Gary Zelesky and Drs. Anil Idiculla, Christina Pastan and Kyle Fagala Offer Inspiration and Ideas 

If you have felt overwhelmed by the many challenges facing us as a result of the pandemic, you’re not alone among orthodontists or the public at-large.

“The landscape of our work lives has become increasingly demanding, presenting us with ever more complex challenges at a near-relentless pace,” wrote renowned motivational speaker Gary Zelesky in an AAO webinar description. “Add in personal or family needs, and it is easy to feel constantly overwhelmed. This effects work/life performance profoundly. Feelings of being ineffective occur when the complexity of our world seems to surpass the complexity of our mind.”

Mr. Zelesky is one of four presenters of online lectures that the AAO is making available to members as a free series, “Well-Being and Self-Care.” His presentation, “Overcoming What Overcomes You,” asks and answers the question: “What are the defining actions in moments of overwhelming challenges?”

Author of the ground-breaking book, The Passion Centered Person, Mr. Zelesky has shared the stage with Zig Ziglar and has lectured worldwide to corporate audiences and dental professionals. The TV show Inside Edition called Mr. Zelesky, “One of Americas most entertaining speakers.”

View the Gary Zelesky lecture, “Overcoming What Overcomes You” (1.25 CE)

Within the orthodontic community, popular speaker Dr. Anil Idiculla is well-known for his positive spirit, energy and humor.

Dr. Idiculla’s presentation from the 2020 virtual Annual Session, “2020 Vision,” is the second program in the Well-Being and Self-Care series. If you previously missed this lecture or would like to view it again, click on the link below to delve into Dr. Idiculla’s “I-Exam” and discover how you can have 20/20 Vision in 2020 and beyond.

In his lecture, Dr. Idiculla explains that while he strives to follow his motto, “Live Life Smiling.™”, he has had to take active steps to maintain a positive outlook through a variety of challenges. He provides an overview of his daily habit of appreciating the positive and focusing on the present in every area of life. In his practice, he emphasizes leadership as opposed to simply managing his team.

The 2020-21 president of the Rocky Mountain Society of Orthodontists, Dr. Idiculla has been an active leader in numerous orthodontic, dental and philanthropic organizations.

View Dr. Anil Idiculla’s lecture, “2020 Vision
(CE credit is not available for free archived lectures from AAO 2020: A Virtual Experience)

Drs. Pastan and Fagala Delve into Self-Care for the Orthodontic Specialist
As health professionals, many orthodontists may be inclined to continually put the needs of others before their own needs. This habit may be problematic under any circumstances, but the added stresses of the pandemic may make it especially detrimental to the orthodontist’s health and well-being.

Dr. Christina DiBona Pastan is an assistant professor of clinical endodontics and the director of the Mind-Body Wellness program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Pastan’s lecture, “Put your Oxygen Mask on First: Taking Care of Ourselves to Best Take Care of Others” uses the standard instruction given at the start of every flight as a metaphor for the importance of prioritizing self-care.

Reviewing a list of common stresses for orthodontists during this time, which she developed with input from orthodontic colleagues, Dr. Pastan explains the seven essentials of self-care that are necessary if one is to effectively care for others. In addition, Dr. Pastan describes the impact of the program that she developed to bring mind-body practices such as breath regulation, meditation and yoga into the dental clinic at Tufts. Her presentation also offers brief instruction in these techniques.

View Dr. Christina Pastan’s lecture, “Put your Oxygen Mask on First: Taking Care of Ourselves to Best take Care of Others (1.25 CE)

Dr. Kyle Fagala gave the lecture, “Embrace Happiness: How to Reduce Stress, Stay Focused, and Find Joy” at the 2019 Annual Session in Los Angeles. Despite the vastly different circumstances of the past year, Dr. Fagala’s overview of the pressures and stresses that commonly impact dentists and dental specialists will likely still ring true for many viewers.

In his presentation, Dr. Fagala reviews reported stress statistics among dentists and explores the concept of happiness, looking at how its traditional definitions might be applied by an orthodontic practitioner. From philosophical and psychological perspectives to practical tools for saving time, Dr. Fagala discusses a variety of ways to relieve pressure and experience more joy in life and satisfaction with work.

Dr. Fagala operates orthodontic offices in Germantown and Collierville, Tennessee. He is the host of the web series, The Digital Orthodontist: Live! He is also the course director and lecturer of Development of the Occlusion, a class for first-year dental students at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

View Dr. Kyle Fagala’s lecture, “Embrace Happiness: How to Reduce Stress, Stay Focused, and Find Joy” (1.0 CE)

Enjoy the Complete Well-Being and Self-Care Lecture Series

All four of the lectures described above have been consolidated on an AAO Online Learning platform page. Click on the link below to go to the page and bookmark it for convenient access when you have time to view a lecture.
Access the Well-Being and Self-Care Series

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The American Association of Orthodontists is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

American Association of Orthodontists designates for all CE activities, 0.25 credit hours will be awarded for each 15 minutes of activity time unless otherwise noted. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition at