Education and Passion, Year-Round
As another year comes to a close, most of us are preparing for the joys of family, the bustle of the holidays, and, of course, managing the “busyness” of our professional fields. For most laboratories, December is one of the toughest months. Trying to balance work with the holiday season is often challenging. It is also during this busy time that we have the unique opportunity to reflect on all that has transpired during the year and simultaneously look forward to the year to come.
Looking back on 2017, I see signs of a promising future in the dental profession. In addition to extensive technological advancements, the dental industry has become increasingly unified with greater access to and emphasis on education. Yet what stands out to me most is the profound passion and ambition that I have witnessed in many of the dentists and technicians I have come in contact with over the year. Our industry is teeming with professionals who have a deep respect for our field and a determination to continuously improve our work. I believe that these individuals have the capability to push our industry forward in unprecedented ways.
The drive that I have witnessed in many young graduates from dental school attests to the bright future of our industry. I have had the honor of hosting several groups of dentists to my laboratory for educational nights, a tradition that began a few years ago when I was invited to speak at a dental college. When I had finished speaking, several students approached me about their study clubs and groups. A hunger for learning is exactly what any industry requires in order to progress and flourish. I invited them to the small teaching center at my laboratory where I would gladly host them for a topic of their choice. We set up a time, and within a few weeks, a group of approximately twenty-five students arrived on a Thursday evening after school. They were the first of several other student groups that would come to the teaching center over the next 2 years. Today, we have groups that come in five to six times a year on weeknights or sometimes even on weekend mornings. The dedication is truly palpable. Only last week, a group of international students from NYU spent a weekend in the laboratory learning ceramics. To witness such dedication in dentists both young and old is truly inspirational.
The dental industry's swelling ambition, passion, and focus on learning prove to me that our profession is moving in a great direction. As future dentists become more educated, they will seek out partners who understand their work and can help them enhance their ability to produce a functional, esthetic result based on the learned knowledge and sacrifice they have put into their careers. Therefore, our role as technicians will be to cultivate our passion, foster our ambition, and keep our minds open to greater knowledge so that we may become valuable partners in the coming years. I firmly believe that we have a bright future ahead of us. I wish everyone a fabulous finish to 2017 and a hopeful outlook to an educated 2018.
Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT