You get a rare Friday off in the quarter. The possibilities are endless; sleeping in, going for a hike, grabbing breakfast with friends, or perhaps attending a 3-hour endodontics CE lecture at 7:30 AM.
For me, and several other students at UWSOD, the latter was actually an attractive option. Luckily for us this rare Friday off coincided with the annual Pacific Northwest Dental Conference in Bellevue, Washington.
If you’ve ever been to a dental conference, you probably know that there’s always one huge problem that everyone experiences; what lectures should I attend? Do I want to learn about practice management, or patient communications, or the latest materials and technologies, or maybe just brush up (pun intended) on various procedures? I finally decided on attending the “Better Endo for the GP” lecture by Dr. Manor Haas. The 3-hour lecture was an incredible comprehensive review of all aspects of endodontics (Endo A to “Endo-Z” if you will (pun intended)). Dr. Haas covered each step of endo from diagnoses, to obturation, and even spoke about antibiotic prescription. Each part of his lecture was filled (pun intended) with information on the latest materials and countless useful pearls in his field. Getting these pearls from well-known and well-experienced professionals is truly invaluable and are tips you can incorporate into your practice right away.
After the lecture we made our way to the PNDC Exhibit Hall. Imagine a large hall with every single dental-related company you can think of showcasing their latest products and services. Everything from implant systems, to loupes, to composites, to scanners, to even lasers were present. Looking for dental management systems? You can find it there. Looking to switch from conventional impressions to digital? You can find it there. Looking for a new dental lab? You can find it there. Looking for a cute dog in a white coat? Yep, you can find it there. Vendor fairs and exhibit halls are great opportunities to network with various companies you may end up working with as well as try out and get samples of the latest products. Not to mention the tons of goodies you can pick up like toothbrushes, toothpastes, t-shirts, and believe it or not, lots of candy.
In school we obtain a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of dentistry, but the fact is that with the vastness of the profession, not everything can be taught in our four-year education. It is the duty of a healthcare professional to be up to date in their fields and pursue continuing education. And when’s a better time to start CE than during school?
Did I mention this conference and all of its CE lectures were free to attend for all dental students? Mark your calendars for the next PNDC happening May 28-30th, 2020 and take a Friday “off”!
Thank you to the Washington State Dental Association for sponsoring and putting on such an amazing event!
About the Author: Ali Shareef
Ali is a 3rd year dental student who is one of the best artists and film directors at UW. He has filmed all of 2021’s hilarious class videos and is ASDA’s former Fundraising Chair!