Click on the photo above to watch a two-minute video scrapbook of the recently concluded DOCS Education conference in Memphis, or click here.
You won't find it listed in the formal course syllabi and these facilitators aren't listed under the faculty profiles.
Yet one of the most valuable aspects of attending the continuing education courses offered by DOCS Education is the sense of community our conferences foster, and the dentist-to-dentist interactions that naturally arise.
Let's face it, dentistry can be isolating.
Likewise, large dental conventions, like the annual American Dental Association meeting, are impersonal.
Continuing education programs, such as the three-day DOCS Education program just completed in Memphis, provide the perfect platform for dentists to reconnect with doctors they already know, and to make new, meaningful fresh connections with other registrants and faculty members.
Jim Bovia, instructor of the DALS™ ACLS Certification class, is tasked with helping dentists and their team members be prepared to deal with emergencies. He and his certified emergency professionals provide hands-on training using HAL full-body patient simulators – which come as close as possible to challenging registrants with real-life scenarios.
The training can be intense and the registrants play an important role in encouraging their classmates to "rescue" the patient.
When the Memphis course concluded on Sunday, Jim notes proudly, professional men and women who only hours earlier were complete strangers "were giving each other high fives, laughing and crying out, 'This is what we came for!'"
That is community.
[Unlike advanced cardiovascular life support courses offered by other groups, the DOCS Education DALS™ courses are provided exclusively for dentists and present scenarios dentists are most likely to encounter in their offices. The dentists-only classroom fosters peer-support and the comfort of learning alongside those who share your profession.]
Dr. Roger Sanger, the lead instructor for DOCS Education's Pediatric Sedation Dentistry, likewise observed strangers rapidly becoming teammates and friends as they proceed through his three-day training.
On day two, Dr. Sanger works with Jim Bovia and others to present APAM, the Advanced Pediatric Airway Module. Like DALS®, APAM is very hands-on, as registrants work with animal cadavers and train on human simulators. "APAM is a get-up-and-do class," Dr. Sanger notes. The unlisted benefit, once again, features dentists helping one another and creating bonds that will endure long after the course is completed.
A nice feature of DOCS Education courses is the various breaks each day, where attendees have the opportunity to not only socialize with one another, but to interact informally with the faculty.
Rather than go into seclusion during breaks – as happens so often at other dental conferences – the DOCS Education faculty is out mingling on the exhibit floor, answering questions, and getting to know each of their colleagues personally.
Following the Memphis conference, Dr. Sanger – who was a constant presence during the social hours – wrote in his recap of the course: "I think that the meals and social hours really make all feel that they are supported by new friends. I see many dentists and team members exchanging emails."
Similarly, in his recap of the event, Dr. Jerome P Wellbrock, wrote: "One of the dentists in the IV Recertification Course came up to me during the break and said, 'The thing I like and appreciate most about the DOCS courses is the instructors are not just knowledgeable but are also so approachable. I have been to many CE classes where the instructor does not want to be bothered to talk to anyone.'"
The DOCS Faculty are the key to elevating those who attend DOCS conferences from mere registrants to members of an exclusive community serving at the forefront of dentistry.
Beyond their mastery of the subject matter and skill at presenting it, DOCS Faculty members are extraordinarily dedicated to ensuring that each dentist and team member leaves fully prepared to use their newfound education to benefit their patients.
A perfect example is Dr. Leslie Fang, whose modesty and approachability isn't impacted in the least by his nearly cult-like status among dentists as a true genius when it comes to the intersections of medicine and dentistry. Among Dr. Fang's many texts, teaching series, and reference manuals, is the popular The Ultimate Cheat Sheets, a Practical Guide for the Dentist.
Dr. Fang taught portions of five separate courses in Memphis including the OSD Recertification class.
At the end of the session, Dr. Fang gave everyone the completion code (required to obtain their recertification) when one dentist raised his hand to ask about Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw, now referred to as Medication Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (MRONJ).
Although the class had officially concluded and everyone was free to leave, "I can count on the fingers of one hand those who did not stay for a 20-minute discussion on the topic," Dr. Fang notes. "Their staying after the allotted time made my day," he adds.
Think about that. What made Dr. Fang's day was not that he got to leave early, but that the dentists in his course were dedicated enough that he got to stay late.
Dr. Dianne Benedictson, who focuses on sedation recertification classes and training the team members who attend DOCS Education courses, relays a similar experience in Memphis:
"When I was in the Team course, I had about 15 extra minutes of optional material that I could cover or the participants could all leave on time for their break," she writes. "They unanimously chose to stay and keep learning."
That, too, is community.
If you have yet to experience a DOCS Education conference and its professional community, you may wish to register for upcoming programs in Dallas (October 20-21) and Seattle (November 10-12). Get complete details at www.DOCSEducation.com/courses.
[Editor's Note: DOCS Education is introducing a new, free conference e-newsletter – DOCS Community Digest – to share highlights of recent conferences as well as news of upcoming courses.
The next edition of DOCS Community Digest will include a full recap – with plenty of photos – of the most recent course in Memphis, including submissions provided by faculty members and sponsors. See which dentist won the $10,000 Dental Eclipse Marketing prize offered by RAMP – The Dental Advertising Agency.
To subscribe to DOCS Community Digest, click here.
The information contained in this, or any case study post in Incisor should never be considered a proper replacement for necessary training and/or education regarding adult oral conscious sedation. Regulations regarding sedation vary by state. This is an educational and informational piece. DOCS Education accepts no liability whatsoever for any damages resulting from any direct or indirect recipient's use of or failure to use any of the information contained herein. DOCS Education would be happy to answer any questions or concerns mailed to us at 106 Lenora Street, Seattle, WA 98121. Please print a copy of this posting and include it with your question or request.