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My generalized exhaustion today would suggest that I had a wonderful — and active — few days in Washington, D.C. for the New Dentist Conference and ADA 2015. In addition to my original goals of volunteering, networking and connecting with old friends and mentors (all of which I did), I took a lot away from this experience.
The New Dentist Conference was combined with the ADA annual meeting for the first time this year. Although this was my first ADA meeting experience and I have no frame of reference, I loved the concept of holding the two meetings in tandem! The conference was split into two days: a “leadership” day on Nov. 5 — which included roundtable discussions and receptions with ADA leaders — and a CE day on Nov. 6. I thoroughly enjoyed the roundtable discussions, in which New Dentist Committee members, ADA trustees and conference attendees discussed topics from student debt to licensure and beyond. We also later heard from keynote speaker Daymond John.
I had the honor of sitting with Dr. Maxine Feinberg (then-ADA president) and Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays (then-president-elect), who I knew from my ASDA days. They asked me about my current job, and about how I am managing to survive with my student debt, and I shared my comically bad licensure experience. This was the beauty of holding the meetings together. In such a casual way, I truly felt like I was a part of the conversation. I commend the ADA for actually engaging students (as delegates) and new dentists in this way.
CE day included several excellent speakers, including Dr. Stanley Malamed (who wrote my anesthesia and medical emergencies text books). I felt I was in the presence of a celebrity! All-day learning like this reminded me of the old days in dental school, and I actually missed it.
Overall, this conference made me realize something important. In the short months since I finished my term as ASDA Trustee, graduated dental school and started my new job, my life has been distinctly lacking in organized dentistry. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend and for beginning to get involved more with my state dental society. I cannot wait to find new ways to be involved in this new phase of my life!
~Dr. Emily Hobart, Midwestern-Arizona ’15, 2014-15 District 10 trustee