On a chilly evening last November, a group of local medical and dental professionals interested in oral health and improved collaboration met for an evening of relaxed networking. We played a fun version of speed-networking (speed-dating style), enjoyed appetizers and beverages. Attendees were so invested in their conversations it was difficult to get people to move on when time was called. The event was funded by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Delta Dental of Minnesota.
The idea grew out of a similar program in Massachusetts created by Dr. Hugh Silk where he arranged informal gatherings of medical and dental professionals to create more collegiality. Dentistry is one of the few specialties where pediatricians don’t pick up the phone to discuss a complicated referral or challenging case.
What I learned was that the pediatric dental community, particularly, and the dental community overall was very interested in an opportunity to get to know their colleagues in primary care. We had an overwhelming response with 16 pediatric dentists attending! Unfortunately, only four pediatric providers attended, though Valeria Cristiani, MD, pediatrician at Mayo Clinic and oral health advocate, won for traveling the farthest.
Many voiced the desire to meet again so plans are underway. We will plan the next event with more emphasis on representation by pediatricians and primary care providers. The evening taught us that we are all passionate in caring for children and want them to grow up healthy.
I hope to see many more of you at our next event. Look for an invite later this spring.
About the Author
Dr. Crespo serves on the MNAAP/MAPF Board of Directors as the treasurer.