Hello all! This will be one of my first (and possible) many series where I get to review the CPD courses which I have taken throughout my dental journey. The formatting of the review is a bit of a work in progress and I’ve pretty much broken it down to a nice format (and hopefully easy to read).
I hope this will be helpful in helping you choose your courses, with a specific aim at recent graduate dentists before they get bombed by limitless advertising pamphlets.
Course name: Primespeak Seminar
What it’s about: Patient communications and dental team communications/management
Price range: About $2700 for a dentist and $1400 for team member.
Company involved: Prime practice
Venue and date of the course taken: 9th and 10th December 2015, Pullman Hotel Sydney.
CPD hours: about 16 hours
What’s this course about?
From the horse’s mouth:
Learn how to present treatment options and get your patients to make informed decisions while building trust and long lasting relationships.
Essentially, we as dentists are pretty terrible at talking to patients at a level where they can understand us easily. And most of the patients coming into the clinic do not know of their problem and does not take ownership of their problem.
The whole premise of the course is to teach you how to connect, establish rapport with your patients, using specific techniques to diffuse potential barriers for the patients to start “owning” the treatment so that they can be concerned about their situation and actually start LISTENING to you.
The course consists of two main presenters:
- Brett whom also is a business coach
- Lisa with a strong background in neuroscience
We’ve also go Teagan whom was the even organiser and got Anna-Lisa Palmer as the Marketing Director and Dr. Phillip Palmer, the founder of Prime Practice at present.
The tables have been laid out in an unique fashion which is different from ANY CPD courses which I have been to. Each person is assigned to a desk, with a desk number and we sit in a round desk like a Chinese banquet.
The best way I can describe the whole course is as if someone gave you a game strategy guide with lots of good tips and tricks to beat the game. You’ll need to read the guide and practice in order to succeed in this game.
What does the course include? (extras and bits and bobs):
- Standard lecture notes in a metal binder
- Some hotel pens (Pullman hotels sure have nice, writable pens!)
- The hotel standard conference notepads (which we used all of them up pretty quickly)
- And a good o’ froggie stress ball if you get the questions right as a reward!
- Nicely made buffet lunch and Nespresso machined coffee. Afternoon and morning tea all included with a nice selection of pastries and fruit.
What have I learned in the course?
Learnt quite a lot. Here are some of the key info which I picked up:
- Patients like and relate more to emotional languages (stories, excitements, metaphors, personal things)in your consult while us dentists are trained to use intelligent languages (logic, cold, hard facts) by default. Most of the time patients who has come to see dentists are more emotionally driven due to pain or fear and their brain will tend to cast logic aside.
- Our main aim is to let the patient take ownership of their problems, while increasing their curiosity and desire to learn more about it.
- You can strategically plan and roughly know what the patient’s optimum treatment option is before you even see them, you can then formulate what your best treatment option for them at almost the same time. All that is left is to bridge the gap and whittle away any barriers and potential landmines.
- Almost all the tools that you need for effective communication is in your practice!
How was the social environment of the course?
In a nutshell: excellent. Each person is assigned to a desk, with a desk number and we sit in a round desk like a Chinese banquet. On top of each desk is our name signs and each participant has a name tag which we all wear. This means that we’re all maintaining eye contact wether we like it or not.
Brett and Lisa does a lot of group activities where the tables have to work together as a team, in pairs or in threes for scenarios and pop quizzes. So there’s a lot of involvement and putting us on the spot to get out of our comfort zone.
At the end of the course you get to make a lot of good networking and friends. Exchanged some numbers and Facebook adds with a few young grads!
How applicable is it to dentistry?
It’s very applicable not only to dentistry, but to life in general! The course here teaches you to become more involved with the people you are seeing, acknowledging your staff and building morale, with the analogy that a good new patient exam is like having a good first date! Your goal in the new patient exam is to land that second date.
It’s still going to be a while for me to know how effective this course is, but the potential is definitely there!
- Excellent venue choice!
- Notes provided were very comprehensive
- Very engaging speakers
- Interactive learning – allows you to retain more information
- Round table format, you can easily recall each of the participant’s name along with the name badge. Forces you to socialise!
- Great networking potential! Met a lot of experienced and young dentists in the event.
- Costs quite a bit for a communication course
- A bit hard to judge its value as it is not exactly scientifically based.
- There’s a ton of concept. You may not use them all, treat it as if you have a collection of tools as your disposal.
- Practice makes perfect, you can do a part of the course by the next day, but be prepared to commit and practice until you become more confident in using their tools (some reported that it can take people at least a year to get used to the new style).
- More focused on new patients. Does not really teach you about exisiting patients and dealing with emergency patients.
Highly recommended to essential. This communication course lays a good foundation for communicating with patients in a really easy way for all new graduates.