Getting prepared for ASDA’s House of Delegates

In a few short weeks, ASDA representatives from across the country will meet at Annual Session to strategically plan for the future of the association. ASDA’s House of Delegates will convene to elect our national leaders and discuss timely student issues. It’s OK if you don’t know all of the ways to participate at this meeting. Here are some tips to help guide you.

What do you do after NLC?

This year was my second time attending ASDA’s National Leadership Conference (NLC), which was held this past November. Each year, the event gets bigger and better. Now that we’re back to the dental school grind after the conference, it can be easy to return to our routines. But there are a lot of things we learned in Chicago that we can implement now in order to prepare for our careers.

Dental education at a crossroads

Dentists have proven themselves time and time again to be dynamic innovators in the medical field. From Dr. Horace Wells, the pioneer of anesthesia, to Dr. William Rollins, who revolutionized radiation protection, there is a rich history of dentists on the cutting edge. The artisanship inherent in dentistry pushes modernization. All of this is driven by the ideal of comprehensive patient-centered care. However, in a field entrenched in tradition, new technologies can seem disruptive. Often we are slow to integrate them, especially in an educational setting. Though there are countless factors in evolving face of dentistry, one consistent challenge remains.

The upside of the countryside

When you’ve grown up in a town with a population totaling 9,074 people, wanting to become a dentist at the age of 12 might seem a bit far-fetched. What I didn’t realize at the time was how a rural hometown would benefit me in the process of becoming a dentist as well as when I return home to practice after graduation.

The dentists that have become my mentors are a husband and wife team, and they have known my family and me since I was in preschool. They have invested their attention in me for years and shown me the ropes of a dental practice. Since they both grew up in my little hometown, they knew exactly the position I would be in going into school. They also told me how financially beneficial it could be to come back and work in my hometown after graduation.

Cast your vote and represent dentistry at the polls

Polling placeI vividly remember the November morning in 1996. I accompanied my mom to her polling place in Kennesaw, Georgia. Even as a five-year-old, something about the entire situation felt special, but at that time I couldn’t really figure out what it was. I have been inquisitive since birth, so naturally I asked my mom why we were waiting in line. My mom explained that it was our responsibility to voice our opinion in the political process, and the way we did so was by voting. She stressed that everyone received one vote, and every vote mattered. From that morning on, I looked forward to voicing my opinions at the ballot box.

Has the Flint, Michigan, water crisis hit a nerve in the fluoride debate?

flint water crisisWhen the water source of a small community in Michigan was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River due to financial issues, the devastating long term effects of this decision took the nation by storm. During the nearly two years that the city of Flint was using the toxic water source, its citizens cried out for help. But by the time the city reacted, the damage was irreversible in many ways. According to an article from NPR on April 20, 2016, a resident of Flint had her water tested for lead at 104,000 parts per billion in 2015. The Environmental Protection Agency’s limit for drinking water is 15,000 parts per billion.