The Week That Was: April 8-12

MDA’s Version of Draft Day

It’s exciting when college football players make the leap to the NFL. It’s the same sport but with bigger stakes. In a similar way, it’s exciting when dental students graduate and make the leap to a dental career. It’s the same science but with bigger opportunities. And we make sure the MDA is there every step of the way. Last Saturday, Jerri and Stacey provided lunch and prizes to D4s during board exams (kind of like an NFL combine – show us what you got!). Then this was a very big week for Team Travel (Paul, Stacey, Jerri) with all our UMKC students. Let me break it down for you.


Med Pro Lunch and Learn

MDIS is a huge partner and a generous contributor to MDA’s success. MDIS works closely with Medical Protective to offer first-class medical malpractice insurance, so it was only natural that we would show up to support Jordan Harger when he made his presentation to students over lunch. We also made a final plug for our activities over the next day and a half.

Table Talk at Teocali

A celebration is in order when you’re about to graduate, so we set up shop Thursday afternoon at Teocali’s and hosted 20 students who came to enjoy good food and drink and maybe win a prize, like Ryan Mulligan who took home a Yeti cooler while others tried their luck at feeding Hungry Bear. There’s always a lot of joy and relief by this point. We also had local new dentist members come and casually share their experience in a round of table talks. What’s cool to see is that many of these doctors were here as students just 3-5 years ago. Seeing them give back and connect with the next wave is huge for a membership organization. Many thanks to Drs. Katie Oatman, John Huebner, Garrett Cochran, Hollie Flack, and David and Caitlin Silverstein for joining us.

Signing Day

A crucial transition is the one from student member to dental member. The ADA and the MDA work very hard to create a great environment to not only ensure we help students switch over, but also make it memorable and give them a taste of what’s to come in organized dentistry. For us, this means cramming a huge suburban with materials and then setting up a small marketplace in the hallway. Then we flag down D4s to work them through the steps and offer lots of goodies, like ADA’s Drug Book for Dentistry or some candy and gift cards. Plus they enter to win an Echo Spot, a Keurig coffee maker and gift baskets. You can see the joy on their faces, and it’s a good day at the end of a long school gauntlet.

Food for Thought

We finish off our visit with a classic Food for Thought for all the students. Once again a big crowd poured in for physical and career nourishment. Our speaker was the very engaging Dr. Erick Jansson who challenged the students about integrity in their career. Dr. Jansson serves on both the MDA and MDIS boards, so he’s an excellent role model for being involved. Thank you, Dr. J, for your time and effort.

Shantel helps Team Big Schatz Take Home the Trophy

While the legislative session rolls on at full tilt (be sure to read your Capitol Connection on Mondays), there was a small break this week for a little fun. People need to get out from under the dome, and each spring there’s a softball tournament with different teams from the Capitol. This past week Shantel was able to lend a winning hand to President Pro Tem, Senator Dave Schatz’s team who beat the Speaker of the House, Representative Elijah Hahr’s team in the championship game. Kudos to the champs! Now it’s time to switch back into more formal uniforms for the stretch run at the dome.


A Big Week Ahead

Staying in the legislative mode, Shantel and Vicki will join MDA Trustee’s Drs. Lynne Barbour, Erick Jansson and Rob Tait, plus the Action Team Leaders (i.e. engaged and equipped MDA members), plus some dental students at the nation’s capital for the ADA Student and Dentist Lobby Day events. This is big-time influential, as a lot of what happens in D.C. impacts what happens in Missouri. I will rely on my trusty traveling reporters to provide news and photos for next week’s blog which will post on Thursday because the MDA office will be closed on Good Friday.

Quote of the Week

It’s different when you’re looking at a skeleton or pictures on a wall. Everyone has different anatomy, and everyone has a different jaw.” – Dr. Cynthia Idzik-Starr (This is a teaser quote to get you to check out this series of stories about becoming a dentist. I appreciate the ADA for the wide variety of topics they address.)

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