Joe Blaes, DDS
June typically is a fairly slow month. The major dental meetings are over until the fall, and we are able to relax a bit and catch our breath. This year has been an exception to that rule. I traveled from coast to coast in June to attend some outstanding programs.
Sue and I stepped off the plane in mid-June in San Francisco, expecting some respite from the hot weather in St. Louis. We were greeted by a 100-degree-plus heat wave. Luckily, we came in on the tail end of the heat wave, and it cooled down the next day.
San Francisco was the site for the launch of a new meeting - The Dental Design Symposium. This meeting was the brainchild of Allison Farey, the senior vice president of The Matsco Companies. Allison had a vision of a meeting that would bring dental design experts together with dentists in a setting that would encourage dialogue. She won the support of her company by convincing Matsco`s CEO, Matt Shieman, that she could make this meeting happen. Isn`t it interesting that all great things start with a dream? Maybe there is a message here for dentistry.
After a lot of very hard work by the many people involved in the planning of this meeting, Allison Farey`s dream was better than anyone could have imagined! The Dental Design Symposium was a tremendous success, attracting more than 300 people to a wonderful city for a great meeting. From Dr. Nate Booth`s motivational opening, "Building the Practice of Your Dreams," on Friday morning to the closing panel discussion on Saturday afternoon, this was a meeting packed with information and ideas. If that wasn`t enough, more than 30 commercial exhibits were ready to provide information on their latest products.
One of the highlights of the meeting was the presentation to the winners of the Dental Office Design of the Year contest. This contest was another idea from Allison. Drs. Rod Strickland and Dave Smith of Fishers, Ind., accepted the first-place award for their practice, Really Smile Dental (see the April issue of Dental Economics). The contest attracted 142 entries and was co-sponsored by The Matsco Companies and Dental Economics.
One innovative idea was the scheduling of "one-on-one" professional consultations with all of the experts attending the meeting. During the two-day meeting, attendees were able to schedule 20-minute consultations. Many of the attendees took advantage of this. Both the Dental Office Design of the Year contest and the Dental Design Symposium will become annual events. We are excited to be a part of Allison`s dreams.
Toward the end of June, Sue and I stepped off another plane in Boston on an incredibly hot and humid day. We met some good friends. Together, we drove off for a few days of touring before attending the American College of Dentists meeting in Maine.
This was our first time in the great state of Maine, and we were quickly won over by the warm days and cool nights. The fresh lobsters were a tasty delight, and we ate one at every opportunity. The ACD meeting was a great gathering of dentists from all over the United States who came together for fellowship, golf, fun, and some continuing education.
I am in the process of organizing a board of advisers for Dental Economics with the help of the dentist featured on this month`s cover, Dr. Albert L. Ousborne. The purpose of the board is to simply help me keep my finger on the pulse of dentistry and to ensure Dental Economics remains responsive to the business needs of dentists. You probably will not recognize the names of the dentists who will serve on this board because they will not be the high-profile dentists that you would expect. They will be successful practicing dentists who are encountering the same problems that you are every day.
Thanks for making Dental Economics the best read magazine in dentistry! See you next month.