How has ASDA helped you build your leadership skills?
As the current co-president of our chapter at NYU, it is hard to believe that I had no prior leadership experience in dentistry before joining ASDA. When I first joined ASDA two years ago, I organized my first few Lunch-and-Learns as the D1 Representative. These events gave me tangible experience in communicating with other healthcare professionals and being receptive to what our class was most interested in learning about. The following year as the D2 Representative, I helped organize more hands-on activities, including sessions with other classes to help each other with hand skills. These events revealed what our class was most struggling with and provided insight on the attitudes of the other classes. Through testing my time management and communication skills, ASDA has shown me what it means to be an effective leader by providing me with opportunities to lead my own events for my peers at NYU and respond to both positive and constructive feedback. By making purposeful change, I will be able to facilitate more effective conversation during our chapter meetings and affect more targeted skills and advocacy events. I look forward to the next year of professional development with a strong team of leaders by my side.
What do you think is the most vital quality in a leader?
A leader can properly evaluate what their colleagues are trying to communicate with them and enact a solution in an appropriate manner. This interpersonal skill of communication is integral to maintaining an effective team, where every member works together to create something more meaningful. As not only a board member in my chapter of ASDA, but also an active member of our class council, I directly communicate with the members of my chapter, class, and administration to help concerns reach a logical solution where all parties are content. Such mediation requires a proper understanding of the context of a situation and a penchant for conversation. To preclude further complications because of confusion, a leader must have strong communication skills, and as a result, they will facilitate innovation, maintain relationships, and build an effective team.
Why should members get involved with ASDA leadership positions?
The inspiring new friendships and connections I made these past two years motivate me to stay involved with ASDA leadership. In the anticipation of participating at our first club in dental school, I found inspiration in my fellow D1 board members who supported each other whenever each of us presented in the board meeting, as well as other D1 students from District 2 who I met at the January meeting. From my Lunch and Learn event, I found both an advisor and friend in Dr. John Yoo, a well-known pediatric dentist. During our seminar, I felt proud that he was excited to join our organization and even prouder that I positively reflected our ASDA chapter. This feeling of pride and family is only compounded by the large community that is ASDA at NYU.
In addition, ASDA is an organization that aligns with my commitment to advocacy, community service and wellness, and such knowledge on team-based healthcare is crucial to anyone who is interested in contributing to something bigger than themselves. As someone who is intrinsically motivated to help my peers and lead a team, I look forward to taking on roles that allow me to further hone my communication skills with a larger community and being able to sharpen these skills in the context of public service like I am able to do in ASDA is unparalleled.
These experiences have afforded me a sense of confidence and motivation to continue to strive for success both in and out of the dental field. For students, ASDA offers a wealth of exposure to different concepts, faces, and opportunities of the multidisciplinary dental world, and I am eager to continue to make the most of and spread those resources with a like-minded, inspiring family in ASDA.
What future leadership roles in organized dentistry interest you and why?
I am inspired to take my skills in communication and interest in education to the field of academia. Following these years of education and a few more years of private or group clinical experience, I see myself standing at the front of a seminar classroom, lecturing on how to properly read a cephalometric x-ray and providing the foundational knowledge of research-based diagnosis. I will surround myself with a community of like-minded staff and administrators and stay in touch with my own professors who made such a career possible. I want to play the pivotal role of the dental educator who will not only provide the tools for students to build basic skills in formulating diagnoses and clinically managing patients, but also the advice to help their students succeed outside the classroom. This role will allow me to make a real difference in the education of our future healthcare workers, but also profoundly impact the lives of thousands of patients that will come under their care.