In August I was invited to speak at a conference in Provo, UT hosted by Dr. Gordon Christensen on the campus of BYU. The conference was a two-day event with a panel of amazing speakers combined with some social events for those attending. Dr. Christensen and his wife, Rella were the consummate hosts! Their kindness and thoughtfulness was evident in so many of the details. Dr. Christensen assigned a ‘Speaker Host’ to each of the speakers. My host contacted me ahead of the meeting to find out if there was anything he could do to make my visit more pleasant. He picked me up from the airport and served as my shuttle throughout my stay. My particular host was in his final year of undergraduate studies at BYU and about to apply to dental school. He sat next to me during the other speaker’s presentations and I noticed that he took copious notes. He told me that he took 10 pages of notes for my presentation! I asked him to keep in contact with me because this young man is precisely the type of person I will be hiring as an Associate Dentist in my practice!! It will be four years before he graduates from dental school, but I can confidently predict that this fellow will make his mark in the dental profession.
Then just yesterday, I was invited by Dr. Bradford Smith (Associate Dean) to spend the day at the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Glendale, Arizona. This dental school opened about five years ago and is a model of modern dental school education. Dr. Smith invited me to spend the day in the clinic where second, third and fourth year students were providing patient care. I was given unfettered access anywhere in the clinic and I had an incredible time observing these dental students providing care and interacting with the patients. The class size is 112 students per class, so I was observing over 300 dental students during my visit. What impressed me most about this group of over 300 dental students was just how bright they were and how eager they were to learn. I met many of the clinical mentors supervising these dental students and you could just feel the energy they get from their students. I met a fourth year dental student who was absolutely beaming because she learned she had just been accepted into an orthodontic graduate program in Philadelphia (She was one of 3 students accepted). It was an incredible day!
Based on these two recent experiences, I’d like to report that the future of dentistry is very bright indeed. If the students I met at Dr. Christensen’s conference and at the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine are a sneak preview into the next generation of Dentists, then our profession is in good hands. You might figure out a way to attract the best and the brightest into your own practice. I am doing just that! Keep Smiling!