Study clubs provide an ideal opportunity to network with like-minded dentists, communicate on a more intimate level and develop genuine relationships with clients. Often, there is only one technician in the group so you have the added benefit of having a captive audience.
This is the case for Laboratory President Barbara Wojdan, CDT, AAACD, Knight Dental Group in Oldsmar, FL, who has been a member of a Spear Education study club for the past two years. Along with Wojdan, the group includes three general practitioners, two periodontists, two orthodontists and one oral surgeon, and meets every six weeks for dinner at a local country club.
For each meeting, Spear Education provides a module that includes a DVD showing the treatment plan of a real-life case and actual models for the patient. The attendees mount the case on a large, adjustable articulator, watch the DVD and then talk about the case, discussing how they would handle the case and what they think is best for the patient.
"Not only has the study club allowed me to build stronger relationships with my clients, but it has allowed me to forge new relationships with specialists and learn to better communicate with them on more complex rehab cases. Also, it has opened my eyes to all of the specialists my clients work with and how they play a part in the overall success of the case and the happiness of the patient," says Wojdan.
Her study club is one of almost 300 specialist-led Spear Education study clubs across the U.S. and Canada. Recently, the company also expanded its program to give technicians and general practitioners the opportunity to establish and lead Spear Study Clubs in their area.
The technician-led study clubs will follow the same format as the existing specialist-led study clubs. "It's basically a study club in a box," says Martin Mendelson, DDS, Vice President of Client Services. "We provide the club with access to a growing library of modules, currently around 30, that include interactive DVD-supported presentations on a variety of interdisciplinary topics. Approximately 70% of the modules are case-based and come with study models, photographs and radiographs so members can collaborate on possible treatment plans."
To be a club leader, a technician must be either a CDT or work in a Certified Dental Laboratory. Each leader forms his own club, consisting of eight to 12 restorative dentists, specialists (at least one is required) and technicians.
For tuition information and to see an introductory video in which Dr. Frank Spear describes the Spear Study Club concept and benefits, visit www.speareducation.com/study-club For additional information, please contact the Spear Study Club Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-773-2772.