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The Week That Was Blog: July 10-14

By Paul Roberts

July 14, 2023

Big Beginnings at MOSDOH Part 1

Few things are as exciting as the start of a new D1 class. Do you recall your swirling mix of emotions – from pride to anxiety? I always love meeting new dental students. Many who I have met over the last 12 years are now leaders in the MDA. It’s fun to track their journey every step of the way. On Tuesday of this week, MOSDOH D1s took a first step with orientation, and MDA and MDIS were there to warmly welcome them. Stacey Hemmel and Jerri Wildhaber set their wares in the student commons. They were wise to use Crumble cookies as bait! Many in the class stopped by to say hello. Some were from faraway places and others, like Kara Harker, were from Vienna, Mo. and easily made some local connections with Stacey and Jerri. It was a great casual beginning to the school year.

Big Beginnings at MOSDOH Part 2

Earlier today I had the privilege of representing the MDA at a more official step in the journey – the white coat ceremony. I had never attended one in person. It was cool to feel the joy, anticipation and pride from everyone there, from students to faculty to family. The students marched in with coats in hand. Dean, Dr. Dwight Mcleod, and ATSU Health Sciences President, Dr. Craig Phelps, presided over the coating and hand shaking as 65 students from 25 states, including 15 from Missouri, made their way across the stage. Then, adorned with their new professional status, the students recited the Oath to the Profession. Finally, in a nice student traditions, Grace Mosley, President of the Class of 2026, passed a symbolic key to Nicholas Kennedy of the Class of 2027. This shows the support and unity of the school for one another. Afterwards out on the lawn and at a reception in the dental school, families and faculty mingled and got a feeling for what comes next. One thing soon will be a welcome reception hosted by Northeast Dental Society on August 3. Once again, MDA and MDIS will be there with smiles, games and prizes to get everyone comfortable with organized dentistry.

Big Beginnings in the Basement

Even before my time, MDA has long been a leader in equipping the dental team through the Expanded Function Dental Assistant program. This included playing a major role in curriculum development and an ongoing role as a prolific course provider. Perhaps the easiest testimony to get from a dentist is the one related to how using EFDAs have made their practice more efficient and profitable. Now as workforce challenges strain the profession, the MDA is once again leading efforts to increase EFDA options and enhance the training process. Part of this plan is fitting a large part of the MDA basement into a centrally located, functional training facility that will provide other service opportunities as well. This week after lots of planning and review, the first demo work began. I’ll be sure to post periodic updates as construction moves along.

Dentists in PJs? What’s the World Come to?

Last night, Stacey and Jerri were with the Greater St. Louis Dental Society for their annual Member Appreciation event. This is always a festive, fun and well done affair with fun themes and great prizes. I hated to miss it, but I was able to secure a few photos. In the absence of any more live reporting, you may draw your own conclusions, lol. I wonder if they had nitrous available?

The Week Ahead

Vicki Wilbers, Stacey and I take to the sky Sunday for a quick power-packed conference in Chicago were we are promised several updates on big issues. With all the upheaval in the profession, I can’t wait to gather opinions and ideas from colleagues across the nation. Plus, we get to take in a Cubs game at beloved Wrigley Field.

Quote of the Week

“I began to look at man, what did I find? I found myself in the presence of an engine – the greatest engine that mind could conceive.” – A.T. Still, D.O. (from biography)