e-mail Print Share

Make Things Happen in Your State with a New Dentist Committee

After receiving her D.D.S. from Virginia Commonwealth School of Dentistry in 2013, Dr. B. Alexandra Barton moved to Denver to complete a twelve-month G.P.R. 

“Except for my fellow residents, I didn’t really know any other new dentists in Colorado. Although I didn’t know if I would be staying in the state after my program, I reached out to the Colorado Dental Association who put me in touch with their New Dentist Committee. I wanted to get involved, so I asked the committee chair what I could do to help. Today I am the chair for Social Media and I manage our Facebook page, established and maintain an Instagram account, and keep the more than 900 new dentists in Colorado informed about what’s happening.”

If Dr. Barton had moved to Colorado just four years earlier, she wouldn’t have found the same opportunity. “There had been a New Dentist Committee before, but it had been dormant for a long time due to lack of interest,” observes Jeanne Nicoulin, director of membership for the Colorado Dental Association. “In 2009 staff from the ADA put on a workshop for a handful of new dentists who were interested in seeing if we could make a New Dentist Committee work in the state.”

The experiment has been a success. “The Colorado New Dentist Committee hosts four study clubs each year, with dinner for attendees and live-streaming to those in other parts of the state,” observes Ms. Nicoulin. “That’s on top of the four or five networking or social events every year. We host a speed-dating type event in August to match candidates to jobs, and in the fall there is a political event – the theme for 2013 wasinsurance companies and we hosted the event in Fort Collins. Our state is very spread out, so we really work to have the events take place in different locations. We just did a ski weekend, and I saw new dentists there who live in the mountains and usually don’t go to anything other than our annual meeting.”

All this activity can be costly, and yet the events don’t charge admission to the new dentist attendees. “We have about 25 companies who pay for an annual sponsorship,” Ms. Nicoulin explains. “We publish an annual resource guide for new dentists that features their advertising, and the revenue offsets the expense of hosting so many varied events.”

Some states, such as the Illinois State Dental Society, have well-established New Dentist Committees. Other states request assistance from the ADA in starting a committee from scratch or in reviving a dormant committee.

“Working with staff from the ADA helped us clarify the committee’s goals and defined the pathway for how we were going to get there,” notes Dr. Jonathan Rich, part of the group of new dentists who re-launched the New Dentist Committee for the Kentucky Dental Association in 2011. “We got a lot of practical advice, including finding out that the committee was already defined in the bylaws, which had the effect of giving us a much more prominent voice in governance than we had expected. It was a real win for everyone.”

Kathy Ridley, director of education and membership for the Illinois State Dental Society emphasizes the importance of a professional approach. “Nobody wants to waste time but new dentists are especially conscious of the limited number of hours available in any given day. If they feel like they’ve had their time wasted because the group doesn’t have its act together, they won’t be back.” The new dentists in Illinois use a number of checklists and templates to plan and execute their many events. “We are appreciative of every dentist who volunteers, and we are also proud of our high standards,” Ms. Ridley adds.

“While I enjoy being involved at this level, I know it’s not for everybody,” says Dr. Barton. “I have friends who don’t choose to serve on a committee and they have a great time attending the study clubs that interest them, or just coming to the social events and enjoying themselves. If you want to take on a leadership role, that’s great, but if you want to just grab a drink and hang out with some wonderful peers, then I think you’ll enjoy that too.”

Although she began her time in Colorado unsure of where she would go after completing her GPR, Dr. Barton has decided to stay in Denver. “Finding a job in such a saturated market is no easy task,” Dr. Barton notes, “but between the formal networking events and the informal word-of-mouth information, I’ve been able to find out about not just available jobs but quality jobs. Having this group has made the transition that much easier for me.”

Learn more about getting involved in your New Dentist Committee or schedule a free New Dentist Committee-building workshop by calling 312.440.2779 or contacting newdentist@ada.org.

New Dentist Now Blog

DRB, ADA loan refinancing offer extends to residents, graduate students
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:38:56 +0000 In an effort to help ease the burden of student debt on dental residents and graduate students, the ADA announced this month a new program [...]
Dentists take No. 1 spot in 2017 best jobs list
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:04:23 +0000 For the third year in a row, dental professionals topped the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list ranking the best jobs of the year, [...]
Webinar: Coordinating Benefits – How much of my fee should I write-off?
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:51:40 +0000 Dental benefits and specifically coordination of benefits (COB) typically generate many questions from dental offices. The ADA has been, and continues to be, extremely active [...]
Straight line access to your goals
Mon, 09 Jan 2017 15:26:23 +0000 I walked out of dental school with stars in my eyes and a kick in my step. I tackled the work force head on with [...]
New HIPAA fact sheet available
Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:04:14 +0000 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and Office of Civil Rights have a new [...]
Getting to Know You: Dr. Hubert J. Park
Tue, 03 Jan 2017 16:52:05 +0000 Why Dentistry? It is one of the best health care professions to provide immediate confidence and pain relief for our patients, sometimes both at the [...]
Top 10 most popular New Dentist Now blog posts of 2016
Fri, 30 Dec 2016 14:59:51 +0000 From tips for dentists struggling with work-life balance to the rules of social media, the New Dentist Now blog continued to grow in readership and [...]
New dentists gain experience, pathway to financial freedom
Thu, 29 Dec 2016 14:53:42 +0000 Dr. Brenden Moon didn’t start out with public health dentistry in mind, but following his third year of dental school at the University of Mississippi [...]
Loan consolidation plans for new dentists
Fri, 23 Dec 2016 15:23:47 +0000 Dr. Ryan Ritchie remembers what it’s like to be on the cusp of graduating dental school and faced with the question of consolidating loans. Back [...]
Gain knowledge from Health Policy Institute
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 14:59:25 +0000 New dentists seeking to gain more critical policy knowledge related to the U.S. dental care system can turn to the Health Policy Institute. HPI focuses [...]