Before I started dental school, I asked one of my dentistry mentors what she thought my biggest challenge would be. “Time,” she answered. But I wasn’t worried. I had a busy husband, three kids involved in sports and community groups, and a small business.
ASDA delegates serve to increase membership, interact with state and local dental societies, and encourage members to seek national and regional leadership positions. Each year, ASDA recognizes the accomplishments in mentorship of its delegates by awarding one from each district a Delegate of the Year Award.
In Burlington, Vermont, I played four years of NCAA college hockey at the division three level, and although I wore a mask for my entire hockey career, the link between dentistry and ice hockey became a life-changing realization for me as I decided to pursue dentistry as my career.
“Don’t be surprised if you don’t get in this year,” the endodontic resident told me during my one-day externship. This was not the first time I’d heard this during the application process. This sentiment came from endodontic residents, faculty members and program directors — and for a relatively good reason.
As a first- and second-year dental student, it’s easy to lose perspective of what dentistry really entails. You get caught up in the intricacies of how to do a crown prep or knowing the anatomy of the floor of the mouth. As the pre-clinical courses came to an end, I found myself constantly scrambling in the simulation lab, as any other second-year dental student can relate.
At the sound of three bones breaking in perfect sequence as my ski-boot-covered foot slammed onto the ground, my adventure day at Squaw Valley turned disastrous. I was never the student to break the “no skiing, no snowboarding” rule of dental school. Now, one surgery later, I found myself in excruciating pain and unable to walk.
Jordan Brunson, East Carolina ’20, was awarded the ASDA Distinguished Leader Award at this year’s National Leadership Conference in Chicago. The award recognizes a fourth-year dental student who has made significant contributions to their ASDA chapter.