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“Never let Schooling Interfere With Your Education” - Mark Twain

What is the purpose of Academy of Dental Leadership?

The Academy of Dental Leadership is an online community for dentists who appreciate the complexity of the dental profession. We see dentistry from a “whole” perspective that understands that success at every level requires learning skills that are generally not taught in the most dental curricula. Our purpose is to expose dentists to the necessary competencies that will help them to not only master their technical skills but also help them to thrive and flourish in today’s dental marketplace. We believe that a more comprehensive approach to educating dentists is necessary - and that is our mission - create dental leaders.

What does leadership have to do with a thriving practice?

We have found that the best way to categorize the skills necessary for success, beyond the technical, fall under the heading of leadership. Leadership is about creating worthy goals (vision) and inspiring patients and staff to to accomplish those goals.

What will I learn by being a member of ADL?

Not only will members learn how to communicate better, but also will unlearn many of the things that the dental community has taught us about dentistry. By unlearning some of the conventional wisdom members will understand just what Mark Twain meant when he said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

How will we learn?

ADL will make available numerous articles, white papers, webinars and seminars covering topics like examination, diagnosis, case presentation, and staff issues mostly taught through the lens of specific cases. We believe that leadership is best taught in context.

Why are you doing this project?

We have seen the changes in dentistry. The future doesn’t look bright for the majority of dentists. Sure, we see great dentistry being produced but that is not typical of what is happening in dentistry. Great dental photography and highly passionate dentists do not tell the true story for most dentists. Mostly, dentists are disengaged from their work for a variety of reasons…high debt, a poor economy and increased competition created by insurance companies and corporate dentistry. We don’t see this changing soon enough. Dentists need to learn skill that will help them to fire the passion that brought them to dentistry and to get them on the road to mastery by teaching them skills they never knew they needed.

I have been thinking about leaving dentistry, but I have too much invested - is there any hope for me?

Your problem is shared by many young dentists who are graduating from dental school with high debt and few options. Sadly, this has led to burnout, stress and career derailment. It doesn’t have to be this way. Dental schools need to hear the message that they are graduating students who are technically competent yet still unprepared to practice “real world” dentistry.

What is my commitment to become an ADL member?

Your cost is a mere $39.00 per month. For that monthly fee members will get access to one webinar per month for 10 months. You will also get access to advice through e-mail from a group of seasoned practitioners who have more than 25 years experience. Webinars are recorded an can be accessed any time. There will be six tele-seminars each year with guest speakers.

Who are you and why are you doing this?

My name is Dr. Barry Polansky. I have been in practice for over forty years. It has not been an easy go. My journey, like most dentists, has been a bumpy ride. I suffered through my own physical and emotional issues. But…I found the answers by rekindling my passion for dentistry and studying positive psychology, cognitive and social psychology which eventually translated to higher self-esteem, positive relationships, and a practice based on meaningful dentistry. I became passionate about the “whole” practice of dentistry and now that I am getting ready to retire from clinical dentistry I want to share this knowledge with dentists who are going through the same issues I did.