CPD Junkie Blog
What Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Stage Are You On?
Written by Ibaadat Sidhu
How many times have you heard, “learning is lifelong”? Well, I’m here to tell you once again! As Stephen Mitchell said, “Education is no longer thought of as a preparation for adult life, but as a continuing process of growth and development from birth until death.” As dental professionals, we go through years and years of learning, only to finally get into a clinic and realize we still don’t know a lot. In dental school you don’t learn much about practice management, dental photography, or the latest dental trends such as clear aligners or digital scanners. That’s where Continuing Professional Development courses come in to save the day! Although it is mandatory to complete 60 hours of CPD activities over a three-year CPD cycle, we have the freedom and resources to learn about anything we desire.
During different stages as a dental professional, you’ll have different CPD aims and interests. Continue reading to determine which stage you’re at now!
Stage 1: The Student
Most dental students are focused on university lectures (and the occasional Osmosis or Khan Academy video) for gaining knowledge. However, starting to attend CPD while you’re a student can really give you a head start on your career. Attending a variety of CPD on different disciplines is a good way of testing the waters and figuring out what interests you. For instance, university lectures may make oral surgery seem boring, but seeing a live surgery during a CPD event can really change your perspective. Of course as students, we need to save all the money we can but that shouldn’t stop you from registering for CPD. With CPD Junkie not only can you get discount codes for CPD, but can also browse free CPD as well. If you know you want to specialize or open your own practice soon after dental school, CPD is a great way to gain more knowledge and experience before you commit.
Stage 2: New Grad
You may think after years of school your dental education was complete. But, this is just the beginning! Once you’re out in the real world practicing, you begin to notice areas you can improve on, and areas that you want to advance on. You can chose to take courses in areas of strength to enhance skills and take on more challenging cases over time. Or, take courses to improve clinical skills in areas you are weakest in. Attending CPD at this stage can also help you network and connect with other dentists that could potentially become mentors, dental associates or lifelong friends!
Stage 3: Gaining Expertise
By this stage, you’ve gotten experienced performing your day-to-day procedures. Now is when you’re going to want more. More cases, more patients, more variety in your day. This is the perfect stage to really explore and experiment with different CPD, considering you’ve got greater funds and knowledge now. Venture out and attempt some courses on botox and fillers or various orthodontic options. At this point it may also be possible for you to dive into digital dentistry and invest in a digital scanner or 3D printer. Of course, to perfect and maximize the benefits of these investments, you should attend CPD courses. At this stage, taking CPD courses with your co-workers is a fun, interactive way of not only team building, but also enhancing the skills and knowledge of your practice. Whether it’s going to events together, or doing Lunch and Learns in the office, this is something that can give team members the chance to grow together.
Stage 4: Getting Comfortable
At this stage, you’ve gained the dental knowledge and skills you strived for. Although some dentists begin viewing CPD as a mundane task that must be completed at this point, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re interested in travelling, look into CPD events across the world. If you’re ready to begin relaxing, try attending continuing education courses on a cruise. If you want to dress up and go out with friends, try and attend a CPD event together and go out for dinner after. The possibilities to continue learning (and enjoying it) are endless.
As a busy dentist you may not have the time to search for the perfect CPD for you. You may just register for that random event you’re not really even interested in, but it popped up on your FaceBook someday and gets you those CPD Points. It’s time you start discovering the courses you truly want to attend, rather than signing up for something “good enough”. The team at CPD Junkie wants you to gain the knowledge and skills to become the best practitioner you can, all while truly enjoying what you’re doing. We do the searching for you so you just have to take a few minutes out of your day to find the perfect course from our comprehensive selection. I want to end off on a quote by Gary Takacs to inspire you to go register for your next CPD: “I have yet to meet a world-class dentist who isn’t also deeply committed to ongoing continuing education and has taken a massive amount of continuing education.”
Keep aiming high and learning so we can continue to change the world, one smile at a time.