I am at the start of my third year, wondering how I am going to survive through all the clinical requirements, when I am asked to be a student representative for the New Dentist Committee of the Southern Nevada Dental Society. I hesitated at first, having so much on my plate already. In the end I decided it would be a very good opportunity to get involved in a different aspect of dentistry. A year later, I can officially say I am glad to be a part of this group. The New Dentist Committee is comprised of local dentists who have been out of school for 10 years or fewer. I joined two others as the dental student members of the committee. The committee’s main objective is to build strong leaders within organized dentistry by advocating for member benefits, resources and services. They also strive to bridge the gap between dentists and dental students.
Over the past year, I have been able to help plan successful events both in social and academic settings. The social events allowed dental students to mingle with local dentists and gain different perspectives on life after dental school. Preparing for that transition can be tough, and it helps to talk to others who have gone through it recently. Several of the new dentists graduated from our school, so they had advice for how to stay on track during the last two years and graduate on time. On the academic side, we hosted a variety of panels at the school where professionals came in to speak about topics from financial planning to legal pitfalls, including how to avoid getting sued. Students found these panels extremely valuable, since we don’t necessarily learn that information in the classroom. In fact, these panels were such a success that several more are planned for the upcoming year. New topics will include CV and resume writing and contract negotiation.
The dentists on the New Dentist Committee of the Southern Nevada Dental Society have truly been amazing to work with. They are always open to student ideas and constantly reach out to see if there is anything we may need. Thanks to this organization, students are starting to feel less panicked about what comes after graduation. I look forward to working with them and the new student representatives. Together we’re building a strong base of support and information for students and professionals.
The ADA’s New Dentist Committee also exists at the national level, representing each of the ADA’s regional districts. Find out more at http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/leadership-governance/councils-commissions-and-committees/current-councils-and-commissions/new-dentist-committee.
~ Taylor Cohen, Las Vegas ’18