NATIONAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
Every November, The Michigan Chapter travels to Chicago, IL at an annual conference that joins members from every ASDA chapter across the nation. The conference focuses on leadership development through breakout sessions, development workshops, and networking opportunities.
"I think every ASDA member should go at least once to really experience what ASDA represents not only at our chapter, but chapters around the country."
Anna Kelman, Fundraising Chair
Reflections from 2019 NLC
Mary Claire Kiernan ('21)
Hayley Laird ('22)
What was your favorite thing about the conference?
Mary Claire: I loved getting to know members of the chapter better during the conference and getting the opportunity to show them around my hometown. In addition, NLC gives you a taste of how diverse the “real world” of dentistry is and shows you that there are so many skills to pick up even after dental school. Also...the boat cruise.
Hayley: I really enjoyed the variety of sessions that were offered and the topics that were included. I attended many sessions where I learned about things that aren’t taught in school and I often wondered how I would ever learn more about, especially things like loan repayment after school, CV writing, and common malpractice situations faced by dentists, just to name a few.
What is one thing that you learned from the conference that you want to apply to our chapter?
Mary Claire: One theme emphasized in the Practice Management sessions was how to effectively brand yourself, whether you are a practice owner, associate, or any other setting. I think it would be really awesome to have an ASDA workshop for our chapter focused on branding and effective use of social media to promote ourselves as great and trustworthy clinicians.
Hayley: Being a member of ASDA offers an infinite amount of resources and networking within the field of dentistry, and being exposed to just some of these resources and networking capabilities generated many ideas for the types of events and activities we can begin to offer and incorporate within our chapter to help all members benefit from their ASDA membership to the fullest extent.
What was the craziest/coolest thing you saw at the conference?
Mary Claire: I learned some cool “tricks” in the Cosmetic Dentistry session. The first is to test your shade match by taking a black and white photo of your test shade and the tooth; if they match in the black and white photo you know your test shade is a perfect match. This technique helps shade match more accurately than using your eye alone. The second was to use silver cake decorating glitter to evaluate the contours of your esthetic restorations; the glitter reflects the light from every angle of the restoration so you are able to see the contours of the restoration and adjacent teeth more accurately.
Hayley: The number of students that attended NLC (I think it was almost 900!) was so eye-opening to me. Talking to students from other schools, hearing about their experiences in didactic courses and challenges they face in clinic, as well as how their life at another school is so similar yet so different from everything we’re going through, was one of the things I enjoyed most about NLC. The last time I really had a chance to connect with other students on this level was when I was a pre-dental student at interviews and asked a lot of questions about things I really knew nothing about, but talking about it as a dental student with other dental students really made me value the dental community and appreciate everything we got through as students to be exceptional healthcare providers in our future career.
Would you recommend going next year?
Mary Claire: Yes! You won’t regret it!
Hayley: ABSOLUTELY. I can’t believe I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to attend these conferences sooner. I went into the weekend not really knowing what to expect, but the weekend exceeded any expectation I ever could have imagined. It was a beneficial learning opportunity mixed in with a whole lot of fun, plus a much-needed break from the daily grind of school that is so easy to get stuck in.