ASDA (American Student Dental Association) is the largest national student run organization in dentistry. Minnesota has a very strong chapter, with 98% of dental students as members, offering many opportunities to become involved. Student members in ASDA currently serve on the Minnesota Dental Association’s (MDA) Board of Trustees and each of the Association’s standing committees, and actively participate and vote in the annual MDA House of Delegates. Student members help shape MDA policy on issues impacting their future, while networking with future peers and employers and learning first-hand about the value of organized dentistry.
In addition to offering an excellent avenue for involvement in the profession, ASDA membership offers free monthly lunch seminars, held the first Thursday of every month. An introductory session, ASDA 101, is also offered each year, again with free food! There are many different areas of ASDA, like legislative (how to get a license), and outreach (teaching kids in underserved populations how to brush). Members also receive publications from the ADA, MDA, ASDA, and the local student newsletter, The Central Groove, plus have online access to the “member only” areas on the ADA, MDA and ASDA websites.
Through ASDA, students have the opportunity with their collective voices to make dentistry the best possible profession. There are also opportunities to travel, plan events, socialize with peers, and have a lasting impact on the School of Dentistry in general.
How ASDA Can Benefit You
The following is a partial list of benefits of ASDA membership:
- Free $25,000 life insurance.
- Free student professional liability insurance for board examinations is available for those that have been members for four years. Back dues may be paid for each year of non-membership in ASDA to receive the insurance.
- Free admission to the ASDA events and MDA Star of the North vendor fairs.
- Free ASDA MasterCard with no annual fee.
- Free publications: ASDA handbook, ASDA News, Dentistry, JADA and Northwest Dentistry.
- AADS/ASDA dental education assistance loans are available for those who demonstrate need.
- National Board Dental Exam reprints are available at a substantial discount.
- Discounts on car rentals from Alamo Rent a Car and National Car Rental.
- New dentists who were members of ASDA for four years pay only 15% of the MDA dues for the first year after graduation, and only 45% of dues for the second year out of dental school.
- ASDA is leading the profession in initiating dental licensure reforms. ASDA’s licensure goals include the creation and acceptance of a single common content clinical examination; creation of a more candidate-friendly examination; substitution of successful completion of the National Board Dental Examination Part II for all written examinations covering clinical topics; minimizing the use of human subjects; and making state jurisprudence exams available via the internet.
- The ASDA Political Education Network (PEN) directs and coordinates grassroots lobbying efforts and works to increase dental student understanding and involvement in legislative issues both locally and nationally.
- The MDA Mentorship Program provides each dental student with a mentor during their first year of dental school. The mission of the program is to provide mentoring to the student from the day they enter dental school through the transition into practice and establishment of their place in the dental community. The MDA hosts an annual event for the mentors and dental students to meet for dinner in a casual atmosphere. During this program the mentors and students hear from MDA and ASDA leaders regarding organized dentistry and the benefits a getting involved from the beginning. The next “Meet Your Mentor” dinner will be held on January 18, 2008, at the Radisson Metrodome.
- ASDA establishes policy statements on dozens of issues including dental education, the rights and treatment of dental students, licensure, dental research, educational financing and more. When ASDA’s House of Delegates establishes a new policy, dental school deans, other dental associations, state dental licensing boards, legislatures, or other appropriate individuals are notified.
Visit the ASDA Website