Two recent posts—about the president of the Hispanic Dental Association, and a guest column from San Diego periodontist and implant surgeon Dr. Yvette Carrillo (right), show how The Daily Floss showcases women’s perspectives to dentists’ benefit.
OUTREACH AND INCLUSION
This autumn, the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) hosted celebrations both nationally and regionally to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month. Dr. Rosa Chaviano-
Moran, the HDA’s president, spoke to The Daily Floss about those and other initiatives her organization is leading.
“Inclusivity is critical for me and has been part of my platform since I became HDA president on January 1, 2021,” she said. “HDA is one of the few national associations that includes the entire oral-health team as members—the dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, technicians, educators and dental administrators, as well as other health-care providers.”
Such inclusivity is one of several new priorities in an HDA strategic plan, developed this April, that Dr. Chaviano-Moran says will be implemented over the next three years. Among them: recognizing and including internationally educated dentists and other oral-health-care professionals in its membership; recognizing that one need not be Hispanic or Latino to be a member of the HDA; and collaborating in the formation and launch of the Diverse Dental Society, which will include the HDA, the National Dental Association and the Society of American Indian Dentists.
The two main events the HDA hosted this fall were its annual Student Regional, which includes seminars as well as scholarship awards, in tandem with the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, held September 24 and 25; and “Building an Inclusive Culture,” a cocktail mixer and continuing-ed presentation hosted by the New Jersey Dental Association, New Jersey Hispanic Dental Association and the New York Dental Association.
For more information about the Hispanic Dental Association, please visit hdassoc.org.
WHAT SIMONE BILES TAUGHT US
Famed American gymnast Simone Biles bowed out of the recent Tokyo Olympics citing a phenomenon called the “twisties”—when the body and brain lose spatial orientation when attempting a move. This can be extremely dangerous.
Dentists, unfortunately, have one of the highest rates of suicide among health-care professionals. Yet openly discussing one’s mental health has long been taboo. Seeking professional help can be daunting. Where to begin? Are patients going to find a new dentist because they know I’m seeing a therapist?
As small-business operators, dentists are unique within health care—our minds are as critical to our success as our hand skills. Striking a balance can be overwhelming. As such, it might be most useful to think about what Biles did not do. Sometimes the most difficult part about prioritizing mental health is the ability to speak up. Biles didn’t let that deter her. Her decision was controversial—yet remarkably, she later returned to win a bronze medal in the balance beam. She didn’t give up.
What can dentists learn from her? Although we might not be gold-medal Olympians, we are golden to our team, patients and families. If our minds aren’t intact, our bodies can’t perform. By taking care of ourselves, we can help support others’ goals.
Studies have shown that the typical dentist has a Type A personality. It’s only natural that we might be more prone to anxiety than other health-care workers. Taking time off and letting go of tasks is not quitting. There is great power in saying no. And that, more valuable than any Olympic medal, is what Simone Biles showed us. —Dr. Yvette Carrillo
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