July 2020 Volume LV Number 4

 
 
 
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Predoctoral Chapter Spotlight

July 2020 Volume LV Number 4

ZOOM IN to Pediatric Dentistry with the University of Michigan Student Chapter
 
Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, members of the Student Chapter of AAPD at the University of Michigan enjoyed lunch and learns, volunteering events, and social gatherings. However, the wake of COVID-19 in the spring af- fected our annual Give Kids a Smile Day, student chapter activities, and daily lives as dental students. Many of us traveled back to our homes and began a virtual version of school, away from our peers and faculty. Our AAPD chapter soon realized we could not wait until things turned back to normal to continue chap- ter activities. Thus, "ZOOM IN to Pediatric Dentistry", a live online seminar series, was born.
 
As we saw Zoom adapted for gatherings, from lectures to online yoga, we sparked the idea to use it as a way in which the chapter could meet virtually and continue to explore pediatric dentistry. The platform allowed us to host sessions similar to our previous "lunch and learn" format. In addition, we used the Zoom events to recruit for the 2020-2021 aca- demic year by extending the invitation to potential new members from the in- coming D1 class. Throughout the process of inviting speakers, we used the situa- tion to our advantage by exercising the ability to bring in speakers from across the country who might not have other- wise been able to speak at the school.
 
Current student chapter president, Carly Fox, explains, "We decided to use the cur- rent circumstances as an opportunity to reach a bigger community by engaging speakers and potential members who would otherwise not be able to partici- pate in our in-person events."
 
We started by reaching out to alumni of our student chapter who had gone on to pediatric dental residencies across the country. The first installment of our "zoom and learn" series was a success, with 25 members tuned in for the evening session. Dr. Philip Yoong, first year resident at University of Southern California and graduate from University of Michigan Class of 2019, presentedto us about the application process and his experiences in his first year of residency. He gave excellent examples of what members, from D1 to D4 year, can be doing to better prepare them- selves for any dental residency. Our second event hosted Dr. Richard Klarck, first year pediatric dental resident at the University of Michigan. His presentation focused on the residency program at University of Michigan and OR pediatric dentistry. He described the work-up and steps involved with a typical OR case. Dr. Richard, having experience from both predoctoral and postdoctoral programs at Michigan, offered his advice to the D3s and D2s on how to get the most out of their upcoming predoctoral pediatric dentistry rotations.
 
What made these sessions so valuable were the interactions between the speakers, our members, and guests. The sessions have been a safe space to ask questions, whether it be about clinical scenarios, life as a resident, or residency applications and interviews. Both speak- ers were encouraging to all members and offered their contact information for follow up. After learning about the first hand experience from our alumni, our members are looking forward to their future pediatric rotations and the chance to explore the specialty further. From the quality of conversations and stories shared during the session, the format continues to show promise to carry out the mission of the group and grow the chapter.
 
We plan to continue ZOOM IN to Pe- diatric Dentistry sessions throughout the summer. Our upcoming session will feature Pediatric Dentistry Jeopardy, de- veloped and moderated by University of Michigan clinical professor, Dr. Majewski, and myself. Another session will include a pediatric dentist in the Chicagoland area talking about her experience with business, marketing, and creating a space for yourself in the dental commu- nity. We look forward to creatively using the tools available to fulfil the mission of the student chapter. COVID-19 will impact the ways in which we are able to convene as a chapter physically in the near future. What remains the same is the importance of continuing to explore pediatric dentistry and build fellowship as a predoctoral student chapter.
 
MaryClaire Kiernan, University of Michigan Class of 2021 mckiern@umich.edu
Dr. Richard Klarck outlines the University of Michigan Pediatric Dental Residency program

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