What a weekend in Richmond, VA! I learned so much about the structure of the ADA, the policies that are currently being discussed, and met many incredible dentists from our district. The ADA is divided into 17 districts, and South Carolina falls in the 16th along with North Carolina and Virginia. Each year before the ADA Annual Meeting, the delegates and alternates from SC, NC, and VA meet to discuss current resolutions that will be voted upon. They also build relationships with each other, which makes our district one of the strongest. Finally, they hear from each the candidates running for ADA President-Elect. This year, three candidates are running.
The schedule for the weekend began with a meet-and-greet on Friday afternoon at the hotel where we stayed. Networking with such involved dentists was truly inspiring! On Saturday, delegates met by state to discuss the resolutions in the morning. During the afternoon, we reconvened as a whole to discuss what our collective stance would be as a district on those same resolutions at the ADA Annual Meeting. After a long day of voting and hearing from committees, we had a Caucus Dinner at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where we toured some incredible exhibits, met the candidates for ADA President, and enjoyed a fantastic meal together. On Sunday morning, our district prepared 5 questions for the candidates running for ADA President-Elect. One candidate spoke to us at a time, and each student in attendance asked a question! I asked the candidates a question about a new proposed commission. If all goes through, there may be a National Commission of Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards that determine if residency students achieve their status of a specialist at the end of their residency. The ADA would set the criteria, and the commission would reinforce it.
My weekend gave me such an appreciation for the men and women who sacrifice time away from families and their practices to better and further our profession! I cannot wait to hear about how the ADA Annual Meeting in Atlanta goes and to spend more time with such influential people in the future.