American Student Dental Association

e-newsletter for members of the American Student Dental Association 
 July 2011
Chicago Administrative Externs Eddie Wysocki and Allison Ferris
In the Loupe 

From "Beantown" to "The Bean:" Two Tufts Externs Take on The Windy City  


By Allison Ferris and Edward Wysocki,
ASDA Chicago Adminsitrative Externs


We are fast approaching the halfway point of our externships in the ASDA central office located within the ADA building in downtown Chicago. We only wish the summer would slow down! Our time here in Chicago so far has been nothing short of amazing and it is absolutely flying by. We have been able to learn so much about organized dentistry while also having plenty of fun in one of the best cities in the country.


Over the course of the past two weeks, we have been able to observe and participate in various departments within the ASDA office, including governance and administration, communications and publications, and chapter relations and membership. Each department assigned us a range of tasks and responsibilities that introduced us to a sampling of their daily operations and procedures. We felt that every project was important and allowed us to contribute significantly to ASDA's operations. It was evident that a great deal of organization and planning went into creating our administrative positions. Witnessing firsthand all that is done here, we have gained a great amount of respect and admiration for the ASDA staff. They work extremely hard to keep ASDA running smoothly and successfully for the benefit of dental students all across the country. The sheer amount of work done to organize national and regional meetings, produce numerous publications and provide support to so many dental students across the country by such a small staff is truly amazing.


We have also had the opportunity to meet with several of the different dental specialty groups located in or near the ADA building. To date, we have met with the American Academies of Periodontology, Pediatric Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, General Dentistry and the College of Prosthodontists. Each of these meetings greatly opened our eyes to the various specialties available to us as dental students and peaked our interests in pursuing education beyond the predoctoral level.


Conveniently, the ADA Management Conference took place during our time here. This conference is a leadership and collaboration meeting between national, constituent (state) and component (local) dental societies. We networked over hors d'oeuvres at Neiman Marcus, participated in workshops to improve our creativity and communication skills, and learned about emerging technology trends that have the potential to facilitate growth within organized dentistry. We were consistently impressed by all that we experienced.


Much like wearing scrubs and drilling in pre-clin brings us one step closer to the reality of becoming a practicing dentist, walking the halls of the ADA headquarters and interacting with its executive directors and leaders has made a future in organized dentistry seem like a reality to us.


Though we have certainly worked hard in the office so far this summer, we have definitely played hard as well. ASDA has generously housed all seven of the externs in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, located right in the heart of Chicago's theater district, just a block away from Millennium Park. The prime location of our residence hall has allowed us to really take advantage of this great city and all it has to offer. From free outdoor concerts and museums, to admiring the views from the 95th floor of the Hancock Building, to Cubs games, boat tours and neighborhood culinary adventures, we have enjoyed every minute of it. Our summer break has turned out to be as exhausting as dental school (in a good way, of course!).


Prior to coming to work here at the ASDA headquarters, both of us were fairly unfamiliar with ASDA and all it has to offer its members while in dental school and beyond. That being said, we highly recommend any dental student who wants to learn more about ASDA and become more involved in organized dentistry to consider the ASDA externship in their future. We can confidently say that there is no better opportunity to learn about all the various aspects of dentistry while simultaneously enjoying an exciting summer in a great city. We are looking forward to many more great experiences to come in our last two weeks. We hope this summer never ends!

Member and Faculty Spotlight: Under the White Coat

Meet this month's student and faculty members to learn their unique hobbies, their reason for pursuing dentistry and more. For their full profile, click below.

Rina PatelRalph Leonard Jr., DDS, MPH

Rina Patel
Midwestern '11

Unique hobby or interest:
I love planning events, especially weddings. I wonder how a dentist/wedding planner would do in the field...

Ralph Leonard Jr., DDS, MPH
North Carolina,
Clinical Professor


How does ASDA benefit your students?
Beyond the tangible benefits such as educational resources, financial services, insurance, etc., participation in ASDA allows dental students to actively contribute to shaping the future of the dental profession.


Changes Ahead for NBDE Parts I and II

The newest issue of Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) newsletter is posted on their website. This issue features examination policy changes for NBDE Parts I and II, information on the pass/fail score reporting effective Jan. 1, 2012 and the adoption of new endodontics terminology for NBDE Part II. The issue also provides an update on the Committee for an Integrated Examination (CIE). The CIE is a subcommittee of the JCNDE charged to develop and validate a new comprehensive dental examination that will replace the NBDE Parts I and II, integrating basic, behavioral and clinical sciences to assess entry level competency in dental practice. This is a long term project that is expected to take at least five years, with implementation no sooner than 2015.

Did you know that ASDA hosts national meetings and that you may be able to attend?

Ask your chapter delegate how you can join students from ASDA chapters within your area at a Regional Meeting this fall.

Who Attends?

Dental students who have recently joined ASDA, new and up-and-coming ASDA chapter leaders, students who have not attended a regional meeting or annual session and students looking to get more involved in organized dentistry.


Take your involvement in ASDA ---- and organized dentistry ---- to new heights.
Grow your leadership skills and personal connections along the way.
If you want to attend, be sure to contact your chapter leaders soon to ask about funding.  


Want to know more about ASDA national meetings? Check out this video. Questions about Regional Meetings? Visit or e-mail Meghan Keelean, meeting planner.

Renewing your ASDA/ADA Membership for 2012
Membership in ASDA and ADA runs on a calendar year so your current membership will expire Dec. 31, 2011. Beginning Sept. 13, 2010, you can begin renewing your membership for the 2011 year so you don't miss out on any benefits. Renew through your chapter or go directly online (for recruited chapters only). Dues will remain the same at $72/year for joint membership in ASDA and ADA.


When you renew your membership, be sure to update your contact information with ASDA so you continue to receive your benefits.


There are three ways to update your contact information, including e-mail address, with ASDA:

  1. Go online to and login as a member using your last name as your user name and ADA number as your password
  2. E-mail
  3. Call (800) 621-8099, ext. 2795
Web Feature of the Month: Writing Tips for ASDA
ASDA features the journalistic talents and unique perspectives of its members. If you'd like to write for Mouth, ASDA News or Mouthing Off, let us know. Fill out an online author form today. Visit the website for tips on writing a good article.
ASDA Member Benefit of the Month: Discounted Health Insurance

ASDA members and their dependents can sign up for the Student Injury and Sickness Plan.

"With my old health insurance, I was only covered for emergency situations. With my ASDA United Healthcare plan I am paying the same amount as my old insurance, but I am able to go to whatever doctor I want and I have some prescription coverage. It's a great deal for the amount of money you pay and I would definitely recommend it to any other students."
---- Lydia Sumner, Virginia, '13

  • Pay less out of pocket with UnitedHealthcare's nationwide network of preferred providers (PPO plan) including more than 617,000 doctors and health professionals, 5,000 hospitals and 1,000 Convenience Care Clinics who provide services to ASDA members at discounted rates.
  • Receive up to $500 per policy year and no deductible to cover immunizations, physical exams, gynecological exams, eye testing and exams, tests associated with routine exams (lab work, EKGs), PAP smears, STD testing and preventative vaccines. The co-pay is only $25 per visit.
  • The 2011-12 ASDA Student Injury and Sickness Plan will provide coverage from August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012. Enroll online at
  • Receive 5-50% discounts on dental, vision, fitness and wellness products and services through UnitedHealth Allies .

Go to the ASDA Student Health Insurance Plan page for a complete explanation of benefits, periods of coverage and costs. Payment is accepted via credit card or eCheck.


The last day to enroll in the 2010-11 plan is August 30, 2011. To take advantage of the 2011-12 improved student insurance plan, please select the 2011-12 plan when enrolling.


This plan is not available to residents of Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Vermont and Washington, and only available to predoctoral members.

Going places this summer? Enjoy travel benefits from the ADA.
Enjoy discounted rates at a number of select Chicago hotels as well as the Hyatt Hotels & Resorts worldwide. Special member rates are available for car rental and airfare as well. Click here to get started. Forgot your ADA member number (user name) or password? Call the ADA Member Service Center at 800-621-8099 or e-mail. Check out the ADA Member Center to see all the great resources for members.
In This Issue
-Member & Faculty Spotlight
-Changes to NBDE Parts I & II
-ASDA National Meetings
-Your Membership
-Writing Tips for ASDA
-Discounted Health Insurance
-Enjoy Travel Benefits from the ADA

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