Practice Builders Organized Dentistry Helps Young Dentists Navigate Careers Dave C. Lee, DMD When did the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting originate and what is its mission? The first meeting was organized in Atlanta in 1911 by Dr. Thomas P. Hinman and was considered to be the first dental clinic “strictly for serious-minded educational purposes.” Dr. Hinman believed strongly in the individual’s contribution to dentistry and required attendees to return to their local dental societies and present what they had learned in a formal program. Hinman is founded on this tradition, but also focused on the future. The meeting has a 103-year legacy for quality, professionalism, devotion to detail, southern hospitality, and above all, a high regard for the value of continuing education. At the same time, Hinman is focused on the future with emphasis on technology and leadingedge educational programming that allow both the established and beginning dentist to deliver the best patient care possible. To help ensure that dental professionals attending Hinman meet their state CE requirements, the program meets the continuing education requirements set by the Academy of General Dentistry and State Boards of Dentistry. How did you first get involved with the Hinman? Dr. George Schuette was General Chairman of the Hinman Meeting in 1977 and my family dentist. Even while I was in dental school, he encouraged me to join the Hinman Dental Society. He told me the friendships I would form in Hinman would be some of my best relationships in dentistry, and I have found those words to be true. As a member of Hinman since 1983, I have served in many volunteer roles over the years and gained so much knowledge not only from each facet of running the meeting, but also from the many speakers, exhibitors, and of course, peers and mentors who’ve been involved and attended the meeting. Why is it important for young dentists to become involved in organized dentistry? We believe that dentistry has been, and will continue to be, a profession based on relationships. Many of today’s graduates finish school with record amounts of debt and educational loans, so thinking about relationships in the face of such financial pressures
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can be overwhelming. If you are starting a practice or joining a practice, there are many questions and challenges ahead. Groups like the Hinman Dental Society can help young dentists navigate these challenges and provide a network of support for the lifetime of a career. Specifically, I see Hinman/organized dentistry helping young dentists the most with: • Continuing Education Dedicated to New Dentists: There are special programs like Hinman’s new day-long G.O.L.D. (Graduates of the Last Decade) Program designed to give young doctors critical practice and clinical guidance early in their careers. You’ll also find courses that are essential in helping young dentists establish a practice or evaluate opportunities, equipment and products. • Professional Networking: Dental organizations and groups also provide a network of professionals that you can rely upon. Throughout the year, I can rely on this network to share best practices, consult with me on a difficult or unusual case, or point me in the right direction on selecting a new piece of equipment or incorporating new technology into the practice. • Employment Opportunities: Dental organizations like Hinman are the best resource for those searching for a practice to join or professionals to hire to help grow your practice. And, you can feel confident that you can find someone to whom you can refer. I have found Hinman members and those involved in organized dentistry, to be the “cream of the crop,” and I find their integrity, desire to learn, skill level and willingness to share to be exceptional. Is the Technical Exhibit Hall a valuable destination for the emerging dentist and why? Most definitely. At the Hinman meeting you will find the latest technology, equipment, products and services all located in one place at one time! It would be impossible to learn about each and every new product or technology on your own. And students and new dentists can gain hands-on experience and knowledge in workshops and courses provided by dentistry’s leading authorities, as well as see them demonstrated by the industry’s foremost experts in the exhibit hall environment.