This past September, I attended a Spear Institute dental seminar held in Washington DC, at the Washington Marriott Marquis hotel. Because the topic was treatment-planning complex cases, it covered a wide range of subjects and disciplines. I learned a lot about the subject of the seminar, but also gained a lot from the whole experience, as is often the case when I attend an out of town meeting.
One of the three presenters was Dr. Ricardo Mitrani, a prosthodontist from Mexico City. He made it to the meeting at the last minute. He had been delayed leaving Mexico, because he and his family were assisting in the aftermath of a major earthquake that hit that area September 19, and had left 219 people dead and major destruction in its wake. His story of how people of all economic backgrounds, nationalities, and religious practice had pulled together to aid and sacrifice for one another was truly inspirational.
Humor In Spite of the Tragedy
Truly humorous was his story of one of his partners in his dental office. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, people either froze in place, sought cover to prepare for aftershocks, or ran outside in panic. His partner had just inserted an abutment piece into a front tooth replacement implant in preparation for insertion of a crown. He knew (as was being emphasized at that point in our seminar in DC) that it was important to insert the crown in a very timely manner before the tissue around the implant started to collapse inward. The quake came and then subsided, and his patient panicked and fled outside onto the street. The dentist sprinted out after him, ran around in the melee, found his patient, had him open and quickly shoved the crown into place. Only a dentist...
A Bit of Rest and Relaxation
My wife accompanied me on the trip, and we were able to go out for a nice dinner one evening at one of the hotel restaurants, and then relax at a sidewalk table watching visitors from throughout the world stroll by. We got to mingle with some of the attendees from the dental meeting who hailed from Virginia, Florida, Chicago, Boston, and our own state of New York. It was interesting to hear how different offices and specialties manage their practices.
Expanding Educational Opportunities to Our Staff
A periodontist from Virginia shared that she was impressed with the vast resources the Spear Institute had on their online site for staff education, but found it hard to implement. She had trained a person to organize the online training modules and conduct staff education in her office for her staff, and it had been very successful. So much so that she was now offering that to other area dentists in Virginia to aid them. It is an idea that may start here in the Syracuse area soon, and if so will be a great way to help our staff learn some of the material that will help us as a team better serve our patients. I thought you would be happy to know that something useful can still come out of our nation’s capital.