Lifetime of Learning

Real-World Insights from AADOM Author Paula Thomasson

Recently I have been approached by people who have asked:

Why are you doing this?
Is it mandatory?
Does your practice pay for this?
What do you get out of it?

Just what is it that they are asking me about?

When finding out that I am taking more coursework for dental office management, these have been some of the questions I have received. My response to these inquiries reveals the passion I have for learning throughout my lifetime.

So why am I doing this? The philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said:

“Education is not preparation for life;
Education is life itself.”

Continuing Education For Professional and Self Development

By taking continuing education coursework, I am fulfilling my desire to expand my knowledge. It is not mandatory for my position as the dental office manager in our office, but the benefits I receive help me to provide better care and understanding for the patients in our dental practice.

Various aspects of the dental field are changing on a daily basis:

  • materials
  • techniques
  • software
  • insurance
  • etc.

Classes help to provide me with the information I need to make me feel more confident and capable of solving issues which may arise in my daily work.

Benefits of Investing in Dental Manager CE

Does my practice pay for this?

Some continuing education hours may be compensated; however, even if there is no direct monetary reward for taking classes, a person is investing in himself/herself and is being provided with more credibility and authority to handle tasks at work.

Dependent upon the agreements and structure of a dental practice, it may be very possible to gain financial benefits upon increased education and added responsibilities to a dental position.

Through my quest for learning, I have discovered several excellent sources of support and educational opportunities for dental office managers.

Office Manager Education and Associations

One of those sources is the American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM).

I became a life member of AADOM in 2009. I took courses through this organization to attain the Fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Management (FAADOM).

Later in 2015, I chartered and became the President of the Desert Gold Arizona Chapter of AADOM…This text opens a new tab to the Desert Gold Arizona Chapter of AADOM website…. This group provides local and national support for office managers through online and live continuing education classes, including webinars.

Also, local chapters meet quarterly to share relevant information and business resources to help support the dental practice. All chapters are invited to the annual AADOM convention which has been held in a variety of locations throughout the country.

AADOM offers three professional distinction programs:

  • AADOM Fellowship
  • Mastership
  • Diplomate

Each designation has class requirements and maintained status through ongoing continuing education classes.

Dental Management Further Education Opportunities

Another great resource for the dental office manager is the American Dental Association… This text opens a new tab to the American Dental Association website….

This group offers an allied membership for staff members, and it provides opportunities for continuing education classes and connections to peers in the local dentistry community.

This connection provided me with an exciting opportunity to play a part in recent Arizona legislation.

I was contacted to provide testimony for a health bill HB 2494 (regarding dental insurance and impositions on dental offices) brought forward by Representative Regina Cobbs, DDS. This bill was passed and signed by Governor Doug Ducey and is now in effect.

The Impact of the AADOM Tribe

What do I get out of all of this?

Although I have gained a wealth of information, I have also gained wealth in friendships and experiences through my connection to my peers in dental office management and to the dental community.

A beneficial impact in my dental office can be made through brainstorming and seeking solutions from other office managers and resources I have discovered through my time as a member of AADOM and the Arizona Dental Association.

I have made lifelong relationships that help to make my career and life experience more meaningful. I am thankful to continue my lifetime journey of learning.

Meet the Author

AADOM author Paula ThomassonPaula Thomasson, FAADOM, has been doing what she has always wanted to do since she was a little girl. She has been in the dental field for over thirty years, starting as a dental assistant.

Paula has been an office manager for over twenty years and received her AADOM Fellowship in August 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. Paula is an active AADOM member and is the President and Founder of the Desert Gold Arizona Chapter of AADOM since 2015.

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