September 2021 Volume LVI Number 5


Predoctoral Chapter Spotlight

May 2021 Volume LVI Number 3

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine’s Predoctoral AAPD Chapter
The 2020-2021 executive board of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine’s (CDM) Predoctoral AAPD Chapter assumed their positions with much excitement in mid-May 2020!
In June 2020, we published a list of book recommendations that was intended to begin meaningful conver- sations, spread awareness, and educate young readers about anti-racism, Black history, and the Black experience. This was developed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the demonstrations of racism and sense- less violence that had recently taken place in our country. We partnered with EyeSeeMe, a Black-owned bookstore whose mission is to promote stories about African-American culture and history, to bring a collection of books from our list to CDM’s pediatric den- tistry clinic. We humbly asked the CDM community for donations to the effort and graciously received a total of 56 books, of 18 different titles. This was a strong start for the club’s academic year and was followed by the recruitment of 43 members!
Our community outreach efforts have prevailed through the pandemic and allowed our chapter to continue its presence in the community. Members volunteered their time to speak with families at El Nido de Esperanza, a local community-based organization, for six virtual sessions on oral hygiene instruction. In addition, we secured a partnership with Colgate and were able to donate 600 toothpastes and tooth- brushes to Homes for the Homeless in New York City, a non-profit organization whose mission is to break the cycle of homelessness. We also recorded a pre- sentation on oral hygiene for all ages to be played across their centers.
Throughout the academic year, the club has harnessed the current virtual era to connect with engaging and expert speakers near and far from the New York area. Topics covered included: practicing pediatric dentistry in an academic setting vs. private practice, tips for nailing a Zoom interview, the impact of COVID-19 on pediatric oral health’s present and future, emerging technology in pediatric dentistry, and the deep connection between the fields of pediatric dentistry and ortho- dontics. Each event was well attended with an average of over 30 participants!
We would like to thank and acknowl- edge our AAPD student chapter faculty advisor, Dr. Shantanu Lal, for his gra- cious support and for sharing his pas- sion and breadth of knowledge with us! We also appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the CDM pediatric dentistry department’s faculty, resi- dents and staff!
CDM’s AAPD chapter has always sought to schedule events that allowed its members to experience and expand their knowledge of pediatric dentistry and to provide guidance on pursuing a career in the field. As the 2020-2021 chapter president, I am grateful to have an enthusiastic member body to motivate an incredible executive board that was able to continue the trajec- tory from past leadership teams and find ways to adapt our organization’s efforts to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. I look forward to seeing the chapter reach even higher heights in the years to come!

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