Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dental Journal Guilt

I suffer from dental journal guilt. My suspicion is that most of you do, too. Symptoms include that sad look on your face when you see the pile of unread journals sitting on your desk. Each month, the pile seems to grow. A second symptom is reassuring yourself that you’ll get to them “someday.”

On that rare occasion when you actually open a journal, you tell yourself, “This would be a good article to read.” However, this thought quickly disappears as you struggle to read the abstract at the beginning or the conclusion at the end of the article. Either you start to nod off or your mind wanders. Adding to dental journal guilt is the fact that we all have “that” colleague. You know, the one who can always reference the latest research off the top of his or her head. Your colleague always can tell you the name of the journal and the authors of the article.

My conversation with my colleague usually goes like this:
Colleague: “Andy, how was your vacation?”
Andy: “It was great. I was in Vegas with a cocktail in one hand and a pair of aces in the other.”
Colleague: “Mine was great, too. I spent it catching up on my journal reading.”

Yup, you can just feel the guilt building up — just like that pile of unread journals, you might say. In my years of practice, I’ve only come across three known cures for this type of guilt. I will offer them to you in the hopes that your guilt will be reduced:

Read them: I, of course, have no firsthand knowledge about whether this treatment is effective. I’ve heard that dental journal guilt is cured by actually reading dental journals. But, I wouldn’t know.

Toss them: Think of it as a yearly cleansing ritual. Believe me, there is a great sense of accomplishment that comes with finally clearing your desk of unread journals. You’ll congratulate yourself and be amazed by how much bigger your desk looks.

Publish an article: I’ve been fortunate to have been published in the AGD’s newsmagazine, AGD Impact. Want to guess which publication I actually have read? I have found this treatment works so well that you will find yourself forcing your friends and family to read the publication that features your work, too. You’ll willingly carry a copy of the publication with you in your briefcase. As an added bonus, the next time you meet with “that” colleague, you will finally be able to reference at least one author and publication name.

Andy Alas, DDS

1 comment:

Jon said...

I love this post and thanks for writing. I also use the Practical Reviews in General and Cosmetic Dentistry from Oakstone and have done this for years for the time starved professional!


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