June 2021
Arizona AGD Presents: Virtual BODEX Courses
Need to fulfill your BODEX required CE courses before renewal at the end of the month? Looking for new CE to boost your knowledge as a General Dentist? Sign up for the AzAGD BODEX CE Series! Join us digitally for two more consecutive Tuesdays with Dr. Mai-Ly Duong DMD, MAGD from
6:00-9:00 p.m. AZ time on the topics of Ethics in Dentistry and Tobacco Cessation. You can choose from one, two, or both remaining courses, and AGD members can watch and learn for free!

MasterTrack Program Cohort 2021
Save the Date!
Why Join the MasterTrack Program?
Dr. Tanaka, a previous MasterTrack recipient, graduated from Creighton University and then began practicing in Arizona for 38 years. He also received his MAGD! He spent his first four years with the Public Health Service and NHSC obligation in El Mirage. For the last 34 years, he worked with his wife in Glendale. He states that the MAGD "MasterTrack program took me out of my comfort zone. I did things I haven't done in years." But, with the guidance of specialists, he felt it was a great and lively learning experience. In the Arizona AGD's MasterTrack Program, dentists will meet other like-minded people and share short presentations of their ideas and work. Dr. Tanaka learned a great deal of knowledge and advice from professional experts. According to Dr. Tanaka, "the reason why I chose to pursue the Mastership is because of my philosophy of life," which is the following quote from Mahatma Ghandi that states “Live as if I will die tomorrow & learn as if I will live forever.”

Great News for your Student Loans!
By Dr. Stephen Glaze, DMD
AzAGD Legislative Communications Chair

According to the American Dental Education Association, the average debt for public and private dental school was $261,305 and $321,184 respectively. Paying off student loan debt can take several years. Fortunately, new legislation has been proposed that would alleviate the difficulty of remaining student loans. The new bill, Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act or H.R. 1918, was introduced in the house by Rep. John Garamendi and Rep. Mark Pocan. The bill would reduce student loan interest rates and student loan payments until after residency. H.R. 2160 is another proposed bill with a focus on student loans. This bill would fix the interest rate when refinancing federal student loans. The Arizona AGD will continue to monitor the bills and share updates.
Social Mixer Event
for All AzAGD Dentists
Are you new dentists in the Phoenix area looking to connect with like minded professionals or just looking to beat the pandemic blues? The team at Academy of General Dentistry want to get you connected and meeting again! We will be hosting a series of interprofessional events centered on leadership development, practice transitions, and job placement. The events are designed to connect young and seasoned dentists in hopes of fostering mentorship or partnership. This is matchmaking without the swipes or added sales pressure. Hope you will join us! Stay tuned for details to come. 

Come join us at the Thirsty Lion on July 15 from 6:30PM - 8PM for drinks and appetizers. Please register (RSVP) through CertifySimple to join this event. We cannot wait to meet you in-person!

We will meet at this Thirsty Lion location at Desert Ridge: 21001 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050

AzAGD Member Spotlight
Meet Dr. Lillian Wang

I grew up in San Diego and left for college with the intention of becoming a physician. After a medical and dental service trip to Honduras, I fell in love with dentistry – the art, science, problem solving, and immediacy in relieving pain. Shifting gears, I immersed myself in the St. Louis community by working with a pediatric dental van to create an oral health curriculum. Learning how much I loved working in the community led me to attending Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, where I earned a dual DMD/MPH degree. Now I am practicing in the Phoenix area, enjoying the weather and exploring outdoors.
My best dental tip would be to document cases you’ve learned the most from. I started in dental school and continued to write down my successes and more importantly – challenges. When I go back and reflect on pictures or a case write up, I can recount lessons learned in vivid details and evaluate what I did well or could have improved. Additionally, the more I learn in practice, the more approaches I can envision to solve a problem. This reflection helps me to assess my own growth and remember to deliver patient centered care.
The best part of AzAGD is the sense of community and camaraderie. Having peers who are equally eager to learn keeps me motivated to improve my own knowledge and practice. Through AzAGD, we can all push ourselves to be the best and most informed providers we can be!
Note from the President:
A Look at the Past Two Years
As your President for the next two years, I have some big shoes to fill. I feel like I’m following Vince Carter in the 2000 dunk contest, Tiger Woods on the 18th hole at Augusta or Chris Paul in leading the Suns to another victory. No way, right?

Well, could Michael Jordan win championships without Scottie Pippen? LeBron without DWade? Michael Phelps without Robert Bowman? UConn women’s BB without Geno Auriemma? What about the rest of the team?

A look into the past will clarify what the future will be with the Arizona Academy of General Dentistry. Our previous President, Mai-Ly Duong, recently completed a term in which the Fellowship Study Club continued to increase the number of dentists with the FAGD designation in Arizona, another Mastertrack program successfully completed their requirements, many unique and popular CEs were arranged and completed, another successful AzAGD Annual Conference provided education and camaraderie for our members, and free (repeat FREE) CE for members and their teams were provided virtually with items shipped to the participants. Implementation of “CertifySimple” has streamlines registration and receipt of your CE’s, Legislative Advocacy which has always been relatively inactive is now informing our membership of relevant events, and The Whole Tooth eNewsletter has been resurrected. And there are many more improvements behind the scenes to allow your leadership to provide better service to you.

The leadership, energy and creativity that she devoted to the AzAGD membership was amazing. I know I will never be able to duplicate her efforts and accomplishments. Fortunately, Dr. Duong recruited a team of extremely capable dentists who have created this value for your AzAGD membership. Drs. Nashid Ahmed, Emily Bujnoski, Mai-Ly Duong, Stephen Glaze, Cameron Kasti, Daniel Kovacik, Francisco Mascarenas, Selay Mutlu, Onika Patel, Kristina Rodriguez and Leila Zadeh will be providing value to your membership dollars for the next two years. Even better, Dr. Duong is heading all the CE activities. Also, outgoing board members Drs. Yara Salem, Stephanie Troglin, John Upton and Feras Ziadat were instrumental for the past two years.

Please thank Dr. Duong for a vision based on past member feedback that will lead the AzAGD for the next five years, the board members listed above for implementing that vision, and Ms. Rachel McCloskey as our excellent administrator assistant for making all the moving parts work together. You have a whole team of colleagues organizing and providing the CE (free or not free) and they are all volunteers and having a whole lot of fun doing it!

If you want to make your membership dollars work for you, you should take these CE offerings that are loaded with great content, are local and, I daresay, very financially reasonable. Take a look at www.arizonaagd14.org to see all the offerings in 2021 that can help you and your team.

Finally, if you want to go beyond taking CE and be part of the team of colleagues getting personal experience negotiating, organizing, providing and enjoying the journey of continuing education, let me know. I would be glad to have you on our team.

Terrence Yu, DDS
A Note from the Editor:
Dozens of happy faces flash by in an excited blur as I walk among strangers on a crowded, busy street. Hustle, bustle, and uninhibited energy permeate all around me. I see smiles from a distance and up close in a manner reminiscent of 2019, and I marvel at the miracles of modern medicine and science allowing us to travel down the path back to normalcy as more and more people get the COVID19 vaccination. 

Growing up, an adage my mother always taught us was that “rock bottom will teach you lessons that mountain tops never will.” In ten, twenty, fifty years from now, I hope we can collectively look back at this time and appreciate how much we’ve grown. That we are stronger because we had to be, that we are happier because we have known sadness, and that we are wiser from all that we have learned. 

Here at the AzAGD, we stand by you in your journeys, whether you are a new graduate venturing out into the “real world” needing some guidance, or a seasoned dentist needing a legislative representative at the national level to voice your concerns.
Regardless of who you are or from where you are, the Arizona AGD is here to serve you. Let us know what’s on your mind by emailing us at arizonaagd@gmail.com and/or follow us on Instagram arizonaagd14 and FaceBook for the latest in AzAGD news! 

Wishing you peace and joy,

Leila Zadeh, DMD