Monday, February 25, 2013

A (Slightly Delayed) Introduction

Hello blog readers and fellow AGD enthusiasts. I am honored to have been asked to contribute to this blog. What a wonderful avenue to mentor and be mentored by my colleagues. The only problem is that this should be my second post. Yes, I am THE Chris Perry who missed his first post of the year on January 7. Fortunately, the AGD has been understanding and allowed me to try to make up for my shortcoming. Please excuse me for being a space cadet. I was in the middle of moving my office and just totally forgot.

The positive side is that I have spent the last year preparing for and completing this new facility and am looking forward to sharing some of my experiences from the last year. I hope to offer some useful suggestions for the good, the bad, and the unnecessarily expensive costs of building a new office. This was my second office build and you’d think I would have learned a few things the first time around. But leave it to me to make a few of the same mistakes and a whole crop of new ones. Just as in dentistry, you learn more from your mistakes than from your successes.

Allow me to give you a bit of my background and let you know who Christopher Perry, DMD, MS, FAGD (MAGD in June!), really is. After graduating from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1999, my wife, Maritere, and I moved to San Antonio, Texas. While this was quite a culture shock to a native Jersey boy, it was the best move we could have made. I was able to complete a two-year AEGD residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio Dental School and have maintained a close relationship with the school for the last 14 years, while in private practice.

Residency was the best thing I ever did for my career because it allowed me to be a sponge. I could work alongside amazing dentists without the pressure of tests and earning a diploma. Residency totally changed the type of dentistry and practice that I now enjoy. I couldn’t imagine that I would be able to put an IV in a patient to sedate them, perform any type of dentistry while they relax; from fillings to thirds, CEREC, and implants, and have them thank me and pay me well for it. In case you haven’t noticed, I strongly recommend that students pursue an advanced residency program; it is like one to two years of hands-on CE that you simply can’t get in any other format.

I am so passionate about educating dentists that I have volunteered weekly as a clinical professor in the AEGD program for 12 years. It is such a pleasure to meet dental graduates from schools all around the country. I have really gained insight into what the modern dental curriculum does well and where it falls short (you will see over time that I feel that occlusion is woefully misunderstood and underappreciated in dentistry today).

I also am co-director of the FellowTrack program at the UTHSCSA Dental School, which is a program that gets dental students involved with the AGD and allows members to earn up to 50 CE credit hours before even graduating from dental school through lunch and learn programs. It is such a pleasure to work with the undergraduate students and see their enthusiasm for dentistry and their interest in advocacy issues.

In case you haven’t noticed, I love teaching and learning. One of the great things about dentistry is that, as my own boss, I can decide when I want to take or teach a course. I have been fortunate enough to be asked to speak on topics such as practice management, occlusion, and implants. I have spoken at the ADA Annual Session, the California Dental Association, and the Star of the South Dental Meeting. I am honored to be on the list of speakers for the AGD 2013 Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Nashville.

My goal as a blogger for The Daily Grind is to share as much as folks are willing to hear. I always tell my students and residents that I am an open book and no question is out of line. I plan to share some of the aforementioned lessons from building two offices and offer practical, useful practice management tips from my courses. I will also share consulting and clinical suggestions that I have learned from 14 years of practice and supervising 100s of residents. Please, please, please, leave some comments suggesting topics about which you are interested in hearing and having an open discussion. My wife, daughter, Isabella, and dentistry are my passions, but teaching and learning feed my soul.

Thank you again for inviting me to contribute to this wonderful program. Until my next post, keep your eyes open to the possibilities.

Christopher J. Perry MS, DMD, FAGD


Unknown said...

How does one go about researching what the different AEGD programs really offer? It seems some allow clinicians to preform all sorts of amazing treatment and some are nothing more than a glorified undergrad OS clinic

Dr. Chris Perry said...

Bryan: great question. #1 applicants need to appreciate the difference between a GPR and an AEGD. I think a lot of folks apply for GPR's because that's the common program, not realizing that they are significantly hospital based. You will often be doing screening for surgeries and treating very sick people with meat and potatoes dentistry, which is needed and important but may not be what folks are looking for. An AEGD, on the other hand, I typically view more as a mini private practice. There is no guarantee of what types of cases you'll be doing, but as with any general practice, you will treat what you diagnose and about which you educate patients. I looked at an AEGD as a place to do more complicated restorative under somebody else's supervision and as a program that would allow me to "hit the ground running" in private practice. I didn't know what I didn't know when I graduated dental school and it's nice to sit back and just learn for the sake of learning.
Once you decide on the type of program, I think the best way to determine what types of procedures you will be exposed to is to speak to the current crop of residents and frankly ask them what type of procedures they routinely perform and are they getting out of the program what they expected. I always ask that of residents and if they feel they don't have exposure to certain treatment modalities, then I try to find patients for them, or bring them to my office to see and participate in the procedures....or at least make sure to give them lectures that cover the procedures.
Sorry to just now respond, but I hadn't seen your comment until today. I hope you get this and feel free to look me up and contact me.
Dr. Perry

Anonymous said...

Chris--so glad to see you on here. What do you think about study clubs and are you in one? I feel like I am hitting a point in my career where it might be helpful, but don't know where to look.

Dr. Chris Perry said...

Marqel: I think study clubs have the potential to be a great learning envioronment. The older I get, and the more I teach,the less and less I get from lecture courses. The format just doesn't seem to lend itself to garnering information that is applicable when we return to the office.
I think study clubs, where we share treatment plans, etc can be a great environment for shared learning. I am not currently a member of a study club. Maybe we can get our own started here in San Antonio. Give me a buzz/ :-)


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