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Old 24-08-2012, 13:26   #16
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Re: Cruising Dentist

I would counsel against working under the table, as some here have advised. When cruisers take work away from locals by operating black-market businesses, they're not only ripping off their hosts, they're also disrupting the good relationships that most cruisers have with the people we visit. The last thing we want to see happen is for people who live in cruising destinations to develop an attitude that "since you're ripping us off, we're going to rip you off."

That is exactly the opposite of what we found in our travels. If a cruiser had abilities that the local community needed they were treated royally. Maybe got paid in coconuts, but more than made up for any lack of dollars in good will and good feelings. There's is a difference in being mercenary and offering needed services. There was one electronics genius who'd grown up on a farm in the area we were. He could fix anything from a space shuttle to a chain saw. On one island, the local wood carvers would use a chainsaw until they couldn't fix it with their basic skills and then buy another if they had the funds and it was available. When he arrived, they were down to zero working chain saws with little prospect of getting a new one(s) anytime soon. The cruiser took their pile of broken chain saws and cobbled together two working saws. The carvers were extremely happy as it cut their work load down considerably, didn't cost them what little money they had, in fact greatly increased their income because of increased production. The cruiser got paid in food, local handy work and had some really exquisite carving done on his boat. He was in and out of that island several times while we were there. Every time he came in, the locals treated him and his wife like royalty. They always did at least one luau and they didn't have to buy food, had local guides for everything from the best diving areas to hunting, to tapa cloth, carving and other goods. They'd be offered so much that they pretty much quit accepting anything for the work he did. The rest of the cruisers also benefited from his skills as the locals gratitiude spilled over to their relations with the rest of us. To a lesser degree, the same scenario for a doctor, nurse couple and other cruisers that had needed skills absent in the local community.
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Old 24-08-2012, 14:04   #17
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Re: Cruising Dentist

Twice I've been cruising far from home and required dental work. Both times I had no choice, but to travel far for treatment. Those like myself who have teeth designed for someone with a shorter lifespan would welcome your presence! .....and welcome to the forum!
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Old 24-08-2012, 17:39   #18
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The OP did not mention carriage of pain meds. Would your wife be related to Dr. Josef Mengele?

Seriously, how will you carry narcotics from country to country?
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Old 24-08-2012, 17:47   #19
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Re: Cruising Dentist

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Originally Posted by Timtim24 View Post
Hello we are new to the site. My wife and I are getting ready to leave land and be cruisers. My wife is a dentist here in California. She loves her profession and would love to continue it again in the future maybe in the Caribbean. So we were wondering if anyone has come across a cruising dentist? We will be on a 47 foot lagoon so we have the space. She will be taking a portable xray, dental tools and equipment for us, but I was thinking if cruisers may like the opportunity of some minor dental work. Any ideas of whether this would be something needed? No sure how it would work as far as different country laws. We were thinking more in the lines as trading services rather than money making enterprise.
Can you compete with the third world dentists?
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Old 24-08-2012, 23:20   #20
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Re: Cruising Dentist

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Can you compete with the third world dentists?
Do not want to compete. Just wanted to see if my wife would be able to do what she enjoys. Money is not the objective. the comments so far have been exactly what we are looking for. if anything my wife would love to help and maybe even show local dentists new technology. She loves dentistry and money is the bane of our life's hence we want to go travel without all the legal jargon and insurances just to assist people. I come from South Africa originally and being a "third world" mechanic and captain I have been able to resign from paying work at the age of 43 "competing" against "1st" world professionals in a 1st world land. So not sure what is 1st world and what is 3rd world sorry.
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Old 24-08-2012, 23:23   #21
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Re: Cruising Dentist

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Do not want to compete. Just wanted to see if my wife would be able to do what she enjoys. Money is not the objective. the comments so far have been exactly what we are looking for. if anything my wife would love to help and maybe even show local dentists new technology. She loves dentistry and money is the bane of our life's hence we want to go travel without all the legal jargon and insurances just to assist people. I come from South Africa originally and being a "third world" mechanic and captain I have been able to resign from paying work at the age of 43 "competing" against "1st" world professionals in a 1st world land. So not sure what is 1st world and what is 3rd world sorry.
Oh Chris Barnard did the first heart transplant being a third world doctor in a third world land....
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Old 24-08-2012, 23:24   #22
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Re: Cruising Dentist

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The OP did not mention carriage of pain meds. Would your wife be related to Dr. Josef Mengele?

Seriously, how will you carry narcotics from country to country?
If you need meds for a dental cleaning then you should not call yourself a sailor!
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Old 25-08-2012, 01:10   #23
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Re: Cruising Dentist

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Oh Chris Barnard did the first heart transplant being a third world doctor in a third world land....
...and must have done a third world job since the poor patient lived less than 3 weeks afterward

(just teasin' )
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Old 25-08-2012, 01:43   #24
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Re: Cruising Dentist

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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
When I cruised the South Pacific in the 1980's there was a boat named Christopher Robin. Joel, the captain, was an Optemotrist (sp). He would give free eye exams and provide people with free glasses. I don't think that he ever got licensed anywhere. he would go to the cheif of the village and ask permission. He always got it and the people loved him.

He had set up a non profit foundation with 1/2 the profits from his practice to bring eye care to people in the South Pacific. I don't know all of the details but his foundation paid for his transportation (eg the foundation rented his boat) and paid him a small salary to perform his services to Island nations.

If someone is going to dodge paying taxes this seems like a pretty legal (and ethical) way to do it. If I were to do something like this now I would speak with Doctors without Borders and see if I could use there licensing exemptions.

If I had medical skills I would set up the same thing. I have the plan but haven't started on the execution yet.
G'Day Charlie, and to the OP as well,

We knew Christopher Robin and Joel (Zuckerman) quite well in Mexico in 1986-87. Joel wasn't just an optometrist, but a highly skilled opthamalogist and ocular surgeon. He had originally trained as a physicist, altering course later in life, and had used those skills to develop some micro-surgical instruments and techniques... a pretty heavy dude in those circles. He equipped CR (a Valiant 40) with a portable eye surgery theater, and his wife at that time was a scrub nurse who assisted him in his work. In Mexico he went through hell trying to get official accreditation, and after a lot of frustration was duly accepted. At that point he was inundated with work... far more than he had really wanted to do! He would pack up the surgery, someone in a pickup would load it and them into the bed, and off they would go to some remote village area. When they arrived there would be dozens of folks lined up needing help. He did hundreds of cataract removals and other minor eye surgeries while there, and spread good will wherever he went. All of this was pro bono... he supplied all materials and drugs as well as his skills. He was (and I hope still is) a truly good person.

Our wakes diverged, and we have not heard from him in many years, but I will always remember him as a good cruiser and fellow human being.

So, for the OP -- if your wife wants to spread good will and help reduce suffering in third world areas, I expect that with some effort she can be granted permission to practice. If you hope to use her skills to augment your cruising kitty it may be more difficult. I don't think that there will be enough demand in the cruising fleet to make it worthwhile, but we cruisers do help each other out with whatever skills we have, and there will be times when she could be a very welcome neighbor!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 25-08-2012, 05:42   #25
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Re: Cruising Dentist

[QUOTE=Jim Cate;1021200]G'Day Charlie, and to the OP as well,

We knew Christopher Robin and Joel (Zuckerman) quite well in Mexico in 1986-87.
... He was (and I hope still is) a truly good person.

Our wakes diverged, and we have not heard from him in many years, but I will always remember him as a good cruiser and fellow human being.../QUOTE]

Apparently, y ou met Dr. Zuckerman just as he was beginning his "cruise". ➥ The Modesto Bee - Google News Archive Search
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Old 25-08-2012, 08:10   #26
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Re: Cruising Dentist

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Charlie, and to the OP as well,

We knew Christopher Robin and Joel (Zuckerman) quite well in Mexico in 1986-87. Joel wasn't just an optometrist, but a highly skilled opthamalogist and ocular surgeon. He had originally trained as a physicist, altering course later in life, and had used those skills to develop some micro-surgical instruments and techniques... a pretty heavy dude in those circles. He equipped CR (a Valiant 40) with a portable eye surgery theater, and his wife at that time was a scrub nurse who assisted him in his work. In Mexico he went through hell trying to get official accreditation, and after a lot of frustration was duly accepted. At that point he was inundated with work... far more than he had really wanted to do! He would pack up the surgery, someone in a pickup would load it and them into the bed, and off they would go to some remote village area. When they arrived there would be dozens of folks lined up needing help. He did hundreds of cataract removals and other minor eye surgeries while there, and spread good will wherever he went. All of this was pro bono... he supplied all materials and drugs as well as his skills. He was (and I hope still is) a truly good person.

Our wakes diverged, and we have not heard from him in many years, but I will always remember him as a good cruiser and fellow human being.

So, for the OP -- if your wife wants to spread good will and help reduce suffering in third world areas, I expect that with some effort she can be granted permission to practice. If you hope to use her skills to augment your cruising kitty it may be more difficult. I don't think that there will be enough demand in the cruising fleet to make it worthwhile, but we cruisers do help each other out with whatever skills we have, and there will be times when she could be a very welcome neighbor!

Cheers,

Jim
Thanks, yes that is the idea just help others out and keep her skills fresh. We hope we have saved enough money and hope to be able to get by on a cruising kitty of $40k per year. Hopefully we will not need to make extra cash, if that time comes we both have residency in the Bahamas so we can work there if we have to. Just have to get there first our boat is in Malaysia! Thanks everyone for the comments. We just wanted to see the reaction to having a friendly dentist in the cruising world. She really wants to continue her skills, her love is dentistry not - money and the "all we want to do help you" insurance companies.
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Old 25-08-2012, 10:09   #27
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Re: Cruising Dentist

I am a 'cruising dentist', trained in Canada.
After 35 years in the shop I let go in 2009 from the Pacific Northwest.
It is impossible to do dentistry (of quality) on a sailboat, for many reasons.
One is limited to examinations and advice and, if the patient (e.g. fellow cruiser), has medication on board, instructions on its use.
If you are dealing with local folk, they will have no medication so a ready supply of antibiotics and analgesics is very beneficial. Giving them away, I mean, after taking proper history and with the usual cautions.
Think about infection control; radiology; sterilization; followup and even more basic, diagnosis. This cannot be done on a sailboat, even with a dental chair, proper light and skill. You will not have the other essentials of standard dental care as we know it in North America.
Dental care in 3rd world countries is hit and miss. There are good practitioners and others.
In the past 4 years I have had my teeth cleaned in various offices from Mexico to S. Pacific to N. Pacific to Philippines to Thailand.
Not once did I find an office that would qualify as North American standard. Cleanliness, never mind sterilization, is a common problem. The price is good. $17 for cleaning, exam in Marshall Islands is not out of line across the Pacific.
Usually done by the dentist, not a hygienist. A hygienist will always do a better job.
If you think your wife can extract teeth from some unfortunate on an isolated island in the South China Sea, ask her about the real problems involved.
It is a nice thought, helping people, but impractical as a cruising sailor.
I am talking about free dental care. Forget about money or trading for coconuts.
The best profession for a cruiser is a hairdresser. No complications and trading for bananas makes sense.
I have given seminars for other cruising sailors on dental problems when far from a city. I have examined sailors and others for specific dental problems and then given advice.
I would humbly suggest this is the limit of dentistry whilst at sea.
Pete
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Old 25-08-2012, 10:49   #28
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Re: Cruising Dentist

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Originally Posted by rigormortis View Post
I am a 'cruising dentist', trained in Canada.
After 35 years in the shop I let go in 2009 from the Pacific Northwest.
It is impossible to do dentistry (of quality) on a sailboat, for many reasons.
One is limited to examinations and advice and, if the patient (e.g. fellow cruiser), has medication on board, instructions on its use.
If you are dealing with local folk, they will have no medication so a ready supply of antibiotics and analgesics is very beneficial. Giving them away, I mean, after taking proper history and with the usual cautions.
Think about infection control; radiology; sterilization; followup and even more basic, diagnosis. This cannot be done on a sailboat, even with a dental chair, proper light and skill. You will not have the other essentials of standard dental care as we know it in North America.
Dental care in 3rd world countries is hit and miss. There are good practitioners and others.
In the past 4 years I have had my teeth cleaned in various offices from Mexico to S. Pacific to N. Pacific to Philippines to Thailand.
Not once did I find an office that would qualify as North American standard. Cleanliness, never mind sterilization, is a common problem. The price is good. $17 for cleaning, exam in Marshall Islands is not out of line across the Pacific.
Usually done by the dentist, not a hygienist. A hygienist will always do a better job.
If you think your wife can extract teeth from some unfortunate on an isolated island in the South China Sea, ask her about the real problems involved.
It is a nice thought, helping people, but impractical as a cruising sailor.
I am talking about free dental care. Forget about money or trading for coconuts.
The best profession for a cruiser is a hairdresser. No complications and trading for bananas makes sense.
I have given seminars for other cruising sailors on dental problems when far from a city. I have examined sailors and others for specific dental problems and then given advice.
I would humbly suggest this is the limit of dentistry whilst at sea.
Pete
Hello Pete
Thanks for post. Nice to hear from a fellow dentist. My wife is taking onboard numerous equipment for us already. I am terrified of dentists and she is about all I will allow near my teeth so she has to do some dentistry onboard whether she wants to or not. She has invested in a portable x.ray, she also has a laser which can help with a ton of issues alone, a auto clave and the latest electric hand pieces. These are for us and never intended to make money from it. So she does not want to do extractions by any means but if she can assist a fellow sailor with other issues she would like to. The laser is a amazing device and helps with so much besides dentistry - can even burn out that painful wart on the foot if need be! I cruised for a year in 2005 and never bought a beer or a meal once. I was even given a brand new dinghy and a new 15hp engine by a couple after I repaired their diesel injectors after they were told they were not repairable and no one could get new ones. Between my mechanical, electrical and fiberglass skills I actually would sometimes hide just to get a day off from cruisers with all kinds of boat issues and locals with broken cars, tractors and scooters wanting me to help them. So I am by no means scared of making a income of any kind if need be. But never been a dentist - needed one after i broke a bridge though! SO hopefully she will at least be
to offer advice, anything to keep her dentistry love alive would be great.
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Old 25-08-2012, 11:59   #29
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Re: Cruising Dentist

I’d rather have access to Pete or the OP’s Wife - no matter how unprepared to practice they may be; than to merely rely upon a book such as:
“Where There Is No Dentist” ~ by Murray Dickson
http://urbansurvivalsite.com/files/W...No_Dentist.pdf
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Old 25-08-2012, 13:01   #30
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Re: Cruising Dentist

Actually, Dr. Christiaan Barnard graduated med school in South Africa in 1946 when all medical schools were "primitive" by today's standards. He then went on to study at two medical schools in the US before returning to SA, so one can hardly call him some third-world anything. Three medical schools and exceptional skill at being a surgeon, which is as much a unique physical talent as any major league sports star or other rare skill.

One reason some of his patients died "quickly" was because he chose patients who might die either way, making the risks of a totally new surgery no great risk for them.

There are a number of "dentists" in places like backcountry India where the primary tool is a treasured Dremel set. And some of them even do outstanding work, with what they have.

But really, to show locals? Locals meaning licensed dentists, meaning you'll probably need a license there as well? I'd suggest either retiring and putting down the tools, or forming a formal "charitable" corporation and making a formal above-board tour that shows, teaches, and trains, all properly. Of course, that's going to mean insurance and paperwork, but that's part of the job. The charity can always hire a manager to do that.
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