Q&A with POS Instructor Dr. Michael Layton | Pros and Cons of Internet Assisted Training (IAT)

Posted by POS Course Adviser on 4/4/18 7:51 AM
Dr. Michael Layton is a POS instructor from Canada. Get to know Dr. Layton and learn more about POS as he discusses the pros and cons of Internet Assisted Training (IAT), and how to decide which SmileStream Case Consulting Service is right for you.


IVETA MERKER: Hello everyone! We are here today with our instructor from Canada, Dr. Michael Layton. Welcome Dr. Layton.

DR. MICHAEL LAYTON: Thank you very much, Iveta. Good to be here.

IVETA: You have been a POS instructor for quite a while. Now you are really involved with our seminars in Canada and you have been one of the key figures in Canada for our seminars. Tell us a little bit about the orthodontic market in Canada.

DR. LAYTON: I think doing ortho as a general practitioner in Canada is fairly widespread. There's a lot of GP orthodontics going on in Canada. There's differing levels of GP orthodontics because there's so many different training programs. One of my favorite things to do is to sit down with a specialist and show them the type of tools that I'm using to come to my orthodontic diagnosis. After meeting with them I always get kind of an approval nod like ‘yeah you know what you're doing’ type thing. I've really appreciated that, and still maintain good relationships with all the specialists in my community because they know that I'm treating at the standard of care that they're striving to treat their patients.

IVETA: So Dr. Layton, in addition to teaching the live seminars, you are now one of our internet assisted training instructors, IAT for short. What are the pros and cons in your opinion, to take the IAT classes as opposed to the live seminars?

DR. LAYTON: Well, let's start with the positives. I'm a big positive person. Less travel time. That's huge. The other thing that's really nice is that often times the IAT programs are closer to home. I have one class that I'm teaching and it's a bunch of friends and they all got together. There's nine of them and because there's enough, I actually go to them and teach them the IAT program. The other pro is that you have one-on-one support with your IAT instructor. That's been really nice because you really develop a relationship with that instructor. When you have cases that you're working on, they know what you're like in the seminar, they know where you're at, they can ask any dumb question because no question is dumb, and they really feel like ‘hey he's got my back’ so I think that those are some of the key pros of the IAT program. As for the other side, there are some cons. Less frequent opportunity to meet formally is one. I found myself as very much an in-class learner and not so much a book learner. I would not have made a great IAT student, hence I took the live classes. But, I know that there are many of my colleagues and dental school classmates that were very much book learners. Book learners do great if they're willing to put in the time outside of class to be able to acquire the knowledge that we basically touch on and review and discuss during the times that were together in IAT live seminars.

IVETA: Well I'm glad you got to get that experience because I've been involved with the IAT since the very beginning with Dr. McGann and Dr. Dana and especially Dr. Viviano. I personally have seen hundreds of doctors who even graduated with honors. Yes, it takes more time to study on your own but I'm glad that now you have the IAT bug and that you've decided to teach the classes because I know how much the students appreciate you. Dr. Layton, you are one of the very active instructors on SmileStream in our consulting service. What are the main benefits in your opinion to do consulting or mentoring?

DR. LAYTON: Well I think the first thing that's really nice about the SmileStream consulting is that there's different options. There's flexibility. So a student can take some records that they've put together in their own practice and they can send it to an instructor and they can select that instructor directly. They can also pick an option that will be a quick turnaround. They just want the records looked at and they need a consultant to be able to help them and instructor to look at that very quickly. Then the other option is the mentoring option and I find that this oftentimes can be the most beneficial for those just starting POS. In fact, I've always appreciated the fact that POS offers the first case to be a free case that includes the mentoring option. So each student has to ask themselves, “Am I looking for kind of the least expensive consulting option? Am I looking for a mentor that I can really develop a relationship with and they can help me grow in my orthodontic knowledge?” Because as I get to know students through their cases, we are able to review and discuss the topics that they're talking about in their classes. Oftentimes they'll hear something in class and they'll ask a question about it with their case consultation, and by all means if it applies to the case we go ahead and discuss it as part of the consulting option. I'm also a big believer that we've got your back and so case consulting should be seen as a window to more knowledge. I know that if I wouldn't have used the case consulting option as a student I wouldn't have been able to acquire the knowledge that I have now to be able to then impart that information further.

IVETA: From what we hear sometimes from the doctors, they appreciate the instructors so much because you are holding their hands and just giving them the level of the confidence that they maybe wouldn't feel to have if they didn't have that stamp of approval.

DR. LAYTON: Yeah, I mean if you think of different continuing education courses that are out there, and I'm not talking about orthodontics, but high level dental education programs, for you to have access on your specific case with the high level instructors, there's no dollar figure that they even allow you to be able to have that type of communication with those high level instructors. But at POS, you have access to each and every instructor. I mean to me that's remarkable.

IVETA: Dr. Layton, what are the most common questions that you receive when you do case consulting or mentoring from the students?

DR. LAYTON: I think the most common questions have to do with either radiographic imaging, so whether or not lateral or frontal ceph risk film radiographs are an important component to this case, or is my digital model measuring correct. I think when a student has confidence in what radiographs they're taking, how they're being traced, and also how they're doing the digital model measure, if they can have confidence in those things then their ability to transfer that to the clinic is like a light bulb goes off. They can say well I know that this is going to happen because I've seen it clinically. When you predict something with your digital imaging and then see that happen in the clinic, your confidence in those tools goes through the roof. So I think that's kind of the first question or the most common question that I get from students is are these two tools that are available, specifically in DentalCad, the radiographic measuring tools as well as the model measuring tools, are they correct. Once we kind of get over that barrier, I find that students that have sent me multiple cases, that's a no longer an issue.

IVETA: Do you have advice for POS students who are just about to start their first ortho case?

DR. LAYTON: I think that the advice that I would give would be take great records, send it to an instructor that you want to work with on a regular basis and go for it. POS probably has data on this, but the sooner you start cases and the more cases you start while a student, the more effective and profitable you are as a GP offering orthodontics in your practice.

IVETA: So start soon.

DR. LAYTON: Start soon, and you don't have to know everything on day one in order to put a bracket on a tooth. We won't let you fail. The instructors are there to make sure that the day that you put the bracket on the tooth, it's very predictable, very safe, very effective, you're doing no harm and you're only improving things for the patient.

IVETA: Dr. Layton it was a pleasure as always to see you and we hope to see you very soon.

DR. LAYTON: Thank you very much, Iveta.


Topics: SmileStream, POS Instructor Tips, New POS Students, IAT

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