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Women in Dentistry Leadership series empowers dental professionals to find happiness, face their fears

October 15, 2020

By Kimber Solana

More money, a better job or even Instagram-worthy vacations can’t bring a person happiness. But if they can’t, then what does?
   
That’s the central question Laurie Santos, Ph.D., plans to answer as one of two thought leaders scheduled to deliver keynote sessions during this year’s Women in Dentistry Leadership Series during the ADA FDC Virtual Connect Conference.
   
Photo of Dr. Santos
Ms. Santos
“I hope participants will learn to identify some of the most common misconceptions about what makes us happy,” said Dr. Santos, professor of psychology and head of Silliman College at Yale University. “And that they’ll discover at least five new behaviors that psychology research suggests can help us to live a more satisfying life.”
   
Even though neither of the keynote speakers are dentists, Ms. Santos and best-selling author Judi Holler are hopeful they can help women in dentistry discover what they want in life and find the courage to go after it.
   
The series will, over two days, provide a tailored blend of lectures and chats with Dr. Santos and Ms. Holler.
   
Dr. Santos, creator of The Happiness Lab podcast, kicks off the series on Oct. 16 with Are You Ready to Be Happy? where she’ll provide evidence-based tips for improving dentists’ own well-being, both at work and at home.
   
The lecture will also explore the role of gratitude in a person’s happiness, examine how being fully present can help dentists savor the moments of pleasure, and discuss how social connection affects happiness.
   
“Happy people make time for the people they care about and spend more time around other people. Research shows that connecting with strangers can also boost your mood,” Dr. Santos said. “These sorts of connections are harder during COVID-19, but the research shows that we can build these connections if we’re a bit more intentional.”
   
Photo of Ms. Holler
Ms. Holler
On Oct. 17, Ms. Holler, author of Fear is My Homeboy, wants participants to leave her session feeling empowered to face their fears and more confident about themselves.

“There are no ‘lucky’ people, only brave ones who are willing to take risks and get outside their comfort zone in order to design a life that keeps them in forward momentum,” she said. “When you are brave enough to set boundaries, remove distractions and practice self-care, you will stop chasing around everyone else’s priorities and become your own.”

Ms. Holler added a warning: “This session may cause you to lift up your foot and kick some serious butt.”
   
The Women in Dentistry Leadership Series schedule is:
Are you Ready to Be Happy?, keynote session with Laurie Santos, Oct. 16, 9-10 a.m. Central time.
• Speaker Chat with Laurie Santos, Oct. 16, 2-3 pm. Central time.
The Fear Boss Project: Smash Self-Doubt and Live a Braver Life (029), keynote session with Judi Holler, Oct. 17, 9-10 a.m. Central time.
• Speaker Chat with Judi Holler, Oct. 17, 2-3 p.m. Central time.
   
All above sessions are included with the All-Access Pass. The keynote sessions, sponsored by Crest + Oral-B, each provide one continuing education credit.
   
“We are so excited to be sponsoring the ADA’s 2020 Women in Dentistry Leadership Series,” said Dr. Stephanie Gans, Crest + Oral-B North America professional and scientific relations manager. “Although we wish we could be together in person, we hope that the virtual platform allows us to reach many more women who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to attend. We are honored to support education that helps dental professionals to succeed and look forward to being together again in 2021.”

To view complete course listings or register for an All-Access Pass to the conference, visit ADA.org/meeting.