Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dental Leadership Conference in Chicago

'The 25th Annual ADA New Dentist Conference took place at the Westin hotel in downtown Chicago. As I looked around the large conference room, I saw the future leaders of our profession. They came from all over the US, from their roles in local dental societies and national positions with the California Dental Association and American Dental Association. I was happy to see familiar faces, and impressed by the strong representation California has at the ADA. Of the 300 attendees, there where 6 graduates from my dental school, the University of Pacific, 2 of whom where honored with the ADA’s Golden Apple award for their outstanding leadership. Of the roughly 27,000 dentist practicing in CA, 70% are members with the CDA, making up the largest state dental society in the US. This gives the CDA and ADA a very powerful voice!

Hot Topics discussed at the conference included; how will we, as a dental profession and as a nation overcome issues with ‘access to dental care’? The ADA is strategically restating the issue as ‘barriers to care’, in order to focus more on the obstacles our profession faces. Will there be a mid-level dental provider, and what kind of impact will it make on dental care?

Chicago is an amazing host city--modern, industrial, innovative--like New York, but without the attitude! In addition to sightseeing at Navy Pier and Millennium Park, I toured the ADA Headquarters Building. The American Dental Political Action Committee also sponsored a night at the House of Blues, and the group of new dentists that came from all over the nation became instant friends at the conference.

I am looking forward to attending ADA’s 26th New Dentist Conference in Washington DC!'

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