I found myself asking this question a lot as a pre-dental student. I was still confused on what exactly ASDA was until I got to dental school. Now as a second year dental student, I understand why it is so confusing to explain what seems like a simple question; what is ASDA? At UBSDM, the American Student Dental Association does A LOT, but lets start with the basics!
ASDA has multiple levels of student government including the national, state and university level. Each level has multiple positions run by future dentists that work together to better the profession and their lives as students. They do this through advocacy, running our student governments, educating each other on real world issues, making dental school a fun experience through social events and wellness activates, and so much more.
For me, ASDA is a way to get involved in the profession outside school. ASDA gives you a real life perspective on what being a dentist will be like aside from drilling teeth. The organization has opened my eyes to the impact dentists have in the community and that we have the power to positively impact their lives. As a D1 I attended multiple ASDA meetings and trips to educate students on day to day issues in the profession and how we can advocate towards a solution. Some of these issues included dealing with insurance companies, midlevel providers, the opioid crisis, and how student debt is changing the profession. These trips gave me the opportunity to meet students and dentists from across the country who came together for a common goal; to make dentistry even better for us and our patients. On top of this, ASDA has introduced me to a new group of friends and upper classmen I would have not otherwise met. After these trips, it was easy to catch ASDA Fever and discover a newfound appreciation for all of the doctors and students that take their time to advocate for the profession and their patients. If you’re not an ASDA Pre-Dental member, join now! You will start receiving newsletters, emails and magazines to update you on what we are doing to make your future as a dentist even better!
If you ever have the chance to take a trip through ASDA, take it! For me, it was a once in a lifetime experience that opened my eyes to the importance of advocacy in dentistry not just for yourself but for your future patients. Maybe one day you will even catch ASDA Fever just like me!