50 Years: Former student leaders offer insight, lessons learned in retrospective series

In February 1970, a group of dental students met in Chicago to form an independent national dental student organization and named themselves the Student American Dental Association (SADA).

The following year the ADA embraced this idea and organized a meeting of student representatives from each dental school in the country to help form a new organization called the American Student Dental Association (ASDA).

Although scattered all over the world, several of the founders and leaders of those two organizations planned on having a reunion this year in celebration of their 50th anniversary, but it was scuttled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, they decided to mark this auspicious occasion by writing and publishing a series of seven articles regarding the state of dentistry, dental education, and health care in general from a retrospective perspective in the New Dentist News.

The essays in the series are:

A look back at ‘70s-style student advocacy by Dr. Jonathan Nash, ASDA’s first chair of dental licensure reform from 1971-72, and Dr. Harry Martin, who was elected ASDA’s first president in February 1971.The Perpetual Student: Why I believe that CE is one of your most important investments by Dr. Fred Troxel, editor of the ASDA News from 1972-74.Lessons learned about life, profession as an expat dentist in Australia by Dr. Martin, who continues to practice dentistry in Armidale, Australia.The challenges and rewards of volunteering abroad by Dr. Nash, who retired in 2005 and moved to Chiangmai, Thailand.21st century leadership—A challenge to those who thought that dentistry was just about teeth by Dr. Jack Dillenberg, a founding father of the SADA and served as inaugural dean of the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in 2002.Dental licensure reform: The case for expanding interstate portability by Dr. Nash.Dental licensure reform: The case for eliminating the clinical exam by Dr. Nash.

Steffan Duran