Sometimes a story can be summed up with just a picture. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of going to a Leadership Development Symposium put on by the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry) in Chicago. There, I met other dentists volunteering their time for the betterment of our organization and advocating for policies to advance community service and general dentists. There were young and old faces, people who have been doing this for at least 30 years. As a new leader in organized dentistry, I met and networked with dentists from all over the country. I even found a dentist for my patient who is moving to Austin, TX in 2 weeks.
The AGD fosters a reunion mindset at their conferences. Everyone is family. We learn and eat together. Here in this picture are the representatives from California, from north to south. We were dining with the current AGD president at dinner. He said he would pay the bill so naturally, we welcomed him. But our regional director ended up getting the check. Maybe at the next meeting, we will give him the bill. During the conference, everyone was in the mode to learn and share ideas. We were all focused on how we can contribute more and better guidelines to our constituents. But at dinner, it was different. We were cousins getting together and catching up. Of course, there were lots of harassment and jokes. The funniest comments came from the head of the table, yes, that guy sitting all by his lonesome self. The same guy that will be paying our bill at the next dinner.
The 2 days symposium was a great experience. We all share the same goals and were able to discuss strategies together. Making new friends is also great. Supportive new friends are even better. That’s another beauty to this symposium. The camaraderie was amazing. In the real world, dentists don’t support each other enough. At this symposium, I am thankful to the AGD for its investment in its members and leaders. I am also thankful to my colleagues for the fun and learning opportunities. Like old friends, I miss them already.