Although it certainly doesn’t feel like it here in South Louisiana, the Fall season is upon us.
My Instagram feed is full of those first-day of school pictures. I hear the whistleblowing from the high school football field across the street. And an alarming amount of pumpkin spicey things appear on the menus of my favorite coffee shops.
While this fall season doesn’t yet mean back to school for our family, it does signal the start of our local study club meetings, something we truly love and look forward to every year.
What is the purpose of study clubs?
In case you aren’t familiar with what study clubs are – it’s a group of dentists who meet about once a month for continuing education and camaraderie. The mantra of the club is “excellence in clinical dentistry & growth through collaboration.”
At some meetings, we bring in speakers from around the country to open our eyes to new techniques, research, or technology. Sometimes we bring in a difficult case. It is beneficial to get the collective minds of several dentists and dental specialists to help formulate the best possible treatment plan for our patients.
Other meetings are focused on personal growth. In these meetings, we may do a book review, share goals, and support each other as we navigate both our personal and professional lives.
Whatever the format, I always walk away from the meetings feeling refreshed and armed with additional tools to be the best version of myself I can be.
Personal and professional growth
Growth is one of the core values of our practice, and study clubs are just a fraction of the time and energy we commit to personal and professional growth each year.
Looking at this year’s line up, I get a little giddy with excitement for all of the meetings and courses Dustin and I have committed to in the coming months. These events give us a chance to step away from the day-to-day experience of being a dentist/business owner/boss/mom/dad… (you get the point).
Taking this time not only allows us to stay abreast of the latest information in clinical dentistry, but it also allows us to take time to work on our business and ourselves.
“Sharpen the saw”
One of my favorite books of all time is “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. The seventh habit Covey discusses in the book is called “Sharpen the Saw.”
In this chapter, Covey tells the story of a man in the woods who is laboring over a tree he needs to chop down. The basic premise is that to be most effective in your life, you need to spend time sharpening your saw before you try and chop the tree down.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to cut a tree down. I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” We consider our commitment to continuing education and personal growth our way of sharpening our saw. There are very few procedures that I do today that have not changed several times since I finished dental school.
New technology makes having a crown or veneer placed faster and more accurate. And I know I am a better dentist, mother, boss, and member of my community when I can set goals that allow me to fulfill my dreams, both personally and professionally.
Getting a fresh start each Fall
Every Fall, we gladly welcome our weekly tailgates and Tiger football, and hopefully soon some cooler temperatures!
However, I will NOT be drinking anything pumpkin spice this fall (gross), and Sam is a little too small to play football (although he looks awfully comfortable with a football in his hands!).
For me, Fall will always carry with it the feeling of a fresh start, a turn of the page, a time to recommit, and tackle new goals. This commitment to ourselves is how we ensure we are providing the best dentistry has to offer to our patients every day.
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