Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

Communication Shakedown at the British Dental Association

As part of a commitment to continuing professional development, Dr Stephen Murray was in London recently for a couple of courses.

Dr Stephen Murray from Swords Orthodontics at British Dental Association HQ for a course with communication guru Ashley Latter

Dr Stephen Murray of Swords Orthodontics meets dental communication expert Ashley Latter

The first was an intense one day course with dental communication expert Ashley Latter at the headquarters of the British Dental Association in Wimpole Street (which is around the corner from Harley Street, and similarly full of doctors and dentists). There were about ten dentists at it and they went through various exercises in talking to patients.

Stephen: "My first encounter with Ashley Latter was a British Orthodontics Conference in Edinburgh in 2006. It was the first time it had been there at the very prestigious Edinburgh International Conference Centre and Ashley was giving a talk to the entire conference. Years later, I discovered this was a new level of presentation for him, but I just assumed that he did this sort of thing all the time. About half way through his talk he asked for a volunteer from the audience, and I was enjoying it so much I decided that I'd put my hand up. What followed was a memory-recall exercise involving an image of Michael Schumacher driving Mrs Thatcher. From the car door, to the feathers on Mrs Thatcher's hat, there were 20 details to remember, in order, and strangely I got each of them right and won a DVD for my efforts. After the event, a consultant I used to work for came up to me and congratulated me on my ability to recall all the parts of the image, but it was only much later that it dawned on me that it wasn't an exercise in remembering that I was taking part in, it was an exercise in taking the plunge and stepping outside of a typical comfort zone for most people. That event has stuck with me for a long time!"

Stephen is a National Public Speaking Champion, and European Debating Champion, and anyone that knows him knows he isn't slow about talking. He likes to use his communication skills to reassure nervous patients and help people thoroughly understand their treatment plans.

There were many other challenges to people's comfort zones on the day and after a full day of exercises, Ashley headed back to Manchester and Stephen headed on to Millbank near Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament for the next event - a day with the new Invisalign system.

 

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