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Dental society newsletter bridges gap between generations of dentists

November 03, 2014

by Kimber Solana

Golden Apple Award logo
Monterey, Calif. —
Get better every day. Be transparent. Don't rush to treat what could be watched. Love your staff. Find time to purse interests outside the dental office. And success isn't measured by units of work or dollars of production. Give back.

These words of wisdom were collected and published in the spring/summer 2013 issue of The Smile Line, the quarterly newsletter of the Monterey Bay Dental Society. The goal: To provide mentoring and professional guidance to new dentists and new members directly from MBDS' more seasoned dentists.

"We found in a previous issue dedicated to new dentists that they face so many challenges in starting their careers and balancing their professional and personal lives," said Debi Diaz, MBDS executive director. "We also realized that we have so many members full of experience and knowledge. The newsletter was the perfect opportunity for us to put out useful information for our new dentists and members."

image of The Smile Line
Award winner: The spring/summer 2013 issue of The Smile Line, the newsletter of the Monterey Bay Dental Society, received a Golden Apple award.
In recognition of their spring/summer 2013 issue, MBDS received the Golden Apple award in the Excellence in Member-Related Services/Benefits for a dental society with total membership fewer than 1,000 dentists. To see the entire list of this year's Golden Apple recipients, go to ADA.org/adanews and visit the October News Archive.

Dr. Daniel Pierre, MBDS past president, said the publication has opened doors for communication between new and more experienced dentists, including during recent networking events.

"When someone opens up their background, history and personal and professional struggles and accomplishments, they become more approachable and personable," Dr. Pierre said. "After the issue came out, it really helped encourage interaction between our new and more experienced dentists."

Sent to about 470 active and retired members, the newsletter issue was the brain child of Dr. Lloyd Nattkemper, the newsletter editor who sought some of the dental society's more seasoned members to write articles on how they view success, both personally and professionally.

Aptly titled "The Accomplished Dentist," the newsletter included several stories from local doctors who have successfully practiced for decades, including Drs. J. Mark Bayless, Debra Woo, Bruce Donald, Wayne Richey and Nannette Benedict. These doctors shared stories of the challenges they faced starting out, how they adapted to the ever-changing landscape of dentistry and their accomplishments professionally and personally. Dr. Richey, who has been practicing for about 50 years, shared photos of him finishing an Ironman distance triathlon in 2013.

"Other people may have their own definition of the 'accomplished dentist,'" said Dr. Pierre. "To me, the 'accomplished dentist' is one that is always trying to get better. Someone who continues to put in the effort to do their best personally and professionally."

The issue also includes a financial column by Dr. Douglas Carlsen, a columnist for Dentaltown Magazine, and an article on managing stress by Sally McKenzie, a nationally known lecturer and author.

In addition, the newsletter included a personal interview with Dr. Arthur Dugoni, who served as dean of the University of the Pacific for 28 years. Dr. Dugoni discussed his views on effective leadership, the humanistic model of education, financial stability and making a difference through dentistry.

"We recognized a need for our new dentists and new members and found a way to address it," Ms. Diaz said. "And the response has been great. We're seeing a real camaraderie between the generations."