Maryland board of dental examiners struggles with staff shortage

The Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners is experiencing delays in investigating reports of misconduct because of long-running staff shortages, Maryland Matters reported Nov. 17.

Board President Arpana Verma, DDS, said during a meeting with the state's House Health and Government Operations Committee that the board has lost staff over the past several years to higher paying jobs and has problems reimbursing case reviewers and hiring staff because of issues with the state's human resources department and the long hiring process.

Dr. Verma said a hiring freeze instituted by Gov. Lawrence Hogan Jr., because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has also contributed to the shortage.

Dr. Verma said the board had only one investigator covering 125 cases during the last year and a half. It recently added two more investigators and may have a fourth soon, but Dr. Verma said it won't be enough to handle the high number of cases the board has.

"We just need more hands on deck," Dr. Verma said. "Honestly, if you gave us more hands on deck we could be so much more efficient and do so much of a better job."

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