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Dr. Sara Kellogg

QUESTION ANSWER
What's the most important part of being an MDA member to you? My instinctive response is to say being part of a community that uses it's larger voice and platform to advocate for important issues for dentists and our patients. I believe it is also important to my patients to know that I am part of this reputable organization. But over the years I have also utilized my membership for various useful resources that the MDA offers that have been very helpful to me in several different situations.

It's 2030 and time travel is finally here; what year do you head to first and why? I would go back to the year 1998 and have a conversation with my Grandpa Glenn Kellogg. He was my biggest fan and cheerleader. He was always present, involved, and interested in my life. I wish that I had asked him more about his.

Tell us the three best things about being a dentist to you. 1. Partnering with my patients and seeing them go from what is often a state of unhealth to health and the transformation I often see in patient's when we enhance or change their smiles. The shift in confidence that happens when people have a smile they have always wanted and the gratitude that accompanies it is my all-time favorite part of my job. It is soul food for me.
2. Partnering with very fearful patients to overcome some of the mental and physical roadblocks that previously caused them to avoid the care that they have long needed is a very humbling and gratifying for me.
3. Being a dentist and owning my own practice has afforded me the opportunity to have the flexibility to be the kind of mom I want to be. It is always a delicate balancing act, but I am able to control my own schedule and am able to be present for the important events in the lives of my beautiful children.

Spartans or Wolverines?

Pizza or tacos?

1 hour nap or 1 hour uninterrupted TV time?
Wolverines!! Love my alma mater! Go Blue!!

Tacos! (The spicier, the better!)

NAP!!! (I can't remember the last time I even watched TV?!)

Tell us about your personal proudest moment as a professional in dentistry? My instinct is to say being invited to be part of the advisory board at the Pankey Institute and the Board of Governors at the University of Michigan School of dentistry — two institutions that are very dear to my heart. However, I think if I am being honest I would say buying my practice and having the courage to eliminate my participation with insurance companies, which has allowed me to provide a higher level of service and quality of care to my patient family, is the thing I am the most proud of.

What would you tell a D1, first year dental student if you could? Take care of each other. Dental school can quickly become a very competitive environment. I see too often that this spills over into dentists careers. Build community, make friends in dentistry, find and create study clubs - build safe environments that are conducive to growing and learning together. Dentistry can sometimes feel like living alone on an island if you close yourself off to a community of like-minded people who you can be vulnerable, honest and open with.

Tell us the funniest myth you've heard about dentists. That we “like” to inflict pain. What is that about?! We work so hard (sometime at the detriment of our own bodies) to make sure patients are as comfortable as possible!


November 2019

Dr. Jake Myers

QUESTION ANSWER
What's the most important part of being an MDA member to you? To me, the most important part of being an MDA member is knowing there is a group who advocates for not only my interests, by my profession's. There are great perks like CE and networking, but in the end having a larger group working on our behalf is important.

It's 2030 and time travel is finally here; what year do you head to first and why? The first place I would travel to is Europe during WWII. I would spend time traveling from base to base, region to region, assisting my grandfather with his duties. I was not able to hear many stories of his, but know he had plenty. To experience that time in history, along with him, would be pretty amazing.

Tell us the three best things about being a dentist to you. Specifically as a pediatric dentist: Being silly with children all day long truly allows you to never have to grow up; working with a great staff who want to help and have an impact on our patient's lives as much as I do and having a great balance between career and family.

Spartans or Wolverines?

Pizza or tacos?

1 hour nap or 1 hour uninterrupted TV time?
SPARTANS! GO GREEN!

Tacos.

I never been the napping type, but I am always willing to try new things!

Tell us about your personal proudest moment as a professional in dentistry? I am definitely not the type of person who likes to "pat myself on the back"(which is why this spot light article is out of my comfort zone), but this question really allowed me think about times I have been very proud of what my team had accomplished. Through trauma care, special needs children and even day to day dentistry, one truly stands out. I started seeing a young lady around the age of 8, who had recently been diagnosed with high functioning autism. Our first visit consisted of a one-on-one (hour long) discussion about horses in the front corridor of our office building, as she was too scared to even walk through the doors. She was the type of patient that I made notes at multiple CE courses I attended about different ways to approach her visits. Our last visit together was what most would consider a "normal" dental visit. When you have the opportunity to work with a child and get them to the point of comfort in the dental setting, it is a proud moment for everyone. And to see tears of joy in the eyes of her parents and siblings at her last visit, was a wonderful thing.

What would you tell a D1, first year dental student if you could? I have told first year dental students that they are getting into a great field. It will be challenging but try your best to remain competitive academically, so as to allow you more options as you complete school. Keep an open mind, and don't commit to one area of dentistry before seeing what each specialty has to offer.

Tell us the funniest myth you've heard about dentists. I really have not heard any funny myths about dentists. The children I usually see have some ideas about what the "tools" do, and how we use them (you can only imagine!), but no particular myths about the dentist in general.

October 2019

Dr. Sheila Armstrong

QUESTION ANSWER
What's your favorite book? Why? The Secret by Rhonda Byrne; I love the concept of positive thinking! Whatever you sow you reap! Your thoughts are seeds, and the harvest you reap will depend on the seeds you plant!!

What's your best memory with dentist colleagues and why? Starting my career working with two "seasoned" doctors, one that had about 20 years of experience and the other had 35-40 years of experience. It really gave me a great foundation for my career, I could not have asked for a better start!

Have you ever heard another member discussing a member benefit you didn't know was a value you had available to you? If so, what benefit? I was purchasing my health insurance from the Marketplace, and the prices were going up yearly. After speaking with another MDA member about the skyrocketing prices of health insurance, I was told that I could form a "group" within my own office and I would see a decrease in those numbers. It was a great savings.

Tell us about your personal proudest moment as a professional in dentistry. I have had many memorable moments over the last 29 years, but I would say my proudest "moment" would be the relationships that I have made with my patients over the years. I have enjoyed many milestones with my patients, they have become my "extended" family!

If you were guaranteed to be successful in a different profession, what would it be and why? A dancer! I have loved dancing since I was a little girl, but I couldn't convince my parents that this was a sustainable career choice! LOL!

Spartans or Wolverines?

Pizza or tacos?

1 hour nap or 1 hour uninterrupted TV time?
WOLVERINES, of course!

Pizza.

1-hour nap.

Tell us the three best things about being a dentist to you. 1.) Interactions with patients. 2.) Personal autonomy. 3.) Allows me to think creatively.

September 2019

Dr. Sarah Tomaka

QUESTION ANSWER
What's your favorite book? Why? Any book by Stephen J. Cannell. His books are so intricately woven from beginning to end, and I have not read a book by him that I haven't liked.

What's your best memory with dentist colleagues and why? All of the holiday parties my roommate, Dr. Amy Lesch, and I hosted in dental school. We celebrated everything!

Have you ever heard another member discussing a member benefit you didn't know was a value you had available to you? If so, what benefit? I didn't know that the MDA will search all available auto, renter's, home, etc. insurances for you to find you the best deal. Melanie is great!
Tell us about your personal proudest moment as a professional in dentistry? Being proficient enough to mentor younger dentists, dental students, and high school students.
If you were guaranteed to be successful in a different profession, what would it be and why? I would love to be a polyglot and professionally translate many different languages.

Spartans or Wolverines?

Pizza or tacos?

1 hour nap or 1 hour uninterrupted TV time?
Wherever you go, Go Blue!

Carnitas for sure!

Zzzzzz ...

Tell us the three best things about being a dentist to you. 1. Being able to provide highly in-demand services to underserved populations.

2. The opportunity to see someone's face light up when you have completely changed their smile.

3. I love meeting, networking, and hanging out with new colleagues and old friends alike all over the country.

August 2019

Dr. Drew Moeller

QUESTION ANSWER
What's the most important part of being an MDA member to you? Being connected to the dental community and having access to all of the support the MDA provides. 

It's 2030 and time travel is finally here; what year do you head to first and why? 1773 to witness the Boston Tea Party

Tell us the three best things about being a dentist to you. Getting to meet so many interesting people. Getting people out of pain. Meeting and exceeding patient expectations. 

Spartans or Wolverines?

Pizza or tacos?

1 hour nap or 1 hour uninterrupted TV time?
Wolverines!

Pizza.

1 hour uninterrupted TV time.

Tell us about your personal proudest moment as a professional in dentistry? Immediately and permanently relieving my mom's severe tooth pain via endodontic treatment. 

What would you tell a D1, first year dental student if you could? Develop an outstanding bedside manner and you will be successful wherever you go. 

Tell us the funniest myth you've heard about dentists. That we use extracted teeth to make jewelry.