Let me begin by saying, I have no clinical qualifications and, in case you aren’t aware, we are promoting a course we have on in May, 25th and 26th. It’s at the Amora Hotel in Sydney, it’s titled “Facial growth & development, the lecturer is Dr Anne Maree Cole and yes, we’d like you to be there.

Normally, this space would be occupied with something written by the lecturer, specifically appointed journalist or a clinical advocate for and of the subject matter. However, given I had the opportunity I wanted to try a different approach. As a dentist you are bombarded on a daily basis with a whole range of course and educational opportunities that, according to the spiel, are going to improve your practice, bottom line, skill set and in some cases your life – as the oft used promotional images of the post course dentist sunning themselves on some topical beach would suggest.

Given a key part of the NAOL business model revolves around providing training and education, I have had the opportunity to sit in on many courses and listen to a range of lectures. One thing I have learned though is that in many cases the attending doctors are there more out of curiosity than any real aspiration to add the new skill they are learning to their practice portfolio of services. Of course there is no problem with this because in the end, a greater understanding of the various ideas and processes available and used, particularly in a highly specialised area like dentistry can only be a good thing.

Which brings me to the point I want to make: so many courses, so many lecturers and then one weekend over five years ago I am sitting in on such a lecture being delivered by Dr Steve Galella
from Tennessee. In his unmistakeable Southern drawl and often humour injected delivery, he starts talking with an above average degree of passion and intensity about how the human face grows
and develops and how certain environmental circumstances during that growth and development phase can impact on that growth.

At first sight, for me at least, it’s just another lecture that momentarily distracts from the other issues I have to deal with at these events. Then there is a sudden moment of clarity. Amid
the flourish of terminology I understood the genuine life altering effects and possibilities of this simple concept that was being shared in that room. This wasn’t just something dentists need to know, this was something everyone needed to know! I had become a Facial Growth Evangelist.

Obviously, I wasn’t the only one in the room that felt that way because Dr Anne-Maree Cole (our lecturer for the May course) felt the same way. So powerful was the subject matter, subsequently
she has basically dedicated her practice to the treatment of her patients based on this understanding. So transformative, that she has been endorsed by Dr Galella to lecture on the subject and yes, I have had the opportunity to sit in her lectures.

There is and will never be any greater motivator than passion and Dr Cole wears her heart on her sleeve in both teaching and advocating to her colleagues about this subject and her passion for
it. From my lay perspective looking at the before and afters of some of the patients she has treated based on her now profound understanding of human facial growth and development it has
literally brought me to tears of joy.

Once you actually witness the life changing transformation that can be delivered via a simple understanding of how the face grows and develops and how to apply this knowledge to treatment.
It is only then you realise this knowledge, this understanding, is something that needs to be shared with all dentists. I sincerely hope you can find the time to be part of the course in May we make no promises of a better bottom line, no promises of tropical holidays. However, we do honestly believe that if you take the time to do this course, you will leave as a better dentist
and the ultimate beneficiaries will be your patients.

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