In December 2016, a Wisconsin Veterans Affairs medical center made national headlines when nearly 600 patients were exposed to HIV and hepatitis B and C after a dentist reused his own dental instruments instead of performing procedures with hospital-sterilized, disposable tools. This past April saw the publication of “Lion Hearted,” an account of Cecil the lion’s last hours before he was shot and killed by Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist who became an overnight internet pariah following his ill-fated safari in July 2015. These are just two news stories, but each one can impact how the public views our profession and how much our patients trust us.
During the holiday season, many look forward to celebrations with friends and family, food, sleep and entertainment. With the anticipation also comes a renewed sense of optimism about the coming year. We want to be fitter, healthier, smarter and more motivated. However, according to a December 2015 article published in the U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by February.
This time of year, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song can be heard in shopping malls, restaurants, TV commercials and pretty much everywhere else. We are all familiar with the “partridge in a pear tree” and those “two turtle doves,” but what about the gifts that an ASDA membership can offer? Here’s an end-of-the-year reminder of all the things you can take advantage now and in the coming year.
In 2012, my brother and I established an annual summer camp designed for 11 to 14 year olds from underserved neighborhoods in Contra Costa County, California. The theme for last year’s camp was “Mind-Body-Spirit,” an intensive, holistic health session centered on the importance of finding a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit, as well as strategies to develop their potential and contribute to society. This encompassed fostering a positive outlook on their oral and overall health.
As a doctor recruiter with Heartland Dental, I spend a lot of time discussing career options with dentists. I tell them that the first impression of who they are, even before talking with them, comes from their resume. Although resumes provide essential details such as work history, education and applied skills, all too often, they fall short of highlighting one important trait that I look for: leadership.
You read a restaurant review on Yelp. You survey the menu and ask a friend about their favorite dish. You may even ask the waiter for more information about the ingredients. Who would have thought that going out to dinner would require so much research? Informally, we use research to help us make decisions in our daily lives. Formally, research is used to gather information and discover associations between topics. With an interest in learning more about underserved populations, I used research techniques to explore barriers to oral health for Latinos in eastern North Carolina from the perspective of community health workers.
This past fall, our Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) ASDA chapter partnered with our local Ronald McDonald House to serve families who are displaced while their seriously ill or injured child receives care at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. We helped provide home-cooked meals for families on a monthly basis, interacting with them and spreading information about our resources at IUSD, which is located across the street. These dinners also served as a time for the family members to share their child’s story and connect with other parents who may be going through similar experiences.