Till daft mankind aft dance a reel 
In gore, a shoe-thick, 
Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal 
A townmond's toothache!
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Health Factory

I am fortunate, and grateful, to have a brother whose inclination and job means that he has an interest in many fields of medicine. Education, research, clinical and academia all provide him with stimulation. We are able to learn from each other (although I believe the balance favours and benefits me).

A part of his New Year clear out the 2010 film “Health Factory” arrived via a pretty large download yesterday and I would urge anyone who is involved in health care to watch it and then to ask themselves some very simple questions. Start with “Why?” as in “Why am I doing what I’m doing? and “Why am I doing it this way?”.

The film questions the way health services are provided and if the current obsession with the imposition of “business” processes benefits anyone, patients or (that awful word) providers.

As you can imagine for someone who describes himself as “The Dental Business Coach” I am capable of vigorously justifying the arguments for dealing with dentistry as a “business”. However this film has made me examine what I am doing for and with my clients.

It helped me to understand why gut feeling led me to turn down more clients than I accepted last year. Finally it reinforced the beliefs and convictions that led me into dentistry in the first place and made me realise that what I am doing these days is right.

Watching what happened when Norway imposed a new system and how hospitals were rewarded for “gaming” or “creative coding” took me back to my early days of NHS associateship. The culture  at that time, encouraged speed of work and high output leading to a “pile high sell cheap” approach where the work was made to match the narrative of the NHS scale of fees. As the fees evolved so did clinical practice to maximise income. It was only when I took control back by working privately on a one to one basis with patients that I felt in control and capable of giving my best without compromise.

One can argue, and I do, that dentistry easily adapts to “business” models and even fashion. There is much that can be measured easily and should be, a lot more that could be but isn’t because the “need “ is not appreciated. However the imposition and measurement of many Key Performance Indicators is frequently a waste of time and energy providing results that signify little.

You can’t measure trust, patience, co-operation or happiness (in spite of what some gurus would have you believe).

As one of the featured clinicians said, “You end up measuring what can be measured, which will always be marginal to what the core of the job is.”

So for me, it’s a return to examining the abstract, difficult to quantify elements of dentistry. Anyone can measure things. It takes experience, and dare I say it, a certain amount of gravitas, to feel, to empathise, to understand and analyse what health means, to both patients and clinicians.

Worth a look, you can rent it and see the preview HERE.

And there are more clips on YouTube

 

For Movies read Health (including Dentistry)

One of my favourite podcasts is “Here’s the thing” which is introduced by the actor Alec Baldwin. It has a simple format, Alec talks to someone who interests him. On a recent episode his guest was veteran actor and activist James Cromwell, their discussion took in some of the big problems with the (Hollywood) movie industry.

With the news this week that £3.1 billion of NHS contracts have gone to private companies (including £1bn to Virgin) and the march of venture capitalists in dentistry their conversation struck a chord and could easily be applied to healthcare.

Alec Baldwin: “The business is completely taken over by non-creative people, it’s non-creative people from top to bottom. It’s marketing people and finance people. They don’t even like movies! These people are “in the movie business”.

James Cromwell: “Yeah, these people would just like to do the money part, the producing part and then have no product at all, and then go on to the next thing, raising money for the next one.”

Alec Baldwin:  “If they could be doing something else (*to make money) they would.” 

(*my words)

 

 

BPP shuts dental course as regulator raises safety concerns – Laurie Taylor’s take.

Students on course forced to find alternative programmes, as government plans to open English sector further to new providers.

First, the truth:

BPP University has shut a dentistry course after it failed to meet General Dental Council standards, leaving new students unable to start and existing undergraduates facing an uncertain future.

Events at BPP, which is owned by a for-profit private equity group, come as the government prepares to open the English sector further to new providers by allowing them to award degrees from the start of their operations on a probationary basis. Critics warn that if new providers subsequently fail, or do not gain full degree-awarding powers, it could mean more students being left unable to complete their courses.

The mess we’re in – full storyvia THE

and now: The Spoof

Laurie Taylor’s take – 12 October 2017

Pull the other one!

“One only hopes it doesn’t prompt an outbreak of bad dentistry jokes.”

That was the reaction of Poppleton’s own Head of Dentistry, Professor Phil McCavity, to the news that BPP University, which is owned by a for-profit private equity group, had shut down a dentistry course after it failed to meet General Dental Council standards.

Professor McCavity told ThePoppletonian that he had already encountered one report of the closure that was headlined “Painful cavity as BPP pulls course”.

Such glib recourse to puns threatened to obscure the emotional issues raised by the closure. “It’s important to remember”, said Professor McCavity, “that dentists also have fillings.”

He hoped that the BPP tutors would not feel too down in the mouth about the closure and would brace themselves for the challenges that lay ahead.

A spokesperson for BPP said that he was “bewildered” by the sudden closure. “As a for-profit provider, we’ve been happily making successful extractions from public funds for many years.”

(On other pages: Buddhism and Dentistry: how a belief in a higher power might allow one to transcend dental medication.)

The Incisal Edge Podcast – Public Relations for Dentists with Chris Baker

In their second conversation in the pod, Alun and Chris Baker from Corona Design & Communications talk about the best way to use local Public Relations to promote your Dental Practice.

 

The Incisal Edge Podcast – Email marketing for dentists with Chris Baker.

In the first of a series of Podcast conversations about PR and Marketing for Dentists, Alun is joined by Chris Baker from Corona Design and Communications.

Their first topic is Email marketing.

Word of the day – Mediocracy & a video to match….

MEANING: noun: Rule by the mediocre.

ETYMOLOGY: A blend of mediocre + -ocracy (rule). Earliest documented use: 1845.

USAGE: “Why are gifted individuals always forced out by the mediocracy?” Christopher Fowler; The Victoria Vanishes; Bantam; 2008.

IDEAS: 

(I notice that comments are now disabled for the video, a shame because I would like to see if there was anybody who had anything positive to say.)

It reminds me of this:

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