Dentists and dental students came together in Washington, D.C., March 20-22 to discuss issues affecting the dental profession, network with students and practitioners from across the country, and meet with members of Congress. For many students like me, this was the first time attending an in-person Lobby Day.
As wrap up my final visits at ASDA chapters and make my way back to ASDA’s central office in Chicago, I reflect on my Advocacy Month 2018 adventures. I’m happy to report that I surpassed my 2017 mileage and reached 61 of ASDA’s 66 chapters — a substantial increase from the 53 chapters I visited last year. After all of the travel (with minor jet lag) and hours spent with ASDA members, I am certain of three things: Advocacy is vital to ensure the future of the dental profession, the profession is safe in the hands of the advocates I met this month, and ASDA members are excellent hosts.
Lobby Day. Hundreds of dental students gathered in Washington, D.C. to meet with senators and representatives from their states. The goal: to lobby for dentists, patients and dental students on behalf of the profession. If you have attended Lobby Day, you know the thrill of scampering around the nation’s capitol.
For most students, this is not the case. Dental school is tough and time-consuming, which makes travel across the country difficult. But all is not lost when it comes to advocacy. Being in the nation’s capitol delivering your message is incredible, but not always feasible. One of the best places to meet with a member of Congress is in their respective district.