Five years ago, Dr. Kenneth Yost was ready to quit.
“I was completely disillusioned with dentistry and quite honestly, I was ready to let it all go and just quit,” he said.
When Dr. Yost was on the brink of leaving dentistry behind him, a colleague approached him about joining Spear Study Club.
Dr. Yost was hesitant to join, but his colleague insisted. Dr. Yost enjoyed his first study club meetings, but his club’s visit to the Spear Campus in scenic Scottsdale, Arizona, is what reinvigorated his desire to keep growing in his profession.
“I was intrigued and relieved at the same time,” Dr. Yost said about campus experience. “I felt I was in a safe environment to learn, and I knew the faculty and staff I was interacting with were extremely knowledgeable.”
“I learned more in that seminar than I had in the previous 10 years,” he said. “Everything I learned on the Spear Campus allowed me to start treating higher value cases. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the Spear curriculum.”
Dr. Yost has practiced dentistry in Wilmington, Delaware, for 30 years. A long time Pennsylvania resident, he completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Albright College and worked as a cardiac laboratory technician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia after graduation.
Dr. Yost attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and graduated at the top of his class, winning numerous awards for his work in prosthetic dentistry. He went on to complete a general practice residency in which he received valuable training in hospital-based dentistry and was introduced to implant dentistry.
In 1989, Dr. Yost relocated to Delaware and worked in a group practice environment for eight years. He then started his own practice, which today is recognized as one of the top practices in his community. Additionally, he completes more than 150 hours of continuing education each year.
Today, Dr. Yost co-leads a study club and continues to see club members gain more confidence and proficiency through Spear’s small group learning environment and the real-world cases members collaborate on.
“Nobody is right or wrong,” Dr. Yost said of the Study Club process. “We all want to hear honest questions and discussion from other members. It’s natural to be afraid of challenging scenarios … it’s amazing to see them try new things and learn new concepts. I know at least two of the members are now doing bigger cases.”
Making the most of online education
In addition to his study club membership, Dr. Yost has access to the award-winning Spear Online platform, which includes CE-eligible clinical and practice management lessons, team meeting resources and team training materials, and Patient Education tools.
“The curriculum is perfect because it’s broken up into bite-sized chunks that make it easy to learn and earn credits,” Dr. Yost said. “Not to mention, you can do it on your own time. It’s wonderful and addictive.”
Dr. Yost completed most of his Spear curriculum in under three years, bought a prosthodontics practice and now enjoys dentistry more than ever. He became a Spear Visiting Faculty member and has increased practice production by more than 40 percent.
In the past, Dr. Yost has utilized other online education providers, but said they were too difficult to navigate. There wasn’t consistency or a clear pathway.
“Spear is just different,” Dr. Yost said. “The content boils concepts and techniques down to a simpler approach. The Spear Online videos are high-quality and get you the information you need.”
Improving patient communication
Dr. Yost improved patient communication during chairside case presentations using the animated Patient Education videos.
“A lot of times, patients don’t really hear what you’re saying, but now they watch the video and then suddenly the light bulb goes on,” he said, adding that he’s noticed fewer people struggling with fear and anxiety when they can visualize their conditions.
“The simplicity of the videos allows you to get on the patients’ level,” Dr. Yost said. “The video length is perfect. Patients get the information they need in under two minutes.”
Now, with the support and benefits of Spear Study Club, Dr. Yost is excited to tackle the challenges of the remainder of his career — and to continue to find inspiration among like-minded peers.