Dentists Prepare to Be on Front Line of Civil Defense

In the ‘I didn’t think of that’ Department: Dentists Prepare to Be on Front Line of Civil Defense – New York Times.

Dr. Rekow’s plan is ambitious, national in scope and revolutionary in concept: she wants to draw dentists into the squadron of so-called "first responders" – the police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians dispatched for disaster relief and crisis management.

Dentists, she argues, are a rich but overlooked source of help in what is euphemistically called a surge environment, in layman’s terms, the moment when all hell breaks loose.

Well, I won’t turn down any help when the time comes.  In the Navy, the Dental Officers were to serve as triage officers, and as adjunct anesthesiologists if needed in the OR.  I won’t presume to denigrate dentists, but I was a little uncomfortable then and am  more uncomfortable now with that arrangement.  (I don’t know what the current arrangement is, by the way).

Dentists into the breach!

via InstaPundit


  1. HM3 Heidrich says:

    The navy, in its infinite wisdom, is merging the fang fairies into the hallowed Hospital Corps… So now you’ll have a corpsman who knows a little more basic dental, and a DT will be a “C” school

    I dont know what capacity the Dental Corps officers serve in as far as a mass casualty scenario.. I havent seen any of them at the FRSS/STP level (as far back off the line as i ever got) Still part of Dentel Company and everything.. just dont see them as far forward as you mentioned.

    Drop me a line if you want more scoop, sir.

  2. My son is an EMT/volunteer firefighter. The EMT was a 6 credit hour course at the local community college. The HAZMAT, Fire 1 and other portions of the first responder course work were probably equal to another 6 credit hours through U of MD. All local paid firefighters have additional training. Police officers take a shorter first responder course.

    I have a great deal of respect for my dentist, but in a trauma situation, I’d rather have my son providing care. I haven’t seen him perform at a serious trauma, but I’ve watched him handle some fairly serious medical emergencies and I know they didn’t teach us that stuff in nursing school. I don’t think they teach it in dental school either.