Now More Than Ever
By David Schwab, PhD
By Greg Tice
Now more than ever, all of us in the SSC “family” should appreciate its benefits. Consider: 1. The brilliant idea of bringing speakers to local clubs has always been an excellent value, but now, with transportation costs skyrocketing, a great value just got much better. If a doctor were to take his or her staff to an out-of-town meeting today, the cost for travel related expenses would be considerably higher than it was just a year or two ago. In addition, the challenging economy makes it much more difficult to justify lost production due to taking time out of the office for travel to several meetings during the year. The SSC concept of bring the speaker to the audience rather than the audience to the speaker has never made more sense. 2. SSC is about relationships and collaboration. Consumers are struggling with higher prices for gasoline and food, their stock portOct folios are down, their housing eq2008 uity has evaporated, and some are out of work. In this environment, collaboration between professionals is more important than ever to earn the confidence of patients and help them make their health a priority. Many can always accomplish more than one.
When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon, he was by himself but he was not alone. There were thousands of people who had worked together diligently to make that moment possible. When you step out of your comfort zone and take on a new challenge, you can do so with the assurance that the entire SSC network is there to offer you encouragement, guidance and support. This benefit has never been more valuable. 3. The attention span of consumers is getting shorter even as their wallets are getting thinner. People say they want quality, but often they do not know where to turn. To differentiate yourself from other dental practices, you need something special and unique. You already have it: you are part of an international organization of professionals who are committed to staying on the leading edge of the dental profession. You are enrolled in what Dr. Cohen aptly calls “a university without walls.” The more your patients know about the ethos of the SSC, the more you set yourself apart and stand out from the crowd. This advantage is more important than ever. As the world becomes more complex and old assumptions give way to new realities, let us take a moment to appreciate each other and to be very grateful that the SSC is our compass and our touchstone.
With the 2008 Presidential Election right around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to take a look at a few of the catchphrases emanating from both campaigns and see what these things really mean in the world of the Seattle Study Club. “Reach Across The Aisle” = Oral surgeons and periodontists getting along. “Meet without Precondition” = The case I promised you for the treatment planning session isn’t ready yet. “Lipstick on a Pig” = High smile line. “I can see Russia from my house.” = What? “Joe Six-Pack” = Post lecture malt beverage ritual. “Joe the Plumber” = The name for every patient ever presented at treatment planning sessions from here on out. “ACORN” = Aesthetic Comprehensive Over-the-top Reconstructive Needs. “Maverick” = Your treatment plan couldn’t possibly be right, because I didn’t come up with it. Whatever your political persuasion, remember to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 4th.
The Best Season of All By CareCredit – Dental Division
We’re now into another great season for the Seattle Study Club. Your club meetings are a powerful way for you and your members to share, grow, and prosper—both personally and professionally. They provide the perfect opportunity for members to not only build their knowledge with continuing education but also build personal relationships with their peers. Take a look at these top five tips from Dr. Don Primley, award winner for Seattle Study Club Excellence in Study Club Management, to help make your upcoming club meetings and events memorable and successful. Tip #1: Build Personal Relationships “As our club has evolved over the years, we’ve always felt that successful club meetings are the ones that have engaged our members on both a personal and professional level,” says Dr. Primley. “We’ve discovered that by focusing on interpersonal relationships and not centering the meetings solely on the educational aspect is what’s really carried the club forward. And once you make it personal and genuine, the members can see the example you’re setting and start building these personal relationships among themselves.” “Our main goal for the club is to enable our members to continue to develop these relationships. When we see members talking to each other, sharing ideas, treatment planning together, discussing their problems and successes, and mentoring younger dentists, we see that’s the reason why our club is growing. These meetings offer a wealth of opportunities for newcomers and senior practitioners alike.” Tip #2: Diversify Your Meetings Be diversified in your meetings—don’t just present lecture after lecture. Dr. Primley notes, “One of the things we like to do is comprehensive treatment planning. We sit down with our peers and discuss the diagnoses and alternative treatments.” You can also keep the meetings interesting by providing topics that are lively and entertaining, and use question and answer sessions and open discussions to encourage participation from your members. Tip #3: Education For Everyone
Get everybody involved in education. “When you encourage every role in dentistry to participate—from receptionists to assistants to hygienists—it benefits the individual team member and the entire practice,” Dr. Primley reveals, “and when team members can minimize the time they spend out of the office to get the education they need, it really helps the doctors maximize their staff’s time.” Provide additional educational programs outside of the monthly meetings. For example, Dr. Primley explains, “you can offer doctors a mini-residency in implantology, whether they may have had some education in this field or not, and bring your doctors up to speed at the same level, at the same time. Start at ground zero for those who have never done an implant, and continue all the way up the process. You can also discuss how to present treatment options to the patient, do treatment planning, and even create a marketing plan for the practice.” Tip #4: Prepare & Coordinate Have a main point of contact for the club to help organize your meetings. “We’re able to function efficiently because of our study club coordinator. She is the glue that keeps everything together,” says Dr. Primley. “While I’m doing anywhere from 11 to 15 surgeries a day, our coordinator is out talking to the members, and getting their ideas and feedback. The club members appreciate all the work she does to make our club meetings happen.” Club-endorsed companies can also be a great resource to help prepare and manage meetings and events. Companies like CareCredit can not only help you with speakers for your meetings, they can also provide webinars, podcasts and CE credits on practice management topics. Tip #5: Make It Fun “What can be better than having a fun, jovial atmosphere while continuing education is taking place? Meetings can’t all be cut and dry,” notes Dr. Primley. “You should be able to get together outside of the club meetings and have fun.” Make sure your meetings provide value to your members. Successful meetings keep members engaged, encourage them to participate, and offer them a wealth of information that enriches their lives both personally and professionally. Keep that in mind as you plan to make your 2008-2009 educational year the most spectacular year of all.