You are about to begin a most exciting educational journey. Chances are it will challenge you. It will enlighten some (perhaps) elusive concepts. It will definitely help you develop surgical skills, will increase your capacity to diagnose and treat complicated surgical cases, and will broaden the scope of implant dentistry. If you are a general dentistry practitioner, this investment will take you beyond the learning curve achieved by the average Dentist. Most of all, you will be able to expand the service you offer to your patients and incorporate life changing oral procedures.
I have written some common questions and their answers, so you may become familiarize with the training program and your visits to Puerto Rico.
1. How does the Puerto Rico Maxicourse work?
A small group (no more than 12 doctors registered in the one year program!) gathers every month for approximately 4 days to fully participate in ten dynamic sessions.
The sessions emphasize in live surgeries, so most of the lectures serve to discuss the scientific background of the techniques you’ll be learning during the live surgeries. Also, an outline of suggested readings from Carl E. Misch Contemporary Implant Dentistry 3rd Edition, will be provided.
Dr. Tatum and Dr. Pedroza will develop lab exercises and mentorship sessions, depending on the need of group, to strengthen some skills.
We have organized the surgical tasks in different teams, and all the Doctors will switch responsibilities so as to offer equal opportunity to all.
There is a strong emphasis on IV Sedation and the Doctors will be trained and evaluated accordingly.
You will have the opportunity to bring your own cases discussions, to bring your own patients and do surgery on them while personally mentored by the instructors.
It is important that you contact the program coordinator (Miriam Montes) so she can schedule your case discussions and the patients you are bringing to the program.
2. What are the benefits of registering in the Puerto Rico Maxicourse?
Registering in the Puerto Rico Maxicourse will provide you the coverage you need to perform surgical procedures in your patients or to assist Dr. Tatum or Dr. Pedroza while they do the surgeries and teach.
At the end of the training program you’ll receive a Certificate of over 400 CEU according to the AGD Program Approval for Continuing Education (PACE).
At the end of the training program you will have received over 60 hours of IV Sedation instruction plus practiced in over 20 patients, thus allowing you to apply for the IV Sedation license, if your State Dental Board follows the ADA requirements.
You will benefit for an ongoing (and true) mentorship relationship with the main instructors, even after your training has concluded.
You will be allowed to come back to Puerto Rico and bring patients for surgical procedures. You may also come back to continue enriching your learning journey. For most of the sessions you will only pay a reasonable fee for food expenses. Because of availability reasons, it is vital that you contact the program coordinator beforehand.
3. Do I need to be experienced in implant dentistry?
No, not at all. We have had participating doctors with no experience at all, and we have had participating doctors that have been placing implants for over 20 years and that have gone through a myriad of professional courses and trainings. Their names and phones are available for you to contact them and inquire about their experience.
4. Is it a requirement that I bring my own patients to the program?
It is not a requirement, however we encourage you to bring your own patients. This will be your opportunity to practice and face the challenges of doing surgery in a live scenario, with Dr. Tatum and Dr. Pedroza watching over your shoulder.
5. What happens if I don’t bring my own patients to the program?
You will do a lot of practice still. For instance:
watching surgeries (close to 50 during the 10 months sessions!)
assisting in some of them
becoming responsible for the pre and post-op patient management
participating in the Sedation protocol of the patient
participating in the treatment discussion and in the surgery discussion
Remember, you’ll become a trainee, not just a listener. There are Doctors that never brought a patient, and their names are available for you to inquire about their experience.
6. Are there any other options if I want to perform some procedures but cannot bring my own patients? Will it cost me?
Yes. We are developing a list of patients who are willing to participate in the program, who need to go through different oral surgical procedures but cannot pay for their treatment. Those patients are available if you are willing to pay for the procedure, and if Dr. Tatum and Dr. Pedroza understand that you are ready to perform the procedure under their supervision. Remember, the patient’s wellbeing is always a priority.
We have prepared a list of special fees according to the average costs of oral procedures in the United States. Some of our fees are close to 50% lower than the average costs. You will be provided a chart with our fees.
7. What is the protocol if I want to bring patients to the program?
You will contact the program coordinator and she will follow up your patient. We will provide you a document with all the details.
8. Do I need to do any kind of homework?
The program allows for the discussion of the participating doctors cases. The cases will be discussed in the group and there is no limit for you to bring your case discussions. Dr. Pedroza will provide a protocol for the case presentations, which include pictures, x-rays, models, etc.
There are some prerequisite readings for the IV Sedation course offered by Dr. Becker as well as for the Anatomy course.
The research session will give you the opportunity of writing your own research paper and, if possible, submit it for publication.
We encourage participating Doctors to have as a textbook Dr. Carl Mitch’s Contemporary Implant Dentistry book. An outline of the specific chapters to read or review will be provided for your benefit.
9. Do I have to pay the whole program tuition before the program starts?
No. You need to secure your space with a non-refundable deposit of $2,000.
You have the option of either paying the whole tuition during the first session and receive a 5% discount (no credit cards, please), or you may pay (with a credit card, check or money order) in five equal installments according to the info that appears in the brochure, the binder and the website.
10. Do I have to make my own hotel reservation and transportation?
Yes. We just updated our options, and are offering you a corporate rate at the Best Western plus Condado Palm Inn Hotel. This is an affordable yet newly remodeled hotel in Condado, a touristic area with lots of amenities. For this year, after María Hurricane hit the island, the corporate rate is $149 plus taxes. It includes a nice breakfast buffet, wi-fi speed internet, 24 hr access to fitness and to Business Center, and a weekly reception (Wednesdays from 5:30pm to 7:30pm). In addition, you’ll find a nice beach just across the street and, what I think is an asset, lots of places to eat (walking distance) that stay open up until 2am, even 4am. Well, the truth is that sometimes we end up pretty late.
You may make reservations through Reservations@CondadoPalm.com or you may contact the hotel through 787-721-9501, Sales Department, or directly to Nelián: 787-240-2812. Ask for the Puerto Rico MaxiCourse corporate rate!
At least for the first session, our recommendation is that you stay in this hotel, then, depending on how adventurous you are, you may try other options.
The most convenient thing to do was to rent a car among several of you. Not any more. In the last two years, Uber has been the easiest and most economic way of transportation for the participating Doctors. Of course, it is your decision.
However… some participating Doctors are kind of adventurous and, after the first session, prefer to look for condos and share lodging expenses with the new friends from the training program. Margarita, a Realtor for condos at Old San Juan (939-397-6274), has done a great job with other classes. Some of them negotiated a very good rate with her for the whole 10 sessions, shared condos, and ended up paying a lot less. And, they were happy to experience Old San Juan’s pintoresque environment and drink mojitos or piñas coladas after Class (pretty late at night). A big house to accommodate 12 or 14 people may be your best choice as a group. Look for Airbnb options.
My recommendation is to stay at the Best Western during the first session (September), and depending on how you feel, plan for the upcoming sessions.
11. Will the meals be provided?
We have changed the policy to make it easier and more affordable for you. Since the Best Western plus Condado Palm Inn Hotel will provide a breakfast buffet, we’ll provide the lunch and snacks. That way, you only need to be responsible for your dinner.
12. What about traveling to Puerto Rico?
Your destination will be Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, in San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU). You may take a taxi from the airport to the hotel and, depending on the hotel you choose, it will cost you around $20, maybe $25. It will take around 15 or 20 minutes to get from the airport to the Courtyard Hotel (depending on the traffic), and the same between the airport and the clinic.
Since Puerto Rico is a territory of the USA, you’ll need NO VISAS or PASSPORTS. We use the same American money, English is spoken as a second language, and Puerto Rican people are well known for their hospitality and friendliness.
Puerto Rico’s climate is tropical, so we enjoy summer temperatures throughout the year (a little bit cooler during “winter” time). Humidity is pretty high, which is to blame for so many “bad day hair”. If you like the beach (and we have beautiful ones!), of course, bring your bathing suit and suntan protection lotion. We’ve had some athletic participating doctors that wake up early enough to swim at the beach, run or even go to the Natatorium and do some laps in the Olympic pool.
13. Shall I bring my family?
Puerto Rico is an attractive touristic destination, for adults and children as well. Outdoor sports are popular, beaches are a must to enjoy, Old San Juan, with their historic treasures and touristic attractions, the El Yunque rain forest, the Camuy caverns (one of the more than seven marvelous of the world), nice restaurants, hotels, night life… Of course, you’ll be working very hard and intensely, so, you may either bless them and let them enjoy their vacation, or plan some extra days so you can share with them some unforgettable days in beautiful Puerto Rico.
14. How do I dress?
Very, very casual and with scrubs. However, bring a casual jacket for the air conditioned rooms.
15. When and at what time will I be leaving home?
Check the schedule for every month. We begin at 8am, so you’ll need to be in PR at least the night before the session begins.
For every session, we will end the day (probably the night!) that appears in the schedule, so you will leave home the next day that shows in the schedule. For extraordinary situations out of our control, there may be slight changes in the schedule. We’ll try to let you know asap.
16. Will I participate in special social activities?
Yes. The first day of your arrival, you are invited for a Welcome Cocktail Party. Our dress code is casual. Usually, we find a place that will allow you to feel welcomed and become familiarized with a group of peers (and instructors) that (chances are) soon will make you feel at home. We’ll provide more details.
Also, the last day of your training program, a Saturday night during June, the whole group will gather for a nice Graduation Ceremony and Celebration party. The invitation will be good for you and a significant other. Extra tickets for your family will be available at a reasonable cost. That will be the only day you’ll be required to dress in a dark suit and cocktail dress for the ladies. It will be an enjoyable occasion to cherish a much deserved success while concluding your training.
17. Do I need to bring any equipment or material?
Just bring your scrubs and comfortable shoes. You may also bring a laptop and loupes for your own use. Surgical materials, surgical gowns, dental materials, cameras, anatomic equipment, medications, etc, are all provided.
18. How can I register?
Contact the program coordinator: Ms. Miriam Montes-Mock, (787-642-2708), or firstname.lastname@example.org. The website, www.theadii.com is finally created and alive! You may send the registration form by email or fax (787-781-5030). Remember, we close registration after 12 Doctors have registered and paid the deposit.
Tell your colleagues about this unique learning opportunity!!!!