Discussion group follow-up
Dr. Bill Domb
Perhaps I could expand on some of my comments that ended up in Dr. Kimball`s article about Internet discussion groups that appeared in the August issue of DE.
There are a variety of online resources to allow us to expand our professional horizons. Many have different personalities and functionalities.
While the genR8TNext discussion group has been pretty vibrant and active, it is also burdened with a considerable load of commercial content. Some is appended on the end of every post, while some comes from the participants themselves.
A noncommercial group like the Internet Dental Forum has been blessed with much less sales pressure and has provided considerably enhanced function. It is organized into special-interest sections such as dental drugs and an area for photographic exchange, as well as groups on specific brands of computer software.
Some online groups have very little participation and are pretty useless; some, like the newsgroups, are filled with idiotic chatter, especially from the nondentists who get into the act. Every group has its own personality, so you need to pick and choose with care.
The genR8TNext group has provided some very solid discussions of new theories of occlusal analysis and management, for instance. But the IDF has evolved into a very friendly bunch with a very wide spectrum of concerns, and most people there aren`t trying to sell you anything. Many go out of their way to share their knowledge and experience solely in the name of collegiality.
One final note: I`d urge everyone to jump in and participate in the online study groups; don`t just lurk around and only take. We need and relish many viewpoints and experiences.
Sure, it takes some time to digest what comes over the wires every night, but it can only redound to the expansion of your practice.