Dr. Calalang quote and headshot

In 2009, in the wake of a family tragedy, Dr. Patrick Calalang found himself at the lowest point in his career. He felt like he was just going through the motions.

He attributed joining Spear Study Club as a key reason for a positive turnaround in his career.

“I immediately connected with my club,” said Dr. Calalang, who practices in Gilbert, Arizona. “I finally found a group of like-minded doctors that could assist each other with treatment planning approaches.”

The small-group dynamic of Study Club provided Dr. Calalang with an opportunity to discover new viewpoints while collaborating on real-world cases in a hands-on atmosphere.

Intimate, student-led settings help dentists and their entire team strengthen the clinical skills necessary for generating more consistently predictable patient outcomes, according to Spear’s new white paper, “The Transformative Nature of Small-Group Learning in Dental Study Clubs.”

The paper highlights how small groups enables deeper retention to take place because it draws not only from an individual's knowledge, but also peer perspectives.

“I’ve achieved clinical excellence and now enjoy dentistry more because of the perspectives I’ve been exposed to in my study club,” Dr. Calalang said. “It’s empowering to surround myself with others who have invested significant time and resources toward their practices.”

Dr. Calalang now enjoys the benefits of balancing traditional CE and campus learning with an intimate study club atmosphere that reinforces effective interdisciplinary casework.

In addition to Study Club, Dr. Calalang is a member of Spear Faculty Club and Visiting Faculty. Through his memberships, he finds fulfillment in mentoring his colleagues and being a thought leader in his community.

“Every time I mentor, I’m actually being mentored myself,” Dr. Calalang said. “I’m still learning even at this point in my career. Mentoring has made me take a focused look at different procedures.”

Dr. Calalang said his Spear memberships have proven invaluable.

“A radical transformation has occurred in my practice and I owe it all to Spear.”