ASDA District One Summer Social – a 2016 Recap/2017 Prelude – Agatha Kao (Tufts ’18, District One Councilor)

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The ASDA District 1 Annual Summer Conference/Social is coming again at the Jiminy Peak Resort on August 25th to 27th! This event happens only once a year and all ASDA members are welcome – seize the chance!

ASDA District 1 unites BU, Harvard, UConn, UNE, and Tufts dental schools on the organized dentistry front, helping fight for the best interests of dental students. It also provides resources and networking opportunities for all of us. This weekend-long summer conference/social will be a great opportunity for you to network with different schools/vendors and get involved in ASDA to see what ASDA can do for you. It’s also a great opportunity to see what you can do for ASDA! Here you’ll learn about ways for you to prep for life after dental school, all while having fun at Jiminy Peak resort!

I attended the ASDA District 1 Summer Conference/Social last year, and it was a tremendous amount of fun! Jiminy Peak Resort is located in the Taconic Mountains in Hancock, MA, and it’s a nice getaway for us to embrace nature and step away from our stress. All five chapters participated in the rope course challenge last year. We had safety belays, chains and straps wrapped around ourselves as we moved along the high and low elements in the mountains. The challenging rope course pushed me to conquer my fear and step outside of my comfort zone while being surrounded with support. With the ropes courses, you don’t need to have prior experience nor to be fearless of heights. The rope course’s challenges go beyond climbing through highs and lows with some occasional screaming – it also fosters personal development and team-building trust with your colleagues.

Besides the outdoor fun, last year there were sponsored speakers from financial groups that informed us about ways to budget smart and how to plan for managing student loan debt. ASDA District 1 cabinet leaders presented a talk on leadership development and about how to get involved in ASDA at all three levels—local, district, and national. Sponsored dental service organizations (DSOs) came to talk about career planning for life after dental school, including applying for residency programs and working in the real world. The day wrapped up with a BBQ buffet, campfire, and laughter among the five chapters.

This year’s District 1 Summer Conference/Social has even more to offer! The opportunity for you to network among the five schools still holds true, and there will be more speakers and presentations on topics including ASDA, leadership development, career planning, mentorship, and various vendors. In other words, you’ll hear about everything that is essential to prep you for life after dental school and how you can make a difference in advocating for our profession through ASDA. Besides the rope course, there will be a BBQ and campfire like last year, but there has also been a menu of fun activities added including hiking, group painting, breakout sessions, trivia night, and socials events.

“ASDA is a national student-run organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students.” 

ASDA connects dental students across the nation, and ASDA is an important junior extension of organized dentistry from the ADA. ASDA has a similar tripod system to the ADA that keeps the organization structured for effective progress through national, state/district, and local/chapter levels. Without the birth of organized dentistry back in 1859 (for the ADA) and 1969 (for ASDA), dentistry and dental school education would not be where it is today. Because of the efforts and the structure of organized dentistry, dentistry has been constantly evolving for the better.

Organized dentistry helps us face many current issues including mid-level providers, student loan debt, licensure reform, etc. Today, dentistry is voted to be the no. 1 profession according to U.S. News & World Reports. This high ranking is a credit to the strong foundation and constant improvement led by organized dentistry. Your voice and involvement have an impact in protecting our profession and advancing oral healthcare for our patients. This is done through the platform built by organized dentistry. You can be a part of ASDA now and then a part of the ADA later.

I have been an ASDA member since I was a predental and today I am a 4th year dental student. I cannot imagine my journey without my involvement with ASDA. ASDA bridges the gap between what we learn in school and what we don’t know about the real-world dentistry to prep us for better future. ASDA shapes you to become a leader and a better clinician for our communities. Join ASDA District 1 Summer Conference/Social to start your ASDA journey or to continue your ASDA fever! Mark your calendar for August 25th to 27th now and register by this Friday July 28th to secure your spot!

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