Are you familiar with the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership (IDL)? Because it changed my life! I was a member of its 2012-13 class, and it inspired me to think of new, creative ways to improve the oral health of my community in Oakland, California.
So what’s the IDL? The program is designed to enhance the leadership skills of dentists who belong to racial, ethnic and/or gender backgrounds that have been traditionally underrepresented in leadership roles. It provides dentists with the opportunity to enhance leadership skills, build relationships and set new leadership paths.
For my IDL project, I aimed to expand the dental area of the clinic where I volunteered. When it became apparent this wasn’t possible, I decided to pivot and start a nonprofit called Just Health 510, a dental clinic that treats underprivileged members of my community. I am not sure I would have been able to get Just Health 510 off the ground without the lessons I learned as a member of the IDL.
So why should you apply to be part of the 2018-19 IDL class? Other than what I mentioned above, here are five reasons:
1. Connect with the ADA and its staff
It was enlightening to get more involved with the ADA and see all they accomplish, while building relationships with their awesome staff. I saw my dues in action!
2. Learn from world class professors
As a member of the IDL, I received instruction from professors at Northwestern University and Duke University, but in a small seminar setting. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank IDL sponsors Henry Schein, Inc. and Procter and Gamble for helping make this happen.
3. Be inspired by your peers
I really enjoyed getting to know my classmates from the country and found it inspiring to learn about how they impacted their own communities.
4. Gain confidence
I have so much more confidence in both my organizational and presentation skills because of lessons I learned in the IDL.
5. Chicago deep dish pizza
The ADA is located in Chicago, and Chicago deep dish pizza is the best! You’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy it as a member of the IDL.
Apply to the Institute for Diversity in Leadership today. Applications are due by March 16.
Dr. Daniel Nam has private dental practices in Oakland and San Francisco, California. He is part of the clinical faculty at UOP School of Dentistry, a staff dentist at Alta Bates Summit Hospital and one of the founders of Just Health 510. Learn more about Dr. Nam.