Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Morning Drill: May 9, 2012

Good Wednesday morning!

I was traveling yesterday for my locum tenens dentistry practice and did not have a chance to post. But, here we go for today.

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Story of vengeful jilted dentist WAS too good to be true

A hugely popular news story about a jilted dentist accused of pulling out all her ex-boyfriend's teeth has unraveled as a hoax.

News websites around the world ran the story last week about a woman in Poland named Anna Maćkowiak who took revenge on a man named Marek Olszewski when he turned up at her clinic complaining of toothache, days after dumping her for another woman.

Among the numerous U.S. news sites that picked up the story were Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Yahoo! News, MSN, the New York Post, and The New York Daily News. ( is a joint venture of Microsoft, which operates MSN, and Comcast.)
The story even included quotes from the scorned dentist and her toothless ex.

"I tried to be professional and detach myself from my emotions. But when I saw him lying there I just thought, "What a b******," Maćkowiak was quoted as saying.

Quotes attributed to the boyfriend victim meanwhile read: "I knew something was wrong because when I woke up I couldn’t feel any teeth ... When I got home I looked in the mirror and couldn't f******* believe it. The b**** had emptied my mouth."

From secret service to dentist

At 42, age isn’t the only thing non-traditional about Cat Guerrero, a fourth-year dental student at ASDOH. Named by her father after the 1965 movie, “Cat Ballou,” Guerrero decided on dentistry after having two other successful occupations.

Guerrero’s career began in administration with the United States Secret Service where she worked more than five years. She completed background checks, worked in the counterfeiting division, and was also responsible for special details with foreign dignitaries. She even worked a detail for President George H.W. Bush.

It was while working with the Secret Service that the idea of becoming a dentist first occurred to her.

“I was discussing my career with an agent that I knew,” says Guerrero. “At the time, I was taking classes at the Maryland Institute of Art, thinking that I could one day work for Disney doing animation. When the agent said his wife was a dentist, I was impressed. It was the 80s, and women’s career opportunities were limited – mostly clerical jobs or grocery shop clerks.”

After moving to Arizona in 1992, Guerrero found a second career at a large computer distributing company where she configured network systems. But she soon decided that the corporate world was wearing thin.

“I wanted to spend more quality time with my family and be more involved with them,” she says. “I was tired of 60-hour work weeks.”

The thought of becoming a dentist still echoed in her mind. At age 32, Guerrero volunteered at the Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) Dental Clinic in Phoenix where she met students from ASDOH.

Dentists 'inventing work to defraud NHS'

Dental surgeries are exaggerating or inventing work they have done for the National Health Service in order to swindle tens of millions of pounds out of taxpayers, according to a check up of dentists’ honesty.

Among the rogue practices were submitting false claims for more treatment than had been carried out and submitting claims on behalf of patients do not exist.

Claims for ‘ghost patients’ were the most blatant in a catalogue of illegal practices uncovered by an audit of 5,000 dentists’ invoices examined by NHS Protect, the anti-fraud unit of the health service.

Overall, 3 per cent of claims examined were deemed to be fraudulent, indicating that dishonest dentists defrauded the NHS out of £73.1m in 2009-2010, when the check was made. By 2014, the NHS could lose a further £146.3m unless the deception was halted, the report, Dental Contractor Loss Analysis Exercise, published today.

The Conservatives claimed the losses exposed in the report stemmed from a new NHS contract introduced by Labour in 2006. Labour blamed the dentists for swindling the taxpayer and called for tougher action from regulators.

Under the new dentistry contracts introduced by Tony Blair, dentists were paid by three broad bands of work rather than for each procedure on a long and complex list.

42% of American adults will be obese by 2030, study says

The ranks of obese Americans are expected to swell even further in the coming years, rising from 36% of the adult population today to 42% by 2030, experts said Monday.

Kicking off a government-led conference on the public health ramifications of all those expanding waistlines, the authors of a new report estimated that the cost of treating those additional obese people for diabetes, heart disease and other medical conditions would add up to nearly $550 billion over the next two decades.

The sobering projections also contained some good news, the researchers said: Obesity's growth has slowed from the record pace of most of the last 30 years. If those trends were to continue, 51% of American adults would qualify as obese in 2030.

Study leader Eric Finkelstein, a health economist at Duke University in Durham, N.C., said it was unclear whether growth had slowed thanks to public policy initiatives aimed at preventing childhood obesity, greater societal awareness of obesity's health risks, or because Americans have hit the maximum level of fatness a population can sustain.

Enjoy your morning!

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