Expanded Audience and Eligibility
Historically, the Mentor Program has only been available to WSDA member dentists (mentors) and UW dental students (mentees). The new program will be accessible to dental students across the county who plan on practicing in Washington upon graduation. Dentists who are new to Washington will also be given the opportunity to form connections with WSDA mentor dentists. To participate, a student or dentist must either be a current ADA member or enrolled in a CODA accredited program.
New Online Mentor Profile Format
Until 2021, students were paired by WSDA staff with just one mentor dentist for the duration of their dental school career. The new program format moves away from this approach, in favor of giving every mentee the chance to browse all available mentors to form more organic networking connections. Each WSDA mentor is provided with their own online profile, complete with a photo, a brief bio, and contact information. Now anyone searching for a mentor will be able to do so on their own time, using their own criteria and values.
Additional Networking Events
Instead of one annual Mentor Reception held on or near the UW campus, WSDA will host two in-person receptions and two virtual sessions each year. The in-person receptions will be held at the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference and the WSDA House of Delegates meeting, giving more students and members the chance to participate. Those who are unable to make either of these meetings will still have two chances to network virtually each year. The first in-person reception will be held on Friday, Nov. 11 in Seattle at PNDC 2022.