Continuing education in dentistry is something that Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty and I are very passionate about. The great thing about being San Antonio dentists is that there are so many opportunities available to us here. Some people have to travel to other cities to get excellent continuing education experiences, and we are thankful that we don’t have to travel so much. This allows us to spend more time in our practice and more time with our dog, Emma! Ever since we graduated from dental school, we’ve always wanted to know more so that we can provide better service to our patients and get the most out of our career. The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners requires that dentists in Texas take 20 hours per year to maintain a license. We typically earn three to five times that in any given year depending on opportunities that arise. Here’s a few examples of where we spend our time furthering our dental education.
Texas Academy of General Dentistry – Being involved in TAGD has really motivated me to achieve and learn as much as I can. TAGD provides top notch courses. I’m typically attending an evening course after hours about once a month. This past year we’ve had a lot of basic courses going over fundamental principles in dentistry. The first time I heard a lecture on how to prepare a tooth for a crown in dental school, I’d never prepared a crown in my life. A year or so after that, I’d prepared a few crowns so I felt like I understood the basics a little better. Now, several years later, when I hear a basic lecture on crown preparation, I understand the basics on a much deeper level and can reflect deeply on whatever I’m currently doing. Constantly revisiting the basics is essential!
Seattle Study Club -It’s a real privledge to be a member of a local Seattle Study Club with many of my colleagues that I truly look up to. I’m kind of short, so I look up to a lot of people, but that’s beside the point! In our study club, we have world class lecturers come in from all over the US to speak to a small group of usually around 25 of us. This intimate setting allows us to dig deep into the details of complex cases and have off the cuff conversations that you can’t normally get when you hear someone speak in front of a large group. The speakers are only a small part of the equation, though. Having a trusted network of colleagues that are some of the best practicitoners in San Antonio has helped me to develop as a professional.
San Antonio District Dental Society -Being involved with the dental society was Ana and I’s first exposure to organized dentistry and continuing education in Texas when we moved to San Antonio. We meet once every other month and have a continuing education class with dinner. These dinners are where I’ve met so many of my friends in dentistry in San Antonio and many of the specialists that I trust with the care of Rolling Oaks Dental’s patients. If we ever refer a patient to a specialty practice, you can rest assured it is a colleague of ours that we trust and communicate with on a regular basis.
Texas Meeting -I’ve served as a speaker host volunteer and had some great continuing education experiences at the Texas Meeting here in San Antonio every year since I moved here. It’s truly a great meeting. Once a year, some of the world’s best speakers in dentistry come to San Antonio and lecture at the convention center downtown. I try to make the most of the meeting every year and learn as much as I can. I especially like hands on courses where I can have another doctor actually show me how to do something instead of just hearing about it in a lecture or reading about it. I find this to be my favorite way to learn.
Lunch and Learns -Lastly, we’re very fortunate that many of the specialists and vendors that we work with come to our office frequently during the year and provide continuing education for our team and for us. That way our whole team can stay current with trends in dentistry and ways that we can serve our patients better without having to leave the office.
These are all of the different avenues that we use to seek out educational opportunities throughout the year. Lunch, dinner, weekends -wow, continuing education is a big part of our lives and our career! The satisfaction that comes with doing great work and doing your absolute best makes the time and effort all worth it.