Open House Offers Residents and New Practitioners First-Hand Experience

With this issue of the Paper Point, the Resident and New Practitioner Committee launches the Open House Program. Over 40 AAE members from across the country have volunteered to host an endodontic resident or new practitioner in their offices. This is your chance to experience the dynamics of a practice first-hand and to discuss your plans for the future with a seasoned clinician. Whether you are interested in an e-mail exchange, phone call, all-day visit or an ongoing mentoring relationship, you and your host can design your own experience. Feel free to contact several individuals in your area to try out a variety of settings. So far, there are visiting opportunities in 20 different states, and a variety of practice types are represented from solo to multiple-group offices. The host and visitor profiles in this issue will give you an idea of the excitement and interest that this program has generated.

I want to thank all of the AAE members who have already volunteered for this program. It is never too late to get involved, so if you would like to be a host or know someone who is interested, please contact Alyson Hall, development coordinator, at ahall@aae.org or by calling 800/872-3636 (North America) or 312/266-7255 (International), ext. 3008. We’d like to have hosts in every major metropolitan area. The complete listing of hosts can be found at the end of this newsletter, and is also posted on the Residents and New Practitioners section of the AAE website.

The AAE Annual Session is fast approaching: this year’s meeting will be held from April 13 – 16 in San Antonio, Texas. The AAE offers a discounted rate to Resident members and to first-year practitioners, so take advantage of the Resident and New Practitioner activities at this exciting event! The Resident’s Reception (featuring free food and beverages!) will be held on Thursday, April 14, from 5 – 6:30 p.m. on the South Terrace of the San Antonio Convention Center: just follow the crowd of residents!

Our annual Resident and New Practitioner Career Fair will be held on Friday, April 15, from 3 – 4:30 p.m. in Room 212 of the San Antonio Convention Center. If you wish to participate as a job seeker or an employer, fill out the Participation Form. You can also stop by the AAE Oasis and say "hi," or ask any question you might have of the AAE or the Resident and New Practitioner Committee. If you would like to strengthen your future by supporting research and education, stop by the AAE Foundation display and make a pledge.

Another AAE event specific to endodontic residents is APICES. This year, the University of Pennsylvania will be hosting APICES from August 12 – 14, 2011. This is an excellent opportunity to network with fellow endodontic residents and to hear some of the best endodontic educators and practitioners. Mark your calendar now and stay tuned for more updates on the meeting!

Warm Regards,

Kimberly A.D. Lindquist, D.D.S.
Chair, Resident and New Practitioner Committee

Host Profiles
Dr. Benedict Bachstein, Cherry Hill, N.J., and Dr. Royeen Nesari,
San Francisco, Calif.

Submitted by Farid B. Shaikh, D.M.D.

We all know how busy life can be. So the committee was very pleased that so many people offered to host. Drs. Benedict Bachstein of Cherry Hill, N.J. and Royeen Nesari of San Francisco, Calif., are two of these gracious volunteers.

Both doctors are motivated by a desire to help other endodontists in their careers. Dr. Bachstein believes in open doors and that we all learn by sharing what we do. Dr. Nesari was guided by mentors through every step of his education and would like to do the same for others. Both are enthusiastic about sharing their private practices and practice management experiences with new endodontists.

When asked, "What do you enjoy most about endodontics and your practice?" Dr. Nesari replied that he enjoys "patients showing up to their appointments, an energetic and smiling staff, patient canals, perfect radiographs, leak-proof rubber dams, profound anesthesia, productive days, happy referrals and happy patients. I am lucky and blessed to be a part of this wonderful profession. Having my own practice with freedom is the icing on the cake."

Dr. Bachstein responded, "Being able to relieve patients of their discomfort and receiving their appreciation in return is a great experience. I love to see happy patients who are relieved to find out that a 'root canal' can be a pleasant experience. Our practice functions within a great network of dentists and being able to provide care within this network is very enjoyable."

The AAE Resident and New Practitioner Committee would sincerely like to thank Drs. Bachstein and Nesari, as well as all the other endodontists who have so generously volunteered their time and their practices for the Open House Program.

Tweets From Hosts Across the Country
Dr. Michael J. Tulkki
Wayzata, Minn.
"I purchased a solo practice that has grown to support two doctors. I welcome the opportunity to share our experience and gain any new perspectives that can enhance our office. It is always important to look at all of the options and research different practice setting and styles before making a decision for yourself."

Host Profile
Dr. Rico D. Short, Powder Springs, Ga.
Submitted by Cameron M. Howard, D.M.D.

Dr. Rico Short has managed a private solo practice in Powder Springs, Ga., for seven years. He works four days per week, employs one front desk assistant and an office manager, and the majority of his cases are retreatments. He performs a limited amount of surgery, saying, "If you’re a good endodontist and you are really good at retreatment, you really don’t need to do surgery much."

Dr. Short hopes to be able to give some of the new endodontists a eye-opening, real world experience. He plans to offer "a realistic sense of why practice is so important. The business side is important too—you need to get paid."

Dr. Short appreciates knowing that he is helping somebody to succeed. "That’s worth more to me than anything else," he said. "One day, perhaps I will have a possibility for a buy-in for a partner. As I continue my career of lecturing and writing books, I hope that good karma will come around."

"Learning how to interact with GPs is an important part of doing business," noted Dr. Short. "Each practitioner has a different style and varying needs. Some want faxes and e-mails of radiographs, others don’t even care if they get referral letters. Learning the nuances is quite interesting."

Dr. Short’s practice is unusual in that he has a number of celebrity patients. He is also Board certified. Dr. Short shared, "I call every patient I treat that evening to see how they’re doing. I don’t want any barriers between patients and myself. It also goes a long, long way for future referrals, because I treat patients like family."

Reversing the myth that root canals are painful is one of Dr. Short’s goals. "Being able to release a patient from pain that they’ve had for a long time is amazing. I use my God-given gift to serve one of His most important creations."

Dr. Short was just appointed to the National Dental Association as the endodontic representative. He is excited about having the opportunity to lecture all over the United States.

Tweets From Hosts Across the Country
Dr. Sandra Madison
AAE Past President
Ashville, N.C.

“I’m always interested in helping new endodontists and mentoring in any way possible. I was in academics for 10 years before practice so I have a good perspective on several career options. I was in solo practice for 14 years and now have a partner and associate, so I have some experience in transitioning. Ashville is a small city with many retirees as well as several small colleges so the population is very diverse. I am interested in hearing new ideas from residents who are just out of their training programs and in sharing their enthusiasm. I would be happy to discuss a broad range of topics including practice management, staff relations, associates/partners, balancing personal and professional self, professional involvement, and even raising children. You name the topic and I am ready to help.”

Host Profile
Dr. Kimberly A.D. Lindquist, chair, Resident and New Practitioner Committee, Duluth, Minn.

I remember visiting endodontists in their offices during my endodontic residency. I found that I gleaned much information from these visits, and I wanted to make myself available in the same way. I have had prospective dental students and current dental students visit and shadow me, and thought it would be great to have endodontic residents or new endodontists come into my office, too.

I would be willing to have the endodontic resident or new endodontist come up to Duluth, Minn., and shadow me during a typical work day. I would also let the visitor speak with my staff, especially my practice administrator. I have found that residents and new practitioners often have many questions about budgeting, staffing, supplies and the like. I know my practice administrator (my husband) will be direct and honest in his responses.

I am very happy that I became an endodontist and I want to give back to the profession. I think this is a great way to expose the endodontic resident or new practitioner to the "real world."

I realize that my practice location could be a deterrent to interested guests. First, let me say that Duluth is beautiful, situated on the southwestern shores of Lake Superior. No matter the time of year, there is always something to do or see. However, for those individuals that could not get to me, I am available to correspond via e-mail or cell phone. I could also use SKYPE™ to give the person a virtual tour of my office. I also have many photos that I am willing to share.

I graduated from the University of Minnesota School Of Dentistry in 1992. I completed a general residency program at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn., in 1993. I practiced general dentistry in private practice from 1993-2003. In June 2003, I became an endodontic resident at Case Western Reserve University. I completed that program in June 2005. In July 2005, I purchased Northern Endodontic Associates from a retiring endodontist. In 2008, Northern Endodontic Associates moved to a newly remodeled space in the same medical-dental building in downtown Duluth.

During these years, I have experienced associateship, partnership and ownership. I have made many mistakes, and if my experiences can help an endodontic resident or new endodontist from making the same mistakes, I will be thrilled.

Tweets From Hosts Across the Country
Dr. Charles F. Hine
Indianapolis, Ind.
"I think it is important to help new practitioners get started. Beginning in practice can be overwhelming. I was an associate for three and a half years before I began my own practice, so I’ve experienced both options and know the pluses and minuses of each. Going into private practice is a leap of faith no matter what type of arrangement you choose. You can never be totally prepared, which is difficult for the typical type-A personality endodontist to accept. So far, I have no regrets."

Guest Profile
Dr. Kerri L. Lawlor, New Practitioner in Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Endodontic Residency: University of Missouri at Kansas City, 2009

I am so excited about the new AAE Open House Program that will pair newer endodontists with veteran endodontists who have practiced. I have been practicing for a year and a half and see so many ways I would utilize this program. I have moved to a new area since graduating and don’t know many endodontists here. First and foremost, I would like to make friends in the endodontic community. I look forward to using the program as a way to make connections to endodontists I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to connect with. I would like to establish friendships/mentorships without a large obligation on either of our parts. In other words, it would be nice to reach out to those in my area who have volunteered, established connections and know that neither one of us is looking for a job or an associate, but are just looking to make some friends in the business. These are my primary goals.

I envision establishing a connection through e-mail or phone and having lunch with one or two of these mentors several times a year. I would like to develop a strong enough relationship that I would feel comfortable contacting them for advice on challenging cases, practice management questions or other concerns that arise. I would like to interact with endodontists who have a positive outlook on our profession, feel good about what they do and are ready to share that enthusiasm. Sometimes the endodontic world is lonely in private practice, and it has become so competitive that I welcome this program as a way to break down barriers and establish true friendships in my local community with others who are in the same profession.

It has been enlightening to interact with a few veteran endodontists through AAE committees. I often wish I practiced closer to the few I have met. Now, with this program, I will have the opportunity to establish some connections to those in my area who are willing to share, be a friend and mentor, and allow me to learn how to be a better endodontist.

Tweets From Hosts Across the Country
Dr. William S. Dodson Jr.
Suffolk, Va.
"I have been involved in hosting others in my practice for several years already. I’ve helped high school students learn more about dentistry and internationally trained doctors find residency programs. My own start was a little rough because I wanted a partner and was unable to find one. Now that I have, it is very successful. I can discuss the realities of owning a practice solo or of partnership."

Guest Profile
Dr. Joyce Nazzal, Second-Year Endodontic Resident at Indiana University School of Dentistry
Submitted by Craig B. Thiessen, D.D.S.

I interviewed Dr. Joyce Nazzal, a second-year resident at the Indiana University School of Dentistry, about her expectations for the Open House Program. Dr. Nazzal is excited to learn more about how to start and manage a practice. Some of her areas of interest include how to develop a business plan, secure financing, negotiate a lease and manage project expenses. She would also like to hear strategies on how to begin developing relationships with the general dentists in her area and to discuss options for equipping an office.

Tweets From Hosts Across the Country
Dr. Joseph H. Chu
Honolulu, Hawaii
"I feel extremely fortunate to have had great mentors during and after my residency at Lutheran Medical Center (class of 2008), and I would like to be a mentor to others. I hope to pass on what I have learned about business and practice management. My practice is located in Hawaii—I work as an associate in a group practice in Honolulu and have my own practice on Kauai. I fly to my Kauai office two days a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays."

Guest Profile
Drs. Wayne King and Keenon L. Johnson, Third-Year Residents at the University of North Carolina
Submitted by Steven L. Richardson, D.M.D.

As residents, the task of searching for a career after graduation can be daunting. Both Drs. Wayne King and Keenon L. Johnson know that sentiment well as they enter their third and final year as residents at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Each of these residents sees the benefit the Open House program will provide. As potential guests to an endodontic practice, they have the ability to learn about a variety of information including, but not limited to, running a practice and providing clinical treatment.

"I would love to have the opportunity to ask an experienced, established endodontist questions about how to run a business, how to get an office set up, how to manage both student and office loans, and how to go about marketing and building a referral base in the community," said Dr. Johnson.

Beyond these techniques, gaining business-savvy methods is important. The Resident and New Practitioner Committee regularly hears that learning about practice management takes a back seat to mastering clinical information during a busy residency program.

"One of the biggest possible benefits of the Open House program would be to gain insights into the business aspect of running an endodontic office from the clinician’s point of view," said Dr. King.

As two hard-working clinicians with years of prior experience in general dentistry, Drs. King and Johnson both have a lot of drive to make their careers in endodontics successful and productive. Each of them plans to use the new Open House program to do so.

Tweets From Hosts Across the Country
Dr. Richard M. Silberman
Kingston, Pa.
"Although I practiced general dentistry for five years in a small group practice, I have practiced solo endodontics since 1979. In that time, endodontic practice has become extremely complex. Staff considerations, multiple insurance possibilities, referral communication, marketing, financing, staff training—an endless list of chores not taught in residencies must be addressed by a new endodontist. There is no substitute for the 30 years of experience we have gained, but much of that can be made available to the new graduate. Ours is a modern practice that incorporates microscopic endodontics with implant surgery."

Philly Welcomes the Nation's Endodontic Residents

Join endodontic residents from all around the country this August in the city of Brotherly Love. The eighth annual Advanced Programs in Clinical Endodontics Symposium (APICES) will take place August 12 – 14, 2011, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa. Attendees should expect an exceptional line up of programming from the planning committee of residents from the host University.

Along with a strong scientific program, residents should look forward to two impressive social events. Friday night’s event will be held at a local brewery that boasts a rooftop patio with fire pits for great ambiance. All of the weekend’s events will showcase the beautiful Ivy League campus and impressive facilities, while highlighting the extraordinary history of Philadelphia.

This year’s accommodations will prove to be most comfortable. All residents will stay in the University Sheraton in University City with a roommate of their choice just steps away from the historic campus. Residents can count on a special $150 travel reimbursement provided by the AAE. Thanks to the generous corporate sponsors, all registration, lodging and dining is free of charge. APICES is one of the most valuable resources available to endodontic residents across the nation.

If you have any questions or suggestions about APICES 2011, please contact Alyson Hall, development coordinator, at ahall@aae.org, or by calling 800/872-3636 (North America) or 312/266-7255 (International), ext. 3008.

Where Have You Taken Your JOE?

AAE Secretary Dr. George T. Goodis of Grosse Pointe, Mich., recently took his Journal of Endodontics to see one of pop culture's newest icons—Lady Gaga—in concert. Her concerts are a mix of pop music and a theatrical stage presence. The Monster Ball tour gave Dr. Goodis the opportunity to see her stylish performances in concert and take the JOE to a new place!

Where have you taken your JOE? Submit your photos to Alyson Hall, development coordinator, at ahall@aae.org.

Do You Have News to Share?

The Resident and New Practitioner Committee is looking for fun news about your program to include in the next issue of The Paper Point, the quarterly e-newsletter sent to all residents and new practitioners.

  • Have any exciting happenings in your program?
  • What were your residents up to this summer and fall?
  • What types of groundbreaking research are happening at your institution?
  • Any famous alumni?

Please direct all questions or send any news items to Alyson Hall, AAE development coordinator, at ahall@aae.org, or by calling 800/872-3636 (North America) or 312/266-7255 (International), ext. 3008.

© 2011 American Association of Endodontists. All Rights Reserved.
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American Association of Endodontists
211 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60611-2691
Phone: 800/872-3636 (North America) or 312/266-7255 (International)
Fax: 866/451-9020 (North America) or 312/266-9867 (International)