Friday, March 28, 2008

Study Club

You remember the Study Club I eluded to last month. Well this month I was in charge. It went down on Tuesday. Let me tell you about it.
I usually volunteer about once every two years (or more) to do it.
But I had forgotten how difficult it is to pull this stuff off.

This study club was started by a local Oral Surgeon. We have been clubbing together for about 10 years. He was a young surgeon and he attracted a lot of young dentists. We had less than half of the members had their own practices. Now I think just about everyone owns a practice or is involved in a full-time gig. We understand young dentists so we still do cater to the associate or the new guy/gal in town.
They meet about 8 or 9 times a year (I am hit or miss, I say I make about 5 a year).
It could be on Pathology, Bonding Materials, Pharmacology, practice management stuff.
What I decided to do was do a Round table discussion. I would do a TOP TEN list. This is the top ten things that make my practice better.
It doesn't have to be expensive or big just good. I ask all the other members to bring a top five or top three so we could discuss products.

I would say about 90% of the study clubs are at the Oral Surgeons office. But for mine (I am always bucking the system) I another idea. There is a guy in the study club that just opened up a new office. I understand it is nice to spend over a million dollars on something you kind of want to show this stuff off. I said to this guy, "I am in charge of the next study club why don't we have the study club at your office?"
He said, "Sure".

I knew about when I had to give the study club a year in advance but let me tell you it came up really fast. I mean before I knew it it was March and I knew I had to do it in the next couple of weeks. So I said lets do it next week. Which means I had to call the other dentist to see if next Tuesday was okay with them and to see if he still wanted to have it at his office. I asked his administrative assistant and she said she didn't know what I was talking about. He never told them. So I told them what was going on and she said, "great". (I love staff that are friendly and jump into gear when things need to get done).
So the place was okay. Now I had to pick the topic (I had some ideas) which I did and let the members know about it. So it is Tuesday at this point and the study club is going to be the following Tuesday. What am I doing to myself?
I start composing a letter and tell one of my people to call the oral surgeon and get a list of all the current members.
When she got this I asked her to stop what she was doing and start addressing envelopes with all their addresses. I finished the letter and then she typed it. I was thinking if we could get it out in Wednesdays mail then most of them would get the letter on Thursday and some on Friday at the latest.
Now it is Wednesday and the letters are ready to go. Then I asked one of my assistants to fax the letter to the members. This is a real pain. Letter in fax, type the number, wait, letter going through, done. Put letter in the fax, type the number, wait. I think there is about 35 members in our group. In the letter I told the members about the topic and told them to bring their top 5. And I told them the location.
Then I got a call from the administrative assistant from dentist of the location we were having the meeting at. There are parking instructions. Like come into the parking garage and get a ticket. Go to the third floor and go right like you are going to the fourth floor. Then look for someone from our office and we will direct you. The letter and the fax have already gone out. Crap.
No problem, I will take care of this later.
Now it is Thursday and I have to produce a lecture. I have to say I have done many PowerPoint presentations before but it still takes time. This as you already know is a hot commodity in my life.
I begin Thursday night. I put a bunch of it together and do more at work.
Friday there is an email reminder that goes out. On the reminder the new parking instructions are in.
Its Monday. I take the list home with me and start to call all the members for the final reminder, make sure they are coming, and to remind them to bring their top 5 list and give them the parking instructions.
Are you feeling my pain yet?
This is painfully slow. I do it because I don't think I could give this instructions to my staff that would effectively portray how important things were.
Plus they have more important things to do.
Now it is Monday afternoon and now things are set. At least people are coming but I still don't have a completed presentation and no food or drinks.
Oh the person giving the presentation is in charge of providing food.
My wife asked me if she could get food for me. YES, you are an angel.
Food, taken care of.
Then I get a call from the endodontist in charge of bringing the LCD projector. He tells me another dentist has it and is going to bring it to his office and he doesn't know if he is coming to the meeting, so I have to go there and pick it up.
NO PROBLEM, that is item 70 on the list to do tomorrow.
I go to bed.
Next day, I start to work on the presentation, taking pictures of things in the office and putting them in a presentation. OH, by the way all this time I still have a job and I am trying to do dentistry to pay the bills.
I leave work and go pick up the projector. I go from this dudes office to Publix to pick up the food, beer, drinks, dessert ($170, real nice).
Rush home, change, put all the drinks in a cooler, and realize I have no ice.
I take paper plates and plastic forks and napkins and jump into the truck.
I pick up a buddy (dentist) and then we are off to the study club. Go buy ice and dump it into the cooler and then get on the highway.

This is where I am going to stop. There is a story when we got there.
So I will tell you it on Monday.
If I tell it now this blog will be 3000 words.

Next week I want to talk to you about Consent Forms. I don't use them, am I the only one?

Have a great weekend,

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