Pennsylvania Dental Journal March April 2017 - Page 15

My Story I grew up in the small town of Girard, just west of Erie, and I have wanted to be a dentist for as long as I can remember. After graduating from high school, I enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh. After continu- ing my education at Pitt Dental School, I got bit by the orthodontics bug and decided to stay on for an extra three years in my residency program. I finished my residency in the middle of 2010 and returned home with a wife, two kids and a mountain of debt. I was nearly $400,000 in debt from dental school and my residency program, and I had worked out a quick transition with a retiring dentist to purchase his practice. This pushed my debt to over three quarters of a million dollars and I did not know anything about running a practice. I was very fortunate, because within my first week of being back in Erie, I got a call, from our Erie Coun- ty Dental Association president, inviting me to a meeting. This eventually led to my commitment to organized dentistry. The benefit that I took the biggest advantage of was networking at local events. I have made a lot of friends and mentors who have helped me with my practice and for that I am forever grateful. It is difficult being a new doctor in a single doctor practice. It is nice to have people who can help you avoid the potholes that I would have fallen into, if not for their mentorship. I had colleagues help me specifically with insurance reimbursement, budgeting and managing my profit and loss statement (P & L), as well as helping to control my overhead with advice on ordering clinical supplies. I also benefited from switching almost all my professional insurances to the insurance company owned by our association. My premium savings alone justified the price of membership. I am also a fan of the legislative advocacy that the PDA very effectively provides for us. I am happy that we have someone who is looking out for our best interest and counteracting the big insurance companies’ lobbying efforts. I receive the majority of my CE credits for re-licensure, as well as my Act 31 Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting CE credits, from the PDA/local society events. Without PDA’s emails to alert me, I would not have been notified about the Section 1557 provision of the Affordable Care Act taking effect. The PDA helps to keep me educated about the latest techniques as well as keeping my finger on the pulse of any legislative changes. I know whenever I read PDA’s publications that I am going to learn something that will benefit my practice or my patients. I strongly encourage everyone to do whatever you can to support the Pennsylvania Dental Association and the Power of Three Initiative. Even though I started my practice deep in debt, I was always committed to the ADA, PDA and local societies for many reasons. First and foremost, I feel like it is the right thing to do and our obligation to protect our fine profession. We all face many threats to our livelihood and the Power of Three (ADA, PDA, and District) help to protect us and keep our best interests in mind. I still feel like we have an obligation to contribute to all the great work that they do, even through not everything is aimed at all members at any given time. The PDA has a tough job of providing member benefits, even through everyone is at different levels of their work cycle. The PDA staff is fantastic and committed to helping member dentists succeed in all facets of dentistry. They are a resource that every member should take advantage of; all you have to do is call them. I have been blown away by the concierge level of support that they give, and they have helped me a lot over the years. I wish that everyone took the time to review all of the practice management resources, such as the Center for Professional Success, on the ADA’s website. There are many unexplored resources available to ADA members that are waiting for you to use. I have been committed to serving and protecting our profession since I graduated from my residency progr fR6W'fV@6F2BFR6WfVBЦ7W'&VFǒFR6"bFRD( 2V&W'66֗GFVRBFR&W6FVBbFRFF7G&7BFVF66WG&W&W6VFp'FvW7FW&V7ffRWB6VRvfVFVW"FV"FR@Vff'G2FGf6rW"&fW767G&vǐV6W&vRWfW'RFFvFWfW"P6F7W'BFRV7fFVF766FBFRvW"bF&VRFFfRऒF( BWV7BWfW'RF&V6R&W6FV@bFV"666WG'WBFvFWfW"P6vFVWFrVF"WrFVF7BVvFFRFVF֗76ऒFFR7B'FB7FW2( 2f WfW'V&W""V&W"v6PV&W'626VB( 2F&VW &v旦FvR&R7G&vW"FvWFW B&RF66Ɨ66V6&R&VV&W"&6rFFRƖgG2&G2$UBDRUD גR27FWfR7VBw&WrWFR6Fvbv&&BV7ffRvFVBF&RFVF7Bf"2r26&VV&W"6Rw&GVFV@g&v&&Bv666FVVBגVGV6F@FRVfW'6GbGG6'W&vGFVBGBf"V'26rW&6V'2&v666V6R#2גDB#rBג'FFF2FVw&VR#ऒ&WGW&VBFW&RBVBFR&7F6RbG"6WFWǒ'&VBFגv667vVWFV'BBvRfRF&VRr6G&V&VVƒbBgBऒfR&VVffVB&v旦VBFVF7G'6W'fp2FR&W6FVBbFRW&R6VGFVF766FB7W'&VFǒFR&W6FVBbFRFF7G&7BfP66W'fVBFRV&W'66֗GFVRbFRDFR7BfW"V'26VFrGv2FR6"vVBFRff6RG&VFrFVG2V7VFrFRvFגf֖ǒv&rWBB&VFr$4$#rT5dDTDU$