Celebrating a well-deserved success! PR MaxiCourse® 2010-2011 Class Conclude their Training Program
Miriam Montes-Mock - Program Coordinator
Upon completing a rewarding, ten month training program, the Puerto Rico MaxiCourse® 2010-2011 Class celebrated another milestone of intense learning, in the unique hands-on A Comprehensive Training Program on Oral Rehabilitation and Implant Dentistry. This educational training program, similar to an externship, integrated challenging surgeries, “out of textbooks” case discussions, real scenario IV Sedation and clinical emergency management and practical lab exercises. The participants also benefitted from the priceless impartation of knowledge of the legendary Dr. Tatum and experienced the privilege of participating in surgical, restorative and IV sedation demonstrations offered by the mentors, on an almost one-to-one teacher/student ratio basis.
During the academic and clinical sessions, the doctors actively participated in a variety of tasks related to 52 live surgeries, either performed or closely supervised by Dr. Tatum and Dr. Pedroza. In addition to Dr. Pedroza’s patients, nineteen patients received care in connection with the Puerto Rico training program by the participating doctors. Two former participants, Dr. Thomas Carroll (2009) and Dr. John Whitt (2010), also brought patients to the surgical sessions. The procedures included various implant placements (and a very much expected Ramus Frame!), sinus grafts, sinus augmentation, bone expansion, segmental osteotomies, nerve repositioning plus several restorative cases. Dr. Ramón “Uchy” Pérez, Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon and Faculty Member with The Advanced Dental Implant Institute, supervised meticulous and much valued training on IV Sedation during a great part of the sessions.
Eleven doctors, originally coming from diverse cultural backgrounds such as Hindi, Vietnamese, Chinese, Turkish, Palestinian, North American, Canadian and Puerto Rican, were acknowledged with a 462 CEU certificate from the University of Puerto Rico, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and The Advanced Dental Implant Institute, co-sponsored by the AGD Program Approved for Continuing Education. In addition, they received solid training in IV Sedation that enabled them to submit their didactic and practical experience as part of the requisites for application of the IV Sedation license in the state where they practice dentistry.
The diverse levels of expertise in the field of oral implantology, was a distinctive mark within this Class. Among the enthusiastic doctors, there were “amateurs” and well-experienced implantologists; all of them determined to enhance their knowledge and surgical skills. The emphasis on close mentorship is definitely key to the program’s success, and serves beneficial for the beginner, intermediate and advanced practitioner. “It is a life changing type of experience, compared to a residency program”, said Dr. Selim Alptekin, who just concluded the oral implantology training. Dr. Alptekin, having practiced general dentistry for six years at the time that he enrolled in the PR MaxiCourse®, added that “the genuine interest in the personal and professional development shown by the mentors” was the most valuable aspect of the program. The dentist from Massachusetts affirmed that he received from both Dr. Tatum and Dr. Pedroza “the encouragement to achieve higher levels of confidence” and the support to overcome some of his fears concerning the skills required to practice implant dentistry.
Dr. Sridhar Reddy, who completed an Oral Surgery Training Program in Moscow, expressed that being able to finally meet Dr. Tatum personally, watch soft tissue surgeries and learn more about the Ramus Frame procedure were important accomplishments during his training program. The oral maxillofacial surgeon also recognized that participating in the PR MaxiCourse® contributed to increasing his surgical abilities.
Dr. Joseph Lau discovered that the PR MaxiCourse® was an opportunity to continue his on-going learning process and mentorship with his deeply esteemed “master”, Dr. Tatum, whom he has followed over the past seventeen years through participation in numerous educational courses.
Traveling approximately 14 hours to and from Canada to Puerto Rico monthly was no obstacle for Dr. Vick Soordhar or Dr. Maher Naji. Dr. Thi Nguyen committed to traveling long hours from Washington State as well. This group of dedicated professionals was more than ready to do whatever it took to enroll and complete the training that has already increased their ability to serve their own patients. Dr. Naji valued particularly, “Dr. Tatum’s patience to answer generously any type of questions”, and the opportunity to watch and participate in “the most complicated surgeries [he has] ever seen”. In spite of the on-going challenge of long traveling hours, Dr. Soordhar and Dr. Nguyen will remain participating in several training sessions in the upcoming 2011-2012 Class to continue gaining proficiency, while each contribute to the program’s administrative development. Similarly, both Dr. Burés and Dr. Mendoza, practitioners from Puerto Rico, will go on improving their surgical skills (at no additional cost!), performing surgeries with their own patients under the competent clinical eye of Dr. Pedroza. Other doctors have been able to practice different procedures and/or better their surgeries while participating in their training, like Dr. Bessonet and Dr. Clemmons, among others.
Dr. Sangiv Patel showed an exceptional capacity to integrate Dr. Tatum’s NIRISAB philosophy to digital diagnostic methods, and thus his teachings were incorporated and finally included in the PR MaxiCourse® curriculum. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Patel has joined The ADII as a faculty member.
The 2010-2011 Graduation and Awards Ceremony of the Puerto Rico MaxiCourse® reunited the proud participants, faculty members, sponsors, family and friends to cherish the accomplishments of another successful year on behalf of the advancement of oral implantology. Spanish aromas from El Zipperle Restaurant and tropical music lingered during the unforgettable night of true appreciation for the mentors valuable contributions and colossal satisfaction of eleven doctors who confronted the completion of the most aggressive, challenging, cutting edge (and enjoyable!) dental training program in America and the Caribbean. Congratulations!