The American Dental Association’s 153rdAnnual Session and meeting of the House of Delegates took place this past week in San Francisco. ASDA had a delegation of 11 students (5 voting delegates, 5 alternate delegates, and one secretary) attend the event and represent our association’s dental students at the meeting.
The 11 students that represented ASDA were Colleen Greene (Harvard), Tim Calnon (Buffalo), Martin Smallidge (Pittsburg), Alex Barton (Virginia), Dusty Pfundheller (Florida), Mike Pappas (Ohio State), Ben Youel (Chicago), Aaron Bumann (Minessota), Jiwon Lee (Columbia), Tyler Rumple (Washington), and Stephanie Cappiello (UCLA). Our delegation had such an amazing time attending this meeting, and I am excited to share our top 10 favorite experiences from the 153rd ADA Annual Session:
1. Opening ceremonies with Robert Reich and George F. Will
Mr. Reich and Mr. Will are two of our nation’s premier political minds and gave insightful (and surprisingly hilarious) remarks at the ADA’s opening ceremonies. They each spoke their mind about their forecast for America’s political climate, while thoroughly entertaining us with witty banter between one another. You can check out a little more background info on the two speakers here.
2. ADA 365 Roundtable Panel
Four ASDA leaders (Jiwon Lee, Stephanie Cappiello, Martin Smallidge, and Danielle Marquis) were appointed to participate in the ADA 365 Roundtable Panel. These students represented ASDA extremely well as they participated in a discussion on some great topics like student debt, mentoring & leadership and career goals & opportunities. The panel was recorded and is part of ADA 365, the online component of the meeting. To watch the video, use this link to register with ADA 365 (it will ask for your e-mail address and you must create a password). Once you are in the portal, choose “live sessions” and look for the Dental Student Roundtable video. If you have questions about accessing ADA 365, feel free to e-mail Blog@ASDAnet.org.
3. ASDA’s First Annual Meet & Greet
Friday afternoon, ASDA hosted a Meet & Greet reception for the first time at an ADA Annual Session. We had a great turnout of current ASDA members and local leaders. We also had some of our favorite ASDA alumni come by to say hello and enjoy cookies and coffee with us.
4. Candidate Visits
This year, quite a few ADA leaders were running for various positions within the ADA’s leadership structure. Similar to ASDA’s annual session, each candidate for ADA President-Elect, Vice President, Speaker of the House and Treasurer make a visit to each district’s caucus meeting to answer questions and give remarks. When the ADA leaders stopped by the ASDA caucus, we had our chance to ask them a few questions. Though we (unfortunately) don’t grill them on ASDA policy or ask them to do crazy things like sing and dance like we do at ASDA annual session, we did ask them how they felt about issues like student debt and licensure, as well as the importance of student leadership in all levels of the tripartite.
5. New Dentist Committee Reception
The New Dentist Committee is known for having a really fun reception every year at the ADA meeting. We were so busy throughout the week with house of delegates meetings that this was one of the only chances we had to get out and see one of San Francisco’s local hangouts.
6. Caucus meetings
ASDA delegates are the only delegates that get a chance to attend two caucus meetings at ADA’s House of Delegates meeting. ASDA has caucus meetings of their own to discuss how we feel about the various resolutions and candidates, but we also have the opportunity to attend our respective ADA district caucus meetings. It was a definitely a worthwhile experience to spend some time with my ADA District 16 caucus to hear how the district leaders felt about the main issues/resolutions at the meeting. It was also a great chance to spend time with some of my organized dentistry role models from the ADA’s 16thDistrict like past ADA president, Dr. Ronald Tankersley, and current AGD vice president, Dr. Carter Brown.
7. The Debate on recognizing Dental Anesthesiology as a specialty
The most heated debate and controversial issue this year was the debate on whether Dental Anesthesiology should be an ADA recognized dental specialty. For months, the American Society of Dental Anesthesiology (in support) and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (opposed) have been arguing their side to delegates from across the country. It was really hard to tell which way the vote was going to go because each side gave an enormous amount of testimony as to why or why not it should be a specialty, but in the end the ADA’s House of Delegates voted against recognizing Dental Anesthesiology as a dental specialty.
8. ADA Foundation, Give Kids a Smile 10th Anniversary Gala
The last night of the meeting, our delegates were invited to attend the ADA Give Kids a Smile Gala. The Gala was a really fun night of dinner and dancing, and acted as a benefit for the GKAS national events, as well as an evening to honor the outgoing ADA president, Dr. William Calnon.
9. Spirited Debate on the House Floor
In general, the discussion and debate on the House of Delegates floor was entirely more spirited than I could have imagined. I’ve now attended a number of House of Delegates meetings for various dental associations, and this meeting was certainly the largest and loudest group I’ve been in! No one was afraid to voice their opinion and there were so many varying opinions on issues that there was never a dull moment. ASDA stood up to voice the student perspective on resolutions related to licensure, student debt and maintaining representation within the ADA’s House of Delegates. Overall, ASDA was very successful with our endeavors at the house meeting and gained support for the resolutions that supported ASDA policy.
10. Learning the Process
With every House of Delegates meeting I attend, I know that I’ve left with an increased knowledge and understanding about the process of a House of Delegates meeting. From this particular meeting, I’ve learned that garnering support for and speaking to a resolution is nothing short of theatrical and you must be incredibly succinct and articulate to get your point across to such a large group of individuals. The whole process provided me with something that is so uniquely different from any dental school experience I have had and has allowed me to get an insider’s perspective to an association that I know I will continue to be involved with for the remainder of my career. Even if you don’t get the chance to attend an ADA Annual meeting with ASDA, I hope you’ll consider to attenting during your dental school career. You will certainly leave knowing that you have a pulse on the thoughts, ideas and passions of those leading the profession of dentistry.
Did you attend ADA’s Annual Session? what was your favorite moment?
~Alex Barton, Virginia ’13, vice president
One last photo from some predentals who attended the meeting and snapped a photo with boxer Sugar Ray Leonard: