Dental Education: First Comes Education, then comes Educating?
Next time you’re in clinic or SLC, take a good look around. Far too often, I’ve been focused on impressing the faculty with my amalgam preparation, or running around the clinic floor, that I rarely stop to think of our teachers. The professors and researchers we work with are an integral part of our dental education, and without them we couldn’t go on to become stellar dentists. It’s likely that we’ve all at one point wondered why they chose to be educators- and I think the simple answer is that it feels good to teach.
Academic dentistry can give you the best of both worlds. Clinical practice can be extremely rewarding, but for some people it may not be enough to spark you to remain passionate about dentistry. Teaching is a great way to keep you active and up to date with advances in dentistry, but also provides your imagination a chance to inspire others. As a dentist, you are first and foremost a doctor, and maybe a businessman, but our role as teachers shouldn’t be overlooked. We have a duty to our patients, but also to our profession- and the future generations of students will absolutely require us to step up and become their mentors.
Whether you’re interested in research or considering teaching, your contribution to future students is valued. Academic dentistry is on the rise, and you have the chance to make the difference you want to see!
We’d like to congratulate our new ADEA Co-SRFs Scott and Adela, and look forward to seeing the DMD19s and AS17s at the “All About Your Armamentarium” event! Look out for new updates in the upcoming weeks!
This month we had a very difficult time choosing just one member of the month. When you think about all that these two dental students have done to advance our chapter, we really need no explanation for choosing both Sally Jacob and Neha Mithia, DMD 17's as our September Member(s) of the Month.
As Chair (Jacob) and Vice Chair (Mithia), these ladies have managed to take our Public Relations Committee to the next level in less than a year! Stepping up to the challenge of maintaining our social media accounts with fresh content, updating our website and writing and maintaining our blog, these two have a serious case of #asdafever, and we couldn't be more lucky to have them on our team.
We sat down with Sally and Neha to learn more about them and their experiences in ASDA.
So what's the best part of your work in the PR Committee?
Sally: My favorite part of being on the PR committee is actually going to other ASDA committee events and taking pictures! It’s a great way for me to get involved in the other committees, and to also brag about how great the events were on Facebook.
Neha: The best part of working with the Public Relations Committee is being able to be apart of almost every school event. Even when I can’t physically attend an event, I am virtually there.
When did you realize you caught the ASDA fever? Was there a specific event or person that gave you "the fever"?
Sally: Mike Mayr was the first person to actually really get me to think about joining ASDA. We were both on the New Dentist Committee of MDS, and he asked me why the heck I wasn’t involved, but in a much nicer way hahaha. After that I became the Social Committee Vice Chair and attended the Gold Crown Award Ceremony. After the award ceremony was really when I caught “the fever” and wanted to play a larger role in our chapter. Now here I am, chair of PR!
Neha: It was evident from the day I walked through the doors of BUGSDM that ASDA provides a sense of home. I’ve been an active part of ASDA since 1st year. During 1st year I was a member of the Fundraising Committee. Once I figured out my way around school, I got more involved by joining the Social and Diversity & Inclusion Committees. However, I have to say I really caught ASDA fever during the District 1 Leadership Conference I attended during 2nd year.
When not busy with PR, what activities outside of school do you like doing?
Sally: I really enjoy binge watching shows (my secret addiction), I also enjoy going for runs on the Charles, and napping!
Neha: Outside of school, I enjoy playing tennis and travelling when I can.
What advice would you give to a first year wanting to get involved with ASDA?
Sally: I know first year can be a bit overwhelming with the amount of classes you have and the countless facts you need to memorize, but being involved in something other than studying can actually help you de-stress and refocus on what needs to get done. You don’t have to play a big role in a committee but don’t be afraid to get involved and help out when you can! It’s a great opportunity to meet upperclassmen and develop a new insight on dental school.
Neha: Get involved where you can, even if it is as a general member. It is a great way to meet new people in your year as well as in upper years.
If you see these two in clinic or in the hallway, make sure to give them a high five for all their hard work for our chapter!
#PRgirls #ASDAawesome #asdanet #socialmediaqueens #memberSofthemonth
Community Outreach: Walking away from Cancer
According to the ADA, oral and pharyngeal cancers strike approximately 39,000 Americans causing 8,000 deaths annually. Oral cancers are still one of the most destructive diseases. The good news is when found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90% of survival rate. The bad news is that at this time, most of the oral cancers are found at late stages, accounting for an unfortunate 5-year mortality rate of about 43%. As future dental professionals, we can be part of the change in bringing down this mortality rate by being the first line of defense in early detection of the disease.
In recent years, ASDA Community Outreach committee has partnered up with the school’s Office of Global and Population Health to organize oral cancer screening events in nearby neighborhoods. With background in Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine didactic courses, third and fourth year dental students can perform the screening under supervision of a faculty. Screening results are informed to each patient, and appropriate referral recommendations are made to those patients that need further examination in proper setting. Patients that heavily use tobacco and alcohol together have a significantly increased risk of developing oral and pharyngeal cancers.
This year, the Community Outreach committee in conjunction with the Health and Wellness committee is stepping up their game with our debut participation in the Oral Cancer Walk/Run on October 4th in an effort to spread local awareness. The walk/run is organized by the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) which uses its donations in various ways: funding research, creating public awareness and distributing information about the disease, pressing for more professional involvement in early detection, and providing patient support. The Oral Cancer Research Initiative has also joined forces with the OCF to raise public awareness and fund cancer research. Participants can walk or run a 5k course at the scenic Chestnut Hill Reservoir at 355 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton. All students and faculty are welcome.
As for me, besides the fact that my vice chair and the ASDA board are working hard to put this together, I am even more excited for the event because I haven’t run a registered 5k before. So come out and join me in my first 5k for a good cause!
ADVOCACY:Snacking for a Good cause
Question: Where does a healthy smile start? Answer: In the kitchen.
The food we eat has the power to make or break a nice set of sparkly whites, therefore it is no surprise that diet and nutrition is one of the main issues that the American Dental Association advocates for. For quick reference the ADA encourages federal research on how diet effects oral health, ensures that federal education programs have an oral health component, develops consumer friendly nutrition labels, improves nutritional food profiles, and makes sure the dentist is educated.
This past month the nutrition label was brought to the advocacy forefront when FDA proposed that separate line be added to the nutrition label that states the added sugar content in the product. With this the FDA is also proposing to require a “percent daily value” declaration for the added sugar and setting this limit at no more than 10% of a daily caloric intake. This proposal is backed by the ADA as it fits with their goal of keeping diets balanced and poised for sound oral health.
As a dental student I have been given the opportunity to write my own oral health curriculum for preschool and school age children. When writing my lessons I always start with the “at home changes” that families and children can make. I firmly believe that small steps in the kitchen, at home make the biggest difference, even if the child never sets foot in a dental office. I think that this small change that is backed by the ADA will make a big difference for the oral health of Americans by keeping them informed about what they are consuming.
With that being said I also think that this small change also shows us the importance of the impact we, as a group can have. With this proposed change of a simple label backed by the ADA, an organization similar to our ASDA, hundreds of thousands of people’s lives will be affected in a positive manner. The main policies that ASDA advocates finds important are midlevel providers, live patient based exams, student debt, and much more! If you would like more information on the ADA’s policies please visit ada.org, on ASDA’s policies please visit asdanet.org, and (because I am a huge snacker/ food lover myself) here is one of my personal favorite healthy snack recipe websites: fitsugar.com/30-days-snacks-31026467.
1. Where are you from?
2. What is your current favorite song?
Blank Space, Taylor Swift, it's so catchy!
3. Who is the last person you called?
My Nana! I talk to her 2 or 3 times a day
4. Where is your favorite Boston spot?
The Boston Marathon finish line! I've run in the marathon twice now, 2013 and 2015
5. Amalgam or composite?
Composite, hands down!