Florida chapter hosts first ever Dental Discussion Series (DDS)

Florida DDS event
It started with a lunchtime conversation. While discussing midlevel providers (MLPs), my friends and I quickly came to the conclusion that we didn’t know much about the issue. I remember joking about planning a debate between two of our professors that were very vocal about holding different stances on the topic, and how it would (at the very least) be highly entertaining.

But in the following weeks, as we started exploring the literature, policy and commentary on MLPs, it became clear that this needed to be a conversation that students participated in. We formed a planning committee with members from all three Florida schools and set out to create an event that would allow students to ask the experts the tough questions. Thus, the Florida Dental Discussion Series (DDS) was born.

Fast-forward two months, and we had commitments from the biggest players in the conversation to speak on a panel – The American Dental Association and The W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our committee had worked hard to protect the interests of our students and designed the program to allow fair representation from all perspectives. We were also fortunate enough to receive the LGN Special Event Grant from ASDA, which afforded us the funds to record and stream the panel to all ASDA chapters.

I am amazed at the quality of representation of all the panelists and speakers at DDS. It was tailored to allow students to receive background information in the morning sessions, and then critically dissect the arguments for different solutions in the afternoon panel. Barriers to oral health care were broadly discussed, and while many models were proposed as solutions, from my perspective, it was clear that ASDA’s C-2 Policy on the Functions of Dental Providers was substantially supported by the data presented.

Often emotion and a desire for quick solutions can make discussion of such a polarizing issue difficult, but I believe DDS did an excellent job at equipping students with a critical analysis of the issue’s history and current implications for our field. I was also excited to see classmates who had previously never engaged in advocacy events at our school, leave passionate about working towards a solution to this difficult problem throughout their careers.

If you’d like to view the panel, you can find a stream here. Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

~Paula Cohen, Florida ’17, speaker of the House

Paula Cohen

Paula is a fourth year at the University of Florida and she served as the 2015-2016 Speaker of the House. Her hobbies include card-crafting, Doctor Who, and baking!

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  1. Brantley McCarty says:

    Props to Paula for making this all happen! This was one of my favorite ASDA events of the year. I learned so much that weekend and really got valuable insight into both perspectives.

  2. Thanks for this precious information i really appropriate it.

  3. Nice information dear.

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