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Global Brigades brings health and wellness to Honduras

11252727_10152840921223199_3701671614003492717_nIn May of last year, 17 Arizona State University students joined 16 Texas Tech students for a seven-day excursion to a rural community in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I had the privilege of be involved in this expedition thanks to the Arizona State University Chapter of Global Brigades, the largest student led international non-profit organization that promotes health, wellness and economic stability to under-resourced communities. Our mission was to provide a holistic-model approach to help the community meet developmental goals to self-sustain and thrive on all levels. This model implements resource programs including business, dental, environmental, human rights, medical, microfinance, public health and water missions. This opportunity gave us the chance to immerse ourselves into a new culture and experience a different way of life.

Five things I wish I’d known before getting into clinic

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 10.54.25 AM Graduating from the preclinical labs to the predoctoral clinic brought a lot of anxiety and the unexpected. The experience has been very rewarding though I wish I’d known a few little nuggets beforehand that would have made the transition smoother. Here are a few tidbits that have helped me the past two years in clinic. I hope they can be beneficial to you as well!

Check, checkmate: How dentistry is just like a game of chess

chess boardEver since I was five, Friday evenings were designated as board game night with my family. Games were an integral part of my mother’s early days and she wished to fill my childhood with the ones that contributed most to her life.

She tells me that of all the games I learned, I insisted on playing chess more often and we kept playing until I started winning. As a child, little did I know the impact this game would have on my life. It’s only now that I realize how it has shaped me and my life as a dentist.

ADA’s guide to substance abuse: An important resource

ada substance abuse book“I brush and floss everyday.” The little white lie heard around the world. It’s hard enough to surface our patients’ oral hygiene habits, and once we do, that only provides a limited scope of their at-home behaviors. When we review social histories, patients quickly deny the use of alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs. But can we take that to be true? If our patients cannot honestly discuss their hygiene regimen, imagine how much harder we have to press for accurate, personal details in regard to substance abuse and addiction. However, as healthcare professionals, we have a responsibility to treat total health. “The ADA Practical Guide to Substance Use Disorders and Safe Prescribing” presents ways to navigate these difficult patient interactions and even recognize those in similar situations among our dental community.

3 steps to hiring a CRUSH it team

asdanet_ignitedds_bannerAs the old adage says: “together each accomplishes more.”  So, in that spirit, I thought I’d mix it up this time and give you a very valuable private practice nugget.  How to hire a CRUSH it Team.

#1 Write a CRUSH it job description and disseminate

Seem simple?  I agree!  HOWEVER most dental practices miss on this in a HUGE WAY!  Why?  They don’t know who their ideal applicant is.  Sound crazy?  Agree…but most dental practices think they are looking for a hygienist or an assistant or an administrative team member.  On one hand…they are.  On the more important hand…that’s WAY TOO simplistic.

What to pack for Annual Session 2016

Logo-dallas-artY’all, ASDA Annual Session is coming to Dallas, Texas! If you’ve never been to Texas or you’ve never been to an ASDA Annual Session, then you’ve come to the right place. As chair of the Council on Sessions and a born and raised Texan, I am very excited for you to experience the place I call home!

I’m sure you have heard that everything is bigger in Texas and Dallas definitely lives up to it! Dallas is known for its beautiful skyline, art, culture, nightlife, sightseeing, sports, shopping and some good Texas hospitality.  A few Texas dental students have offered some tips on what to wear, what to bring and how to make the most of meeting!

ASDA Fever: Your gateway to networking and mentorship

Jack Lupfer District 2 meetingI still remember the first ASDA event I attended. It was the District 2 meeting during fall 2014. Since Stony Brook’s ASDA chapter was hosting and that’s where I attend undergrad, it made sense for me to go. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Despite the fact I had been a predental member of ASDA for two years, I hadn’t attended any district events. However, by the end of the meeting, I was motivated to do more with my membership. I had officially caught “ASDA Fever.