Multi-dentist office

Good morning everyone!

How would you tag a dentist’s office with 4-5 dentists, each specialized in different categories, all sharing the same office staff, opening hours, phone, etc.? If they were “regular” doctors, I’d use amenity=clinic for the office and then add each of the doctors as their own node plus own specialty.

Is tagging multiple dentists done the same?

<website, name, phone, opening_hours, etc.>

And then multiple nodes inside the clinic with:

name=Dr. med. dent. XXX XXX

It just feels odd to use amenity=clinic for a dentist. Is this really the way to go?

What about amenity=dentist? In the same way as shop=hairdresser is used also when multiple hairdressers work in the same place sharing the same office staff, opening hours, phone, etc.?

Or are they sharing this but operate under own brands/names?

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That depends. Usually, when you go to such a group of dentists, you always want to go to the same dentist, unless that one is on vacation. So you would know your dentist by their personal name, not by their office’s name. But when you’re new, you call the office and you’re being assigned to the next available dentist. If you were unable to get an individual appointment with the dentists/doctors, I wouldn’t want to map each of them, but it is, in fact, more common to request an appointment with a specific dentist/doctor.

In Germany, usually all these dentists/doctors have their own plate in front of the house, even if they share the same office and personel. The name of this office is sometimes mentioned on each of these plates, sometimes on none and only at the door to the office. So it really depends, but these kind of offices are becoming increasingly more popular, because it allows the staff to take vacation independently of the doctor/dentist.

That still sounds similar to hairdressers. One business, some have preferences for specific ones.

Though not to the “have their own plate in front of the house” degree.

Here’s an example:

The name of the office isn’t mentioned anywhere, only once you go inside.

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OK, that is markedly different. Maybe separate dentist object for each?

That’s what I’m currently doing. But how to tag the office? Is that a clinic or … what? office=dentist :woozy_face:

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For my understanding amenity=clinic would fit for something like this. Wiki mention should be about 10 staff, assuming each doctor has a nurse and there is also some office clerk, sounds ok to me, at least in the English version.

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If you know that all dentists are in the same office, I’d only use one node and put them all semicolon-separated into the operator tag. That they are more vein than hairdressers shouldn’t change our tagging, should it?

My understanding is that the operator of the office will very likely be the ltd. running it and not the individual doctors/dentists.

A shame that healthcare 2.0 is gone; it had so many nice ideas :pensive:

I would think many dental practices in the UK are of this type: either partnerships or limited companies. We just tag them as amenity=dentist (just as we do with GP practices which also list the accredited practitioners at the door). Many practices have brand names, and even single-handed practices usually are not named after the dentist (it makes them easier to sell on retirement).

If you are not satisfied with this, the type of problem you allude to also occurs with medical doctors (primarily physicians) who may share an office for consultations, but practice individually. The base tags arose in the UK, and this type of doctors’ office is unusual. I’m not sure how well either the amenity or healthcare tags handle this, or whether the do it well.

Note in the UK barristers also work in this way, and the collective office is called “a chambers”. The office will take a cut of the individual lawyers fees, but otherwise they trade as sole practitioners.

So If people are interested in one dentist, then how are you going to tag opening_hours=*, email=*, phone=* or other tags that are unique for each dentist?

Given that they share an office I would imagine the opening hours & phone are likely to be the same, and also that there will be a single generic email. But please remember also that OSM is a geodatabase not a directory of medical and dental practitioners: trying to get it to work in the latter role may impair its usefulness in the primary one.

Various other posts here recently claim: a) OSM is bad for POIs; and b) POIs from OSM are rarely used by 3rd party applications. YMMV, but it might not be so useful to collect all the additional information.

I’m currently mapping each dentist as a node and the office/clinic as a precise way in the building. I’m then copying the mentioned information from the office-way to all the dentist-nodes inside the “clinic”. It’s not great, but also not wrong. The problem really is that I want people to be able to search for the name of the office as well as the individual dentists. All the advertisement is done under the name of the office/clinic, whereas the signs in front of the house refer to the individual dentists.

I guess I’ll go with a “clinic” for the office, but it feels a bit awkward.

Colocated professional offices are common in the U.S. wherever real estate prices are high. I see this with not only dentists but also doctors, opticians, therapists, lawyers, and insurance agents. Sometimes a professional office building is developed specifically for this purpose, while other times it happens organically when a tenant sublets to other tenants.

I view these situations as distinct from a clinic, because there are many clinics that operate as a single shared practice. At a shared practice, you may get to choose your dentist, but if the dentist is away and you need an appointment, another from the same office will substitute.

By contrast, with these colocated offices, the office would be closed or the substitute would come from somewhere else. Upon close inspection, sometimes the tenants can be a mix of professions, which really scrambles any tagging as a single coherent feature.

For your consideration, here’s a shared medical practice I’ve mapped:

and a shared practice (partnership) within a center for individual practices:


Not dental, but similar situations occur in the UK with medical practices (usually in a building called a “health centre”). A couple of examples:

In these cases the building is probably owned by the local NHS Community Trust, and they rent space to medical practices (and in some cases to a pharmacy). They may also provide separate consulting rooms where they run various ambulatory clinics (in the set period of consultation sense, rather than the OSM meaning).

The most recent development have been fully multi-functional centres offering a range of healthcare services as well as community and social services: Joint Service Centres. These are mainly in more deprived parts of town, and I’ve never investigated one in enough depth to feel confident mapping what they are, other than a type of building. Probably Bulwell Riverside is the best mapped.

For the OP, as I said before, I’d go with @Minh_Nguyen’s illustrations, but my examples do show multiple nodes in a single building, albeit of larger entities than a single dentist or doctor.

PS. Annoyingly visited my own doctors’ surgery yesterday and forgot to get a photo of the sign for the co-located dental practice.

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Looking at your examples, I think something like


seems a better choice than my amenity=clinic. Especially, because the proposal states that healthcare=centre is a “group of medical practices”, which is exactly what this is. The German translation is “Gemeinschaftspraxis”, I can’t think of a better fit. Thank you!

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@Nadjita If healthcare=centre has merit it may be worth discussing more formally, as I think we introduced the tag at a local level to try and capture at least something of the properties.

It does appear in the original proposal and is in use over 47k times. What exactly do you mean?

OK was unaware of that, you can ignore my comment!