Today I learned enough about facial pain to just about put me to sleep. The lecturer was excellent but sitting in a hotel room on my butt, listening, is conducive to sleep. Not real sleep, but the dozing off while trying to sit upright in a chair looking alert sort of sleep. Especially when I had to get up at 5 in order to be at the office by 6 to pick up my therapist, assistant and hygienist. The brochure said the course started at 8:00. Actually didn’t start till almost 9:00.
This day of continuing education is by far the best that is offered in the province. It is put on by the dental department at the RUH and the Oral Surgery Dept. So we get some actual teaching not just a repetition of how to make an esthetic filling more esthetic by some hotshot clinician. We are required to accumulate continuing education points to maintain our licence. I generally like the challenge of studying but if I have to pay for some lecture to be taught then I want it to be useful stuff that I am learning. Today I learned some stuff that will be very useful in dealing with people that have serious problems with pain.
We also learned something today that is disturbing. The funding for the General Practice Residency program has been cut. This program has two residents – their funds are gone. I did this program myself and it taught me just about everything I needed to know to function as a dentist in the Congo and then return here to carry on my present practice. I learned how to treat fractures, how to deal with medical emergencies, how not to be afraid to handle patients with medical conditions, how to work together with a team of medical doctors, etc. The residents help staff the special clinics such as the cleft lip and palate clinics, the clinics for people with bleeding disorders, see and treat medically compromised patients that are difficult to treat in an office and manage adults with disabilities. If these programs are eliminated people will have to travel out of province to get this kind of care. It will be a big loss to our little province of few people and vast spaces. The cost of the program is a drop in the health care budget. Dental stuff always gets very small drops of public funds.