Benefits of AADOMNews |3 min read

How AADOM Gives Dental Office Managers Recognition & Education

Sharon Garner, MAADOM with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

After speaking with other practice administrators, I realize how fortunate I am to work for a dentist who values continuing education, not only for himself but for our entire team.

He regularly clocks 60 CE hours to renew his license when 30 hours would suffice. He is a Master at the Academy of General Dentistry, one of only about 3,000 worldwide.

Unfortunately, so many dentists see training for practice administrators as optional. After all, you don’t need a license to be a practice administrator, right?

Dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants (depending on your state) are licensed. Basically, just about everyone in the practice is certified and has continuing education requirements.

So why doesn’t one of the most pivotal positions in the successful dental practice?

Guess what?

Through AADOM, one can achieve professional designation and recognition for being a practice administrator or dental office manager!

Having attended every AADOM conference… This text opens a new tab to the AADOM conference website… since joining this amazing organization, each year has given me more takeaway than the previous one.

In emergency medical technician training, we learned a term: “scaffolding.” It’s comparable to the child learning to crawl, sit up, stand up, walk, and ultimately run. Each step forward builds on the previous accomplishment.

For me, AADOM has been a great example of the scaffolding process.

Education and recognition for dental office managers

Most of us start by learning such an amazing resource even exists. Next, we join as a member – many at their own expense.

From there, we gain access to so many resources, including dental office-management-focused continuing education, webinars, radio broadcasts, and Facebook events.

We learn about the sponsors and special pricing available to our practices as AADOM members.

We log on to the Forum, where we connect with other office management professionals with the same experiences and challenges, and we learn tips and tricks to make our practices more efficient and profitable.

We get a subscription to the AADOM Observer publication, packed with information.

Then we attend that life-changing, first AADOM annual conference. The energy and comradery we experience there are like no other. It’s addictive, and it’s focused on us – we who are used to being the one who acknowledges and supports everyone else, but usually receive little recognition ourselves.

Now we have a support network of our own. We have connections. We have our TRIBE.

We learn about AADOM local chapters, and we join one.

We begin our journey to a professional designation, first as a Fellow of AADOM (FAADOM), then as a Master (MAADOM), and ultimately a Diplomate (DAADOM).

The hunger for knowledge among our members always amazes me. We are aggressive life-long learners, never content to rest on our laurels. The benefits we take back to our doctors, teams, and practices are priceless, and the recognition we receive is so important as a professional.

Your AADOM journey may follow a different path than mine. Perhaps a friend invited you to a local chapter event first. Maybe you were searching for information on insurance courses and found a resource on the website. Maybe a member offered you an invitation to a trial membership.

The point is that you’re here. You have arrived. You have found your tribe, and you will never feel alone again. THAT is what AADOM has done for you lately.

Meet the Author

Sharon Garner in her office wearing a white top Sharon Garner has been a practice administrator for over 10 years and an AADOM member since 2016.

She has a degree in business management, was inducted as an AADOM Fellow in 2017, AADOM Master in 2020, and nominated for Practice Administrator of the Year three times. In 2018 and 2019, she was awarded Practice Administrator of Distinction.

She and her family reside in Maryland, where she is an active volunteer with Special Olympics and the Charles County Volunteer Rescue Squad.


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