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An estimated 10-15% percent of dentists are affected by substance use during their careers. Dentists Concerned for Dentists, Inc. (DCD) is a voluntary, confidential peer support program for Massachusetts dentists with substance use problems. It is the only such program in the Commonwealth serving dental professionals exclusively.
Alan Budd, DMD is the Director of DCD. He and his associates assist dentists, office staff, dental students, and family members of dentists who are at risk of or are experiencing a substance use problem. As dentists in recovery, DCD staff is uniquely qualified and motivated to support our colleagues.
Confidentiality is a cornerstone of Dentists Concerned for Dentists. It is critical that dentists feel confident that the information they share in the context of DCD will remain confidential and will be protected to the full extent of the law. DCD has implemented numerous safeguards and procedures designed to create a culture where information is protected and where program participants can feel comfortable sharing their concerns openly so that they can obtain the support that they need.
Relationship to Licensing Board (BORID)
DCD is independent of the Board of Registration in Dentistry, the state agency responsible for the licensure and discipline of dentists in the Commonwealth. DCD also serves as a “diversionary” program. In certain cases, the BORID may choose to divert a licensee with a drug or alcohol problem to DCD provided the licensee agrees to participate in our program.
Federal law 42 United States Code § 290dd-2, and its implementing regulations, 42 CFR Part 2, sets forth rules prohibiting the disclosure of private medical information pertaining to drug and alcohol patients and program participants except in narrowly defined circumstances and with properly obtained consent forms from the participant releasing such information. DCD is aware of the requirements of this provision, and has designed release of information forms that meet the mandate of 42 USC §290dd-2. DCD understands the importance of getting the informed consent of the participant whenever any information is to be released to a third party regarding any DCD participant.
DCD is a medical peer review committee, as defined by Massachusetts General Law (G.L.) Chapter III, section 1. As a medical peer review committee, all proceedings, reports, and such records are to be kept confidential (G.L. c. III, §204). In accordance with the law, such records are not to be disclosed, are not subject to subpoena or discovery, and cannot be introduced into evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding, except proceedings held by the board of registration. DCD adheres to the strict provision of peer review material in accordance with this provision.
Use of Email
While e-mail is a convenient means of communication, DCD discourages its use in many contexts. Most importantly, the use of e-mail raises confidentiality concerns. When e-mail is sent from an office or work site, it is difficult to know where or how the information is being reviewed or stored. Many work sites have a policy of reviewing all incoming or outgoing e-mail messages to be sure that no inappropriate content is being transmitted. Even if e-mail messages are not directly reviewed, they are often stored on servers and backed up regularly, so that a record of the transaction is maintained. Such records may be subject to subpoena at a later date, or otherwise used in a manner unforeseen by the sender. In addition, there is a risk of inadvertently sending an e-mail message to one party that is intended for another, or having an e-mail message forwarded to unintended parties. Although not all individuals who contact DCD are concerned that the contact be kept confidential, by discouraging the use of e-mail communications, DCD seeks to provide protection to those individuals who do wish their contact with DCD to remain private.
DCD strongly encourages any interested individual to call us at (800) 468-2004.
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