Education Is Universal
People are people. Even with miles between us, the common thread that seems to unite the dental profession is passion for what we do. As I travel to different countries teaching and sharing information, it becomes ever more clear to me that the dental field truly is an international community filled with like-minded clinicians and technicians. Most of us have attended our local shows and possibly traveled domestically or even internationally in search of education and knowledge, product information, and, of course, the camaraderie that comes from being a part of our dental community. Although I have had the luxury of speaking in many places in this great dental world, I recently returned from a 2-week lecture tour that took me from Taipei to Kaohsiung, Xaimen, and finally Shanghai. Any concerns I had about not speaking the language or perhaps not knowing enough about the culture were washed away on Day One. Standing in front of a group of local dentists and technicians, I was overwhelmed by the excitement on each of their faces, each one clearly passionate about the field and eager to learn. Despite language barriers and difficulties in translation, there was an overwhelming shared enthusiasm in dental education and a spirit of exchange among members of the global dental community.
The last stop and perhaps highlight of my trip was the Shanghai Expo, a large, well-attended exhibition offering both clinical and technical expertise. The facility was sleek, modern, and positively beautiful, as it seemed that no expense was spared to make everyone attending feel comfortable and welcome. In many ways, the show was not so different from the many others I have attended both in the US and internationally; each shares the similar traits of exhibiting new products, promoting sale specials, and the usual mixing and mingling among the excited attendees. At the end of the day, people are people, and technicians are technicians. We all want to grow and improve. Certainly, the hunger for education that I witnessed on this trip will leave a long lasting mark.
As the year winds down, I'm sure many of us will be swamped with last-minute work and busy playing catch-up to finish everything in time for the winter holidays. But I'll share with you what my mentor told me years ago: Work will always be there, but spending time with friends and family should never be taken for granted. Even during this busy season, make sure to take time to be with and enjoy the ones you love. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.
About the Author
Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT