LEAD Wrap-up

By Larry Darnell, FDA Director of Information Systems and Leadership Development Committee staff support

The Florida Dental Association (FDA) Leadership Development Committee is responsible for providing leadership training opportunities for members. We strive to provide ideas and tools to help member dentists succeed in their leadership pursuits. We currently have two events per year as part of the Leaders Emerging Among Dentistry (LEAD) program, usually one in person and one virtual. Last week, we held our second virtual LEAD event this year on Friday, Oct. 29. We had nearly 50 attendees from Florida as well as American Dental Association member dentists from other states who participated in the free, live event. The focus was “Future Trends in Dentistry,” which featured two dynamic speakers and a panel of young dentist leaders who discussed dental service/support organizations (DSOs).

Dr. David Rice from IgniteDDS provided his insight and wisdom into where the profession is currently heading. Dr. Rice encouraged dentists to see other dentists from a different perspective than they do now. Age gaps and practice models serve to be more divisive than necessary. His positive message about the future of the dental profession was well received.

Dr. Chelsea Fosse of the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute followed his presentation with some hard data to back up the trends we are seeing related to practice models. Dr. Fosse also provided an analysis into the changing landscape of dentistry from both the ethnic and gender distribution of new dentists. Once again, the data confirms that the growth of the dental profession continues to be strong.

Both speakers looked at how the current trends in dentistry will affect the future of the profession and organized dentistry, and what today’s leaders need to know to be effective in their practices and in leading their associations.

The LEAD program wrapped up with an energetic panel of young dentists who practice in DSOs. Their answers provided an inside look at the daily life of a dentist in a DSO. They discussed breaking some of the stereotypes around practice models and the importance of involvement with organized dentistry to continue to make the voice of dentistry heard at local, state and national levels. Drs. Bethany Douglas, Ashley Wagler and ArNelle Wright gave their perspectives on the practice of dentistry in a DSO, while Dr. Kristie Johnson moderated the discussion. 

All three segments of this LEAD event provided valuable insight into organized dentistry and provided a picture of where the profession is heading. If you missed this free event, the videos are available to view at any time at floridadental.org/leadtheway.

Our next LEAD event will be in person on Jan. 31, 2022, in Tallahassee and will include topics such as public speaking, the third-party payer process, personal image and leading a team in the dental office. Visit floridadental.org/lead for more information and to register.

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