Ethics in the dental office: The $20 patient letter

Aug. 12, 2020
The office manager in Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz’s practice came to her with an unusual request from a patient. The patient had asked for a note from their office so that he could have a paid day off. And it gets stranger.

Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz experienced an unusual situation one day in her practice. Her office manager came to her, saying a patient they had not seen in over a year had called the office. Here’s where it gets interesting.

Apparently, the patient wanted to take the day off from work and get paid for it. He asked the office manager to write him a letter stating that he had an appointment. He told her: “I used to pay the woman who worked here before you $20, and she would write me a note.”

This is obviously a problem on several different levels—ethics, for one. This made Dr. Pam wonder what else had happened with her patients that she wasn’t aware of.

In this video and on the Facebook page, we’ll be talking about this and other patient encounters of the strange kind.

Editor’s note: This video first appeared in Through the Loupes newsletter, a publication of the Endeavor Business Media Dental Group. Read more articles at this link and subscribe here.

Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, is the chief editor of DentistryIQ and editorial co-director of Through the Loupes. Based in Salem, Massachusetts, Dr. Maragliano-Muniz began her clinical career as a dental hygienist. She went on to attend Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she earned her doctorate in dental medicine. She then attended the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dental Medicine, where she became board-certified in prosthodontics. Dr. Maragliano-Muniz owns a private practice, Salem Dental Arts, and lectures on a variety of clinical topics. You may contact her at [email protected].