Five reasons why you should be involved this Advocacy Month
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ASDA’s Advocacy Month is coming up this November, and Colorado ASDA will be hosting our week-long Advocacy Academy Nov. 5—9th. The month will focus on the importance of advocacy and how you can Find out. Reach out. Speak out. this midterm season.

Here are five reasons why you should participate this month:

  1. It’s Midterms Elections.

    Midterm elections are the elections in which votes choose members of Congress. This year, voters will elect all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of all U.S. senators. This means, midterms will determine which political party – Democratic or Republican – will control Congress for the next two years.

  2. “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.” -Pericles.

    Whether you like it or not, people you don’t know are making decisions that impact your personal and professional life.

  3. You get a say.

    You have the ability to elect the people who make the policies on issues such as the economy, student loans, and the future of healthcare. Your vote plays a direct role in what happens. Election Day is Nov. 6 this year, make sure you’re registered to vote.

  4. Fun fact: Five dentists are running for Congress this year

    There are five dentists running for Congress: Mike Simpson, Brian Babin, Paul Gosar, Drew Ferguson and Jeff Van Drew. Check out Engage to review biographical information and a scorecard outlining candidates' votes on bills ASDA has taken a position on.

  5. Insta-cred.

    If anything, do it for the gram and be sure to use #ASDAadvocacy and #ColoradoASDA

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To learn more about importance of advocacy in dentistry, attend Colorado ASDA’s Advocacy Academy Week. This year we will focus on key topics including: midterm elections, licensure updates and we will have the opportunity to hear from the Colorado Dental Association’s President, Dr. Karen Foster. Stay tuned for the details!

Don’t forget, by participating in these events you can earn points towards your Advocacy Certificate.


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About the Author:

Lynn Doan is a 3rd year student and currently serves as Colorado ASDA Vice President and District 9 Legislative Liaison. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Colorado College. In her spare time, she can be found reading, rock climbing, and watching cooking shows. 

Editorial Board
The Casias Storm

 

This past weekend, I went down to visit my parents and help out with a wedding. My long-time friend from high school got married two years ago, and my family helped out with her wedding. After the ceremony, one of her friends came up to my mom and asked if she would be willing to help out with her wedding when the time came. The time came this past Saturday.

For anyone that first meets my family, depending on the situation, it might be somewhat of a traumatic experience. When we have a plan for the day, I think others might equate the situation to a tornado that instead of leaving a trail of devastation, miraculously leaves behind a masterpiece.

 

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When I moved into my college house, one of my roommates was home when the Casias storm hit. With screwdrivers flying around building furniture from IKEA, cleaning solution being finished before the smell of it had even hit the nostrils, and moving like we were running on nectar, my family finished a thorough move-in and were grilling dinner by 7 o’clock. By the end of the day, I’m not sure if my roommate knew what had happened but somehow it looked like I had already been living there for months.

 

Each family member plays an important role in the high functioning Casias storm. My mom is the organizer. With thirty-one years of experience in education, she knows not only how to develop a plan, but also carry it through with a powerful teacher voice. My dad is happy when he’s tinkering. Whether he’s building, fixing, or buying some new gadget to perform the two former tasks, he’s the engineer. My brother is the pacer. He knows how to keep things moving with music, comedic remarks and a pace that gets the family to finish before he gets bored with the project. I am the detailer and follow, my brother and father around, completing the last 5% of their tasks, while simultaneously providing input to my mom’s questions. 

 

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This past weekend we were unfortunately down my brother, but that did not severely impact our efforts or the feedback. I had to tell numerous people that we were not a company for hire and that we did not do this for a living. “My dad is an engineer, my mom is a retired teacher, and I’m half way through dental school”, I’d tell people while clearing plates and refilling waters. One woman was getting married in a month at the same property and asked my mom if she would be willing to run her wedding. My mom chuckled and said, “thank you but we don’t normally do this.” At the end of the night, my mom had to tell the mother of the bride, that she’d only help out with the second daughter’s wedding when that time came and anyone else who asked would have to hire someone who did wedding planning for a living.

 

I’m extremely thankful and appreciative of my family and of the incredible things that we can accomplish when the storm sweeps through.

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About The Author:

Gabriel Casias was born Gabriel Casias. He took a brief hiatus of wonderful Colorado to study chemistry in San Luis Obispo, CA, but is now back in his home state. He loves to dabble and if not at the University of Colorado Dental School of Medicine working diligently to graduate in 2020, he can typically be found outside. He is passionate about running, food, colors, smells, and music.

 

Editorial Board
Coming back to dental school & what sets CU apart: An ISP's perspective

Hi, my name is Zhou Joyce, currently an ISP1 student at CU School of Dental Medicine. The day I got Dr. Towne’s phone call of acceptance was my happiest day of the year. I’m still new here, but I want to share some personal experiences since I started school here. My husband, who was my classmate during college, graduated from another dental school in MA six years ago. And with a husband in the same career path, there were definitely going to be some pros and cons.

When I started, I mentally prepared myself to study hard because I haven’t practiced as a dentist for a long time and I learned dentistry in my native language. Therefore, I read slides, listened to recorded lectures, read recommended books if I have difficulty in understanding. My husband noticed this and said slides are good enough and the proof is he had a good GPA upon graduation. I seriously doubted my intelligence at this point. Luckily for me, one of his coworkers, who also graduated from ISP program at CU, told him it’s very true at CU you have to study beyond slides. Thank you for saying this, my dear alumni, you saved my sanity.

 P.C: ucdenver.edu

P.C: ucdenver.edu

I also realized that the two things that impressed my husband the most, are the biggest advantages we have at CU. The first one is from the very beginning of first semester, we are taught and tested according to board exams standards in restorative preclinic lab sessions. For each procedure, it’s easy for us to know the optimum or satisfactory standards, because that’s your goal to pass board exams. On the other hand, we are well aware of critical errors, so you will try to avoid them. In this way, the training we have from the beginning works for board exams. Another is positive guest speaker experience. We recently had a guest speaker for endodontics course. This guest speaker is an endodontist practicing in New Mexico and also a board member of Journal of endodontics. It’s a very good experience to have him here because he combined his practical experience and literature review and put the basic science into use. I had worked in basic science field for almost nine years after I came to USA. Thus, I really appreciated this one-hour lecture which was actually based on well trained clinical skills and up-to-date research knowledge.

A few days ago, one upperclassman was talking with another on the hallway. I didn’t pay attention to what they were talking about, but I overheard one sentence, “God gave you two years to study again, talk less and listen more.” Yes, listen and learn, that’s most important thing to do here at CU. You’ll be well prepared for your future.

 

Author Information:

Zhou Joyce Chen is a mom of two beautiful kids: Cody, 9 and Emma, 4. She enjoys playing with her kiddos and reading in her spare time. She holds a Ph.D and was a research scientist for 7 years at NYU College of Dentistry.

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Editorial Board
Ergonomics

You are not invincible; your bad posture will catch up to you in time.

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About the Author:

Dr. Ron Brown is an associate professor at University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and has been a faculty at the school for 11 years. He has multiple publications on ergonomics and how poor posture affects dentists.

His primary motivation for teaching ergonomics stems from him having to retire early because of an MSD after 37years of private practice. He underwent an operation that removed three discs from his neck. He is hopeful that he can help prevent other dentists from the same circumstances.During his leisure time, he plays golf and enjoys working around his yard. He has 2 children- his son is a cancer surgeon and his daughter is a professional singer!

Fun fact: Before going to dental school, Dr.Brown used to coach baseball . He also played semi-professional baseball and was in the All-American baseball team.

 
                       Photo courtesy: Matthew Carbajal, Anna Salibi

                     Photo courtesy: Matthew Carbajal, Anna Salibi

 

 

The goals of ergonomics are: To optimize workers’ performance using products and procedures so they can work more efficiently and to create a healthy and safe work environment. Dentistry’s goal is to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are caused, precipitated or aggravated by repeated exertions or movements of the body. MSDs are groups of disorders with similar characteristics and may be referred to as: Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD), Repetitive Trauma Disorder (RTD) and Overuse Syndromes.

  Photo courtesy: Matthew Carbajal, Anna Salibi

Photo courtesy: Matthew Carbajal, Anna Salibi

The etiology of MSDs is prolonged, repetitive or forceful movements; and awkward body movements or postures required in job performance. Signs of MSDs are decreased range of motion, deformity, decreased grip strength and loss of muscle function. Symptoms of MSDs are pain, numbness, tingling, burning sensations, cramping and stiffness.

 

 

Why we are so susceptible?

Dental ergonomics factors: sustained awkward postures, repetitive tasks, forceful hand movements, vibrating operational devices and precision required with work.

                     Picture courtesy: Anurag Bhargava

                   Picture courtesy: Anurag Bhargava

Fifty seven percent of practicing dentists regularly experience pain in one or more areas of the body from their work. The areas most affected are lower back and the neck. One third of all dentists will be diagnosed with an MSD at some time in their professional career. Potential outcomes of MSDs are: disc problems affecting the lower back and neck, bursitis, shoulder muscle pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndromes (CTS) and ulnar nerve entrapment of the elbow. The consequences of MSDs are: reduced productivity, lost work days, worker’s compensation and forced early retirement.

 

The basics of ideal posture:

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Use magnification and ideal light to reduce the amount of bending and twisting needed to see the field of your work. This decreases the extent to which your neck is held forward and flexed down. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet can be flat on the floor and your knees are slightly below the level of your hips. Locate your instruments and equipment so that you do not need to twist to reach them. Position the patient’s head at a level that allows you to hold your shoulders in a relaxed, neutral position and places your elbows at ninety degrees. Learn to trust your mirror to limit direct vision of the maxilla. Exercise before and after long procedures. Yoga works well for dentists to prevent MSDs.

Dr. Ron Brown
An Open Letter to Predentals

Congratulations on your journey to the greatest career there is! Dentistry is a field of lifelong learning, collaboration, and integrity – it’s an industry in which technology blooms and the doctor-patient relationship flourishes. There is no other healthcare professional that can impact a patient’s quality of life with such ease in a relatively short period of time; a mere crown can dramatically impact a patient’s self-assurance, confidence, and presentation to the world. Smiles matter. Each of you reading this has the inherent potential to achieve your dental dreams, but getting in is the first step (and you will!). The following are my top tips to ace the AADSAS:

 

1.     Maintain a Google Doc detailing all of your dental experiences (shadowing, working as a dental assistant, etc.)

Many dental schools have a minimum number of shadowing hours required of applicants and even those that don’t require some quantity of dental experience. But your interest in dentistry cannot be qualified just because you claim you’ve shadowed a doctor for 100+ hours. The AADSAS is an honor system, but it’s evident to AdComs when you fake it. Keep a journey or diary of some sort that records when you shadowed, with whom, and what you learned that day. When it comes time to compile your AADSAS application, all of this will be centralized and available for easy entering. Bonus: your journey will be a reflection of your accomplishments and will offer a great point of discussion in interviews.

 

2.     Don’t get involved in something just to check off an application box

Dental schools seek well-rounded, involved applicants that demonstrate passion for their commitments. Your extracurriculars need not all be dental-related, instead, involve yourself in activities that interest you and further your personal growth. A one-dimensional application focused only on dental-related things doesn’t make you passionate, it makes you a robot. Not all matriculated dental students have research experience and if you feel your talent is better suited for something else, pursue that – tell your why, not just the what.

 

3.     Build relationships with your professors, dentists, really anyone that might one day write your letter of recommendation

Through undergrad and/or your prereq classes, you’re apt to encounter classes whose professors you get along with. Perhaps this professor’s style of teaching intrigued you, or maybe the dentist you shadowed shared many of the same interests as you. Dentistry is a sociable profession and forging connections is key: it starts when seeking letter writers. AdComs can tell when letters are canned, you’ll want someone who has a vested interest in your success, but also an eye for highlighting your achievements and strengths to submit your letter.

 

4.     Apply early!

Try to submit your AADSAS in the “J” months: June or July. Dental schools evaluate and interview students on a rolling basis, which means applications are reviewed in groups based on their timestamped submission. The earlier you submit, the higher the probability of interviewing and being admitted at a school simply because AdComs are looking to fill an entire class instead of the final few seats. Extra tip: While it may not always be possible, I recommend one take the DAT before May of the year they will be applying. The ADA takes 4-8 weeks to process DAT scores, and even though you may have submitted your application in June, your DAT may be pending, slowing review of your application.

 

5.     Only apply to schools you would actually go to

Dental school applications are not cheap (and neither is interview travel). It costs $245 for the first school app and $99 per school after that. Some dental students recommend predentals apply broadly and to as many schools as they can afford, but financially, this isn’t always feasible. Though application fees are paltry compared the cost of a dental school education and the debt you incur but factoring in the cost of living in the cities some dental schools are located in, you might be better off selecting schools that are within your reasonable four-year budget. Only a few things to consider include tuition, scholarships offered, on-campus housing availability, average rent, etc.

 

Colleen Leong is a second-year dental student that currently serves as the Colorado ASDA Predental Chair aka the most important ASDA position. A former military brat, she’s proud to call Colorado home, nevermind her Texas license plates and questionable driving. You’ll likely find Colleen at her favorite Denver pizza shop, Ian’s (#ad), eating all the gluten and violently typing out emails on her vintage Macbook Air.

Likes: downhill skiing in denim, succulent arrangements, sneakers, rose gold home décor, sitting next to Sam in lab, most things cheese covered

Dislikes: other people downhill skiing in denim, Danskos, vegans, smelling polysulfide

How's my Temperature?

Every dental student’s curriculum includes education of common pathogens and their associated diseases. After countless hours of Microbiology lectures and SketchyMicro videos, I thought I had heard it all. However, it wasn’t until attending Annual Session in Anaheim that I learned of ASDA Fever.

The first time I heard this phrase being used, I thought it was a bit corny. But throughout my time in Anaheim, I began to understand what my fellow dental students meant when they said it. Although it isn’t a physical disease (or so I hope), ASDA Fever is an infectious state of mind. It is an understanding of the intangible benefits not only of being a member of the American Student Dental Association, but of actively contributing to and seizing the opportunities that the organization provides.

 

At the chapter level, ASDA provides its students with experiences that supplement the education we receive in the classroom and clinic. It was at an ASDA community outreach event during my first year that I dressed as the Tooth Fairy and taught children about oral hygiene, and it was through ASDA events like Shimstock (our school talent show) and Amalgames (a day of field games put on to welcome the incoming first years each Fall) that I formed quality friendships with upper classmen.

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What I hadn’t experienced until Annual Session was the benefit of being a part of such an influential, national-level organization.

Attending Annual Session and seeing the high level of involvement from so many dental students across the nation was an inspiring experience. The four-day event was filled with learning about legislation, collaborating and idea sharing between chapters, and honoring each chapter’s achievements over the past year. We were proud to receive Gold Crown awards for Best Website Design, Best Social Media Campaign, and Most Creative Application – making Colorado one of the most decorated chapters at this year’s Annual Session. The election of our own Austin Tyler as District 9 Trustee further added to our chapter’s recognition.

The University of Colorado has been and continues to be an exceptionally strong chapter both locally and nationally. Colorado’s success at the local level (we won the Ideal ASDA award in 2016) as well as historical presence in the District and National leadership of ASDA (multiple recent District Trustees and the 2015-2016 National President were from Colorado) has earned our chapter a strong reputation… Or maybe we have our reputation because of the Storm Trooper dance we did during the President’s Gala.

I am proud to be an active member of ASDA’s Colorado chapter and to have the opportunity to serve on the executive board for two years. I encourage every dental student to get involved with ASDA and experience the benefits first-hand. Who knows, you might just catch ASDA Fever.

 

Crispin currently lives in a house near campus with two of his classmates, and although he is the only one of the three who was born in Colorado, he is the sole out-of-state student in the household. Crispin spends his free time playing spikeball, skiing, and watching Game of Thrones with his roommates. He prides himself in being the uncontested #1 Mario Kart player in his second-year class.

Crispin HerrickComment
Annual Session SPEA 2017

Overview of Event:

Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry (SPEA), Annual Session 2017 was held at Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA on October 20-21, 2017. I had the privilege of representing SPEA Colorado Chapter at the conference. The focus of the conference was spreading awareness of the importance of SPEA for the future of dentistry and had sessions that focused on social justice and ethics, economics and future of dentistry, coping with difficult situations in the workplace, leadership and ethics. The conference was structured into two days. The first day featured American College ofDentists (ACD) Address, 3 keynote sessions, breakout sessions for the SPEA members with the ACD and also had some opportunities for SPEA members to present their thoughts. The Executive Director of the ACD, Dr. Theresa Gonzales, also addressed the importance of SPEA. The second day featured two keynote sessions along with Chapter awards, Chapter development breakout sessions followed by elections for the new officers.

 

What is SPEA?

The Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry is a national, student driven association that was established to promote and support students’ lifelong commitment to ethical behavior in order to benefit the patients they serve and to further the dental profession.

The objectives of the Association are:

•Act as a support system for students in strengthening their personal and professional ethics values by:

1) Providing a resource for ethics education and professional development.

2) Fostering a non-punitive, open-forum environment for ethics communication

3) Promoting awareness of ethics standards and related issues within dentistry

• Collaborating with leadership of the dental profession to effectively advocate for our members

 

Why Did I Choose To Attend?

SPEA Annual session is the only national level conference held and I had a very keen interest in enlightening myself about what SPEA actually does. It attracts students from all the SPEA  Chapters. Even students from SPEA chapter of Canada attended the session. The networking opportunities appealed to me, as did the opportunity to learn from various experiences.

I was particularly interested in sessions on chapter development and also keynote sessions identifying ethical cases since they would help me in future in my dental practice and also use the cases in discussion during various chapter events.

In addition to the conference sessions, networking with other colleagues was a valuable experience. I made good friends with the SPEA members of University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), School of Dentistry.

I also had the opportunity to attend the ADA meeting in the Georgia World Congress centre for a couple of hours on October 20, 2017. I was able to interact with some of the vendors at the exhibit hall and had the pleasure of seeing Peyton Manning LIVE! I was awed by the grandiosity of the conference.

What Sessions Did I Find Most Valuable?

During the conference, I was able to attend numerous sessions. I focussed on topics directly related to dealing with various ethical situations and what to do and what not to do in those situations. I especially enjoyed talks from Dr. Mike Meru. He brought a lot of positive energy to the session. He talked about a few cases and considerations that should be given in various situations.

What Networking Events Were Beneficial?

The Lunch sessions were most beneficial to networking. The organizing committee divided all the members into groups of six (first day according to the regency and second day was random). The lunch was organized at different local restaurants in downtown Atlanta. This gave me the opportunity to network with many students on a one-on-one basis. I liked the idea as opposed to planning a lunch session in one hall.

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A few things that I learned:

1) Sessions involving peer discussions about ethics are much more effective than education alone.

2) Other than values and ethics, Inter professional education, Inter professional communication and Inter professional teamwork plays an important role in practicing good dentistry.

3) Cost barriers to dental care are declining slowly because more and more people are getting insured but still we don’t see as many patients as expected. This may be due to lack of education.

4) Along with dentistry, developing a side hobby is of utmost importance. It helps you be more precise and better at your work.

5) There are basically two levels of motivation. Love and Fear. Either of them works efficiently and then there is a grey area between them.

6) Few things that influence our decision-making process: Values, Risks, Social influence, Peers.

Summary of Conference Experience:

I was very pleased with my conference attendance. I learned new notions and suggestions that would help our chapter develop more. In addition, I gained valuable experience that couldn’t be obtained anywhere else. I understood that SPEA is not just about ethics, but also about learning to be a support to lower class men, promoting inter professional education, sharing ideas to develop dental practice and many more things. The conference was very organized and the speakers provided candid opinions on the subject matter at hand, making the information extremely valuable. In addition, the meals and refreshment breaks were extremely nice and allowed me to save on my travel budget. All the attendees were given a pair of socks with the SPEA logo on them, which was a very unique and an interesting idea. As an international student, the networking experience was very beneficial.  

This was my first time ever attending a conference in US alone. My husband did join me on the second day. I enjoyed exploring Atlanta, especially the Ponce Market. We explored the downtown area a little and treated ourselves with amazing Indian food. For us, eating India food here is like a delicacy.

I was very pleased with all that I received at the Annual session and also hope to attend the next one in Hawaii in 2018.

One of the sayings that I am going to inculcate in my daily life:

“Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” - Wayne Gretzky

AdvocacyAnkita Jain
Be a Champion for Change: Participate in 2018 Lobby Day

There’s an old saying that goes something like, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” But, what if I told you that we can do more than give fish or teach how to fish? What if, we changed the fishing industry?

 

There are a number of key issues facing the field of dentistry, and meeting with your legislators is one of the most powerful way to bring about change. For that reason, I am attending the Colorado Dental Association’s 2018 Dentists at the Capitol Lobby Day.

 

On Friday, February 16th, dentists across the state will meet legislators to advocate for dentistry – and we need dental students to be involved. Find out more information about Lobby Day below:

Lobby Day Details

Who

Members of the CDA and ASDA

What

2018 CDA Dentists at the Capitol Lobby Day

Where

Colorado State Capitol

200 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80203

(Carpooling from CDA headquarters in Greenwood Village/DTC is available.)

When

 Friday, Feb. 16, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Why

To talk with legislators about important dental issues, helping set the stage for dentistry's success during this and future legislative sessions. 

How

No experience is necessary! The CDA will offer training

via a webinar the week before lobby day.

Registration

Make your voice heard. Join the CDA at the Colorado State Capitol for 2018 lobby day. 

Register now!

 

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Lynn Doan