By continually utilizing research, member feedback, and volunteer oversight, we want to ensure ODC is a nationally recognized conference.
Conor McNulty, CAE, Executive Director, Oregon Dental Association, answers questions from ODA member Dr. Ben Hellickson.
How do you plan to make our annual Oregon Dental Conference a can’t-miss event?
We’re fortunate to have a conference that pushes record-breaking attendance annually and offers world-renowned speakers. By continually utilizing research, member feedback, and volunteer oversight, we want to ensure ODC is a nationally recognized conference. We’re actively looking at trends in course learning design, tradeshow technology, and the individual and team experience onsite and online. Portland is a great attraction for many attendees, but making sure ODC has unique offerings not available elsewhere is key.
What concerns do you have about the trend toward large dental practice groups and corporate dentistry?
There has been more disruption to healthcare integration and dentistry in the last 10 years than in the last 50 combined. Group formation and private practice innovation will drive change for the future of dentistry, so it is imperative that ODA members are active in shaping this process. There’s no one way to deliver care, but ensuring patient safety and dentists’ autonomy to properly diagnose and direct treatment will always be an important topic within the dental community.
What can ODA do to address the issue of high student loan debt to encourage students to become dentists?
Addressing student loan debt is one of the highest priorities for organized dentistry. In concert with the American Dental Association, ODA has been actively working to engage policymakers and philanthropic organizations in imagining loan repayment or forgiveness programs that help ease the burden on new graduates while meeting the growing need for dental providers in underserved and at-risk areas of the state. Creative solutions aimed at promoting dentistry as a viable career that benefits the public are welcome, so we need members like you to continue to tell your stories. Legislators and policymakers listen carefully, and we’re committed to effectively informing them and advocating for change.