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Helping dental students find success

August 14, 2017

By Kimber Solana


Improvising: (From left) Drs. Evelyne Vu-Tien, Karin Irani and Joe Vaughn participate in the "Improve Basics to Enliven Your Presentations" session during the Aug. 4 ADA Success Speaker Training program at ADA Headquarters. They were among two dozen dentists who sought to hone in their public speaking skills to better connect with dental students and become more effective mentors for the 2017-18 academic year.
Being the first dentist her family, Dr. Karin Irani said there was a lot of things she wished somebody in the profession had told her when she was dental student.
    
"I didn't know that in addition to practicing dentistry that I'll be running a business," she said. "It's important for dental students today to meet practicing dentists who are happy with their choice of profession and are willing to help them."
    
From learning how to improvise and engage their audience to receiving critiques after doing mock presentations on camera, Dr. Irani was among two dozen dentists who sought to hone in their public speaking skills to better connect with dental students and become more effective mentors during the ADA Success Speaker Training program held Aug. 4-5 at ADA Headquarters.
    
The speakers in training will lead the effort to help dental students prepare for life as a dentist and boost student engagement with the ADA as part of an enhanced series of ADA Success programs for the 2017-18 academic year.
    
ADA Success consists of a series of live, in-person programs presented by ADA member dentists or other subject matter experts on topics most relevant to today's dental students. This year, there are 53 ADA member volunteers bringing a wide array of experience to the diverse speaker corps.


Speakers: Twenty-three ADA Success speakers pose for a picture during an Aug. 4 speaker training program at ADA Headquarters. This year, there are 53 ADA member volunteers who will lead the effort to help dental students prepare for life as a dentist and boost student engagement with the ADA as part of the ADA Success programs through a series of live, in-person presentations on topics most relevant to today's dental students.
"I always enjoy the recording session. It's a great exercise to view ourselves and get our fellow speakers and the instructor's feedback," Dr. Irani said of the training program. "It happens that I have to work on my energy level. Who knew?"
    
With the training, Dr. Irani and the other speakers are better prepared to host one-hour sessions on a variety of topics relevant to dental students today. These topics include managing debt and wealth, finding a job, leadership and ethics in dentistry, practice management for all dentists and understanding employment agreements.
    
"I was a student not that long ago, and I was absolutely clueless about many of the topics the Success program educates on," said Dr. Joe Vaughn, who attended the speaker training program. "I still remember an ADA Success speaker coming to my dental school and talking to me as a student. And now I want to do my part to speak and teach and be a mentor for those behind me."
    
During the 2016-17 academic year, ADA Success scheduled over 170 programs in more than 40 different schools. ADA Success is made possible through the support of platinum sponsor, Laurel Road; gold sponsors, Great West Financial and AXA; and silver sponsor, Patterson Dental Supply, Inc.
    
To participate, state and local dental societies, as well as American Student Dental Association chapters, can schedule, host, attend or promote ADA Success programs. The ADA Office of Student Affairs administers the program. To learn more, visit ADA.org/successprogram or contact the ADA Office of Student Affairs at studentaffairs@ada.org.