Who would have thought you could catch pyrexiASDA so fast? For those of you that don’t know, pyrexiASDA refers to ASDA Fever, and by Saturday morning, everyone was infected. This year’s District 3 Leadership Conference was held in the Poconos Mountains at the Camelback Lodge. The theme for the weekend was “breaking down boundaries,” and the first night started with a social happy hour hosted by Heartland Dental. This was a great way to meet the other school leaders and honor the theme for the conference. The conference was attended by ASDA leaders from Temple University, University of Pittsburgh, Howard University, University of Maryland, and University of Pennsylvania. There were also guest speakers from the University of Colorado, Kyle Larsen, and from the University of Michigan, Dr. Gabe Holdwick. It was an incredible opportunity to meet students from District 3 and to learn about their dental school experiences and share our stories. Moreover, hearing tips and advice from our guest speakers really opened my eyes to the great heights that our chapter might be able to climb if we implemented their ideas.
Saturday was jam-packed with exciting and informative workshops and sessions. The activities ranged from a group singing challenge and a dance party, to a public speaking workshop and social media optimization seminar. We were able to share ideas of what works at our chapters and give each other inspiration for new projects to embark on this semester. After hearing all of Kyle’s ideas on how to ramp up social media, I would like to implement more contests at Penn to get people hyped about ASDA and our mission. Another idea is to share more stories about our members and do highlight posts, so that students can share the cool things they are up to! Also, I want our blog to include something like Incisal Bites, or fun, easy recipes that fit our crazy dental school lives. However, the overall goal I have as a CE for the Penn chapter is to establish the ASDA blog’s presence at the dental school and update members on events and activities that are sustainable and, consistent.
After an exhilarating day of catching ASDA fever, we were able to wind down and enjoy all the amenities that Camelback Lodge had to offer. In the winter time, Aquatopia, an indoor water park, is a hot spot for visitors. Aspen Dental hosted this second night with a happy hour at Moroccan Nights followed by a swim-up bar at FlyBoys. We were able to interact with the Heartland and Aspen representatives to find out more information their corporations and what they have to offer new graduates, such as the high starting salary for associates and the possibility of eventual ownership of a practice. Both companies assured us that, as dentists, we would have complete autonomy over the treatment planning of patients and choice of the dental/office. Heartland and Aspen aim instead to take care of the non-clinical aspects of running a practice, from scheduling patients to inventory to billing.
The fun didn’t end just yet. There were water slides, a wave pool, and an outdoor hot tub where all the members were able to share stories and bond. The conference ended on Sunday and some students stayed to go skiing and snowboarding on the Pocono Mountains. Overall, it was a great experience with many opportunities to meet students from other schools with like-minded goals and aspirations. I look forward to attending this conference again next year and I encourage all students to register for this extremely insightful, fun, and exciting weekend.
About the Author: Jasmine Faldu is a 2nd-year dental student at Penn ASDA. She also serves as a Contributing Editor on the chapter’s writing committee.