On Sunday, April 8, 2018 in Hiebert Lounge, 35 students, doctors, and friends of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) community gathered for the ninth annual American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) Spring Brunch. This event was hosted by the GSDM chapter of AAWD, and attended by members of AAWD Chapters of GSDM, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.
Attendees were able to listen to the inspiring stories of five different women dentists. Panelists included Dr. Paula Friedman, GSDM Emeritus Professor of General Dentistry; Dr. Christina Pastan, Assistant Clinical Professor, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine; Dr. Minerva Patel, American Dental Association; Dr. Rachel Madden, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon; and Dr. Diane Bonanni, Private Practice.
Below are some highlights from the panel discussion:
Dr. Minerva Patel – “Benco Dental recognized a need for support and encouragement of women in dentistry. As a board member of the Lucy Hobbs Project, I get to empower women in dentistry to drive change and deliver success.”
Dr. Paula Friedman – “It was a different time ladies! I was told I was taking a man’s place, that I was wasting faculty’s time…. Wherever you end up, I want to encourage your participation in organized dentistry.”
Dr. Christina Pastan – “The woman I thought I was going to be in this career is not the woman I became in this career. … My Passion is to teach mind-body practices to young professionals and help them incorporate that in to a successful career.”
Dr. Rachel Madden – “My good friend had orthognathic surgery and it changed her life profoundly. I knew I wanted to do that. I was told these programs (OMFS) would never accept a woman. … I’ll never let my career be the best thing about me. Mom is the hat I want to wear; oral surgery is the hat that pays the bills.”
Dr. Diane Bonnani – “I’m just so blessed to have a career that I love and still be able to be a mom and do advocacy for special needs care.”
As is tradition with the AAWD Spring Brunch, all profits from the entry tickets were used to purchase much-needed supplies for Rosie’s Place, a women’s sanctuary in the South End that GSDM has a long-standing relationship with, in which dental students provide care to women at Rosie’s Place every month.
Dean Hutter remarked, “I strongly support the AAWD and all the great work that this organization does at GSDM,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “Their Annual Spring Brunch certainly was a great success, and all those who worked to plan it should be very proud of themselves.”