GHDS President's Message, Spring 2024

by Ron Hill, DDS, MSD

Dr. Hill photoDr. Ralph Cooley, now Assistant Dean of UTSD, was one of my attendings when I was completing my General Practice Residency at Hermann. He is a wonderfully warm and fun person to talk to, about any subject you can imagine (especially baseball).He has given a copy of a book called “Younger Next Year” to many of his former students and colleagues, me included. It is a great book, and I gained quite a bit of insight from it. It was co-written by a physician and one of his patients. The premise is that the body knows two states...growth or decay. If we are not moving and staying active, our muscles and joints atrophy. This leads to a sedentary lifestyle which is the cause of many of our chronic health issues as we age. The moral is to keep exercising, be active and live a longer, healthier life.

There is no question that this applies to our brain as well. When I returned to complete my advanced education training in endodontics after 10 years as a general dentist, I was amazed at how much information I had forgotten and just didn’t remember from my pre-doctoral courses in dental school. We’ve all heard the saying “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I had a different attitude to learning after a few years of practice than I did when I did during my predoctoral training. I had so many “whys” that came up during practice. I was seeking a different set of answers, more focused than when I was absorbing so much information from many different disciplines.

One thing I have since learned is - It is easy to get tunnel vision. There is so much information out there that I have trouble keeping up with everything, even within my specialty. I must remind myself every once in a while, to take a look around and find out what’s going on in other areas within dentistry so I can keep up with evidence-based changes to our field and profession. The mind is like the body; if it’s not learning, it’s decaying.

There is a great opportunity coming up for everyone later this year. After our 1-year hiatus due to the ADA meeting in Houston, The Star of the South Dental Meeting will return this summer 2024 on Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27. We are changing venues and heading back downtown, now to the Marriott Marquis Hotel.  Registration for the Star of the South Dental Meeting will
open in March online at Please  mark your calendars and plan to attend. I hope to see you there!