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SSC AGD Number Approved For Use by Affiliate Clubs By Suzanne Cohen

The Academy of General Dentistry has recently advised us that our affiliate Clubs may use our AGD PACE “approved provider” number so long as the Clubs comply with certain requirements. Here are the “bare bones” requirements from the AGD: 1. All course publicity must show the Seattle Study Club as the sponsoring organization and include the AGD logo; 2. All course publicity must use the AGD (Revised May 2002) subject codes for course content; 3. Course credit may be granted only for time spent in session (not for breaks, lunches etc). 4. Course records must comply with AGD forms. This is great news for our affiliate Study Clubs, since they will no longer need to obtain individual AGD approved-provider Dec. numbers (State 2003 or National). New Clubs and those possessing only State AGD numbers probably have the most to benefit. Directors who have already gone to the trouble of becoming a National AGD approved provider may want to maintain their own numbers. However, any SSC Director

who wishes to participate in this program may do so. During informal discussions with Beth Minnick, the PACE program coordinator, we learned that the AGD has high regard for the Seattle Study Club and its affiliate Clubs; however, we were also cautioned not to allow affiliate Clubs to use our number without controlling the process. As most Seattle Study Club Directors know, our philosophy and preference thus far has been to give our Directors tremendous flexibility in how they run their individual programs. We’ve always felt that we’re here to help, not to dictate. We have also chosen not to place controls or monitors on our Study Clubs. With the advent of the “universal SSC-approved provider number” some of that may have to change for Directors choosing to use our number, since everything the Clubs do will now reflect directly back on the SSC, and have the potential to affect our status with the AGD. We have no question that our Clubs are running first rate educational programs, and that our Directors share the SSC’s commitment to the comprehensive treatment planning session as the “heart and soul” of the Study Club curriculum. We just have to be able to document for the AGD how we come by that knowledge in the event that they would ask to audit our records. We are in the midst of developing a protocol for that process, and will shortly forward a packet of materials to Directors for their review.

The Art of the Presentation By Dr. Michael Cohen

I recently had the pleasure of watching Dr. Reena Gajjar present to a group of speakers and would-be speakers. Dr. Gajjar is a specialist in prosthodontics with an extensive background in computer graphics and imaging. The focus of her talk was how to bring the latest computer technology to bear on clinical and other presentations. What stood out, however, was Dr. Gajjar’s artistry in the use of these technical tools. She has a remarkable ‘eye’ for good design and can easily articulate why some presentations are so much more compelling than others. Anyone who has seen the clinical presentation of Dr. Gajjar’s husband, Dr. Ken Hebel, knows what an advantage he has, having her design his graphics. What you may not know is that Dr. Gajjar is available to assist anyone in our network in polishing the computer and design aspects of a presentation. This would be especially beneficial to Directors and Members who wish to move from a slide or projector-based presentation to a computer-based presentation, but even basic title slides can benefit from Dr. Gajjar’s discerning eye. Even dentists who have no desire to lecture from the podium can benefit from Dr. Gajjar’s skills, as she can demonstrate how to incorporate advances in computer technology into their practices for patient education and marketing purposes. Contact Dr. Gajjar at 519.432.1153 (make sure to ask for Rose) for more information, or take a look at

Keep the Lawyers Away!

Following Cases Longitudinally

By Suzanne Cohen

By Greg Tice

Have you ever considered what will happen to you if your hygienist leaves the office holiday party having had just a little too much to drink, and kills a pedestrian while driving home? How about that drunk doctor who leaves your holiday Study Club function and crashes into a tree, leaving his wife and family destitute? In some states the answer is “nothing” but in a growing number of states you may be subject to liability if you don’t exercise reasonable care to prevent these kinds of scenarios from occurring. And, these days just getting sued – whether or not you are ultimately exonerated – may require you to get a second mortgage to pay your defense lawyer. Few of us would want to host (or attend, for that matter) a “dry” party, so it’s important that we think about how we can protect our guests, employees and ourselves from the perils of excess alcohol consumption. I recently attend two separate functions where the guests got absolutely plastered, and I think I know why. The first party was held at restaurant, and it was clear that the restaurant owner wanted the liquor bill to be as high as possible. There was no water at the table! I had to ask the waitress for “waters, all around!” This is something the party’s hostess should have observed herself, and handled for all her guests. The second party was a private function, catered at a hall. The caterer got behind on service and no real food was served for two hours! Yes, there were some little pupus, but hardly enough to sop up all the wine that was being “pushed” by the butlers on trays. I was practically asleep by the time dinner was served around 9 p.m. Fortunately, Michael’s not much of a drinker, so I always have my “designated driver.” I heard later that some people at the party had the good sense to get cabs home; I imagine they worshipped the porcelain throne the rest of the night. I’m not suggesting that you can stop guests who are dedicated to getting drunk from doing so. But you can help the average party-goer from unintentionally over imbibing if you make sure that food is offered at the same time as alcohol, and that guests have the opportunity to “pace themselves” with water or other soft drinks. You can also ask the wait staff to switch from offering alcohol to coffee or tea at a certain pre-determined point in the party - at least an hour before it is to conclude. It may seem contrary to the “rule of being a good host” but it could save you from a lawsuit, if not save somebody’s life.

Why do we follow cases long term in the SSC Journal? Why do we look at successfully completed cases during the treatment planning sessions? What are the benefits? The answer to these questions is rooted in a fundamental psychological principal. “We all move toward that which we think about or are exposed to on a regular basis.” In other words, whatever it is we focus on (obsess about) positively or negatively, we will likely be drawn in that direction. Think of it this way. Trey, one of my 10 year old twins, learned to ride a two wheeler about 5 years ago. On the first day we took off the training wheels, he, like so many other kids, was a bit wobbly on the bike, but was having a blast. As he started down his first good sized hill, he spotted a rock in the middle of the road, about the size of your fist. All the way down the hill he was staring at the rock, of course imagining all the bad things that would happen if he hit that rock. Well, he was so focused on that rock (not wanting to hit it) that his body movements naturally took him right at it until he finally ran right into it. This was also by the way, his first real introduction to dentistry. Your study Club’s commitment to comprehensive diagnosis and treatment planning works the same way. You can promote multi-disciplinary care all day long, but until the members of your Club are exposed to successfully completed comprehensive cases on a regular basis, they are not going to naturally move that direction. Following cases long term allows us to focus on the way around the rock in the road, naturally moving that direction.

Save The Date... July 22-24, Think Tank / Show & Tell By Lisa Blumenfeld

I know the summer seems far away, but it will be here before we know it, so we started the planning early this year. Our summer meeting is going to be a combination Think Tank/Show & Tell at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colorado. The meeting dates are July 22-24, 2004. We are still working on the details of the meeting but it looks like Think Tank will be all day on the 22nd and then Show & Tell will run the 23rd and 24th. We will have more information on the specifics of the meeting soon, but we wanted to get the dates to you so you and your members can plan on joining us. It is a perfect location for a summer meeting so we hope to see you there.


Dec. 2003 By Suzanne Cohen By Dr. Michael Cohen By Suzanne Cohen By Lisa Blumenfeld By Greg Tice