I am a member of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and had the pleasure to attend a CE course in Orange County, CA a few weeks ago. I graduated more than four years ago and am no longer one of the freshest faces in the room at these events. Over the course of a weekend, I had an opportunity to talk to many younger dentists about where they are in their careers and where they want to be. When starting out, especially in California, it is important to understand that your first job will not be your last. New graduates are not necessarily a desirable hire by most private practitioners due to their lack of experience. Once you have some experience, making the transition to a more desirable market or opportunity is very reasonable.
However, in order for other opportunities to present themselves, you must seek them out. You should attend local continuing education courses – even if the content is not a topic that interests you. Local CE forces dentists to sit next to and share a meal with other dentists who are in their geographic area. These connections are often more important than the actual lecture.
But What About the Lectures?
When it comes to mapping out your plans for continuing education early in your career, my belief is that oral surgery and endodontics should be at the top of the list. For the past year, I have worked on PracticeRail.com where I help other dentists find associates. The most desirable skills for an associate (from an owner’s perspective) are typically the ability to competently complete surgical extractions, socket preservation, and molar endodontics.
For surgical procedures, I have found content provided by the following educators useful:
Dr. Ronald Morris (OMFS in MI): http://www.matero.net/drsc
Dr. Morris teaches a hands-on model based lecture at various events. He will be presenting at CDA Anaheim in 2019 and I would recommend the course (I took this same course in 2017).
Dr. Karl Koerner is a general dentist who limits his practice to oral surgery. I have attended one of Dr. Koerner’s 2-day lectures and I have attended one of Dr. Koerner’s 2-day hands-on courses. You can learn more about some of his offerings via his website here: https://koernercenter.com
Dr. Jay Reznick (an OS in Southern California) has an online platform for surgical education that’s extremely convenient: https://onlineoralsurgery.com
For endodontic therapy, I have found content by the following educators useful:
Dr. Cliff Ruddle – an endodontist based in Santa Barbara, CA who is highly regarded by his colleagues for his contributions to endodontology. You can obtain the classic “Shape Clean Pack” (highly recommended for every dentist interested in endodontic therapy) online: https://www.endoruddle.com
Dr. Ruddle’s website also includes access to several free resources after creating an account.
Dr. Stephen Buchanan is another Endodontists based in Santa Barbara, CA. Dr. Buchanan offers several hands-on courses throughout the year as well as online education at https://delendo.com.
If you are on the East Coast, Dr. Martin Trope leads Next Level Endodontics in Philadelphia, PA – https://nextlevelendodontics.com
Bonus Video Below – Dr. Paul Goodman talks about transitions