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Urge to Advocate



My interest in advocacy began before I became a member of ASDA. One of the jobs I had between college and dental school involved directing tours of Washington, DC to educate school groups about the US federal government. While it was certainly rewarding to see students gain an understanding of civics, the most thrilling experience I had was learning how to build a network on Capitol Hill that allowed my students to spend time with their congressmen and senators. I think the most important lesson I carried from this job to my ASDA involvement is that while white-haired officials make up the facade of the

government, Capitol Hill is actually run by people the same age as most dental students. I realized that being a relatable ‘twenty-something’ is one of the simplest yet most powerful assets a lobbyist could have. Thus, by participating in ASDA lobbying events, dental students can significantly influence legislation as well as affect changes within organized dentistry as a whole. Advocacy is important to me because given current healthcare policies and political-economic conditions, I do not believe it would be financially possible for me to sustain a practice treating the communities that I would like to serve while paying off my student debt. But, besides honoring my professional duty to advocate for my future patients and my colleagues, I like to attend ASDA advocacy events because I get to meet students at other dental schools and hear about their experiences. It is remarkable how much we all have in common.

Blog Contributor: Kevin Eagan, Columbia, '20

2018 Columbia University DDS-MPH Training Fellow for the Care of Underserved Populations

Columbia ASDA Legislative Committee Member

Co-president of the Musicians' Guild at the College of Physicians & Surgeons

General Manager, CUMC Symphony Orchestra

Member, CDM Student Diversity Committee

#kevineagan #columbia #capitolhill #congress #lobby #washingtondc #studentdebt #advocacy #healthcare

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