Last October, I had the privilege to attend the 6th Annual Session for the Students Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry held in Denver, Colorado. Each year, the SPEA Annual Session is held in conjunction with the ADA Annual Session.
By going to the annual session I was hoping for an experience that would add value to my time in dental school and future career in dentistry. The speakers and events at the annual session provided this and much more. I learned valuable lessons that will impact my career in dentistry, my personal life, and my choices and values as a leader. One of these lessons was the importance of setting goals and generating the motivation to pursue them. I have learned that setting goals in all areas of your life is important. It is more about who or what you become in pursuit of the goal instead of whether or not you achieve it.
Another reason I attended the SPEA Annual Session was to meet SPEA members from other dental schools. I knew by doing this we would get the chance to discuss and share ideas about what we are doing at the local level in regards to SPEA. The breakout sessions that were designed for this as a part of the conference were highly beneficial and I know what I gained from them will have an impact on SPEA’s presence at my school.
This was my first time attending the SPEA Annual Session, but will not be my last. I am excited to attend the 7th Annual Session in Atlanta this upcoming October, and hope to see new and familiar faces! Register now: https://speadental.org/register-now/
Regent: Andrea Fenton
Local Chapter: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
President- Cassandra Jo Winterrowd
President-elect- Andrea Fenton
Event Title: Clothing Drive
The UAB School of Dentistry’s SPEA chapter completed its second annual clothing drive benefitting Pathways, an organization that supports homeless women and children in Birmingham, AL. This school-wide event successfully collected 288 items of clothing, as well as toys, electronics, and other household items. The SPEA executive board members delivered the collected items to the shelter and even had a chance to speak with women who would benefit from the items. It was a unique and humbling way for students and faculty at UAB to learn more about the mission of SPEA while giving back to our local community.
Regent: Steven Daws
Local Chapter: Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
Location: Manhattan, New York, NY
President- Juliet Tchorbajian
Vice President- Stephanie Bernard
Secretary- Vishah Dhamee
Treasurer- Jennifer Tsuan
Event Title: Debate: Access to Care
Our event was a lunch-and-learn which was a Debate on the Access to Care hosted by one of our clinical professors Dr. McManus. During this lunch and learn we had a stimulating debate covering if health care is a human right, the role of the dentist in treating underserved areas and the role and value of dental therapist in underserved and rural areas.
CDM Chapter of SPEA in Dentistry
Local Chapter: East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine
Location: Greenville, North Carolina
President- Robert Barton
Vice President- Danielle Gough (Also serves as regent 5 liaison to SPEA National)
Treasurer- Bryson Rominger
Class Representatives: Terrence Campbell, Erica Balbuena Tapia, Alexandra Davis
Event Title: Dining Dilemmas
Cost to attend event: Free
Description: This was a two-part event consisting of a video followed by a dinner discussion. The first part of the event consisted of a twenty-minute video from CBC marketplace entitled “Is Your dentist ripping you off? Hidden camera investigation.” The video, which originally aired in 2014, was filmed in Toronto. It was characterized as an exposé of the dental profession. During the video, we saw the same patient visit dental office after dental office where she sought out an opinion of what dental treatment she needed. We quickly witnessed that there was absolutely no consistency or agreement about recommended treatment by any of the dentists. The patient was told that her needs ranged from a few hundred dollars worth of treatment at one office, to well over ten thousand dollars at another. The question that naturally arose from this video is why was there so much variability between the dentists, and is it possible that some dentist were guilty of overtreatment? The second part of the event was the discussion aspect of the program, which was centered on a fully catered three-course dinner. We had SPEA members act as moderators at each table, where they served to ask follow-up questions and guide the conversation. To close out the event, we had a large group discussion where we wanted to see if the students felt that there really was an ethical issue at hand or if the variability was simply due to a difference in clinical experience. We also wanted to highlight how events like this video shape and influence the public opinion about dentistry. We ended the evening by exchanging views on what we could do in order to preserve the integrity and ethics within our profession of dentistry.
On November 24, 2016, the SPEA Chapter at the University of Toronto was pleased to host a talk entitled “Facebook, Social Media, and What Happened Here” by Dr. Ferne Kraglund, the Assistant Dean of Students at Dalhousie University, Faculty of Dentistry. Dr. Kraglund spoke to us about her experiences and challenges while managing an unfortunate social media related situation at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry in 2015. She highlighted the ethical and professional issues and predicaments involved in the situation, and walked us through how the staff and the students worked together to resolve the issue. Her talk was very well received and we thank Dr. Kraglund for her efforts and commitment to SPEA’s mission of enhancing ethical and professional awareness in Dentistry and healthcare!
We are very excited to publish the schedule for the 5th Annual SPEA Annual Session to be held at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. on November 6th and 7th. To view the schedule, just click on the link.