Poconos Blog

Alauna Martinez D2-

 “The District 3 Annual Conference was a great opportunity to network with other ASDA members and learn from many current dentists about their experiences! I especially enjoyed getting to know students from other schools and have made great friends who I anticipate seeing again in the near future and at other ASDA events! One of my favorite moments from the speakers was learning from Dr. Tricia Quartey about strategies to develop case acceptance among patients. I found this extremely insightful and now know that I will be taking these techniques with me as I go into clinic! I thought that this experience overall very helpful and made me that much more excited to participate in #ASDAFever!”


Jason Holtman D4-

I really enjoyed my time with my fellow classmates at Kalahari Resorts in the Poconos. My favorite part of the conference was being able to interact with students from other dental schools. It was interesting to learn about the differences in our curriculums as well as our perspectives on dentistry. I learned about the value of patient communication and how to better communicate dental treatment to my patients without using dental terminology.


Low key favorite part was getting drunk and going down the water slides

Jazmine Jones D2

I had a fantastic time at the 2020 District 3 ASDA Regional Conference. Having had experience going to the National Leadership Conference, I had expectations that this Regional Conference would be similar. Both conferences provided a great amount of information and words of wisdom from powerful speakers, there was a very informative venders fair, and finally, a great opportunity to network with other students and graduates. However, compared to the NLC, the Regional Conference was more intimate, being only one day long with just the District 3 schools in attendance. In addition to it's intimacy, there were also some unique characteristic that made this weekend standout. First, there was the ASDA awards ceremony, where students and ASDA chapters were celebrated for their great efforts and strides in ASDA over the past year. I was excited to see that our chapter had won two awards and felt very honored to be in attendance with so many hardworking people. Another characteristic was the location. This conference was set in the middle of the Pennsylvania Poconos, where the Kalahari Resort was enveloped by a beautiful blanket of snow. Though it certainly felt like winter outside, the resort's African theme kept the indoors summer all day and night, especially with their gigantic waterpark. This waterpark was utilized very effectively as the location for the Conference Social, where we were all thrown back to our middle school field trip days. Finally, the last and most important characteristic was the friendships and connections that were made. My bestie and I were lucky enough to room with two students from Penn, and we hit it off right away. We talked for hours about our respective schools, the challenges of dental school, and what East Coast life is like. It was so nice to meet and network with not only my roommates, but also other District 3 students, making me look forward to this conference again next year. I would encourage anyone who is interested to attend. It is a fairly close conference that is realistically only one day long and lets you get your feet wet in what National ASDA is all about. 10/10 highly recommend.

Alina Bui D2-

What did you think of this weekend?

    I thought it was a great experience! It was my first ASDA conference and I thought it went very well. The only thing is that I would’ve liked more time in between the main events and at the main events. The weekend as a whole I felt a little rushed because of the event deadlines and I’m sure the speakers did too; I wanted to hear more from certain speakers but they were running out of time and couldn’t go into depth about certain topics. But overall, I had a lot of fun with my friends and the friends I met during the conference.

What was your favorite part of the conference?

   My favorite part was socializing with students from other schools and learning various pieces of advice for a successful future practice, specifically how we should communicate with patients.

What did you learn from this weekend?

    I learned a lot this weekend! The biggest things were learning about the different paths that these dentists have taken to get to where they are now, and how to best communicate with patients to ‘get them to want what they need’.

Jon Journette D2-

District 3 conference blog

The Kalahari District 3 ASDA conference was a wonderful experience. This was actually a first time ASDA event for me and it exceeded my expectations. I didn’t really know what to expect really, all I knew going in was that I was very happy to be among great classmates in a place with an indoor waterpark. Of course I knew there were conferences but just being out of Baltimore with great people, at a great venue, and just decompress a little was what really made me happy. I thought the presentations were well organized and really drove home important topics. I genuinely enjoyed the round table talks which filled us in on some important topics such as Mid-level providers, practice management, and advocacy for a non-patient based board exam. All important topics that we don’t put much thought into. Nonetheless, topics that have an impact on us and topics of which you do not learn about in dental school.

My favorite part of the weekend was the chance to network with individuals outside of UMaryland and gain insight to how their programs are in comparison to ours. I was able to speak to a couple of D4’s from different programs and ask about their excitement to begin their careers. I asked a couple of D2’s for some solid advice on how to make a solid crown prep. The D3’s I asked, “knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently in your transition into clinic?” I know it’s a thought provoking question, but I don’t think any other event would have given me an opportunity to connect and gain knowledge from other people in the profession quite like the District 3 meeting did for me.

Aside from the things I learned from colleagues, I truly enjoyed the student debt management presentation that Dr.Burr presented. I learned to set a goal of where you want to be and make actionable steps to achieving that without sacrificing how you treat your patients. Focus on case acceptance, getting patients to say yes, and save for retirement. I also enjoyed Dr. Quartey’s Million Dollar Case Acceptance presentation. There I learned how to speak to patients and always keep in mind to keep your communication simple as if you were speaking to a seventh grader because none of your patients went to dental school and they don’t understand what the terminology is. Ensure you build a relationship with your patients before you begin treating them. The most important takeaway I gained from this presentation was to educate our patients because no one else will. It’s one thing to tell someone they have to brush and floss but it’s different when you instruct them and explain what could happen if they don’t with real examples. That’s when it will stick.

Overall it was a great experience and I had a wonderful time at the waterpark where I spent the majority of my time on the artificial surf. I can’t thank our ASDA e-board enough for providing me this opportunity and I look forward to representing our chapter at future conferences/events.

Aastha Parikh D2-

what did you think of this weekend? ASDA conferences are always so informative. It was a great balance of school related and social events. What was your favorite part of the conference and why? The waterpark of course. But jokes aside, the roundtable discussions was the best part. It gave me an opportunity to discuss with others topics we usually don't discuss at school. We talked about organized dentistry, private practice, mid-level providers and changes regarding boards part II. What did you learn from this weekend? I learned a lot from the panel of new doctors. Each doctor took a different path after dental school and it was nice to learn that we have so many options. Dr. Tricia Quartey's talk was really interesting because she taught us how to build relationships with patients.

Martha Rabkin D1

Attending the district 3 conference was incredibly valuable. I had a wonderful experience meeting with our predoctoral colleagues from Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia and had a lot of fun making colorful slime with them and chatting about the initiatives going on at each school. 

I found the “million dollar case acceptance” session to be particularly valuable. Dr. gave fantastic insights into how to interact with your patients, gain their trust, and get them to accept your treatment plan, no matter the cost. I was surprised to learn that as a general dentist she places wires and brackets at her practice. I was also surprised to see how she makes dentistry an object of value to her patients - even getting them to pay out of pocket for cleanings when she decided to no longer accept insurance. I could see why her patients trust her and I hope to emulate her energetic professionalism when I enter the clinic. 

I was also so proud of our school for our many awards, a true testament to the hard work that UMSOD’s ASDA team has put in this past year. 

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