Women judge men by their teeth

Desperately wanted men

WEENER. Dentists are scarce in East Frisia and not only there. Now the Free Association of German Dentists e.V. (FVDZ), State Association of Lower Saxony, has called for an unusual antidote to the decline in practices.

A male quota for the allocation of study places in dentistry. The reason: men would have more bite to run a one-on-one practice.

"Due to the way in which study places are allocated, there are now study years with 100 percent women," it says in support of the application.

Because the young women simply have better Abitur grades, they are given preference for the coveted study places.

The numerus clausus is between 1.2 and 1.7, depending on the university, according to the association: "It's like in a market: the lower the number of study places, the higher the price in the form of the Abi grade."

Significantly more women

The young men often move abroad, for example to Semmelweis University in Budapest or to Groningen in the Netherlands, it was said. But it remains with the surplus of women.

In fact, significantly more women than men study dentistry. According to the German Dental Association, of the 12,900 students in the 2013/14 winter semester who were aiming for a state examination, only 4,500 were men.

An alarm signal for the Lower Saxony Association. Because the many young doctors would not unseen the risk of founding or taking over a practice, says Annette Apel, dentist in Göttingen and state chairman of the association in Lower Saxony, to the "Ärzte Zeitung".

The young women want to have children. Apparently, therefore, fewer and fewer women end up in the dental practice.

In fact, after the child break, only 30 to 35 percent of the dentists remained who ultimately choose to go to the practice, explains Apel.

"We don't know why that is so." In addition, fewer and fewer women seem to want to take the risk of having an individual practice.

"Some appreciate the prestigious profession, but only want to work part-time," she says.

Employment preferred

Others did not dare to do night shifts. The younger generation prefers to be employed in an MVZ or a larger practice, and women even more.

In short: first of all, the women filled all of the study places - and then they didn't work in the profession they had learned, and certainly not in their own practice.

The result is a lack of dentists everywhere. "The individual practice model is still the most widespread," says Apel. But how long?

"Here in the Rheiderland there are only eight dentists who have to care for around 30,000 people," reports dentist Dr. Urich Keck from Weener in East Frisia.

"That's a catastrophe!" There should actually be twice as many dentists. Keck no longer counted himself. Because the 60-year-old closes his practice and has not found a successor.

"We have received new hygiene guidelines," says Keck, explaining his move: "If I am to implement them, I will have to invest 100,000 euros. I do not have the money and I will no longer borrow it at my age."

Even if women doctors were to alleviate the shortage of personnel, "it is unlikely that they will ever take over the practice," says Keck. "Women don't want that anymore."

MVZs are often uneconomical

The alternative is the medical care center with a number of employed dentists. "But MVZs are often run uneconomically," argues Keck.

"Because nobody feels as consistently responsible as in their own practice." That is why Apobank is already very cautious about financing MVZs, says Keck.

The bank did not want to confirm this, but said on request that it would continue to support MVZs.

"The success of the latter facilities depends largely on the ownership structure and the exact business model. As a result, these parameters, in addition to planned cash flows, must also be taken into account when assessing creditworthiness," said a spokeswoman for Apobank for "Ärzte Zeitung".

Incidentally, Keck, an old school man, thinks that the organization of work in an MVZ is destroying the personal doctor-patient relationship.

It remains to be seen whether more men would solve the problem. The demand for a male quota for freshmen among dental students is a political appeal, says Keck.

Association chairwoman Apel gives the proposal "hardly a chance", as she says. "But you have to stay tuned".

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