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Study Clubs Engage Dawson Dentists

Mastering the art of diagnostic photography

Masters of complete dentistry are not born.  For many the journey begins when we first are exposed to the principles of Dr. Pete Dawson.  However, the path is not always straight.  There are different phases we go through along the way… awakening, excitement, trial, frustration, denial, acceptance, enlightenment, implementation, competency, and maybe even mastery.

If your road has been anything like mine, the most challenging stretch is the implementation phase.  The Dawson Academy had given me the knowledge, but applying it to the realities of my practice proved difficult.  As it was once said, “The loneliest time in the office is a Monday after a Dawson seminar.”

Despite my best intentions, the daily grind would distract me from my goals.  Staff, patients, insurance companies, and other pressures encourage us to work in the moment and to take shortcuts.  The easy thing usually isn’t the right thing when it comes to comprehensive dental care.  I eventually was able to stop working in the moment, but I didn’t do it alone.  I broke through when I joined a study club.

Listening to my friend and colleague Dr. Malcolm Kerstein reminisce about a small group of dentists sitting with Pete Dawson 40 years ago, I began to realize that The Dawson Academy’s culture was deeply rooted in study clubs.  I heard Dr. John Cranham talk about the impact a club run by Bay View’s Buddy Shafer had on the formative years of his career.  I sensed the importance of the mentorship and fellowship that these informal settings bred.  There is no group of dentists I respect more than the faculty at The Dawson Academy.  Among them is a common thread.  They all embrace fellowship and learn from their colleagues.

When Dr. Cranham shared his vision for a nationwide network of Dawson Academy Study Clubs to help better engage Dawson dentists and foster the implementation of complete dentistry, I knew the concept was something that could help me.  For a year, I repeatedly traveled to Virginia to participate with a group of other passionate dentists in a study club beta test led by Dr. Cranham.  By the end of the year, the results of my participation were clearly evident in my practice.  I was truly practicing complete dentistry.

Example from Dawson Academy Study ClubThis year The Dawson Academy Study Club program is launching nationwide with approximately 20 locations across the country.  The initial response has been dramatic, and the Academy is already looking at more new locations for 2015.

The format of the meetings makes the Study Clubs unique. 

  • The morning is a structured learning environment guided by media provided by the Academy, including high quality video instruction from Dr. Cranham. 

  • The interactive experience is very hands on as it is supported by models, the Dawson Diagnostic Wizard, and other educational tools. 

  • The afternoon sessions are member driven interactions that allow for group generated content and problem solving. 

  • Exercises are catered to diverse group interests and time is allowed for case presentation and review.

Click here for more information on available study clubs.  If you are interested in becoming a Charter Member of a new Dawson Academy Study Club, click here.

Dr. Michael Verber is the Associate Director of Study Clubs for The Dawson Academy. He maintains a private practice in Camp Hill, PA where he has the pleasure of working with his father and three other Dawson dentists.