In recognition of today’s new dentist leaders and to encourage others to provide their unique voice in organized dentistry, the 2015 New Dentist Conference kicked off its two-day event with a day dedicated to leadership.
More than 400 registered for the sold-out conference, which for the first time was held alongside ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Aptly called “Leadership Day,” the first day of the conference was filled with Q&A sessions with decision-makers, an inspirational keynote speaker, networking and an awards luncheon to honor outstanding new dentist leaders.
“We’re all here because we love dentistry. We want to make an impact in our communities and grow as dentists and individuals,” said Dr. Michael LeBlanc, chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee, welcoming the attendees. “You can feel confident that the new dentist voice is being heard and represented very well.”
The importance of being heard highlighted several of the sessions during Leadership Day. The conference began with a Q&A session with ADA President Maxine Feinberg and ADA Executive Director Kathy O’Loughlin.
New dentists raised questions on issues affecting new practitioners and graduating dental students, including what the ADA can do to address the use of live patients in board exams, the rise in dental debt and the impact of large group dental practices on small private practices.
“We want to hear what’s on your mind and what you’re thinking about,” said Dr. Feinberg, who added that better communication with the New Dentist Committee has resulted in new initiatives to help new dentists.
The recent endorsement of Darien Rowayton Bank, or DRB, that allows ADA members an opportunity to refinance existing federal and private student loans at a lower rate, resulted from better communication between new dentists and ADA leadership. Candid leadership discussions among smaller groups followed the Q&A.
An awards luncheon capped off the morning session, recognizing outstanding new dentists and their teams. This year’s recipients are:
- Golden Apple Award for New Dentist Leadership: Dr. Charles E. Clark, Arizona Dental Society.
- New Dentist Committee Outstanding Program Award of Excellence: The Washington State Dental Association’s program “Think Tank.”
- Outstanding New Dentist Committee Award: Capital Area Dental Society New Dentist Committee from Austin, Texas. Dr. Trisha Kimes accepted the award on the group’s behalf.
During the afternoon session, the new dentist attendees heard from two speakers. Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., chief economist and vice president of the ADA Health Policy Institute, gave a talk on what every dentist under 40 needs to know.
Meanwhile, Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU and co-star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” gave an entertaining and inspirational talk on entrepreneurship to new dentists as keynote speaker of the 2015 New Dentist Conference.
In between the speakers, another Q&A session was held with three dentist colleagues who are currently serving in U.S. Congress — Congressmen Mike Simpson, Paul Gosar and Brian Babin. The day concluded with a reception with the ADA Board of Trustees, another opportunity for new dentists to share and exchange ideas on how to better reach out to young dentists and encourage them to joining organized dentistry.
For Dr. Judith Rosenbloom, of Baltimore, the first day was an eye-opening experience.
“It was great to see how the ADA is working for us as new dentists and to hear the behind the scenes work, the task forces, the committees,” said Dr. Rosenbloom, a 2011 graduate attending her first New Dentist Conference.
“It was great to hear that they’re thinking about things such as licensure and credentialing, insurance reimbursements — things that really affect us as we start out practicing.”