July 1, 2015
by Dr. George Freedman
When I graduated from dental school, Continuing Education was the last thing on my mind. I was certain that I had learned all that I needed to know, and that I knew everything that could possibly be important for the rest of my dental career. Little did I know how wrong I was!
Within the next 12 months, I was a founding member of the Ontario-Quebec Academy of General Dentistry, and I attended two dental “meetings”, the Journées Dentaire du Québec in Montreal and the Greater New York Dental Meeting in the Big Apple. The AGD helped me to explore the areas of study that had not been thoroughly covered during my university days. The dental “meetings” opened my eyes to a new universe of innovative dental concepts, new materials, and revolutionary technologies that would shape my clinical decisions from that point onwards. In fact, Continuing Education has been the single most important stimulus for my career.
At live presentations, colleagues and mentors help to digest ideas, analyze changes to protocol, and work novel concepts through to comfortable clinical application. Peer group evaluation of clinical and management issues is highly important. Today’s CE combines the best of the old and the new. It offers many educational formats, including synergistic online learning, where education can be tailored to the individual preferences of every practitioner. Dental exhibits provide a unique “hands-on” experiece to compare and contrast similar products and to crystallize purchase decisions.
The tangible value of Continuing Education is the significant difference that it makes in the clinical practice, to patients, staff, and practitioners. It is not enough to understand scientific developments and advances; it is essential to apply them appropriately to daily routines for improved treatment outcomes. It is each dentist’s responsibility to transform the knowledge acquired through education into practical clinical benefits.
Dental meetings, dental presentations, dental publications, and dental exhibits have served well to advance professional Continuing Education. These modalities are even more important in the current era of rapidly changing techniques and technologies. What better way to keep up with the latest developments, to enhance patient treatment, and to maintain professional interest, than by putting education to work in the practice.OH
Dr. George Freedman is a founder and past president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a co-founder of the Canadian Academy for Esthetic Dentistry and a Diplomate of the American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry.
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