I recall my AEGD residency program interview two years ago. I told the program director that one of my favorite things about the profession of dentistry is that there is always something new to learn. With local dental meetings, publications and national meetings like the 2013 AGD Annual Meeting & Exhibits, there are many opportunities for expanding dental knowledge and aptitude. Even if I went to continuing education courses every weekend, I don’t think I could keep up with all there is to know!
I had the pleasure of attending the Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta this past weekend. The Hinman was the first large dental meeting that I have attended since graduating dental school. Besides the less-than-ideal weather, the meeting was a wonderful experience. Through the classes I took and the exhibits that I visited, I learned countless tidbits that I plan to implement into daily practice.
As I drove back to South Carolina, I reflected on my experience. I realized that I gained much more from the meeting than clinical knowledge. Seeing hundreds of other dentists engaged in learning and in fellowship made me proud of our profession. These dentists care so much for their patients that they are willing to trade a weekend of rest for a weekend of education. I feel fortunate to have such an array of dentists to look up to and to have as mentors.
I met many dentists, lab techs, product reps, assistants, and hygienists in Atlanta. I am certain that I established relationships that will last for years to come. I met another dentist who said I looked familiar. She recognized me from this very blog! I look forward to meeting and getting to know more of you in the future.
How blessed we are to be in a profession where we can care for others, continuously learn, make relationships, and have pride in what we do!
Elizabeth Cranford, DMD