When I graduated from dental school in 2011, I remember thinking that my student loan debt of $180,000 seemed insurmountable. My wife also had law school loans of about $175,000. Between the two of us, that’s $355,000 of student debt we paid off in less than seven years. Believe me, I know there are circumstances that mathematically will not allow for “early” payoff of student loan debt.
Summer 2016 was a turning point in my dental career. I finished my fifth year in the Army and had one more year to serve on active duty to fulfill my commitment for dental school and my residency program. During dental school, I thought it would be simple to serve my time and leave the military, but as the day of decision approached, it was far from easy.
Every year, ASDA’s National Leadership Conference brings together students who are eager to set their foundation as successful dental practitioners, health care leaders and future business owners. With educational programming on career planning, leadership fundamentals, personal development and wellness, chapter management and advocacy, students at every level of their dental school career are sure to leave the event with action items as well as long-term goals for success. ASDA alumni help plan the event through participation on the NLC Planning Committee. Here’s what 2018 alumni committee members are looking forward to most this year.
Traditionally, many students graduate after four years of dental school and enter a residency or the civilian workforce. However, there is another group of dental school graduates who will serve in the military following graduation. Many of these graduates were awarded a scholarship from the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).