I had the opportunity to attend ASDA’s National Leadership Conference over Halloween weekend and I found the experience so rewarding. Through the course of my dental school career I lost sight of the ultimate goal. I was constantly focusing on always getting great grades and I struggled through every dental class. This conference reminded me that no matter how draining dental school is, I believe that I am going to be a great dentist in the future. During the conference, I met a variety of dental students from across the country and I received advice from them that I will forever be grateful for. For instance, I have almost no confidence when I see a patient for a simple cleaning. I also happen to be a very emotional person and the first patient I ever saw was a complete disaster. Kevin, a third year at Midwestern in Arizona, shared the experiences that he has had with his patients. It turns out that I am not the only one who has had the same trouble communicating with patients. While in school I am so focused with learning how to make a denture that I forget about the future that is ahead once I graduate. I attended lectures that included training on how to lead a dental team in a private practice setting and on how to manage inevitable financial debt. During the conference I learned how to be a better leader. I gathered with students from other ASDA chapters and we shared ideas on how to improve chapter activities and fundraising. I walked into the conference with a limited sense of what ASDA actually is and I learned that ASDA is the voice of the student dental community. I left the conference with ASDA fever to say the least and I can’t wait to become even more involved.
~Lauren Llorente, Class of 2017, Orientation Coordinator for Colorado ASDA