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New dentist discovers convenience, course options at ADA CE Online

A 2008 graduate of the Harvard University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Alejandro Montalvo had until 2009 to begin obtaining continuing education credits required by the state of Pennsylvania, where he practices. By then he was working locum tenens for three-and-a-half days a week and in search of affordable CE options.

"I had time to take CE, but not a lot of money to invest in some of the more expensive courses," said Dr. Montalvo. "I usually participated in my local society's dinner lecture series but that had ended for the year."

Fortunately he had a mentor in Dr. Jeffrey Sameroff of Pottstown, Pa., a member of the ADA Council on Dental Practice and the advisory board for ADA CE Online, a comprehensive library of clinical and practice management courses for dentists and members of the dental team.

"I started out as an editor for CE Online so I had taken several courses and thought it was a great way to earn CE credits," said Dr. Sameroff, who as a volunteer in the Pennsylvania Dental Association's new dentist mentoring program was matched with Dr. Montalvo. "I asked him if he'd ever visited ADA CE Online."

"I went online and took three free courses and finished them over a week-and-a half period," said Dr. Montalvo. His selections included courses on latex allergies, sports dentistry and endodontics in private practice.

"I appreciated the convenience of taking the courses online," said Dr. Montalvo, who this month begins a new post as vice president of dental affairs at a community clinic. "The information was very direct and accessible, which can be very different from sitting in a two-hour lecture. It's definitely worth coming back and taking a look at which courses are available and seeing if there are additional topics that interest me."

For Dr. Sameroff, ADA CE Online is also a sensible way to fill open time in the daily schedule.

"Some states restrict the amount of CE you can take online, but in Pennsylvania you can still get a fair amount," said Dr. Sameroff. In his own practice, he's held two-hour meetings that have enabled his staff to take CE Online courses that fulfill OSHA requirements.

"The way the economy is now," he added, "sometimes there are openings in the schedule for hygiene. If you're already paying a salary, you may as well have staff go online and pick up a couple of credits. It's not that expensive."

Recognizing that CE courses often require travel and hotel expenses and time away from the office, the ADA created CE Online to make continuing education convenient and affordable. The ADA member price for courses is $28 per credit hour, and the nonmember price is $42 per credit hour.

There are more than 100 course offerings—including some free courses—for dentists and dental team members. Users can start and stop the courses at their convenience.

Featured "Lunch and Learn" and "Timely Topic" no-cost courses that include MP3 and text-only content are available on CE Online. The courses are designed to provide concise, pertinent information on a number of topics. Sixteen courses on CE Online are flagged for dental team members—marked "DT" on the site. Dental team member courses are $15 per credit hour.

Visit www.adaceonline.org to view all courses and topics. For information, call Ext. 2662.