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Principle Developer and CEO

General Practice Dentist BDSc (Melb) 1981
Cert IV Assessment and Workplace training
Accredited MBTI
Web developer - owner DirectDeal Internet (Clients have included: Sigma Pharmaceutical, Guardian Pharmacies, Amcal, Family Planner, Localdentist)
Member of the ADA
B Dent Studies (1992) Research on Waste in general practices
Clinical Demonstrator University of Melbourne (1993- )
Guest lecturer: University of Melbourne - Infection control and legislation and documentation
Guest lecturer: Latrobe University - Infection control and legislation and documentation
ADA (VB) Dental Assistant training committee (1983-1991) Including Chairman
ADA Infection Control Committee Vic Branch (1993-2009) Including Chairman in 2008-9.
ADA Inc Infection Control Committee (2008-2012 )
ADA rep on Standards Australia HE-01(1994-2012 )
ADA SPC on e-health(2009-2012)
ACSQHC Dental Advisor forum member (2013)
Safe Australia Work Safety Ambassador 2012-2013
AHPRA: Educator : Dental Records and Infection Control
University of Melbourne: Curriculum Redesign Working Group 2022
Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control -member

The "Real" me:
I graduated from the University of Melbourne and I was the first person to do the Bachelor of Dental Studies in 1990. My research was on dental waste. I started because a patient and I had a disagreement on whether BHP or the dental practice created more per person waste! Such a good reason to do research - I wanted to have the last word!
Since 1991 I have been a clinical demonstrator. While this has occupied only 1/2 day per week it means I often get approached by dentists asking if I remember them as students. I like to think my teaching skills have developed over the years. I do say that I am trying to get the information out of students heads and into their hands. Being a head centered person myself I have insight into the difficultities many students have transitioning into the clinic. Finding out or exploring new facets of teaching have included:

  • The Cert IV Assessment and Workplace training at Swinburne. This was an eye opener in effective practical teaching. I would recommend this to all demonstrators.
  • I have 'played' with students using Myers Briggs personality type. It can be really insightful to discover why they might be different from others. (As a "course junkie" I did Myers-Briggs training becoming accredited to do the official tests). With the instigation of an interested student group, I was involved with Matt Hopcraft's help, in a student research project that included looking students' Myers-Briggs types. The validaty of that tool was demonstrated by the fact that our findings matched those reported in Chinese and USA studies of Dental Students. (My husband, also a dentist, is the more classic type that picks to do dentistry, unlike me!).
  • Motivational interviewing is a passion of mine. This is all about how people actually make change. Recently a colleague apologized to me for rejecting my application to the old Victorian Dental Board to have certain courses I wanted to attend, accepted as CPD. I had forgotten that application but dispite the CPD rejection I did a great course on Motivation Interviewing which was for drug and alcohol counselors and psychologists and your token single curious dentist!

I have been involved in ADA committees for much of my dental career. After completing my BDent Studies on waste I became the default ADA expert in sharps waste and alike and spent many years on Victorian and Federal ADA IC committees. As part of being on the federal ADA IC committee I got to represent the ADA on the Standards Australia committee in charge of sharps waste containers and I did do an AS 4187 meeting stint.

This gave me an understanding that committee members are not magical holders of evidence based truths! Actually most of us are simply people who like being on committees and were asked to join by others.
The experience on Standard Australia committees gave me some really helpful insights. Standards Australia Committees are NOT necessarily experts using evidence based information to make standards. Usually committees are made up of people working for companies which want to make sure what their company or organisation does is accepted as the "standard". With any ounce of luck business are willing to pay staff to attend Standard development committees because of the competative advantage it may hold.
Standards are really developed to give "safe, consistent and reliable" information. Hence the standards are heavily influenced by the context of use by the committee members. Australian Standards do go through a public review process.

From Head knowledge to web use
As an early adoptor of websites and domain pages I have watched many things come and go. The practice that my husband and I bought into 40 years ago had an MS-dos system. We were early adoptors of electronic computer records.

Smartdentist is designed because of a need I had at our practice. We lost a significant staff member who took with her the systems and expertise in doing practice administration tasks. She moved to a regional location but it made us realise that we needed a simple system that was reproducible and available to anyone to use.
Smartdentist is an intelligent way to store, access and change policies. It has templated policies available that are all "ready to go". It also allows for any other policies to be used because it is actually a content management system. Hence the ADA policies can be used or Smartdentist or any other policies anyone writes.
My interest in programming works with my interest in UI. e.g. User interface and how a user actually works with a program. The Niesen Norman Group are the world leaders in research-based User experience and I have attended their multi-day conferences.
Smartdentist does change and evolve in response to requests and requirements for dental practice. Because I am the developer there is no committe to get approval from or impedment to change. The internet makes accessing information a boom for those who wish to keep up to date and help others keep up to date as well.

Dr Glenda Farmer
BDSc BDentStud

Glenda Farmer