Before dental school, you were probably very involved in the community, volunteering your time to help organizations and causes that needed your support. It made you feel good, it made you feel like a part of your community, and it didn’t hurt that it looked good on your dental school application either. Dental schools want well-rounded individuals that care about the greater good of the community.
Ironically, when you get to dental school, there’s no time for being well-rounded: you’re just a dental student for four years! Your nose gets lost in books and typodonts. Exams and boards and requirements. Your world gets really small for at least four years, maybe a few more if you do a residency or specialize.
After graduation, it’s time to pick up where you left off. As some of the most highly educated individuals in our communities, it is our obligation as dental professionals to give back to the communities we serve. Whether you give your time, your money, you leadership skills, or your dental skills, you will be amazed at how much you have to offer those around you. Giving back has long been a tradition in our profession. That’s one of the reasons dentistry is such a highly respected profession. Generations of dentists have been there for their communities in many different capacities. Community involvement is how respect is earned. Besides bringing you fulfillment, being involved in the community can open doors for you, personally and professionally.
Get involved. Donate your time to be a part of a canned food drive. Organize a group to raise money for a cause you believe in. Join others, not necessariliy dentists, and help them lead. Volunteer at a free dental clinic. Donate money or a gift to your favorite charity in the name of your practice or the practice you work for. I can guaratee you, there will be a lot of excitement that a dentist is involved, no matter what you do.