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The Voice of Dentistry with ADA Presidents Dr. Maxine Feinberg and Dr. Carol Summerhays : Howard Speaks Podcast #52

The Voice of Dentistry with ADA Presidents Dr. Maxine Feinberg and Dr. Carol Summerhays : Howard Speaks Podcast #52

2/26/2015 2:00:00 AM   |   Comments: 1   |   Views: 829

How has dentistry changed in the last 25 years and how will it change in the next 25?  Why should a graduating dental student with $300,000 in debt pay their ADA dues? Do female dentists actually work less like many have predicted? Why can't dentists give HPV and other vaccines, while a pharmacy technician can?

In this episode Dr. Howard Farran asks these questions and more to Dr. Maxine Feinberg and Dr. Carol Summerhays.  Dr. Feinberg is the current president of the American Dental Association and Dr. Summerhays is president-elect and will succeed Dr. Maxine Feinberg as ADA president when the House reconvenes in Washington D.C. next fall.

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HSP #51 with the ADA Audio

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HSP #51 with the ADA

Links and References from the Show:

Biography of ADA President, Dr. Maxine Feinberg:

Dr. Feinberg is a past trustee who represented the ADA's 4th District (Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal Dental Services, Maryland, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands) and past president of the New Jersey Dental Association and the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry.

She served on several Board committees and was the chair of the Audit Committee, the Task Force on Student Debt and the Council on Members Insurance and Retirement Plans.

A 1980 graduate of New York University College of Dentistry, Dr. Feinberg also was a delegate of the FDI World Dental Federation.

She is a member of the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, Pierre Fauchard Academy, American Academy of Periodontology and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Dr. Feinberg has been an ADA member for 33 years.

Biography of ADA President-Elect, Dr. Carol Summerhays:
Dr. Summerhays, the new president-elect, is immediate past trustee of the ADA's 13th District (California).

As trustee, she served on several Board committees. She chaired the ADA Compensation Committee and the ADA Governance Committee.

A 1978 graduate of the University of Southern California, Dr. Summerhays is past president of the California Dental Association and a member of the American College of Dentists, Academy of General Dentistry, American Association of Women Dentists, the Hispanic Dental Association and the Pankey Institute.

Dr. Summerhays will succeed Dr. Feinberg as president next year at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Download the full transcript (PDF) of this episode or read it below:

Howard Farran:  This is just an amazing honor for me, little old Howie getting to talk to the president of the American Dental Association, Maxine and the president-elect Carol. We’ve all known each other for ever. I have the great, utmost respect for you guys. I just want to start off with, we’ve all been doing dentistry about a quarter century in the same country America. If you are talking to 5000 dental school graduates how has dentistry changed in your 25 years and what do you think it looks like for the upcoming next 25 years? Who wants to talk on that one?

Maxine Feinberg: I tell people I think of my box that I got that first day of dental school and I think that things have changed a lot. I think that there was a lot of opportunity out there for the new dentist. I mean technology has totally changed the way of practices or bonding and I think there are a lot of opportunities for young dentists but certainly the young dentists entering practice today is entering in an era that’s much different from when you and Carol and I practiced. I think when we entered practice it was a mom and pop work, you know a mom and pop operation. It was a much different environment. Today they’re coming out of school with much more debt. It’s a different environment entirely but I still see it as an opportunity that they have.

I think it’s still a bright future but it’s a different environment certainly than the environment we entered into.

Carol Summerhays:  Howard you know when I was in school I couldn’t even use a calculator because you were cheating and now you can communicate with anyone and the world by a handheld telephone.

Howard Farran:  You know I have four boys, they’re 19, 21, 23 and 25 and sometimes them and their friends are saying some current issue in the United States is so bad and I would say well look at the history of the country. This country survived a civil war, where almost 800 000 people were killed. They survived world war one, went into a depression and then survived world war two and then people are all up in arms about corporate dentistry or student loan debt, I’m like well would you rather be a dentist during the civil war, world war one or world war two? I mean come on. Look at this from 30 000 feet.

I want to throw the most common question I get from dental students at both of you because Maxine, you’re a specialist. You’re a periodontist and Carol you’re a general dentist like me, correct?

Carol Summerhays: Yes.

Howard Farran:  The number one asked question by the dental students on Dentaltown is there’s nine specialties, should I go out and be a family dentist or should I specialize? What would you tell dental students when they ask you that question since you’re a specialist and you’re a general dentist?

Maxine Feinberg: You know I think that there are opportunities as a specialist or a general dentist. I think you’ve got to follow your passion. I think you really have to follow your passion. I have friends that are periodontists, oral surgeons, general dentists, I think you have to follow your passion and I think that if you do that and you love what you do, you will succeed in whichever arena you choose to practice in. You have to follow your passion and do what you think you’re going to love to do because I love what I do every day and I think that’s the key. I think you can and you will be able to succeed as a general dentist. I think the technology is there for all of us so I think there’s just exciting opportunities in each of the fields.

When I look at pediatric dentistry today and I think of what it was when I graduated from dental school, it’s changed so much. So I think it’s- even periodontics today is not what it was 30 years ago when I was a periodontist. Thank goodness, it would have been a little boring I think if it had stayed the same for the last 30 years so I think that’s the beauty of dentistry. It’s an ever evolving profession, thanks to the technology, thanks in large part to the science and the fact that the ADA has supported so much of the science and the technology and improving the standards over the last 100 years.

So I think whichever specialty or whether you choose general dentistry, the beauty of dentistry is it isn’t going to be the same in 20 or 30 years because we do evolve and we do keep up with the technology and we do improve our standards as that technology changes and again thanks in large part to the efforts of the American Dental Association.

Carol Summerhays: You know just on whether or not to be a general dentist or a specialist; I never regretted being a general dentists. It was all I ever wanted to be, I just wanted to be the best dentist I could be and as I was in practice I could focus on the areas that I really wanted to focus on. The best thing about being a general dentist is the long term patient relations. I grew with my patients and saw them have children and grandchildren and it was that special relationship with patients which was something that I really enjoyed.

Howard Farran : Great answers. You’re right, if you have a passion and can attach a business model to it you’ll never have to work another day in your life. If I had to be a pediatric dentist I would quit today and go apply at Taco Bell and every time I tell pediatric dentists that, they say good! I’m glad there’s people like you. I’ll stay in business. Periodontics, that’s changed. That’s almost turned into implantology hasn’t it?

Maxine Feinberg:  A good part of it has and you know I’m very fortunate because I served with a lot of periodontics as well, but again there were no implants in my practice when I first started and bone grafting was a very theoretical concept when I first got out into practice so all of these things have emerged in the last 30 years. I think that really the main thing is the relationship I developed with my referring dentists and again my patients. My patients have seen my children before they were born develop into young adults. The same thing with my patients. It’s those relationships and I think the thing that Carol and I were talking about earlier is, it’s all about the ethics. You start off in practice, whatever practice that is, it’s about values and it doesn’t matter if you started in practice 50 years ago, three years ago or tomorrow it’s really upholding our values and I think it doesn’t matter what type of dentist you are. I think the important thing is that we maintain our values as a profession and we stick to those values whether we practice as solo practitioners, whatever type of practice or specialty or whether you’re a general dentist, I think it’s about maintain our values as a practitioner and as a profession.

Howard Farran : And speaking of values and our profession, I’ve always been a due paying member of the ADA my entire, since I graduated in 1987 and they’re the voice of dentistry. Once you leave our little dental bubble which is only 100 billion a year into the American bubble which is 17 400 billion a year, 17.4 trillion, everybody is not a dentists. The ADA is the voice. When people don’t become a member because they have some complaint, I’m like well I have complaints about my mom and dad and five sisters, but we’re still a family, you know what I mean? You guys didn’t just do the easy thing like I do, which is just write a check every year and be a member, you guys probably volunteered a gazillion hours of free time. What passion about the voice of dentistry and the American Dental Association made you two commit so much time and volunteering and rise all the way to the top.

What drove that?

Maxine Feinberg: You know it’s funny. I have been one of those people who has been involved since kindergarten. I probably starting running for office in the first grade. My feeling has always been, I didn’t want to be something as important as my profession to someone else. There were issues but in particular I think when OSHA became a very big issue early in my career, I wasn’t sure I liked the way my association was necessarily handling things and I wanted a voice and I thought I had to step up to the plate and I had to get involved and I thought, I tell people, I was on the state board of dentistry for 10 years and I’ve been involved in a lot of different things and I tell people that when you practice dentistry, you have a dental license and that dental license, whether you realize it or not, is probably the most valuable thing you will ever own next to your good name and you need to protect that and if you think that you should leave that to other people I think it’s a mistake.

So I just thought that that very valuable document should not be left to other people so I thought I needed to have a voice in protecting that and I tell other people, I tell young people, take an active role. Don’t leave it to other people. I tell people that the ADA and your state dental association, your component dental association, by being involved and belonging it allows you the comfort of being able to go to your office every day and practice dentistry and not have to worry about all of those other things, the regulations, all of the things that really you do need to worry about because frankly we have your back. We’re that lighthouse, we’re the light at the end of the tunnel, the beacon that ensures that you’ll be able to do quality dentistry for your patients and do the best that you can do because we’re here protection your patients and your profession and I just felt that it was that important that I would volunteer my time and get involved and have a say.

Carol Summerhays:  You know that this profession has given me more than I ever imagined. Essentially it’s given me the American dream so the more involved I got the more I wanted to give back to give back to keep this profession as great for the next generations following so it just came out in US News and reports, still the number one profession in the country. It has been two years in a row. So we’re the greatest profession in the world in the greatest country in the world and you’re right, we’re not always going to agree but we need all dentists to stand together because we are small in the larger scheme of things and so the more dentists that are united working to improve the profession for ourselves and for the patients especially, that’s why we’re here.  

Howard Farran:  And it’s not fair when three out of four is paying the dues and one’s getting a free ride for a great profession. I tell the quarter who stopped paying the dues suck it up buttercup because you’re a freeloader. You’re a free rider. I mean I really generally, truly believe that. So it’s funny to all you young kids out there who are maybe just seniors in dental school. When we graduated OSHA came about because AIDS came about and for years people were asking if I sterilize my hand piece, as if an STD was going to be caught from a hand piece and then I lived through all of that and then came the HIPAA monster, you know patient confidentiality. It’s always something. When we came out of school the big insurance demon was HMO’s or DMO, capitation. To younger kids, that’s when they just paid you like $10 a month per person and you’ve got to fix everything up. No co-payment so we assume the risk. Now that’s gone and with that played out and now it’s corporate dentistry but it’s always going to be something. It’s always going to be something a million years from now. What would you tell dental students who come out of school and say well I’ve got $300 000 of student loans and I just don’t have the money to join to ADA. What would you tell those people?

Maxine Feinberg: I’ll tell them they can’t afford not to join. You really can’t afford not to join because the issues facing our profession are not going to become less significant. Those issues that will face us as a profession are going to grow and become more significant. They’re going to need to be aware and kept up to date, they need to be kept up to date and they need to be involved. I tell people, dentistry can be a very insular profession. By getting involved and being involved they will get more enjoyment out of this profession than they can imagine by going in working, either collecting a paycheck or earning a living on their own. It’s not going to be nearly as rewarding as getting involved.

I really can tell you that I have given a lot of dollars and put in a lot of time. I tell the story that I think I was the oral cancer screening chairperson for my component society for nine years and I loved that job and I thought it was one of the best jobs I’ve had in organized dentistry and I was glad that I spent those nine years doing that and I can tell you that every single job I’ve done, I’ve gotten more from that job than I’ve put in.

I can tell them that they need to get involved. If they want to have a really enjoyable rewarding career and get the most out of it and I don’t mean just financially. I mean really the most enjoyable rewarding experience in their professional lives. The best way to do that is to get involved in organized dentistry and they really can’t afford not to be a member.

Carol Summerhays:  Don’t you think it’s a small price to pay for the investment of time and money that they’re put in to help them to achieve their professional potential? I think it is a very small price to pay but as Maxine says, the more involved a dentist is the more they value what organized dentistry is doing for them at the state, local and national levels.

Howard Farran:  When I graduated from dental school my mom and dad and sisters were crying. That’s that profession. I want to say what the best value is, for me, for the ADA, seriously. For me it was getting out of your individual office and going to these meetings and meeting all these social friends and I want to tell you the biggest hidden jewel, all you people that are paying for these $5000 weekend courses on perio or implants or whatever- I would be sitting at a table at an ADA meeting and you make friends and then you just ask your periodontist can I come in and watch you? I never had anyone say no. I mean if you say I’ve got a FMX and study models, I’m clueless and everybody would say well just come on by. So you could get literally all the free CE in the world just from your nine specialist buddies that you meet at any meeting that you guys put on.

Maxine Feinberg: And I’ll tell you another thing. It’s the camaraderie. Camaraderie, friendship and moral support is priceless. When Carol and I got out there were not as many women in dentistry and so we’d go to a meeting and there would be a few women and we would talk about issues with working, raising our families, going to PTA meetings. The issues that might seem like nothing to some people but for us it was difficult at times and we helped each other. It could be even offering to babysit when somebody got stuck, the babysitter didn’t show up. So there were those things or I tell the story about a guy who belonged to my component dental association who I really didn’t know and we read his office burnt down and how many people offered to lend him their office free of charge. I heard of a woman, I think it was three years ago, the ceiling collapsed in her office and she had no place to practice and as you know, I’ve mentioned I’ve been travelling a lot, and I said come use my office and she said well let me pay you, I said why would I do that. No one’s using my office on these days that I’m not there, just come in, bring your stuff and use the office. I’m not there. She couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t take money from her but that happens in my component all the time.

It happens in my state regularly. These are the kinds of things that you can’t put a dollar amount on. That camaraderie and friendship where we come together and help each other because it’s the right thing to do.

Howard Farran:  I want to ask you a question. You brought up that you two are women. When I was a freshman in dental school the senior class had one girl in the class and the class before her didn’t have any and now the dental school graduating class was 45% women. I don’t think I’m qualified as a man to say are there any issues? Are there any issues different being a woman dentist and how do you think dentistry has changed, being from the one token woman in the class to now 45% of the class and some say it will be over 50% within a decade. Does that change anything? What is that like?

Maxine Feinberg:  It’s funny. Some of the statistics we looked at, like the student debt for example, what we found is that women do sometimes make different decisions. For example, certain debt didn’t seem to impact their decisions as much about going into the military or choosing careers in public health or government. Women do make different decisions than men in terms of the choices they make. They’re not influenced as much about let’s say debt doesn’t influence their decision as much in terms of career choices. For years people were making assumptions that women wouldn’t necessarily work as many hours as men but in fact, our statistics don’t necessarily bear that out either so I don’t know how it will affect the profession long term but I think that in fact it’s just the fact that our profession is changing. Not just in terms of women, I think we’re just becoming a much more diverse profession. The demographic is changing.

Howard Farran:  Just to be clear, you said you are seeing some changes that debt doesn’t influence what specialty they go into?

Maxine Feinberg: Just the decision making. When we looked at whether debt would impact on whether dentists would pick public health or teaching or those careers, we found it didn’t seem to impact women as much. If that’s what they wanted to do, that’s what they still would choose to do so again, men and women may make decisions in a slightly different way. That’s what the data seemed to indicate. Men and women may make career choices in a different way so there is some difference in terms of careers choices in that regard but I think that in the end, men and women are going to practice dentistry in very similar ways. I think most dentists ultimately, I think 58% of all dentists would like to eventually own their own practices.

Howard Farran:  58%?

Maxine Feinberg:  I think that’s what our statistics show.

Carol Summerhays: It’s still very high.

Maxine Feinberg:  It’s still very high.

Carol Summerhays: Yeah I think that some of the differences of course is that the women are the ones having children and so we’re seeing a little bit of an impact in leadership positions where women that have children may not get involved as much because they can’t, they’re trying to balance profession and personal life and then getting involved in leadership opportunities. There is a difference.

Maxine Feinberg:  Or they may postpone involvement in leadership positions until they’re a little further along in their careers so there may be those differences but I think the profession is going to still be very strong. I think that we are seeing a lot more women involved in Academia when we were at the dean’s conference we saw a number of women deans. I know when I was in dental school there were very few women in leadership positions in dental school. Today when you go to the dean’s meetings at ADA you see a lot of women moving up into leadership in ADA and Academia.

Howard Farran: I want to ask you the most personal question that a female dentist could address and not me. So you said you were nine years on the committee for oral cancer screening and when I was in dental school oral cancer was just from smoking and drinking and now we’re being shown the evidence that oropharyngeal cancer could be really related to HPV but I just don’t see any dentist asking their patients have you been vaccinated for HPV? I find it bizarre that as a doctor or dental surgery I can’t give the HPV vaccine. I find it equally bizarre that I can go to Walgreens and have a pharmacy tech give me a flu shot and I see my patients twice as often as they see their physician and I can’t give them a flu shot so I want to ask you this very brave thing. I’m reading research that young girls in college are getting more oropharyngeal cancer than men. Is this something dentists should be talking to mom and dad? When little kids come in that are 10, 12 years old and you’re looking at a 10 year old girl, you know HPV can cause cervical cancer, you know now it can cause oropharyngeal. Is this something we should talk about?

Aren’t we the physicians of the mouth and why can’t I give a vaccine for HPV and why can’t I give a flu shot and furthermore, is this a national issue like OSHA and HIPAA or is that just going to be a 50 state by state battling out or even crazier, water fluoridation fought out in towns as small as 5000? I know that was a lot of questions rolled into one.

Maxine Feinberg:  It’s unfortunately once again one of those state by state battles because again, look what happened in Illinois recently with the flu shot where in fact the medical board fought them in terms of doing the flu shot and you’re right, you can go to just about any Walgreens and get just about any vaccine you want but I think that’s a very relevant point. We talked about this at the prevention summit last year where just educating and vaccinating could prevent possible I think it’s 5000 deaths a year from various cancers just by vaccinating, increase awareness and vaccination against HPV.

I think that this is something that needs to be discussed more. We had this discussion at the prevention summit last year because I do think that this is something that dentists should be aware of and should be looking at and discussing and I do think it brings to point something that we have talked about.

There are a number of types of screenings that I think dentists should and could be doing because basically I think there’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 million patients a year that dentists see that physicians don’t see every year that could be screened for all sorts of things. Hypertension, diabetes that we could be seeing. We could be really saving easily 100 million dollars a year in terms of medical costs. There are probably 100 million people a year that physicians see a year that don’t see a dentist so I do think that this really shows that we should be expanding our focus and saying that we need to have a broader discussion with our healthcare colleagues about ways that we should be cooperating and looking at how dentists can really improve their patient’s general health outcomes, whether it be HPV, hypertension, diabetes because we are very knowledgeable and it should be about improving our patient’s overall health.

I agree with you, again flu vaccines, whatever it is: we are certainly capable of doing those things and again, as you said, if there are 20 million patients in America who see us who haven’t seen a physician and we can help improve their overall health outcomes I don’t see why we’re not doing that.

Howard Farran:  Access to care is just as important, or even more maybe than affordability in a lot of issues.

Maxine Feinberg:  And again sometimes there’s so many reasons why people don’t seek care. A lot of it’s fear, a lot of it’s ignorance, a lot of it is people think they’re well or in the same reason I think people don’t go to the dentist. We just had our health policy institute do some deep dive in that 25 to 40 year code word to find out why their not going to the dentist and many of them said they’re not going because they don’t need to go. They think they’re healthy. Why is that? They went to the dentists when they were children twice a year, their parents took them. Many of them had the advantage of fluoride in their drinking water. Many of them had no need for restorations and in their mind they don’t need to see a dentist because they had healthy teeth, no fillings, no cavities and they didn’t understand that that was probably due to the fact that they had very good maintenance of their oral health over the years. So now in their mind, well I’m healthy, I don’t need to go.

So I think it’s about education and explaining to people the need for prevention and that good health and good dental health require preventative maintenance care and so I think that we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us in re-educating people about the importance of preventative maintenance care. I said to a young man in my office yesterday who hadn’t been to a dentist in four years. He was in his twenties. Why haven’t you gone? He said well I never had any cavities and until my gums started to bother me I didn’t think I needed to go. I was healthy. It’s this false sense of security that we created I think in that group of people that they didn’t need to maintain that health so I think we’re going to have to start re-educating people.

Carol Summerhays: We now have a website for consumers, it’s Mouth to answer those questions. You’re right we need to have some sensitive conversations with our patients so that they understand the link between oral cancer, as you’ve said, and the need to come in for regular visits.

Howard Farran: It’s Mouth And what I want to say to the viewers about Mouth, a lot of dentists don’t have the time really to create content for their Facebook posts but what I love about Facebook is all you’ve got to do is go to Mouth and copy a line about the title or something and the URL, drop that in your Facebook and then the Facebook pulls up the splash page so you get this neat, bright, beautiful image and a fun headline about something that you know, brushing, flossing twice a day, oral cancer, everything so you have this beautiful picture on your Facebook and a beautiful headline and it gets lots of likes and comments and visits and you can totally keep your Facebook page alive just by posting links to Mouth so congratulations on that. I want to ask, I don’t want to go into politics but I’m going to have to ask the crazy question and the crazy question is, for me personally it’s kind of demoralizing when I’m practicing dentistry in the United States and the three fastest growing diseases around the world are dental cavities, obesity and diabetes and I see the government subsidizing corn farmers making high fructose corn syrup to so many billions of dollars that I’m standing in line at airports and restaurants and I have personally heard a dozen kids in my lifetime say: well the Coke’s cheaper than the bottle of water and the bottled water is a dollar and the 64 ounce thirst buster is 69c with free refills and then on the water fluoridation issue, it’s like every time we get a city to put it in someone pulls it out, so it’s always at 70/30, 75/25, I mean what can dentists do to tell the federal government that you can’t subsidize the stuff that makes cavities, diabetes and obesity. I mean how do you stop high fructose corn syrup being cheaper than bottled water?

Carol Summerhays:  It’s getting a coalition. You know dentistry, we’ll have to partner ourselves with other health professionals and all at the federal level. It’s going to take all the healthcare professionals to work together to show the importance. We’re going to save so much money by preventing the disease before it even starts but we can’t do it alone so that’s why the idea has to work collaboratively with other health organizations.

Maxine Feinberg:  Absolutely. I don’t know if you’ve noticed when even municipalities of states have tried to do things to make a difference in that arena.

Howard Farran:  Like the mayor of New York city who tried to limit the size of a drink and he was laughed out of town like he was a communist and I was saying well at least he’s throwing a dart at a fire.

Maxine Feinberg:  It’s very difficult but I will say this. I read last week that Wendy’s will no longer put soda in their kids meals and because I’m a very corny person I took the time to go to their website and send a note commending them for doing that because I felt that at least one company did the right thing. They’re not going to put sodas in their kid’s meals and I know it sounds crazy but I’m that kind of person who thought at least one fast food chain was doing the right thing and I had to make a personal comment and say thank you Wendy’s.

Howard Farran: That is cool and CVS quit selling cigarettes.

Maxine Feinberg:  Yes so I know it sounds crazy but you know maybe it takes one fast food company to start putting bottled water or milk in their fast food meal and maybe people have to start stepping up and say I’m taking my kids to Wendy’s because they’re doing the right thing so that’s what you have to do and maybe you have to start encouraging people to go to Wendy’s because they’re not putting soda in the kid’s meal.

Howard Farran: Well you know why Wendy’s have square patties? They have square patties because they don’t cut any corners. I want to tell you one last thing, I’ve only got you for four more minutes, I want to ask you one other question. I get into about a dozen dental schools a year lecturing to the junior senior class. I just love it and I want to tell you my own personal obvious difference that I see, more obvious now that the classes are half women and half men, as opposed to our generation.

They all talk about environmentalism, recycling supplies, green, eco friendly, and I ask him what kind of office do you want to have and our generation would have said cosmetics or implants or reconstruction and these dentists tell me I want to have the first dental office in my town off the grid and I want to have the first dental office that doesn’t leave a footprint and I’m telling you our next generation, their environmentalism more than- it’s fun and it’s neat but man are they passionate about eco friendly dental practices and you guys are huge in the water fluoridation arena. Every dentist I know that’s tried to get water fluoridation in their town, it’s all your materials and pamphlets and supplements. I know you’re big in OSHA and HIPAA and all that but Carol, you’re from California. That’s probably the most hippie, environmental, save the whale- do you see this movement growing and do you plan to talk about eco friendly dental practices?

Carol Summerhays: They’ve been talking about it for a long time within the state and if you visited the Oregon Health Sciences center, have you seen that? The first platinum LEED school in the country. They’re very green so I do think that’s going to be a trend in the future for sure. The millenniums really care about the future of our environment and they maintain it for everyone to enjoy so that’s interesting that you’re hearing that all over the country.

Howard Farran: Absolutely. Just passionate. They seem to be as passionate about that as our generation was about water fluoridation or all the battles we fought 25 years ago. I’ll just end it on this closing for you, because I know you guys are busier than I’ll ever be and thank you so much for your time. I just want to end on one thing, I want you to pretend right now that your daughter just graduated from dental school an hour ago. What would be your advice to your daughter just entering our profession now?

Carol Summerhays:  I’d say keep learning and that’s the first day of their professional life and you’ve just got to keep learning because things are changing all the time and just keep up with the times, stay ahead and create your future.

Howard Farran: Create your own future.

Maxine Feinberg:  I would probably tell my daughter, thank your parents for all they’ve done to get you here and remember your parents gave you their good name. Do everything in your power to abide by the ADA’s code of ethics to ensure that you do nothing in your career to sully that good name, abide by that code of ethics and keep is proud.

Howard Farran: And I just want to close saying first of all thank you to you two for all that you have done and continue to do for dentistry and so much of the unpaid, all volunteerism while your colleagues are in their office doing another $1000 root canal or another $1000 crown, you’re always in some committee not getting paid anything but a cold cup of coffee in a Styrofoam cup. I want to tell the locals, I just want to say this to all the dentists out there, what would you think of a fireman who is retiring and the speech went, you know every year Fred was the chief fireman more homes burned down every year than the year before. In fact, by next year there won’t be any homes left. What would you say to the retiring police officer if he said that ever since he was the chief of police, every year there was more murders than the year before, you’d throw him out of town!

As dentist, so many of our towns every year has more cavities, more obesity and more diabetes than the year before and at the end of the day we are firemen, we are putting out disease. We are police officers, we’re trying to round up the Gram-negative anaerobes and Carol is from the great state of California and Maxine’s from New Jersey but you’re at local level. You’ve got to start getting involved. You’ve got to get the right to vaccinate for HPV. You’ve got to get fluoride in the water. You’ve got to get flu shots out there because at the end of the day we’re firemen and everybody in America forgets that.

You always hear in the news about the firemen in the 117 biggest towns in America where 51% of Americans live and they all have benefits and union retirement but the firemen in the 19 022 rural American, where the other 45% of America lives, those are all volunteer firemen. They do it and they don’t even get paid. Like you guys are volunteer American Dental Association firemen. So join the association, I hope I’m guilt tripping you. Don’t be a freeloader. Don’t let us three pay for you to get a free ride and join and get in at local level because a lot of the issues that these two ladies are dealing with, they just told us, they have to be fought state by state by state by state. Water fluoridation, flu shots, vaccinations and thank you for making this profession so great that my mom and dad cried when I graduated.

Carol Summerhays: Thank you Howard.

Maxine Feinberg: Thanks. We appreciate it.

Howard Farran: Alright can’t wait to see you sometime soon.

Carol Summerhays: Thank you.

Maxine Feinberg: Thanks.

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