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Washington State Dental Association

Dr. Carrie York Shares Thoughts on PNDC

Dr. Carrie York, Chair of the Committee on PNDC, shares her thoughts about the upcoming 2016 conference in a guest editorial for the WSDA News.

You might think that keeping the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference current and relevant is an easy task, but you’d be wrong. What is relevance, anyway? And who sets the criteria? What’s relevant to you might not be to your staff, and vice versa. Last year following the PNDC, we went right to the source to ascertain what your needs were. We held four focus groups: two for dentists, one for hygienists, and one for assistants and front office staff. By going directly to the source and seeing what really influences your decision to attend the PNDC, we hoped to be able to use that to create an even better experience. We crossed our fingers and hoped you’d be willing to be forthright and give us lots of input. We needn’t have worried—we got an earful, especially from the hygienists. 

Truthfully, all four groups gave thoughtful, supportive feedback. We learned that CE is vitally important to you, that expanding the conference was something you would support, and that you wanted programming specifically tailored to your needs and the needs of your staff. 

Because of the information you provided in the focus groups, the Committee on PNDC made some key changes this year. By expanding the conference into Saturday, we’ve made it possible for dentists and hygienists to earn 23.5 credits. That’s 2.5 credits more than the state requirement. Even better? We’ve kept the cost low—$250 (before May 6) gets you into any of the lectures at the PNDC, and it’s even less for your staff. For many of us, adding Saturday lectures and workshops means not having to shut down our office for two days, which might make it easier to bring more staff to the conference. 

For some of you, relevance is tied to programming that ticks boxes for your entire team, so we used feedback from the focus groups to tailor programming specific to everyone’s role in the practice. Front office staff will benefit from insurance workshops, assistants can take lectures about provisional and composite layering, hygienists will have an ultrasonic series, as well as other instrumentation offerings, and dentists will have a live surgical demo, a Pankey experience, and much, much more. This is your show, after all. 

And please don’t forget about the Exhibit Hall. Exhibitors bring some of their best deals to the conference every year. We make it easy for you to explore them by holding half of the lectures and workshops in Meydenbauer Center, and by giving you plenty of time in between start times to pay a visit. Exhibit Hall revenue (and money from the PNDC, of course) is a significant source of non-dues revenue, helping to keep your membership in the WSDA affordable year after year.

But the PNDC isn’t just about continuing education, it’s a place to meet up, visit with colleagues and old friends, and share a laugh and a beverage after a fascinating day of learning. To that end we’ve got the beautiful Bellevue Photowalk on Thursday, the Sip and Save reception on Thursday evening, and the New Dentist Reception on Friday for dentists 0-10 years out of dental school. 

Bring your team, and make this an event. You’ll learn, you’ll laugh, and you’ll make new friends. We’ve got a great program for the entire team this year, and we’re excited to roll it out in June. See you there!

Register for PNDC!

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