5 Things I Learned at the ASDA District Meeting

Written by: Amanda Witzlib

Marquette ASDA is making amazing strides as a chapter! Many schools look to us as a leader in the ASDA community and we are paving the way for other schools to build their chapter as well. As a D1, we have only experienced the tip of the iceberg so far. There is so much more to learn about ASDA and ways to get involved and make a difference in the community. This weekend gave us a great idea of what amazing things we can expect of this year and the years to come. I’d love to share a snapshot of what I learned this weekend in Columbus, Ohio:


1.     I was lucky enough to meet some of the National leaders of ASDA, including the president, Roopali, many students from all over the country, and two of our own Marquette dental students, Tyler and Ryan! They all put on an incredible event, both informational and full of laughs. There are so many ways to get involved, grow as a person and be prepared to lead our teams in the dental office someday.


2.      Resources for life after dental school: In the next four years we will be learning all about how to become the best dentists we can be. Outside of technical skills, there is still much to learn. The ADA will be a great resource to help guide us once we are outside the bubble of dental school. They provide the opportunities for Continuing Education, mentorship, endless publications, potential job positions and work closely with ASDA on several advocacy initiatives. 


3.     This brings me to – Dental Advocacy: Before this weekend I thought I was aware of some of the up and coming topics of dentistry, but advocacy is so much more than that. It is often overlooked, yet it is a part of our everyday life. Decisions are constantly being made that may affect the way we treat our patients. For example, dentistry has thus far been a more self-regulating profession compared to other health care fields. If we don’t use our voices now to continue to shape our field in the direction we want to go, we may lose that chance in the future. I look forward to diving into this more and learning about ways to get involved in such initiatives.


4.     On a lighter note, I also learned that during a 7 hour car ride, if you fall asleep, you will wake up to a lovely picture of you snoozing. No one was safe.


5.     Overall, a common theme was painted. “Dentistry is not all about the teeth, it’s about the people”. The most memorable moments will come from the way we made our patients feel; such as the joy of someone’s new dentures properly fitting, or the relief after getting a patient out of pain. By truly listening to the thoughts, emotions and underlying desires of our patients, we can treat them by the platinum rule – the way they wish to be treated. It was great to take a step back and remind ourselves of the whole picture. I am so happy to be on this journey of dental school with you all, let’s see the #ASDAfever continue strong.