2009-2010 Class Graduation
Miriam Montes - Program Coordinator
It was indeed a joyous celebration. Let us say it was the culmination of a vigorous 10 months academic and clinical training that urged the participating doctors to move forward in their own never ending learning process on oral implantology.
They traveled once a month for almost a year from different parts of the United States. For some, like Dr. Manuel de León and Dr. Astrid Sandoval, traveling to Puerto Rico to participate in the program took them over 10 hours each way every month. The Californian dentists did not come to earn a diploma for continuing education, although they obtained it. Neither did they close their offices and left their homes to acquire a particular academic degree. (Oral Implantology has not been regarded yet as a specialized field among oral surgeons.) They engaged in this unique educational journey because of the extraordinary opportunity of gaining a colossal learning experience on an almost one on one basis from the internationally celebrated Dr. Hilt Tatum, Jr., and from the outstanding clinically skilled Dr. José E. Pedroza. And because of the privilege of deepening their knowledge and sharpening their surgical skills through hands-on exercises and true mentorship, a rare combination –yet a must- in these fast track times.
“I feel I am a better surgeon”, confessed Dr. Richard Assing, from Florida, to Dr.Pedroza, a couple of months after the conclusion of the training program.
During the entire academic year, the doctors participated in 41 oral surgeries, and were exposed to implant placements, nerve reposition, segmental osteotomies, sinus grafts, bone grafts, and sinus lifts, among some interesting and provocative surgeries, including a Ramus Frame. They were also challenged to expand their thinking process while discussing complicated surgical cases.
Dr. Ana López, Assistant Dean and representing Dr. Yilda M. Rivera, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, acknowledged the recipients and handed the University of Puerto Rico Certificates of completion for over 400 hours CEU.
A slide show was presented as a recollection of significant moments during their training process. Also, each recipient was personally recognized for their particular progress and accomplishments during the program.
Lively music and Latin dance cherished the memorable event.