A Young Dentist's Review of YDC– Sydney 2015
Sam Osborn is a 2013 graduate. He practices in the Army, in private practice, and is a Young Dentist Committee Member.
This article provides an account of the interesting, stimulating, and entertaining day that was the Young Dentist Conference (YDC) 2015.
'BRAYNK! BRAYNK! BRAYNK! BRAYNK!' sounds my alarm. Each morning I am faced with this sound, and each morning it is met with the same begrudging realisation that sleep time is over and I must rise from bed. But this morning is different; I have awoken early, and foiled any plan my alarm may have had to disturb my slumber. The reason being is that today is Saturday 29 August... the day of the YDC 2015.
I shower, shave, dress myself, enjoy my breakfast, and brush my teeth. Next, I am on my way to the Powerhouse Museum and, in the spirit of the day, Sydney has greeted me with a blue sky and sunshine! As I walk to the venue I notice people arriving from all directions. As I am to discover later, the reason for this mass of people is due to the YDC having sold out for its fourth consecutive year!
Inside, I was met by smiling staff providing me with a program for the day and I eagerly looked around for a friendly face. This hour preceding the Welcome and Introduction was a great chance to have a coffee, speak with existing colleagues, and make new friends. It was immediately apparent that everyone was excited for a day of knowledgeable, motivational and experienced speakers, organised by Dental Protection, to deliver insight into some very pertinent topics for an audience comprised predominantly of recent dental graduates.
At 0945, the audience were ushered into the lecture theatre where we were greeted by Dr James Foster, and introduced to the first speaker, Dr Paul Redmond. As a leading expert on generations and the graduate labour market, Dr Redmond has presented at numerous events and conferences around the world, while also fulfilling his role as Director of Student Life at the University of Manchester. His vast experience as a public speaker was evident in the humorous and engaging manner by which he presented. But most importantly, it provided invaluable insight into how to recruit, retain and respond to today's workplace generations, as well as interact with an inter-generational patient base. Following this presentation we were all treated to a delicious selection of cakes and refreshments.
Before long we were eagerly seated back in the lecture theatre awaiting the next presentation. Dr Redmond would be a hard act to follow, however, Dr Annalene Weston and Dr Mike Rutherford presented with aplomb. This presentation focussed primarily on the dangers that recent graduates may face in practice, an honest and up-to-date account on the statistical occurrence of patient complaints in our changing world of dentistry, and how to handle these stressful situations. In what is a very relevant, serious, yet arguably dry topic, both presenters managed to incorporate some humour, make the audience acutely aware that professionalism and a high level of patient care can reduce the likelihood of patient complaints, but also, that if a DPL member is ever faced with a complaint, there is a dedicated team of willing dentolegal advisers waiting to assist in any way they can.
Next, lunch was served. This was a time for great food, great conversation, and a chance to converse with the various sponsors who helped to make this day possible.
Having satiated our appetites, it was time for Dr Cosimo Maiolo, a prosthodontist, to amaze us with some of his clinical cases demonstrating the restorative possibilities for teeth that would be considered as having a very guarded or hopeless prognosis in less capable hands. However, Dr Maiolo was unequivocal in his warning that although such teeth are restorable in the hands of certain clinicians, this should not serve as an invitation for all clinicians to attempt such treatment. If a clinician is to talk the talk, they must be sure they can walk the walk, otherwise failures can occur due to clinicians performing treatment outside their skill-set, unnecessary/irreversible treatment be performed (e.g. an extraction on a restorable tooth), or complaints arise due to a dentist's inability to satisfy patient expectations.
More refreshments followed, and then the final presentation of the day was upon us. Dr John Tiernan provided great insight into how the manner by which we communicate, both with colleagues and patients, often determines the degree of difficulty or satisfaction that we will face while practising. Dr Tiernan elucidated common communication pitfalls that can be the difference between a happy and unhappy patient, and as a consequence, how communication with patients can influence our risk. Dr Tiernan also enlightened the audience on how to control your reaction ethically when things do not go according to plan.
Afterwards, various presentations were made, thanks given, and the formal side of the day was over. Everyone proceeded 'down and to the left' to the Transport Exhibition for refreshments, light food and entertainment. Among friends and good company, this provided a chance to mingle, ask the presenters any last burning questions in a sociable environment, and mark the end of a very enjoyable and successful YDC 2015.
Until next year!
Sam Gaspard Louis Osborn
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