Now that I have caught your attention with a stunning Florida sunrise, I’d like to fill you in on a ‘first ever’ in dentistry. Yeah, I know there are a lot of firsts in dentistry, which is exactly what makes our profession exciting, and ever evolving. I am referring to the first ever Multicultural Oral Health Summit Conference that took place July 19-22nd in Boca Raton, Florida. This conference included the following student dental groups as well as their corresponding professional groups: Student National Dental Association-SNDA, Hispanic Student Dental Association-HSDA, and Society of American Indian Dentists-SAID. Dentists, hygienists, assistants, faculty and administrators, public sector leaders, other associations, technical exhibitors and corporations were also in attendance.
This was the opportunity to network and develop camaraderie amongst a diverse group of professionals and future professionals alike that made its lasting mark on the conference participants. The underlying goal of the Multicultural Oral Health Summit Conference is to determine solutions to increase service to the underprivileged and underserved, increase dental awareness to underserved minority populations, and increase access to care.
As dentists, we need to remember the reason we are unique in our profession; we must learn to celebrate each others’ differences, not necessarily in color, but also experiences. We can all learn from our patients and colleagues because at one point in our lives we have or will face some form of adversity. The diversity of our future careers will afford us opportunities to treat unique and interesting patients. These cases will continue to offer learning experiences that will continue to strengthen our unique ability to relate to our patients.
~Teryn Sedillo, Creighton ’14