Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please feel free to contact the program co-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?
There are 4 full time General Dentists involved with resident training and available for consults, instruction, and cover procedures within their approved privileges.  Endodontic procedures are reserved to once a week where residents work with a specialist.  A staff prosthodontis and periodontist are also available to supervise resident procedures by patient appointment.  Exposure to oral surgery procedures occur through a special rotation(s) at the James A. Haley, VA (affiliate hospital).

Q: Do residents do cleanings on their own patients?
A: Only on their comprehensive care patients. There are hygienists that support the residents.

Q: What materials and supplies are available in the residency?
We have standardized materials.

Q: Are there dental assistants available for the residents?
Yes. Each resident is assigned an assistant and operatory daily.

Q: How often are the AEGD residents on call for emergencies after hours?
Rotating basis, pager call only.

Q: What rotations are available?
A: Orthopedics, Anesthesiology, ER, Plastic surgery, Dental Lab, ENT, Cardiology and Primary Care within our hospital. There are various rotations at the James A. Haley 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.

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, design and provisionals for fixed prosthodontic cases.

Q: What is the pediatric experience like?
A: Due to patient population, this is limited to lectures.

Q: How much aesthetic dentistry do you do? Veneers? All porcelain crowns? Etc…
A: There is a fair amount – if the patient is a good candidate for the procedure. The Prosthodontics section is always available for consultations, but we do not provide veneers.

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 dental eligible. Veteran dental eligibility is governed by laws passed by congress, not the dental clinic.

Q: What other advantages does your program offer?
We provide access to outside courses like Dawson at a reduced charge, if available, as well as up to 5 days in the residency year that can be authorized for courses or licensing (pending prior authorization).

Q: Is there parking for residents?
There are assigned lots for employee parking located steps from the dental clinic.

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 

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