Dentistry |3 min read

Top 7 Reasons Over-the-Shoulder Education is Better

By Drs. John Nosti, Jason Olitsky, and Lee Ann Brady

One of the many benefits to taking a dental continuing education course with Clinical Mastery is the option to be learning hands-on or over-the-shoulder. Over-the-shoulder education offers the participant the chance to learn new information and then immediately see it applied, giving them the confidence to use their new skills instantly.

Top 7 Reasons Over-the-Shoulder Education is Better:

1) Low stress learning-
Participants can observe, question, and engage without the stress of treating their own patient in a foreign clinic.  This way, the focus is entirely on absorbing and understanding the new information.  Dr. John Nosti describes,

Top 7 Reasons Over the Shoulder is Better
Dr. Jason Olitsky: Anterior Aesthetics Live

“This course allows demonstrations of various situations to cover that topic that seems too difficult to grasp through traditional learning techniques.”

2) Intimate environment-
Generally, there are 10-20 participants in a course.  This allows for a lot of one-on-one time with the instructors, and more opportunities to get questions answered and achieve total understanding.

3) Experience real-world, unexpected challenges, just like in practice- Typodont or model programs do not have the “human element”.  In over-the-shoulder education, things get real. Clinical Mastery Series instructor Dr. Jason Olitsky explains, “Attendees get to witness patient management, and learn from the potential complications of cases that can commonly occur in the real world.” Every over-the-shoulder course has something that doesn’t go as expected. That is the experience that you learn from.

Dr. John Nosti: Full Mouth Rehabilitation course
Dr. John Nosti: Full Mouth Rehabilitation 

4) See One. Do One. Teach One.- No lecture and slides can replicate the experience of seeing the real thing. Being able to observe the curriculum actually in action, there is no substitute. “It is one thing to hear the clinical directors talk about it and show pictures in lectures, but it is another thing entirely to be able to sit down with us chair side and see it happen while we reinforce the techniques and protocols discussed in lecture,” says Dr. Olitsky. Dr. Nosti goes on to explain, “Inherently, it is impossible to cover every detail of what may happen during this process in lecture alone. Every dentist knows there are things that come up during the actual procedure that wasn’t covered in lecture and the live demonstration allows us to not only go over the process for visual learning of the lecture, it allows us to fill in gaps of information not covered in lecture.”

 5) Increase confidence- Prior to initiating treatment, your understanding of the procedure allows you the confidence to “do one”.

Top 7 Reasons Over the Shoulder Education is Better
Dr. Lee Ann Brady

6) Get patient’s perspective on treatment experience- How you interact with the patient is a key part of a successful treatment. “Over-the-shoulder adds the additional layer of learning around patient communication and interaction, as the instructor is in a real relationship with the patient and managing all of the elements of the procedure that the student will confront when trying to incorporate their new learning,” says Dr. Lee Ann Brady.

7) Leg up on integration- “One of the biggest challenges in all dental continuing education is then taking the information back  to your practice and integrating it into your current techniques,” Dr. Brady explains. “In my experience, over-the-shoulder education gives the participants a leg up on integration as they get to see the didactic information they learned in action, being incorporated as part of a real time clinical procedure.” Dr. Olitsky agrees, stating, “Over-the-shoulder courses are an extremely practical way to get the best information from CMS clinical directors and take that information and apply it to your practice on Monday morning.”

Interested in taking an Over-the-Shoulder course with Clinical Mastery?

Clinical Mastery Series offers three over-the-shoulder style dental continuing education courses a variety of dates and locations. Mastering Implant Success with Dr. Lee Ann Brady and implant specialist Dr. David Bargett, Anterior Aesthetics Live with Dr. Jason Olitsky, and Full Mouth Rehabilitation Demonstration Program with Dr. John Nosti.

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