Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Organized Dentistry

OH MY GOSH! The finality is becoming a realization. This is the last week of me.

It has been great. Let’s not think of the end; let’s think about all the great times we have had together. No, I am not going to cry. I am not. I don't care what you say I am not going to cry. (I feel like Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire).

I ran the Mount Dora marathon (about 15 miles from my house) this weekend. See, I was ready for the New York marathon about six weeks ago. I didn't want to waste my training, so I found a marathon that was shortly afterwards, close to home, and cheap.

You know that Florida is pretty flat. At least, the places I train in are really flat. Flat is easy. This course? Not flat. I know the town is MOUNT Dora, but I thought in order to make the participants happy they would avoid hills at all costs. That was not the case.

It was very hilly. At one point, around mile 14, I was feeling pretty good. I got to this one uphill and decided not to waste my energy on climbing this one and decided to walk up. I found myself forcing my legs just to walk up this hill. Besides that, everything was feeling pretty good until about mile 21. Then I think the hills and the heat caught up to me because my legs started to cramp up. When this happens, there is not much more I can do.

I try to run but my calves just won't bend. So I walk, then try to run and get about 20 strides and it is like someone sticks a knife in my leg. Times for my last five miles were something like 11 minutes, 12 minutes, 12 minutes, 13 minutes, 13 minutes. There was a lot of walking and I ended up with somewhere around 4:23.

It’s over and I am glad about that. I just can't feel my legs and my calves are still tight. Getting up and down is still pretty rough.

In this second to last blog, I want to talk to you about organized dentistry. More specifically, the AGD. I have always told you that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I am not a micro guy. I think I am good at observing and I think I might be good at expressing my feelings. l am relational. I am pretty good at teeth. Even managing this practice is out of my comfort zone. That being said, do I want to handle governing my profession? No. And that is why I am an AGD member.

I have been a member of the AGD since I was a wee little dental student. I have always felt comfortable knowing there is a group that has "got my back." Now, even more, I think we need to unite as dentists and fight the powers that are trying to change what we think is right and the principles that we all have worked so hard for. The government, who represents people, doesn’t know what we know and tries the best they can to save money. We need someone telling them what we know and how we think we can come to some agreement. Do you know this is what the AGD does? It fights for us.

The AGD has always been the “continuing education" academy. It keeps track of our CE. It offers us Fellowship and Mastership for us to continue to strive to get better. I think it is so cool to learn. They promote the continuation of us. I have always loved this about the AGD.

The AGD publishes two pretty awesome magazines. AGD Impact is a magazine that tells us what is up in the world of dentistry. It offers viewpoints, office management tips, new products and their opinions on them. I had one friend tell me, "I get a lot of magazines and I throw a lot of them away, but I always read Impact cover to cover." I think he is right. It is always good, cover to cover.

They also publish General Dentistry. It is more about the science of dentistry. If you are not familiar with this journal, it is a peer-reviewed clinical journal. That means that every article goes through a review process to make sure all the science and methods are legitimate. It is very well done and I always feel that I am getting the truth when I read it.

I have been a member of the AGD for a long time, but I have not been sitting on the sidelines. I was asked to be part of the Communications Council about 10 years ago. I think I wrote an article and got on their radar. I served for about 4 years (then the idea of the blog came up, so I had to say no to something). It was fun and enlightening at the same time. I got to see and get involved in how the organization works. But I want you to know that this kind of stuff, volunteering at the AGD, is for every member. You, too, can get involved. I don't know if everyone can volunteer at the national level, but there is so much to do even at the local and state levels. It is fun and you can feel a part of something bigger than just you and your office. They need people like you. I need people like you. Just ask.

Being a part of the AGD has been a part of me for a long time. I want to encourage you to have it be a part of you. I have only mentioned a few of the things that the organization does, but there are so many others (like the Annual Meeting, podcasts, this blog). They have put a lot of resources into this thing and without their backing, this thing would not be nearly as successful.

They believed in it and have always been very supportive. I can't thank them enough for everything they have done for me and this blog.

Okay, that’s all the bubbling I will do. I swear I am not going to cry.



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