Growing up, I always wanted to be a WWF wrestler, but it turns out that the outfits are less drafty in dentistry. I have now come to terms with the fact that I will never spar with Jake the Snake. Fortunately, I've found that fighting for legislation which supports my profession is proving to be an effective way to sublimate some of those childhood impulses.
I grew up in a small town outside of a big city (Detroit), and was looking for a similar sort of feel, except with a closer drive to decent ski resorts (people talk about skiing out west, but as far as I'm concerned, there is nothing like a sunny day and fresh powder at Saddleback).
During my initial research on dental offices in the New England area, one of the primary things that attracted me to the Lewiston/Auburn area was the economic growth and development happening with both larger companies, as well as small, local businesses. Companies such as Procter & Gamble in Auburn, and hospitals like St. Mary's and Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, provide a large number of jobs to the community (as well as dental insurance plans for their employees!).
We moved to Lewiston in August of 2008; summer is a great time to move to Maine (it was also a little less shocking for my wife who spent her whole life growing up the desert). She likes to travel (and has family outside of the U.S. that likes to see her every once in a while), so she appreciates the close proximity to the Portland airport - even quicker now that they just upped the speed limit on the turnpike!
Being a small business in a growing region such as the Lewiston-Auburn area, I recognize that it is important to be active and participate within that community. I have served as president for my local dental chapter, the Androscoggin Valley Dental Society, and recently accepted the position of Vice President for the Maine Dental Association.
In additional to monthly meetings, I am pretty excited that the position will also allow me to be part of the First District Caucus held in New Hampshire, as well as the American Dental Association's House of Delegates meeting in Washington D.C.
When you're part of the 9 to 5, 'drill and fill' work day it can be challenging to stay connected with changes that are happening that can affect the profession - until we are faced with them in the office. No one likes to feel like they're being held hostage, especially by non-clinicians who are making decisions that may affect services.
While I confess that meetings sometimes get my blood pressure up, I am also energized coming away from them because I feel empowered knowing that I can advocate for my profession, thereby protecting my ability to practice ethically and in service to my patients.