of head football coach Jim Galvin and myself, thank you for publishing the
article “Adolescent Athletes:
Perspectives for Dental Practitioners” in your September-October
are made aware of the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports. At the high
school level, we are starting to hear more and more of these chemicals.
Hopefully we are ahead of the curve in educating our participants prior to
having the opportunity for them to use performance enhancing drugs. At the
professional and collegiate levels, the educating took place after they
realized they were in the middle of an epidemic.
testing is an option that is used in states around the country. Not without controversy, however. It is encouraging to learn that we have
dentists as a source of information on the dangers involved in performance enhancement
drug use. It is also encouraging to know that dentists, as a group of
professionals, are monitoring signs of use of these dangerous drugs in
for sharing this article.
Note: The following was submitted as a personal viewpoint offering. It is
presented under the guidelines which govern Letters to
MDA Marketplace Committee chair, I am required to attend the House of Delegates
session in case questions arise dealing with marketplace related resolutions.
So as a proper committee chair, I have attended the last two yearly House of
Delegates sessions. I have watched with interest the operation of the House of
Delegates, the staff, the election of officers, and the Board of Trustees.
Collectively, they, along with their various interactions with the membership
and each other, can be called our internal marketplace.
internal marketplace operates in much the same manner as the external
marketplace, with transactions occurring between the members of that
marketplace. These transactions are referred to as “exchanges” in the parlance
of the business marketing literature. An example of a successful exchange is
when I, as a member, phone the executive director for information on an
insurance company,and he provides that information to me. An unsuccessful
exchange is where I, again as a member, might present a problem to my district
trustee, who might act like the request for the solution to the problem is
nonsense; however, nonetheless, states that he will “look into it”. The issue
does not surface from the trustee again.
exchanges occur in efficient markets. Now, before you doze off, stay tuned for
a few more minutes. It occurs to me that our internal marketplace is far from
efficient, not because of bad people, but because of antiquated and flawed
processes. Why do we care? So what if our internal market (our governance
processes) are inefficient? Aren’t they good enough?
answer to the last question, “Aren’t they good enough?”, depends on your point
of view. If our governance processes, our internal marketplace, can be made
more efficient, we can perhaps deal more effectively in the external
marketplace with managed care, government, economic strife, etc. For that
matter, internal marketplace efficiency may help us deal more efficiently with
each other within the MDA. To some, an efficient internal marketplace is one
that is quiet – no waves. To some of the rest of us, waves once in a while are
a good thing. What I am driving at is, perhaps there is a better way for us to
pick our leaders and run our organization to promote an improved, and perhaps,
more efficient, internal marketplace.
phone conversation with our Executive Director, Dick Diercks, on September 21,
2007, I asked Dick how the person who will enter the MDA presidential chairs
(Second Vice-President) is chosen. He stated that the Executive Committee of
the Board of Trustees develops a list of potential candidates, and this list is
presented to the Board of Trustees for selection. This person is then added to
the slate of candidates already in the chairs for the various offices, and
presented to the House of Delegates for a vote. If there were opposition to any
of those on the slate, another candidate can be nominated from the floor of the
House of Delegates, but that person will need at least two delegates, one to
nominate and one to second him or her, to be considered at all. How should that
process sit with the rank and file MDA members? The process seems to beg the
question, “Isn’t this a set-up for insider/buddy selection?”
process seems far removed from real grass roots representation. Do any of us
really know where the incoming Second Vice-President stands on the issues, or the
other officers for that matter? Do the delegates really know? I’ll bet not. Do
all of the trustees know? Maybe. Perhaps, the only one who really knows is the
executive director. And if he is the only one, is it proper for him to pick our
ask, why am I picking on Dick? I am not. I am picking on a process. Is it
possible that part-time MDA officers would look to a full-time staff leader and
say, “Who are we going to get to run for second vice-president this year?” And
is it not also possible that the staff leader provides a list of names?
possible that none of the trustees or officers is truly familiar with all the
philosophical positions of the various candidates for office? I think so. Do
you think they rely on staff for recommendations for the list? Perhaps. Do you
think staff will choose candidates who are independent and hard charging, and
perhaps prickly, for benefit of the members? Maybe. Or will they choose
candidates who do not make waves, and are easy to work with?
Is it proper
for the administrative governing board, our trustees, to choose their
successors? Does this action smack of the Ole Boys’ Club and group-think
behavior? Should a good leader/officer serve only one year, or should it be
possible to re-elect an effective leader? What are the ethical implications
that come into play within an organization with a limited governing selection
questions can be asked about the governance process. The impact of those
questions affect that process’ efficiency in that internal marketplace, and it
would appear that the governance process should be looked at from time to time
to better represent the membership to ultimately provide an efficient advocacy
organization. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see the officers, trustees, and
senior staff out in the hinterlands to visit with the members about everyday
problems and frustrations? I am not talking about visiting at dental meetings.
I am talking about visiting the doctor at his office in Luverne, or Ely, or Roseau. The needs of our
members in the internal marketplace are different because they reside in
different external marketplaces. Do we need to take a look at our internal
governance processes with an eye toward internal marketplace efficiency? How
Cameron J. Jayson, D.D.S.
5th Avenue South
Virginia, Minnesota 55792