How the PACE Council Helps AGD Members Navigate the Flow of Information
We all remember the amount of information we had to absorb in dental school within a short amount of time. The “drinking from a fire hose” analogy comes to mind. Generally speaking, our minds are not built to retain information when it is given in such enormous quantities. Then, once we are out of dental school, we have to not only receive information, but we also have to decide whether it is valid before retaining it. It was hard enough just to be at the downspout of the gush of information, but now I have to cut through it all and decide on my own what is important.
Thankfully, the environment of dental school is a fortress of knowledge. What I mean to say is that the knowledge shared and disseminated from professors to students is vetted by multiple gatekeepers. Whether it be the research required to vet the knowledge shared, the techniques developed within academia or the peer-reviewed process of sharing ideas, dental professors teach only what is confirmed to be the standard of care. Dental schools do a wonderful job to ensure the knowledge learned by the future dentists is appropriate and of high quality.
Once we are outside the bounds of dental school, we are bombarded with information from all sides. Dental reps, Facebook groups, local colleagues and dental buddies (the list goes on) all throw us the newest and greatest products, techniques and ideas. There is no longer a fortress protecting us from the untamed flow of information. That is where AGD’s PACE program steps up.
The Program Approval for Continuing Education, or PACE, is a council of 19 doctors and two AGD staff who vet CE providers to ensure the courses offered for Fellowship and Mastership are developed in accordance to the high standards expected by AGD members. Each and every PACE-approved provider has gone through a rigorous process to ensure it plans CE in accordance to quality standards.
Simply put, not all providers make muster. We on the PACE Council have had to deny providers because of their lack of quality standards. We could be labeled as the “gatekeepers” of AGD CE. To be clear, there are certainly fantastic CE providers that forgo the PACE approval process for whatever reason; however, if you see the PACE logo, you can be certain the CE is from a quality organization and up to our AGD’s standards.
Here is a sampling of the purpose and goals of the AGD PACE Council:
- To improve the educational quality of continuing dental education programs through self-evaluation conducted by the program provider in relation to the Standards and Criteria and/or through counsel and recommendations provided to program providers by the PACE Council.
- To assure participants that approved CE program providers have the organizational structure and resources necessary to provide CE activities of acceptable educational quality.
- To achieve interstate acceptance for AGD Fellowship and Mastership credit for activities put on by approved program providers.
- To promote uniformity in identification of CE activities that are acceptable for AGD Fellowship and Mastership.
- To promote uniformity of standards for CE that can be accepted by the dental profession.
The charge of the PACE Council is simple but broad in scope. Our task makes sure AGD is a place where you can find quality CE providers. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the volume of information you must vet as you endeavor to continue providing the highest quality of care in your practice, it is the PACE Council’s goal that the PACE logo will assist you in your search for high-quality, trustworthy CE providers.