As a dental student and former congressional aide, it is easy to explain why I am going to National Dental Student Lobby Day for the first time; to provide dental students and dentistry a voice on Capitol Hill. It is the one time of the year that we get to relate to our congressional leaders how current issues affect us both professionally and personally. This is our opportunity to explain how the burden of student debt impacts our future career choices or how the medical device tax can ultimately increase the cost of our patients’ dental treatment. Our voice is critical and deserves to be heard.
After working for almost 2 years within the halls of congress, I have also witnessed first-hand how important these face-to-face meetings can be. On a daily basis, Senators and Representatives are exposed to small glimpses of a myriad of issues. They become familiar with plenty, but masters of little. The in-person meeting is your chance to better educate the elected official or their staff on the specifics of certain pieces of legislation and issues. You are able to inform the Senator or Representative how the legislation will affect their constituents, and this personal appeal is far more valuable than any phone call or constituent letter. Because of this value, lobby day is the most effective instrument we have in our advocacy arsenal.
Do not miss this chance to be on the front lines of dental advocacy. Do not leave the responsibility of securing the future of our profession to someone else. Join me in Washington, D.C. from April 15th to April 16th for National Dental Student Lobby Day. Remember to register online at ASDAnet.org by March 13th to take part in this event and get your voice heard.
~Spencer Armuth, Las Vegas ’14