Atlanta — To ensure they have a more “meaningful representation,” the House of Delegates voted Oct. 23 to give new dentist members voting privileges on councils, according to ADA News.
Resolution 47H-2017 instructs all ADA councils to add one voting member — a new dentist who is recommended by the ADA New Dentist Committee and nominated by the Board of Trustees.
Previously, ADA councils’ composition included one new dentist serving in a non-voting role.
“Voting privileges have been on the minds of the New Dentist Committee for some time,” said Dr. Emily Ishkanian, immediate past New Dentist Committee chair. “This just happened to be the right time.”
In addition to voting privileges, the resolution outlines that new dentist members of councils may serve up to four one-year terms. Other members in ADA councils serve one term of four years.
“New dentists represent 26 percent of the ADA membership but have 3 percent leadership representation on ADA councils and 2 percent at the House of Delegates,” Dr. Ishkanian said. “Having more proportionate new dentist leadership with meaningful representation at the ADA will help ensure that this association remains relevant and sustainable.”
Dr. Joseph P. Crowley, ADA president, said that diverse perspectives, including the new dentist perspective, foster an innovative and dynamic culture at the ADA and lead to sustainable results.
“I find the new dentists understand and desire to keep our profession the great profession it has always been,” he said. “They have a vision of the future and hold my belief that we as dentists can have a tremendous impact on the society we live in.”
Dr. Ishkanian added that new dentists, those who graduated from dental school less than 10 years ago, offer ADA councils unique and important perspectives that can help leadership serve all of its members.
“Licensure and portability, student debt, finding a job, navigating different practice models are just some of the challenges faced by our newest colleagues,” she said. “The new dentist voice is critical in shaping the direction of this organization and enables the ADA to fulfill its mission statement of helping all members succeed.”
Dr. Crowley said the New Dentist Committee has done an exceptional job advocating for the resolution and has demonstrated time and time again the value of new dentist leadership at all levels of the organization.
“Providing a vote to each council is a recognition by the House of Delegates that the new dentist voice needs a place to be heard,” Dr. Crowley said. “And this was a progressive and appropriate giant step to have the new dentist add their value.”