Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Morning Drill: October 27, 2011

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

UF dentistry school scales back expansion, will team with FAMU, UCF
The University of Florida is scaling back plans to expand its dental school and working with two universities that had planned to create new dental schools.

Florida A&M University is dropping its proposal for a new dental school, instead proposing to help recruit minority students to the UF College of Dentistry.

The University of Central Florida is still proposing to create its own dental school, but the UF college would now serve as an adviser on the project.

UF is currently the only state university with a dental school.

It had proposed to expand its school by 80 students over five years, but reduced the number to 48.

UF College of Dentistry Dean Dr. Teresa Dolan said the change is an acknowledgement of limited state funding, while working with Florida A&M will help increase enrollment of minority students.

"We are committed to improving the diversity of both the student body and our workforce," she said.

The Florida Board of Governors, the governing body for the state university system, will consider the plans at its meeting next month.
Illegal dentistry conviction for Oakland man
A man has been convicted of practicing dentistry without a license at an office along Oakland's bustling Grand Avenue, prosecutors said Monday.

Mario Alfredo Pacheco, who accepted cash only from mostly low-income patients, was convicted Friday by an Alameda County jury of two misdemeanors and two felonies relating to practicing unlicensed dentistry.

During the trial, a victim testified that Pacheco ground all her teeth to little nubs as part of a plan - at a cost of $10,000 - that he had said would give her a "Colgate smile," said Deputy District Attorney Bob Hartman. Pacheco never gave her permanent crowns and sprayed diluted bleach on her gums to treat an infection, authorities said.

A second victim told jurors that he gave her two root canals against her will and that his work led to her going to an emergency room after she fainted, Hartman said.
WVU launches new plan to encourage health sciences students to choose rural practices
Medical and dental students at West Virginia University now have a new incentive, worth as much as $40,000, to choose a career in a rural area.

Five students a year who agree to practice in West Virginia after graduation will be eligible for free tuition for two years under the program that is part of an overhaul of the 16-year-old Rural Education Health Partnership. Dr. Larry Rhodes, director of WVU's new Institute for Community and Rural Health, announced the changes Wednesday at a conference in Morgantown.

In May, the Higher Education Policy Commission shifted control of the 16-year-old program to West Virginia and Marshall universities, and the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg by giving them the $2.3 million in funding.

Through required rotations, RHEP had paired students with nine community health centers and hospitals across the state. But the commission voted to change the way the program works after legislative audits in 2004, 2006 and 2009 raised questions about the long-term value of the program and a lack of financial oversight.

The medical schools will now be able to manage it to better suit their students' needs.

WVU still considers rural rotations important for both students and communities, and they remain mandatory for students in medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing and other health sciences schools. But the new program supports students who are interested in committing to a rural practice after they graduate.

Each year, it will pay five students — one fourth-year dental student, two third-year medical students and two fourth-year medical students — for rural service in exchange for a commitment to work in West Virginia.

That could save each student as much as $40,000 per year, Rhodes said.
Dentist to go to jail for groping patients
A Rotterdam dentist who groped several teenage patients in his office is headed to jail for six months.

Frank Izzo, 53, of Schenectady, also must surrender his license to practice and register as a sex offender under a plea deal reached Monday.

Izzo, who had been licensed since 1990, pleaded guilty to two counts of sex abuse, both misdemeanors, during an appearance before Rotterdam Town Justice Kenneth Litz.

His victims ranged in age from 13 to 22, said Assistant District Attorney Jessica Lorusso, who prosecuted the case.

The prosecutor said Izzo touched at least nine patients on their breasts over their clothing as they sat in his dental chair. She said the investigation into the dentist started when one of the victims told an employee.

Izzo was arrested Oct. 12, 2010, as he arrived at his office at 3049 Broadway.

A report issued by the state Education Department's Office of Professional Discipline last year said two former and one current employee told investigators they witnessed Izzo "repeatedly and intentionally place his hand on the breasts of numerous female patients."

The report noted that it was "particularly disturbing" that seven of the 10 Izzo patients who gave sworn statements were under 18.
Enjoy your morning!

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