256638 Pediatric Dentistry Workforce in Puerto Rico: Results of a 2011 Survey

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

Oscar Arevalo, DDS, ScD, MBA, MS , Pediatric Dentistry, Miami Children's Hospital, Doral, FL
Daniel M. Saman, MPH , Epidemiology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, KY
To determine practicing pediatric dentists' (PD) socio-demographic and practice characteristics, geographic distribution, levels of satisfaction and desire of relocation to the United States (US).

A 34-item questionnaire was developed and pre-tested for reliability (=0.92) and content validity, and administered via telephone by a calibrated interviewer. Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSSv.19. PD practice locations were mapped using a geographic information system in ArcGISv.10. Disparities in distribution were measured by plotting the Lorenz curve and calculating the Gini coefficient (GC).

Of 75 licensed PD in Puerto Rico (PR), 60 (80%) participated in our study. The typical PD has been in practice 19 yrs, is 48 years old, and spends 31 hrs/week providing clinical care. Female PD are 70% of the workforce. Thirty-nine (65%) participate in the government-subsidized dental insurance program “La Reforma”, which represents 48% of their income. PD locate their offices in urban and higher-income areas (GC=0.62). Although 36 (60%) are satisfied practicing in PR, 34 (57%) have considered migrating to the US. Variables significantly associated (P.05) with dissatisfaction included age ( 50 years old), years in practice ( 20 years), and participation in “La Reforma”.

The supply and characteristics of PD must be monitored to ensure an adequate workforce. These variables should be examined in relation to epidemiological indicators, availability of community preventive programs, and adequacy of dental benefits and reimbursement levels provided by third-party payers. Dramatic changes in the financing of dental care may be necessary to prevent a shortage of PD and ensuing oral health crises.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the status of the pediatric dentistry workforce in Puerto Rico Assess potential trends in workforce Analyze the impact of a potential shortage on access to care

Keywords: Access, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have co-authored manuscripts on workforce issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.