The Minnesota Dental Association’s 2010 Guest of Honor, Dr. Bashar Bakdash, is a man who lives his own “words to live by”: “Be a good citizen of your institution, keep everything in the right perspective, do not forget the big picture, and be a visionary rather than a follower.”
A naturalized citizen of the United States, Dr. Bakdash was born in Damascus, Syria. He completed his pre-dental and dental education at Damascus University, and earned his D.D.S. degree in 1968. After earning his Master’s in Public Health from UCLA and a specialty certificate and Master of Science in Dentistry from Indiana University School of Dentistry, Dr. Bakdash joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1974. He is currently serving as a professor and as the Director of the Periodontology Division at the U. During his career, he has authored articles in more than 100 publications, created instructional and digital programs in the areas of periodontics, public health, preventive dentistry, dental education, and information technology. He has lectured widely in North America and internationally.
Bashar Bakdash has been a tireless supporter of organized dentistry for many years. He has served as the president of the Minneapolis District Dental Society (2002-2003), and he represented the district as a delegate to the MDA House of Delegates for several years. Dr. Bakdash continues to be very active in the MDDS, serving on the Executive Council for the past several years. He is currently the Publications chairperson and manages the district website. In April of 2008, Dr. Bakdash was the 2008 MDDS Guest of Honor. He also is an active member of the Minnesota Dental Foundation Board of Directors.
Dr. Bakdash’s involvement in organized dentistry has demonstrated his dedication to the profession of dentistry, which continues to this day. Over the years, he has served as president of the American Association for Dental Research, the Minnesota Association of Periodontists, and the Beta Beta Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon.
Dr. Bakdash considers himself fortunate to have been mentored by and to have worked with a number of individuals associated with dentistry, public health, academic health centers, universities, professional organizations, government, and private industry. These interactions and mentorship opportunities have prepared him to be able to incorporate innovative ideas including photography, mass media, marketing research, public relations, and information technology into all facets of his profession. His personal and professional relationships have affirmed his core belief to “be a good citizen of your institution, keep everything in the right perspective, do not forget the big picture, and be a visionary rather than a follower,” which, like sharing time with the gentleman himself, bears repeating.