STRAIGHT FROM THE EDITOR’S MOUTH
The Filipino as a Dentist
It has been exactly 10 years since I finished my last few clinical requirements and finally secured a diploma. Of course, after six years of toiling and burning the midnight oil, I still had to hurdle the boards, undergo hospital training and actual clinical practice before I finally get the hang of it – you know, the practice of dentistry.
Perhaps, I am quite fortunate for a decade after, I am still holding an explorer and surviving the various obstacles (and abscesses and infections) that come with the caries war and battle of the tartar. More importantly, I’ve found my own niche – practicing a profession which I tremendously love. (Am I harping too much on the subject?)
Like everyone else, I had to start from below. Others, out of lack of interest, patience or luck had to move out of Dentistry and branch out. This profession is obviously not for everyone, even armed with a DDM title or a place in the boards, as one friend was. Still for others, this country is not for them to practice the profession – what with all the unethical, not to mention, septic practices, erratic patient appointments, dipping rates and skyrocketting rentals. Of course, once they’ve set up the office in greener pastures, a whole new set of problems enter the picture – high insurance rates, lawsuits, discrimination, etc.
In the 70’s, hordes of professionals made an exodus to the land of milk and honey and this was known as brain drain. After the yellow revolution, more and more Filipinos have returned and chosen to stay in this country. The picture is not exactly rosey nor promising but life is slowly getting better. And this is perhaps the best time to pay tribute to the Filipino dentist who have remained (out of choice or fate) and chosen to serve and treat his fellow Filipino.
The weather fluctuates at the bate of an eyelash, corruption and pollution darken the atmosphere and balasubas patients abound but hey, this is the only place where we work and fit best. Mabuhay! ang Dentistang Pinoy!