Spear Study Clubs offer world-class education and peer-to-peer sharing of knowledge and experience
In dentistry, education doesn’t end with graduation. Indeed, the wisest and most skilled dental professionals understand that learning new technology and techniques is a lifelong endeavor. In response to this demand, Spear Education offers Spear Study Clubs as part of its multi-tiered learning platform. These small interdisciplinary groups of peers meet locally up to 8 times a year, collaborating on actual cases provided by Spear Education, improving clinical expertise, and discussing ways of increasing practice profitability. Membership to a study club also includes access to other resources, including Spear Online and Spear Seminars.
When Dr. Benjamin De Graff started his journey with a local Spear Study Club, he said he surrounded himself with great talent and was exposed to the Spear philosophy that would help him reach his goals. After attending a weekend Spear seminar, Dr. De Graff shared, “I saw and felt the value of those mentors at the Spear Center. The knowledge that I picked up over a 3-day course seemed to be more valuable than some of the coursework I had during dental school.” He added, “I really appreciate how Spear approaches their teaching with layered learning, as it really works well for me.”
Study Club Meeting Content
The Spear Study Club curriculum includes meeting modules, lessons, handouts, guided discussion videos and clinical resources, all provided by Spear Education. Learning modules encourage hands-on, small-group education, and at each meeting members collaborate on actual cases to expand their proficiencies.
Dr. De Graff said, “The workshops that I’ve been able to be a part of have really elevated me much closer to where I wanted to be in my practice.” Lance Rencher, DDS, commended the curriculum materials for being thought provoking and well planned out. Dr. Rex Baumgartner said he particularly appreciated the group discussions involving different specialties. Dr. Tom Janaway believes that the videos, seminars, workshops, and study clubs are “a must for all dentists.” He noted that one particular seminar, The Art of Treatment Planning, was a “game changer” for his practice.
Translation into Practice
Spear Study Club members have a trusted peer network in their own community, which, according to Spear, will help them broaden their clinical reach and confidently treat more high-value cases. Referring to the Anterior Esthetic Composite course, Dr. De Graff told DPS, “I was able to use the knowledge from this hands-on course and apply it to patient needs with great success.” He explained, “I literally returned to work the next week, applied what I learned, and got amazing results that are still earning me referrals.” After expanding her knowledge with Spear’s curriculum, Dr. DeLayne Lefevre shared, “It has opened my eyes to airway management for pediatric patients; it has me performing a more thorough evaluation during recall appointments; and I am identifying TMJ situations before symptoms present.” Participating in a study club hosted by a periodontist and prosthodontist allowed Dr. Janaway to “get on the same page” with specialists in his area. He also learned more complex procedures and how to communicate difficult cases to the lab with photos.
Spear Study Club members can increase revenues by learning and interacting with their peers, according to Spear. In fact, Dr. Chad Carpenter said his practice has doubled since he started with Spear. Dr. Janaway takes cases to his study club and asks the other members what they would do, adding, “This would never be possible without the study club.” Dr. De Graff said the Spear Study Club offered him additional clinical knowledge that was helpful in properly diagnosing, selecting the right treatment, and completing that treatment with success. He said he has also developed close relationships with like-minded professionals. Dr. De Graff called Spear a great place for dentists who have a passion for high clinical excellence and who are looking to expand their skills and knowledge.
Dr. Sorensen, who wanted to become more proficient at complex treatment planning, said Spear has shown him the steps to be a better treatment planner. Dr. Rencher agreed and noted, “I am seeing more situations for which I can give treatment options [and] I am more confident in recommending treatment, knowing better what the result will be.”
All of the dental professionals who took part in this DPS evaluation said they would recommend the Spear Study Club to colleagues. “For me, this has been the best way to truly learn the art and science of comprehensive dentistry,” said Craig McKibben, DDS. “I now look at my career differently and I have changed my goals, both professionally and personally, based on the experiences I’ve had with Spear,” shared Dr. De Graff. “In fact, I feel more in control due to all the knowledge I have gained in the last several years as a Spear Study Club member,” he added.