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2022 in the mirror

2002 in the rear view mirror

Last January I wrote "Looking Forward to 2022", discussing the changes we planned to make following our post-pandemic members' survey. I completed with a New Year's resolution, which like most started well and technically, depending on how you interpret 'regular', I kept. This blog completes my not-quite-as-regular-as-I-would-have-liked entries for 2022.

I was expecting to write about the outcome of the changes. But life is full of unexpected turns. We've been in business now for almost a quarter of a century, which means that many of our regular webinar participants who have been with us since the beginning have reached retirement. Steve Wilson started the trend a couple of years ago, followed by Steve Purchase. The numbers have increased this year. This is a loss for us, the profession and their patients.The good news is that when you retire from dentistry you will be told how much younger you look. I have heard this multiple times now, so it must be true!

There is another inevitability of life. This year stands out because two important people passed away, and the news came out of the blue. Chris Powell was a GDP in Dorset who joined us back in 2010 and attended almost every webinar without fail.He was always there on time, ready for a chat before the webinar started. Indeed, when we moved our webinar start time forward this year, he was the only member there on time. And he had the distinction of being the only person I ever saw on a webcam smoking a pipe. I miss him, as I am sure do our other regular webinarers. I will ever be grateful for his contributions and friendship.

Peta Smith was the head of paediatric dentistry at King's when I was a student. She was a forward thinker.When I was tinkering with computers for teaching, she was keen to support the development of e-learning.She is why I ended up in paediatric dentistry and was instrumental in getting the funding to develop and evaluate what was (I think) the first truly interactive multimedia dental program. That set me on the e-learning road. I last saw her some years ago at a BSPD meeting before she retired to Scotland, and I suspect caused all sorts of mayhem. I shall miss her too.

These events make writing about the outcomes of our changes feel of secondary importance. In summary most have worked well. It was disappointing to be the first year when we have not run a webinar every month, but it has given us time to get more interactive on-demand presentations published and most importantly prepare for our new initiative for 2023. More on that in January.

As members retire, we welcome new ones, and I am very much looking forward to 2023. I hope those who are now with us in spirit would be pleased with what we have planned.

May you have a very happy New Year!

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