MAAAYBE It's Time to Advocate
November is ASDA’s Advocacy Month. What does that mean? This is the best time to
learn about what advocacy is as well as how to get involved. Advocating as a dental student and a dentist is not about politics; it is about fighting for what is best for our profession and our
One of the best ways to get started is to attend a “crash course” in advocacy. Recently,
Districts 2, 3, and 4 teamed up to create the first annual Mid-Atlantic Advocacy Academy
(MAAA) in Washington, DC. The purpose of this event was to bring students together become
educated on the issues facing dental students, dentists, and our patients as well as to learn how
to effectively advocate.
MAAA started out with breakfast and an ice-breaker, followed by an Intro to the Issues
& ASDA stances. Other programming topics included combating opioid abuse, understanding dental licensure, “Make Lobby your Hobby”, barriers to care, mid-level providers, healthcare under the current administration and the Higher Education Act. The following morning, chapter legislative liaisons met for an idea exchange, which helped each chapter better understand what type of events would work best at their school.
Over 150 students attended MAAA, many of which was their first time attending an
ASDA meeting. (We all know how fast ASDA Fever spreads after attending a meeting). As you
can tell from the programming, the weekend was packed with information, as well as plenty of
time for discussion and to ask questions.
If you missed out on attending MAAA this year, there are plenty of ways to become
involved until your chance to attend next year. You can join ADPAC as a student for only $5. Youcan use Engage to send letters to your Representatives regarding Student Debt, Licensure, and Midlevel Providers. You can also attend your State Lobby Day or National Lobby Day in
Washington, DC this coming spring.
Overall, advocating in dentistry is not about political parties, but rather is about doing
what is best for our profession and our patients as well as protecting everything that makes
dentistry such a great profession. Advocating is a rewarding experience that teaches you about
issues and topics that you may not have been exposed to in dental school.
If you have any questions or would like more information, you can reach out to your
Chapter Legislative Lesions. You can also reach out to your District 2 Advocacy Chairs - Claire
Sesson (email@example.com), Victoria Yang (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Allison Rascon
Blog Contributor: Claire Sesson, Buffalo '20
ASDA, District Advocacy Chair
ASDA, Chapter Marketing Chair