The ASDA District 1 Annual Summer Conference/Social is coming again at the Jiminy Peak Resort on August 25th to 27th! This event happens only once a year and all ASDA members are welcome - seize the chance!
ASDA District 1 unites BU, Harvard, UConn, UNE, and Tufts dental schools on the organized dentistry front, helping fight for the best interests of dental students. It also provides resources and networking opportunities for all of us. This weekend-long summer conference/social will be a great opportunity for you to network with different schools/vendors and get involved in ASDA to see what ASDA can do for you. It’s also a great opportunity to see what you can do for ASDA! Here you’ll learn about ways for you to prep for life after dental school, all while having fun at Jiminy Peak resort!
I attended the ASDA District 1 Summer Conference/Social last year, and it was a tremendous amount of fun! Jiminy Peak Resort is located in the Taconic Mountains in Hancock, MA, and it’s a nice getaway for us to embrace nature and step away from our stress. All five chapters participated in the rope course challenge last year. We had safety belays, chains and straps wrapped around ourselves as we moved along the high and low elements in the mountains. The challenging rope course pushed me to conquer my fear and step outside of my comfort zone while being surrounded with support. With the ropes courses, you don’t need to have prior experience nor to be fearless of heights. The rope course’s challenges go beyond climbing through highs and lows with some occasional screaming - it also fosters personal development and team-building trust with your colleagues.
Besides the outdoor fun, last year there were sponsored speakers from financial groups that informed us about ways to budget smart and how to plan for managing student loan debt. ASDA District 1 cabinet leaders presented a talk on leadership development and about how to get involved in ASDA at all three levels—local, district, and national. Sponsored dental service organizations (DSOs) came to talk about career planning for life after dental school, including applying for residency programs and working in the real world. The day wrapped up with a BBQ buffet, campfire, and laughter among the five chapters.
This year’s District 1 Summer Conference/Social has even more to offer! The opportunity for you to network among the five schools still holds true, and there will be more speakers and presentations on topics including ASDA, leadership development, career planning, mentorship, and various vendors. In other words, you’ll hear about everything that is essential to prep you for life after dental school and how you can make a difference in advocating for our profession through ASDA. Besides the rope course, there will be a BBQ and campfire like last year, but there has also been a menu of fun activities added including hiking, group painting, breakout sessions, trivia night, and socials events.
“ASDA is a national student-run organization that protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students.”
ASDA connects dental students across the nation, and ASDA is an important junior extension of organized dentistry from the ADA. ASDA has a similar tripod system to the ADA that keeps the organization structured for effective progress through national, state/district, and local/chapter levels. Without the birth of organized dentistry back in 1859 (for the ADA) and 1969 (for ASDA), dentistry and dental school education would not be where it is today. Because of the efforts and the structure of organized dentistry, dentistry has been constantly evolving for the better.
Organized dentistry helps us face many current issues including mid-level providers, student loan debt, licensure reform, etc. Today, dentistry is voted to be the no. 1 profession according to U.S. News & World Reports. This high ranking is a credit to the strong foundation and constant improvement led by organized dentistry. Your voice and involvement have an impact in protecting our profession and advancing oral healthcare for our patients. This is done through the platform built by organized dentistry. You can be a part of ASDA now and then a part of the ADA later.
I have been an ASDA member since I was a predental and today I am a 4th year dental student. I cannot imagine my journey without my involvement with ASDA. ASDA bridges the gap between what we learn in school and what we don’t know about the real-world dentistry to prep us for better future. ASDA shapes you to become a leader and a better clinician for our communities. Join ASDA District 1 Summer Conference/Social to start your ASDA journey or to continue your ASDA fever! Mark your calendar for August 25th to 27th now and register by this Friday July 28th to secure your spot!
From America’s oldest ballpark to New England’s famous Clam Chowder, Boston is known for being one of the most historical and populous cities in the United States. When I came to Boston for dental school, I knew I had to experience all that Boston had to offer, especially the food! Below are some of my favorite places to eat when I am not in the Patient Treatment Center or studying in the library.
Boston Burger Company
Location: 1100 Boylston Street
What to Get: 4/20 Burger
What it’s made of: mozzarella sticks, fried mac & cheese, onion rings, fries, bacon, golden BBQ sauce, American cheese
Boston Burger Company is known for its wildly topped burgers and to-die-for milkshakes. All their sauces are made from scratch and their menu is perfect for students on a low budget. I have come here numerous times with classmates after exams, labs, and to relax during study breaks. My favorite burger is the 4/20 burger, which literally has anything you could ever imagine on top. Another good choice is the Mac Attack Burger with fried mac and cheese (featured on Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives), and the Artery Clogger. If there is one thing you need to get while here, it is their well-known Frappes. My favorite is the Oreo Frappe, but the S’more Than You Can Handle is next on my list!
Location: 472 Shawmut Avenue
What to Get: Chimichanga
What it’s made of: Mexican-style flour wrap stuffed with a choice of shredded beef, charcoal grilled steak, marinated pork, or chicken, then pan fried and immersed in salsa Narciso Romero
Appetizer: Chips Y Salsa
El Centro is located right near BU Dental and is one of my favorite spots to eat in between classes. The restaurant itself is warm and intimate, packed full of handmade decorations. My favorite meal is the charcoal grilled steak chimichanga. A night out at El Centro wouldn’t be complete without enjoying their delicious chips, salsa, and guacamole as an appetizer.
Location: 492 Tremont Street
What to Get: Every single doughnut and make it an ice cream sandwich
Nothing says “treat yo’ self” like Blackbird donuts. Not only can you get a regular doughnut, but they can even cut your doughnut in half and make it into an ice cream sandwich, even with sprinkles! Some of my favorite doughnuts include vanilla glazed, cookies & cream, triple chocolate, and chocolate old fashioned.
Location: 1595 Washington Street
What to Get: Any Sandwich
Dessert: Sticky Bun
Flour is my home away from home, and has literally gotten me through dental school. Their sandwiches are always fresh and large enough to even save some for later. My favorite lunch special is definitely the smoked turkey, but the roasted lamb comes in a quick second. Sometimes for breakfast, I will stop by and get French toast. Although their food is great, the real treasure of Flour is their sticky buns. Made of sticky caramel and toasted pecans, I am positive it is one of the best desserts I have ever tasted.
Trump's Proposed Budget - What Does It Mean for Dental Students? - by Nicholas Pray and Evan Woodford (UConn '20 and '19, respectively)
The news today is frequently dominated by details of the newest healthcare bill – speculation regarding the future for consumers and providers alike. However, keeping up with changing health plans is not the only important challenge facing us as future dentists. The recent budget proposal outlined by President Trump, released in May, presents some significant changes to the student loan repayment programs. This will impact students’ ability not only to pursue a dental career, but also the ability to go into a specialty, enter public service or set up a practice. The budget proposal includes three main points regarding student loans:
First, let’s focus on the changes to income driven repayment (IDR) plans. These plans set the monthly repayment amount at a percentage of the borrower’s discretionary income. This amount is calculated based on the difference between your income and either 100% or 150% of the federal poverty guideline, depending on the type of plan you choose. In other words, with these programs, you only have to make student loan payments in the amount of 10-15% of your discretionary income. Students make payments for a predetermined amount of time, 20 or 25 years depending on the program, after which point the remaining balance of the loan is forgiven. One key point is that any forgiven amount is added to your income in whichever year it’s forgiven and becomes taxable. While there are currently five different kinds of IDR plans, the budget proposal argues that having multiple plans “overly complicate[s] choosing and enrolling in the right plan.” The budget proposes reducing the loan repayment plan choices to a single plan with payments of 12.5% of discretionary income (a 25% increase from the current plans). The new plan for undergraduate borrowers would result in their student loan debt being forgiven after 10 years of qualifying payments instead of the current 15. However, graduate students will need to continue to make payments for 30 years, an increase from the current 20 or 25. This is advantageous to undergraduate borrowers and deleterious to graduate students.
There are several significant budget cuts that will affect dental students, including the elimination of subsidized loans. ASDA and the ADA have advocated for the expansion of subsidized student loans to include graduate student borrowers. With a subsidized loan, any accrued interest while the borrower is in school is paid by the government. While not currently available for dental school borrowers, ASDA has asked that these government subsidies be reinstated. Instead, the proposed budget seeks to eliminate subsidized loans entirely (even for undergraduates).
The final and perhaps most controversial point is the elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. This is a program that was created by President Bush in 2007 to encourage graduates to enter public service, despite large amounts of student debt. If a participant works at a qualifying location (e.g. rural or urban health care clinics, government, etc.) for 10 years while making the minimum payments on the loans, the remaining balance at the end of 10 years is forgiven. Unlike an IDR plan, this forgiven amount is tax-free.
This fall season would be the first opportunity for some of the program’s 400,000 participants to see the benefits. This program has allowed many medical professionals, including dentists, to work in underserved clinics by helping cut out a significant chunk of their student debt. However, opponents have argued that the PSLF encourages excessive borrowing and that it disproportionately rewards those who attend higher-cost institutions, which are traditionally attended more frequently by students from high-income families. President Trump’s proposal itself states “these reforms will… focus assistance on needy undergraduate student borrowers instead of high-income, high-balance graduate borrowers.” The ADA and ASDA have also advocated for the PSLF, including the program’s expansion as one of their main points in their March 24, 2017 coalition letter. These requests have been rebuffed in the current proposal.
Although the budget proposal has been submitted, it still has a long way to go before it is approved, presenting many opportunities for change to occur. Currently, the bill has been submitted and is under review by Congress. On July 15th, Congress will present a revised bill to President Trump, who then has an opportunity to make a second round of edits. In September, the conference committee will meet in order to resolve differences that may exist between Congress and the President, resulting in the presentation of a final copy of the bill to President Trump. The President can veto or sign the bill, in which case, if signed, it will be enacted on October 1st, the start of the new fiscal year.
If you would like to get involved by sharing your thoughts on the budget proposal, we urge you to contact your congressional representative. ASDA Engage provides a quick method to lookup your elected officials or follow other important federal and state legislation. Visit ASDAnet.org/Engage today to get involved.
 Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the US Government: A New Foundation of American Greatness, Fiscal Year 2018, 13 May 2017.
 CNN Wire Service, “What is (and isn’t) in the budget for student borrowers.” Cable News Network, Inc, 26 May 2017
 American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Student Dental Association, “Coalition letter urging the house Committee on Education and the Workforce to address several key issues in legislation to reauthorize the student loan provisions in the Higher Education Act of 1965.” 24 March 2017.
 Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Federal Student Aid, US Department of Education
 Mayotte, Betsy, “Trump Budget Proposals: Potential Impact for Student Borrowers.” US News, 24 May 2017.
 Akers, Beth. “It’s time to axe the student loan forgiveness for public service.” The Hill, 22 June 2017
 Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the US Government: A New Foundation of American Greatness, Fiscal Year 2018, 13 May 2017.
 American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Student Dental Association, “Coalition letter” 24 March 2017.
Name: Airy Choi
Class Year: 2020
Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
What was the last book you read: Kafka On The Shore By Haruki Murakami
Where you think you might like to have a dental practice/future plans: Ideally, I would love to have my practice here in Boston, but it all depends on where my fiancé gets his career established. I also would like to open my own bakery in the distant future in which I will call “Bake-airy”.
Favorite Food: Cheese (By itself or on anything especially on bread or pasta)
Favorite ASDA Event you attended: 2017 Annual Session in Orlando #ASDAmagic
Favorite Word: Cornucopia
Intro to Investment in Dental School
Managing Money = Saving Money = Extra Money for Investment
I want to start this blog by talking about the analogy of fitness and financial management in dental school. We are all going to be dentists one day, and I believe most of us envision of having a comfortable lifestyle where we will be able to spend money on vacations and things we have always desired, or we will be able to help out charities and contribute to various noble causes. Just like trying to maintain a healthy body shape by keeping a daily caloric deficit and working out several times a week, spending less than we make and forming the habit of wisely investing the difference is one of the surest ways to build wealth over a lifetime.
Here are several things we can start doing as dental students to keep that already hefty hole of student loan debt as shallow as possible. First and foremost would be to condition our brain into a saving mode instead of a spending mode. I’m a firm believer in the saying that “wanting leads to suffering.” If we could alter our perspective to be satisfied with what we already have, rather than giving in to our temptations to spend, we could be saving a lot of money. The most straightforward way of saving money is to write down everything we spend in a given month. By writing down the expenses, two things would occur. We get an idea of how much we spend in a month, providing an idea of how much we can invest. It also makes us more accountable for our spending, which encourages most of us to cut back. Lastly, we want to pay off all of our current small debts on time: credit card debt, utility bills and so on, as they tend to accumulate penalties for late payments and dampen our credit score.
Our Most Valuable Gift: Time!
Before talking about the types of investment, I want to point out one very valuable gift that we already have—time! I will explain why time is precious and powerful with the concept of compound interest. Let’s assume we start with investing $100 in the first year that attracts 10% of interest in one year. It will give us a $10 gain. We would start the second year with $110, and assuming the interest rate stays at 10%, we would end up with an $11 gain in year two, turning $110 into $121. As the snowball rolls on, we would eventually grow a substantial amount of wealth. To drive this point home, this count below shows how much money we would end up with if we invest $100 at age 0 (original investment) and let it gain compounding interest for 100 years, assuming the interest made each year is 10%.
5 years = $161
10 years = $259
20 years = $673
30 years = $1,745
40 years = $4,526
50 years = $11,739
70 years = $78,975
80 years = $204,841
100 years = $1,378,061
Of course, no one would only invest $100 for their lifetime and rarely anyone would need to wait for 100 years until they can reap the rewards of investing. But the key is to show how powerful compounding interest is and how crucial it is to start investing as early as possible so that there is more time for our money to compound in the market. Warren Buffet started investing at age 11 by purchasing his first stock, and he jokes that he started too late. Realistically speaking for us dental students, if we start putting money in an investment fund at the age of 25 and starting to cash out our investment at age 65, we would have at least 40 years for the money to compound! Plus, compounding does not stop once we retire, since we only cash out a small percentage each year along the way, and we can choose to let our investment compound for as long as we live.
Passive vs. Active Investment
So what kind of investment should we put our hard-saved money into in order to generate a steady, predictable, and long-term return with no major hiccups?
Let’s start with the most common notion we have when we hear the word “investment”. It usually means that we put our money and time into an asset or item that we speculate that would increase in value over time, and we can profit from that increased value. For example, when I first hear the word investment, I think about cherry picking a few famous stocks such as Apple, Google, and Coca-Cola, and hoping that I will have the market acuity to sell them at the highest possible point and make a huge profit.
What I just described is a prime example of active investment, a speculating game that no one knows how to play and no one ever will—because there are no rules and zero patterns. The above scenario would be a dream for everyone, but so is winning the lottery—the chances are incredibly slim. And yet, there are thousands of professional financial advisers on Wall Street and elsewhere who claim that they know the ins and outs of the unpredictable nature of the stock market. Here is how the textbook actively managed mutual fund (aka active investment) works: the adviser (aka broker) would take our money and send it to a fund company, which combines our money with other active investors’ money into an active mutual fund. The fund company has a fund manager who buys and sells certain stocks within that fund, praying that this active buying/selling will generate a profit for investors. So what’s the problem with active investing and buying stocks directly?
In order to understand why active investing is perhaps not your best option, you must first be introduced to the single most important concept in the investment world—the index fund! Index funds are also known as passive investments, due to their nature of non-speculating and low trading frequency. Just as a book’s index is used to represent the entire content of the book, index funds are representations of the entire US stock market that contains thousands of stocks within it. Thus, instead of spending $100 to invest in one single stock of Apple or Microsoft, we spread this $100 to every single stock that is out there no matter how little of each share we own. By doing this, we essentially diversify our money into the entire stock market. But why would we do that? Why would we bother to invest in index funds when the market is still unpredictable anyways? The key word here is again—time! Based on data from Morningstar.com , the US stock market has generated annual returns of more than 9% for over 90 years, and this included some famous stock market crashes during 1929, 1987, and 2008. Therefore, in the long run, the stock market has always been trending upward, despite a few ups and downturns over the years. Similarly, other economically dominant countries’ stock market, such as UK and Germany, have also mirrored a similar 9% increase in the long run. More importantly, by reinvesting the index fund dividend each year back into our account, we are essentially building a compound interest snowball that will grow and grow until the day we retire. Thus, the wisest investment decision would be prioritizing index fund investments for a LONG period of time and diversify our investments into both domestic and international stock markets. Also, start early!
Now that we know the concepts of both active investment (speculating) and passive investment (index fund and bond), I would like to point out why active investment is inferior to passively investing in index funds over the span of a lifetime. The seemingly strategic buying and selling by an active fund manager is in fact a losing battle when it is compared with index funds over the long term. To understand why, let’s assume in 2016 the US stock market moved up by 10%, which means the average dollar invested in the stock market has increased by 10%. The key word here is AVERAGE. When the market moves up by 10%, some investors made more than 10%, and some made less than 10%. The average of all the gains and losses would be 10%. So what are the odds for an active investment broker to make more than the market average return of 10% and beat the index fund?
The answer would be 50-50 IF our Wall Street brokers worked for us for free and the mutual fund company didn’t cost anything to operate. Of course, this is impossible. When we look at a 15 year-long study conducted by the Journal of Portfolio Management , 96% of the actively managed mutual funds underperformed the US market index fund after all the fees (expense ratios, 12B1 fees, trading costs, sales commissions, and taxes) that we would pay to our mutual fund managers/advisers. Taxation occurs whenever a profit is generated from that fund. Since actively managed mutual funds are all about constant trading (selling), each sale generates a tax bill for the investor, and thus substantially lowers the return once you add up all the fees and expenses.
Index funds, on the other hand, are an investment in the entire stock market. The return of the index fund will be extremely close to the average market return of that year with little surprises. If there were a 10% increase in the stock market in a given year, the return of the index fund would be 9.7% or 9.8%. It is never higher than the average market return, but it guarantees all index fund investors the same amount of return without discrepancies. In addition, index funds are rarely traded or sold until the day that we decided to cash out, and that day is not until we retire. Since there is no trading, there is no taxation of the investors. Therefore, in addition to a much steadier and more predictable long-term gain, index funds have another edge over actively managed mutual funds—tax efficiency and low or no extra fees.
The Best Way to Build an Investment Nest Egg While in Dental School
So far I have covered what index funds are and why actively managed mutual funds are a trap for our hard-earned money. Now, let’s talk about the how-to part—how we can start our own investment account as a dental student when most of us have no background knowledge in investing (and when we are spending the bulk of our time studying for teeth). What if there was a company that could help us manage an index fund account and do it for a fee that is almost 60% lower than the average fund fee? What if all we needed to do was spend one hour per year (or not even) to managing our account? It may sound like a hoax, but there is such a company out there.
Here comes Vanguard, the world’s largest provider of index funds, started by investing legend John Bogle as a nonprofit firm. Vanguard started by focusing on lowering the cost of investment by letting investors go through the DIY routes of investment. The DIY strategy includes either letting the investor pick through Vanguard’s offerings of index funds or building their own portfolio with ETFs (the cousins of index funds). As cheap and relatively easy as the DIY strategy with Vanguard is, it still lacks the guidance that new investors often feel that they need. Vanguard eventually realized this complication and now offers an even lower-maintenance, low-cost, hassle-free, already-built product that consists of entirely indexed funds and bonds. This heavenly product offers a “couch-potato” way of passive investing that fills the investors’ portfolio with safer and yet steadily growing index funds and bonds that are distributed according to investors’ age (I will explain the distribution soon).
So what is an investment portfolio? How do we build a portfolio with Vanguard? Any smart investor (aka all of us) should have an investment portfolio that includes at least two components: index bonds and index funds (stocks), both which consist of a domestic stock index component and an international stock index component. A bond is money that we lend to a first-world government or a reliable corporation. Our money is safe with the government or the corporation as long as they are able to pay the money back, plus our annual interest. Bonds are our security blankets in terms of investing because they are much less volatile than stocks, although they earn less interest. So if the stock market crashes all of the sudden, bond (not 007) is right beneath us to make sure we have a soft landing.
Now that we know what index funds and bonds are, what should be the distribution between bonds and stocks in our portfolio? The ultimate rule of thumb is that we should have a bond allocation relatively equal to our age , or our age minus 10. It all really boils down to how much risk we can take. The younger we are, the more risk we are typically willing to bear. For example, if we are 25 years old, our bond % should be 10-20%, and the index funds should be 80-90%. But, if we are 55 and close to retirement, there should be 40-50% of bonds, and 50-60% of stocks in the portfolio. Of course, the distribution is always fluid based on the market, and we have the ability to rebalance our account. The concept of rebalancing is simple. Let’s use the analogy of buying composite material for our future practices. If the composite market suddenly goes on sale, what should we do? It’s a no brainer—everyone should stock up composite in the practice while the price is low! The same rule applies to the stock and bond market. When the stock market goes down, we rebalance our account by buying more stock and less bond—the basic rule of “buy low, sell high”. Except we don’t sell the stocks in the world of index fund, we hold them until the day we are ready to retire. If rebalancing still sound too complicated to a DIYer, don’t worry, the product that Vanguard offers automatically rebalances itself once a year.
That’s it! Now let’s wrap up this blog post by talking about how I started to invest with Vanguard all by myself with absolutely zero Wall Street experience. Sounds crazy, right? But, it’s a process that is straightforward enough that every dental student will be able to do it! I opened my investment account with Vanguard right before I started dental school in 2016. I projected my retirement year to be 2055, 35 years after I graduate from dental school. All I did was to apply for a Vanguard account via mail. Once I activated my account, I went through a list of Vanguard’s Target Retirement Funds to find the “Vanguard Target Retirement 2055 Fund (VFFVX)”, which matched my projected retirement age. There are other funds with the same name except different retirement years. VFFVX 2055 contains a diversified portfolio within a single fund that adjusts its underlying asset mix over time. At the bottom of this post, you can see what the distribution of my portfolio looked like when I opened my account in 2016:
Based on my age (25) and my risk-taking ability (high ability to take risks), VFFVX 2055 assigned me 90% of stocks and 10% of bonds. We are able to change this composition if we feel uncomfortable with the % of stocks. But, since I’m only in my 20s, I will take the risk of having way more stocks than bonds so that I will maximize my reward in the long run. Of the index stocks that I own, 54% come from domestic (US stock market) and 36% come from international stock markets. I also own 7% and 3% of indexed domestic bond and indexed international bond, respectively. I set my account on an autopilot where it takes $100 per month from my bank account for investment purposes. Then I never have to worry about the account again unless I change my mind about how much money I would like to put in monthly, or the distribution of stocks and bonds. By the end of one investing year, the dividend is automatically reinvested into my portfolio based on the distribution, and the account is automatically rebalanced by Vanguard. Every couple of years, this fund and every other similar fund with different retirement years will reduce its % of stocks and increase its % of bonds as people getting older and closer to their retirement.
Finally, let’s take a look at the performance of the Vanguard Target Retirement Fund since its inception. This bar graph shows that the VFFVX 2055 retirement fund has given a 10.77% return since 2010—a return that’s considered above the historic market average of index fund performance (8-9%). Of course, the future stock market will be subject to economic crises and other factors that will affect its performance. So, the “dog leash” of the stock market will likely to come back to the average of 9% in the long run. (Source: Vanguard.com)
Nevertheless, Morningstar.com compared the track records of Vanguard’s Retirement Fund with the average active investor who hired Wall Street guys’ performances in the past 10 years, including the Great Recession in 2008. It turns out that the average investors only gained 6.37% in interest whereas investors who invested with Vanguard’s index fund gained 8%. The speculation game did nothing but add panic and indulge investor greed. By choosing to participate in irrational trading and speculative buying, they missed out on an additional 1.63% in interest. Vanguard’s investors, on the other hand, kept their cool and kept adding money to their portfolios monthly, regardless of what the market movements or hearsays were. This seemingly lazy strategy worked like a charm and safeguarded the index fund investors through the traumatic 2008 financial crisis.
 The Value Line Investment Survey— A Long-Term Perspective Chart 1920-2005 and Morning Star Performance Tracking of the S&P 500 from 2005 to 2016, www.morningstar.com
 David F. Swensen, Unconventional Success, a Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment (New York: Free Press, 2005), 217.
 Hallam, Andrew (2016-11-28). Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School. Wiley.
Name: Callan Donovan
Class year: 2020 (Rising D2)
Hometown: Falmouth, ME
What was the last book you read (as of this survey, which was 4/9/17)? I read the Magnolia Story over winter break. It's about my favorite show, Fixer Upper, on HGTV.
Where do you think you'd like to have a practice (if that's what you want)? I think at this point I'd like to move back to southern Maine and have a practice there, but if not, definitely somewhere in New England.
What's your favorite food? Shrimp pasta!
What's your favorite ASDA event you've attended? I haven't had the opportunity to attend many ASDA events, but I'm looking forward to future events!
What's your favorite word? I've never really thought about this before, but I guess I'd probably say that my favorite word is "equestrian." I love horses and have been riding since I was little, so being an equestrian has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember.
Introducing another District 1 member and our own Advocacy Vice Chair, Anisha Pandya:
School and class year: BUGSDM 2020
Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ
What was the last book you’ve read? Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
What is your favorite food? Curly fries
What is your favorite hobby? Dancing
Where do you think you would want to have a dental practice? Currently undecided, but probably somewhere in the Northeast.
What is your favorite ASDA event you’ve attended? Annual Session 2017
What is a fun fact about you? My first email address was ‘shinychoppers212’ because it was around the same time I got braces.
Would you like to see a different question asked and answered? Feel free to touch base with Ryane Staples (firstname.lastname@example.org), Anna Lam (email@example.com), or Tiffany Chien (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let us know!
Have you ever been reading something and then you come upon a really ugly grammatical mistake and you just stop reading? It’s like nails on a chalkboard. What if the thing you’re reading is an e-mail from a respected colleague or mentor – does that influence your opinion of them? If you’re honest with yourself, you might say yes.
We’re all guilty of not double-checking our text messages. Sometimes your thumb gets moving so quickly that you’re pressing ‘send’ before your eyes even have time to re-scan. Plus, it’s just a text, right? It’s probably not that important. You probably don’t often text your professional contacts, so it probably makes no difference.
But, what about e-mails? Where do they fit into the communication importance hierarchy? I guess it depends on whom you’re e-mailing and what audience you think that e-mail has. If you’re e-mailing your Mom or brother, it’s probably not critical to make sure you’re using ‘whom’ appropriately, or whether you’ve put the apostrophe in the right place. Most e-mails, however, deserve a re-read (and probably even a second re-read) before you send them. Most deserve the additional time and labor of editing so that you don’t ruin an otherwise perfectly good piece of communication, and in the process, tarnish your good reputation.
What am I talking about? Well, we all make mistakes when we’re writing e-mails. These days, autocorrect and spellcheck have our backs… until they don’t. What happens when you write a word that is a real word but is simply not correct in context? Spellcheck probably won’t alert you. What happens when you mix up your tenses mid-sentence? Autocorrect probably missed it too. I’m not talking about high-level grammatical mistakes that you’d need an English major to uncover, or even about stylistic preferences - I’m referring to simple, albeit painful mistakes. Here are some sneaky and easy mistakes that are commonly made that you can benefit from avoiding, particularly when you’re sending an e-mail to someone important (i.e., professor, potential future business partner, clinic coordinator, etc.).
If you have made/are making these mistakes in your e-mails, they are simple errors to fix. If you know you frequently mix one or more of these up, please feel free to print up this short list and tape them up somewhere where you’ll remember to look before clicking send. Next time you’re in a rush and trying to get an e-mail out quickly, just remember who’s on the other end of it and consider whether their impression of you will change if you make one of these simple mistakes. Your words matter, and probably more than you think! Take the time, and preserve your erudite reputation.
Here we have our next District One Voice! Agatha Kao, is a third year student at Tufts and is on our Trustee Team as the Councilor!
Name: Agatha Kao
Class Year: Third Year, D18
Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan & Irvine, Southern California
What was the last book you read: Winning From Within by Erica Fox
Where you think you might like to have a dental practice/future plans: Practice Owner in Boston, MA
Favorite Food: Sushi 🍣
Favorite ASDA Event you attended: National Leadership Conference
Favorite Word: Love ❤️
Stay tuned for our next District 1 Voice! Would you like to see a different question asked and answered? Feel free to touch base with Ryane Staples (email@example.com), Anna Lam (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Tiffany Chien (email@example.com) and let us know!
On April 7th, Tufts hosted their annual Pre-dental Day, which was open to all undergraduate, graduate, and nontraditional students who are interested in pursuing a career in dentistry. Being a pre-dental student myself not too long ago, I was very excited to be a part of this enriching day. I had previously attended LSU’s Pre-dental Day where it helped me gain so much insight on what I was getting myself into as a future dental student, and it was a humbling experience to be on the other side of the fence this time around as a first-year dental student.
After many months of planning, the day finally came. There were 60 pre-dental students registered and over 40 volunteers from our school to help us throughout the day. The day was kicked off with a presentation by ASDA, informing students on what the dental student-run organization is and how they can be a member even as a pre-dental student. The students were then split into two groups to go to their respective workshops; there was a wax-up and a composite workshop. The wax-up workshop showed a demonstration led by two of our faculty members, Dr. Saksena and Dr. Falzone, and afterwards the students practiced one on their own. In the composite workshop, Dr. Arsenault talked about the various tools and materials used for a composite filling. Thereafter, the students worked on their composite fillings with the volunteers. Once the workshops were over, the students were given a presentation on the application process and financial aid followed by a tour of the school. The day concluded with a student panel consisting of a representative from each year where they answered any questions that the pre-dental students may have in addition to a survey to assess the event.
The feedback we received was an absolute positive one. We had comments ranging from how great the volunteers were to how informative they found the presentations and workshops were. And many expressed Tufts as their number one choice for dental school. It was an amazing experience for not only the pre-dental students but to us, dental students. Not only did the day showcase how much we learned in our first year, but it also was a very rewarding experience for us to give back to those who’s shoes we were in a short time ago.