It seems that now more than ever we’re trying to do as much as possible as quickly as possible. We’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it. Especially in dentistry — with jampacked schedules filled 6 months or more in advance.Online continuing education courses have become a quick and easy way to squeeze in the knowledge-building you need for professional growth. While it makes all the sense in the world to take advantage of online learning, I’m here to make a case for why attending live CE courses should be an irreplaceable component of comprehensive dental continuing education.
Live Dental CE is Required for License Renewal
A certain number of the continuing education credits you earn toward your license renewal are required to be obtained live. The exact requirements vary from state to state, and we each bear the professional responsibility to understand the guidelines of the state in which we’re licensed.
It’s Easier to Focus at a Live Dental CE Course
With self-study at home, it’s so easy to get distracted. You sit down to watch a pre-recorded video or read an interesting article… and your phone goes off, or your family member needs you for something. When you’re in a live class, it’s like there’s some kind of sanctity to it. You define a boundary by setting aside your phone and showing up prepared to dedicate your attention for a set amount of time. There’s a ritual to it. Plus, being in a room full of likeminded people who have also blocked this time out to focus on learning reinforces your own decision and makes it easier to give your all-powerful attention to the topic at hand.
Live Continuing Education Courses Are Interactive
The engagement of being in person is invaluable. Not only can you ask questions directly to the course instructor, but you can benefit from the questions and opinions from your colleagues. I often find in a live CE course some of the most insightful takeaways are from a tangent the class follows together after a clever question is asked.
Attending Live Dental CE Together is Team-Building
When the whole dental team is able to learn and process new information together, they’re more likely to implement positive change into the practice. If just one team member takes the course it’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle when they’re the only one who’s seen what the final picture is supposed to look like. Most importantly, though, getting to interact with one another in a new environment, one that’s open to new ideas, can refresh the team dynamic and reinvigorate morale.
In-Person Networking Has More Impact
Sure, you can do a fair amount of networking online with social media, but absolutely nothing compares to building relationships in real life. The casual conversations struck up during a break or at an evening social event carry more weight than a comment thread. Ideas and connections flow more freely over shared experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to be mentored by so many dental professionals I admire simply because I made the choice to be in the same room as them.