Practice vs. Theory in Continuing Education
Progressive Orthodontic Seminars was created by Dr. McGann to oppose the teach-and-run approach favored by some dental educators. Our goal is to offer comprehensive training: yes, there are seminars, but our commitment to you does not end there. Progressive wants to see your personal work, completed in your own office environment, and on your own patients. We want to verify that you have received value from our courses in the only way that matters: practical usage of the techniques you have learned.
This emphasis on practicality and patient treatment separates Progressive Orthodontic Seminars from competitors. Instead of merely explaining the theory behind orthodontic treatment, we want to teach you how to efficiently use these techniques in your practice, and then monitor your patients in order to ensure treatment goes as planned. Our instructors are available to help you through our software, email, phone calls, office visits, and after-seminar discussions. Our lifetime retake policy allows you to retake any seminar you have previously taken, through both our live seminars and the Internet content, entirely free of charge for the rest of your life. Your education and our support do not end when you graduate from the program; you are part of the POS Family!
The aim of POS is to make sure that every student, not merely the most talented, provides orthodontic care with a high level of competence to their patients. Our techniques are explained to you through documented slides taken month-by-month for hundreds of cases, with supplemental cases available in our Internet Assisted Training.
To make our education practical for everyone, the standards of our techniques and the slides we present differ from many other programs’.
The first difference is that we do not show exceptional cases. We are well aware which cases illustrate the orthodontic principle that will occur in treatment the majority of time. Many presenters want to make a big splash by using cases with results that deviate from the norm, and do a large disservice when they lead students to misdiagnose their patients, expecting easy solutions or results that do not occur. All cases shown in POS are selected at random and exceptional cases are not shown at the beginning of the program, in order to realistically manage your expectations of what will occur during your own treatment.
Another difference is that, while many orthodontic instructors are very talented and have significant experience in the field, they lack the experience in the field of dental education that makes them aware of what a new student is capable of. We know that a new student will initally not be able to do what an orthodontist with 20 years of full-time practicing experience can do, so our education progresses in difficulty accordingly, at a pace that is proven and tested. Much of the work from the cases you will see throughout the program was physically completed by dental assistants with oversight from Dr. McGann; a dentist studying orthodontics will be able to perform all the techniques taught in the course!
A final frequent complaint about other programs is that the treatment in the slides occurs under conditions that are not realistic for a practicing dentist. This can occur when a university professor has an entire day to work on a case, or a lab technician with exceptional skill is employed, or photos are abnormally polished by an Audio-Visual department. All POS cases were treated in the environment of an active dental practice, and the photographs were taken by dental assistants with a busy schedule.
In short, this program teaches you techniques that we guarantee you can use and perform. Not only in theory, not only under ideal circumstances, but in the exact sort of active practice that you own and work in every day! Your success in treating patients defines our success as instructors, and our system has been created to achieve the best results for you and your patients.
The clinical training portion of Progressive Orthodontic Seminars is through independent treatment in the dentists’ private practices. You will use our software to analyze your initial records, and our instructors will supervise and consult with you in order to create a very detailed treatment plan for your patients. As your case progresses, you can follow up and submit updated reports to the consulting instructor to assure yourself that treatment is progressing in a way best for your patient.
While Progressive has tried many different formats for clinical training, we have found that this method is the most effective for several reasons. Because you are working independently on patients that are relying on you for treatment, you will spend extra time preparing for the treatment of your first cases. Secondly, you will be compensated by your patients, making orthodontics profitable faster for you. The final advantage is that we want you to have the confidence and independence to treat cases in your own practice; by starting cases in your own practice, the theoretical content of the course will make sense to you and you will know how to handle the wide variety of cases you will encounter throughout and once you have graduated from the program.
This prompts the question: when should I begin treating cases with the POS system? Our answer is that you should bring multiple cases for diagnosis to the second seminar, with the goal of starting those cases immediately upon return to your practice. While you might have initial reservations about starting cases, our high level of instructor supervision and training will allow you to successfully complete comprehensive orthodontic cases. Additionally, you will get a lot more out of the course if as opposed to waiting until the end of the theoretical training, you are using and reinforcing the techniques that you learn from us in your practice.
Just follow our instructors’ advice with respect to case selection and treatment, and we guarantee that your patients will be happy with the results, and you will further solidify your training with real-life experience. In addition, you can quickly recoup the expenses of the course and discover the joy of orthodontics. Past students have started 200 cases while they were still in their training; there’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing and make orthodontics a substantial portion of your practice!