Recently Cathy Newman of Channel 4 news made the mistake of interviewing one of the true intellectual geniuses of our time….Jordan Peterson. The interview did not go the way she wanted. Peterson was calm, articulate, presented peer-reviewed evidence and totally wiped the floor with Newman. All because Newman went into the interview from a biased and aggressive position that Peterson absolutely demolished.
And what was the result of this interview, which was done to help promote Dr Peterson’s new book? Dr Peterson has now acquired the nickname of the Lobster Man on social media. This actually came from an earlier interview on the Today programme where the interviewer chose to talk about a brief point in Peterson’s book where he talks about how Lobsters have a similar hierarchy structure to humans.
Do you see how this works?
You scour through something a person has said or written, and you find something, anything that can be seen as demeaning, provocative or dismissive in nature, and you focus on that. And you keep pushing it.
As Joseph Goebbels once said…”If you repeat a lie long enough and loud enough people will believe it”.
The same media forces are aimed against your profession. Routinely now, we see examples in the press of how dangerous, how greedy and how sociopathic dentists are. Many of these acts of “journalism” are written by lawyers to subtly advertise their services. They always portray the patient as a “victim” and the dentist as a monocle-wearing super villain…with a fondness for white cats. Never is it mentioned that the patient would not have needed the treatment in the first place if not, often, for their neglect of their own bodies.
Where there is a blame, there is a claim. You no longer have a responsibility for your own flesh.
And so we as dentists must react. And as a profession, we haven’t. We keep doing the same old things, the same old way and wonder why the lawyers are eating us alive. The BDA won’t help because they can’t. The indemnifiers won’t help for reasons I really can’t go into. The new insurance-based indemnifiers seem to me to be our best hope, but at the moment they are too small to make any sort of impact.
So it’s up to us. It is up to us to take charge and bring this situation under control. So as few of us have the intellectual magnificence of Dr Peterson, what can we individually do?
– Only treat patients you are in rapport with. Remove toxic patients from your practice. be relentless, be merciless.
– No consent, no treatment (except in rare life-threatening occasions). And don’t think that the patient signing a piece of paper means a damned thing.
– If you routinely UNFAIRLY throw your fellow dentists under a bus by openly being critical of their work (be you another GDP seeking profit and or an academic in an ivory tower who needs their ego massaging) you are done. We will no longer have anything to do with you. We won’t talk to you at meetings, we won’t converse with you on social media and we will report YOU to the regulators at the first sign of any infringement from your own holier than though mentality.
– Leave the NHS. The UDDER system is done. it’s nonviable, unworkable and damaging to your health.
– Follow the principles of the “Daughter Test” at all times
– Health first, fancy cosmetics second. You are not a carpenter, you are a health professional. The ortho, the smile makeovers and the implants can come AFTER you have properly delivered the message of oral health. You will be amazed at how many people are not doing this.
– Stop flashing your perceived wealth. Nobody cares that you rent a Ferrari. Nobody cares about your holidays or your new designer watch. If anything, all you are doing is opening yourself to resentment and ridicule. Even in America, those with the real wealth never display it….because there are too many lawyers waiting in the gutters to try and take it off them.
– become good at what you do, and do it well and consistently.
– Be nice
– Read, understand and comply (where possible) with the GDC standards
Dr Stephen Hudson BDS, MSc, PGD Med law, PGC Dental Law & Ethics