Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dentistry in Japan

So…Work. I am the base’s only Pediatric Dentist, so it is weird to walk around the base and church and know that every one of the kids I see is my patient!! It is exciting and overwhelming. I have a lot of expectations to fulfill. A few of the general dentists have been filling in for pedo for the last year and have been very excited to see me. I should start seeing patients at the beginning of September. They have me busy/not busy doing base orientation (called in-processing), hospital orientation, taking CBT’s (computer based tests) like HIPPA, Security, etc. We also HAVE to take a Misawa tour (done) and a tour of Hachinohe (scheduled for Sept) as part of in-processing.

So my days have been real easy/boring/productive, so I’m trying to take the time to get everything in order and look up a million different acronyms: PCS- permanent change of station, used- I’m PCSing to Japan from Rhode Island; not used- Em I'm really PCS'd right now. TDY-temporary duty used- I did a TDY for COT at Maxwell AFB; not used-m Em that is a nice TDY. BX- Base Exchange; like a Walmart. ETC- etcetera. I’m also enjoying being home a bit more.

So I am the pediatric dentist. I will have two DTR’s (dental treatment rooms) and two assistants. Thus we will have one for cleanings and exams, while the other is scheduled for operative patients. I am currently trying to decide how I will want to do sedations. They have an OR facility to use, but I don’t think I’ll have as big a need as we had in RI. That’s good for the kids, but I really enjoy that part of my job. My supervisor is the base's Periodontist and a Lt Colonel. Above him is the dental squadron commander, a “full bird” colonel. Above him is the group commander, who is over the whole medical group, i.e. the hospital. Then there is the wing commander, another colonel. He is the man in charge of the whole base.

My days will be real busy, but quite manageable and probably not as busy as residency. It is nice to come home and be home. We have PT (physical training) 3 times a week. This has become so important that they schedule it into the end of the day during the week and make it mandatory. The idea is to have everyone fit for deployment. I made a goal to do the base’s triathlon next year. My friends just did it yesterday. Janeen won first place for the women’s!!!! So I need to get my swimming game on. I need to find a nice Speedo too!!! j/k (used-just kidding). We also have emergency medical, chem warfare, etc exercises to keep us on our toes. Misawa is a very safe small city (40,000+ people), but we have a lot of interesting neighbors [i.e. China, North Korea, Russia(that's a lot of red!)] who keep it a very important place to keep the 35th Fighter Wing.

I look forward to starting my patient care. I will have a great deal of say in how I do things and am excited to find my style of pediatric dentistry. I have a wonderful job and task ahead of me!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are so pleased to hear from you on your blog regarding your part in this three year adventure. We are very pleased (there is no such thing as righteous pride...(G.B. Hincley)with all you have accomplished and all you are doing. Please keep sharing.