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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please feel free to contact the program director for more information.

Q: What is the Hospital like here?
A: Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) serves the healthcare needs of America's veterans in West Central and Southwestern Coastal Florida by providing primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support sources. Bay Pines is a complexity level 1a facility providing comprehensive healthcare and operating a 192 acute care bed hospital (includes ICUs, medical, surgical, and psychiatric); a 112 bed Community Living Center; a 65 bed Domiciliary; and a 34 bed Residential Treatment program.

The Bay Pines VA Medical Center is located on 337 acres situated on the Gulf of Mexico. The first building at Bay Pines was constructed in 1933. The healthcare system serves a 10-county area from Pinellas County in the north to Collier County in the south. Co-located on the medical center campus are a VA Regional Office and a National Cemetery. Bay Pines is one of the few VA medical centers in the country to have all three administrations of the Department of Veterans Affairs at one location. Also located on the Bay Pines campus are the VISN 8 office, offices for CIO Field Office (CIOFO), Office of Inspector General, Regional Counsel, Readjustment Counseling, and Office of Resolution Management (ORM). Bay Pines VAHCS also provides support to the Department of Defense (DoD) at MacDill AFB in the event of a national emergency and serves as a contingency site (Site E) for VA Central Office in the event of an emergency.

Q: What is the length of the program?
12 months (July 1 to June 30)

Q: Does a general dentist cover clinic for specialty procedures?
A staff Endodontist, Periodontist, Oral Surgeon, and 2 Prosthodontists cover specialty procedures. There are 3 full time General Dentists involved with resident training and available for consults and instruction, who may cover procedures within their approved privileges.

Q: Do residents do cleanings on their own patients?
A: Only on their comprehensive care patients. There are hygienists that support the residents and staff dentists for other cases.

Q: What materials and supplies are available in the residency?
We do have standardized material but we order materials so that residents can try out new products in the residency before they go to the private sector. A nearly complete list of materials is available, but a few products include: TPH composite, Panavia, Rely-X: luting, ARC and Unicem cements, Regisil products, etc… If there is a certain product desired, a request can be submitted.

Q: Are there dental assistants available for the residents?
Yes. Each resident is assigned an assistant and operatory daily. Assistant duties include set-up and clean-up, as well as helping with scheduling patients, among other things.

Q: How often are the AEGD residents on call for emergencies after hours?
Approximately 1 week per month- pager call only.

Q: What rotations are available?
A: Orthopaedics, Anesthesiology, ER, Plastic surgery, Dental Lab, Nursing Home, Cardiology and Primary Care within our hospital. There may also be various rotations through private practices in the area and the Tampa VA Hospital Dental Clinic, to enhance your residency experience.

Q: Is there IV sedations training available?
A: No, not at this time, although residents do rotate through anesthesia and are exposed to sedations, airway maintenance etc.

Q: What other certifications are available?
A: Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification is taught at the beginning of the year.

Q: How many hours do you work per week? Not just clinic time but studying also?
Official hours are 7:00 to 4:30, but there are some lectures during clinic hours- average 60 hours per week – including studying and projects- lab work/cases. At the beginning of the year there is much more studying to get you ready for the kind of procedures done in clinic – ie, surgeries, ACLS course, full mouth rehabs, etc. Some lab work will be needed on your part as well as some on call duty.

Q: How much of your own lab work do you do? Do you use an outside lab?
A: It is required that you mount your cases for proper planning, that you do mounted diagnostic wax ups of rehabilitation cases and implant cases as well. You are responsible for mounting your own lab cases for presentations to staff and patients. You are responsible for implant stents, die trimming, prosthodontic surveying and design. Also provisionals for fixed prosthodontic cases. The rest of the lab work is done in house or at Central Dental Lab or at local contract lab. We have good results with all our labs.

Q: What is the pediatric experience like?
A: Due to patient population, this is limited to lectures and / or outside rotations that may address that area of Dentistry.

Q: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the program in regards to procedures?
A: Strengths = prosthodontics, implants and oral surgery and continuing education courses.
Weaknesses = no pediatric patients, Limited trauma patients and very limited orthodontic exposure.

Q: How much aesthetic dentistry do you do? Veneers? All porcelain crowns? Etc…
A: There is a substantial amount – if the patient is a good candidate for the procedure. The Prosthodontics section is always available for consultations.

Q: Can your patients afford the best work or are you always dealing with payment and Medicare limitations?
There are no charges at the VA-if the patient is eligible for dental care. This decreases no-show rate, and increases good clinical experiences. There is no shortage of treatment availability.

Q: What other advantages does your program offer?
We also try to provide access to outside courses like Dawson and Piper at a reduced charge, if available. Other external rotations maybe available. Up to 5 days in the residency year can be authorized for courses or licensing, pending Chiefs approval.

Q: Is there parking for residents?
There are assigned lots for parking for all doctors. Usually closest to the buildings you are assigned to work at.

Q: What is the area like?
St. Petersburg (often shortened to St. Pete) is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States.
Links -
Wikipedia - St. Petersburg*
WikiTravel - St Petersburg*
City Government*

panoramic view of downtown saint petersburg from above the pier
Downtown St. Petersburg from above the pier 

* Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites. The link will open in a new window.