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Dr. Janelle McQeen

Dr. Janelle McQueen

Braces make it more likely that you will get struck by lightning.

My first day at work, because I finally got to work along side my mother, who is also an orthodontist!

The most important part about being a member is being able to stay involved and easily notified about local updates in my field.

Make sure you take time to yourself when you aren’t studying. Whether it’s working out, reading, or baking. Do something for you!

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi. This book tells a story that could be the backstory to an African Americans’ family. It’s a story I wish I knew about my own ancestors.

July 2020

Dr Datien

Dr. Natalie Datien

Being a member of the MDA is important to me because I know that combining our voices is a great way to help our profession! Having a collective voice makes our concerns known, and certainly gives more weight than one person alone.

Well, growing up in a household of dentists (both parents and my grandfather!) I think I have a strong, positive bias about dentists! The cutest traditions I know of are about lost baby teeth. Obviously the Tooth Fairy provides her services for our American lost baby teeth, but in other countries there are different helpers. Some places are visited by a mouse that collects lost baby teeth. Other countries throw their baby teeth on the roof for good luck and good health!

Tough call … tacos!

Nap! Although after the last few weeks, I’m ready for 1 hour at the gym

Nerd alert here: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I like Steinbeck’s writing generally because of how he captures the desperate feeling of his characters during the Great Depression; how they search for ways to improve their lives despite circumstances outside their control.

April 2020

Dr. John Yurkovich

Dr. John Yurkovich

One of the best memories was time spent in Simulation lab, blasting music and drilling crown preps.

I believe that one of the greatest benefits of the MDA is the communication and information. Being a member of the MDA you know you an get accurate, up-to-date information through articles, resources, CE courses, and much more!

While you are in school ask as many questions as you can. Once you are done with school it makes it much harder to ask questions.

Andrew Dehaan because he has the work hard, play hard attitude.

Be debt free, get a Jet Pak, and end world cavities.

March 2020

Dr Bloomberg

Dr. Matthew Bloomberg

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, because it’s an incredible true story that reads like fiction.

When a patient’s mom told me she’s never seen her daughter smile so big. Of course it was the day she got her braces off, but seeing the impact a great smile can have on a patient’s self-esteem and confidence makes every day a proud moment in this profession.

Home Renovation. It’s fun to have a vision of what you want something to look like. Navigating the obstacles and turning that vision to reality is something that is rewarding to me. Also, you get to work with your hands!

  1. Building relationships with patients and their families.
  2. Bettering patient’s health and self-esteem.
  3. Being part of a local network of dentists who have grown to become great friends.

February 2020

Dr Daughtery

Dr. Maegan Daughtery

It would be to El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. El Nido, Palawan is known to be one of the best tropical exotic vacation spots in the world, clear blue waters, and guaranteed fun is had by all! It’s know also to be a place where one can relax stress-free, and enjoy life! I love the beauty of the Earth and to visualize this perfection would be outstanding to say the least. My friends and family appreciate the Earth’s beauty and this place would take all of us to paradise!

My best memory to date with my closest dental colleagues was graduating from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tenn. This happens to be our best memory because it was the day that our lifelong career goal of becoming a dentist came true!

Yes, the ability to save on hotel and car rental when traveling for continuing education events and/or conventions with the member-only discounts.

I would become a law enforcement officer, specifically, an undercover narcotics officer. It appears to be a very demanding; yet rewarding job, surrounded by excitement! I believe I would love the suspense and inconsistency of the day to day operation!

I would say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Dental school is tough, for sure. However, with focus, perseverance, and determination, you will succeed and obtain your goal of becoming a dentist, the best profession in the world!!

The funniest fellow MDA member I know is board certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Amy C. Parker. We work together and she is hilarious. Working with her is uplifting, enlightening, purposeful, and fun!!

My first wish would be that diabetes and its complications no loner exist. My second wish would be that all people, from all races, sex’s, and classes, would love each other and that hatred would not exist. My third wish received would be eradication of MY STUDENT LOAN DEBT!

January 2020

Dr Wesley

Dr. Jerry Wesley

I travel a lot on my own and there are several places I have been and would still like to go. If I am bringing family and friends then I would do it a bit differently. I’m thinking a secluded beach house that we could just hang out in for a week or two. Let’s say Costa Rico. It is beautiful. It can be adventurous yet safe so I can enjoy time with my loved ones without worrying about them.

I am fortunate to say that there were countless memories but among my favorites is the first ski trip that I went on when I was in my first year in dental school. It was epic! That is when all of the camaraderie really began. I’m sure anyone on that trip would agree!

I have been impressed with the insurance all around! I began with all different types of carriers and slowly converted all of them to work with the MDA insurance exclusively. The professional liability in particular was nice. Since I am an orthodontist I had worked with the AAO for many years but was surprised to hear how much better the benefits and price was with the MDA. I also plan to explore the medical plans that they offer for myself and my team when I renew this year. A friend turned me on to it and I was surprised to see some of the plans and how much better they were than the public plans I have been using.

Travel blogger! I love experiencing life and teaching at the same time. I would love to travel and share my experiences about traveling. Perhaps even teach people how to travel. Surprisingly, travel can be scary and complex. It would be nice to even be a guide. I know that is a typical millennial dream and everyone is trying to do it but I know I would be good at it.

Enjoy today, every day. I miss being with my friends and learning every day. I give this advice to anyone really. Just live in the present moment at all times and realize the greatness that is before you. I know you can’t wait to graduate but you will miss this all one day.

I’m sure I am missing someone here but when I think of MDA I think Gabe Holdwick. I just love Gabe! He can talk for hours on any subject and he is just a great person with a great sense of humor. I mean he use to begin all of his talks with “Gabe Holdiwick here. …” I’m not sure if he was trying to be funny but it was hilarious because in a class of only 90, we know who you are Gabe. I hope he still does this!

This sounds strange but I firmly believe that everything is exactly as it should be. The good and the bad. It just is. In that, it is all good. I will say that I was tempted to clear all my student loans with a snap of the fingers, but I wouldn’t even wish for that. “Strive to become a millionaire not because of what it will get you, but who you will become in the process.” — Jim Rohn

December 2019

Dr Kellogg

Dr. Sara Kellogg

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.

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.

  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.

Wolverines!! Love my alma mater! Go Blue!!

Tacos! (The spicier, the better!)

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

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.

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.

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 Myers

Dr. Jake Myers

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.

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.

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.


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

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.

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.

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 Armstrong

Dr. Sheila Armstrong

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!!

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!

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.

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!

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!

WOLVERINES, of course!

  1. Interactions with patients
  2. Personal autonomy.
  3. Allows me to think creatively.

September 2019

Tomaka and team

Dr. Sarah Tomaka

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.

All of the holiday parties my roommate, Dr. Amy Lesch, and I hosted in dental school. We celebrated everything!

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!

Being proficient enough to mentor younger dentists, dental students, and high school students.

I would love to be a polyglot and professionally translate many different languages.

Wherever you go, Go Blue!

Carnitas for sure!

  1. 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. Moeller

Dr. Drew Moeller

Being connected to the dental community and having access to all of the support the MDA provides.

Getting to meet so many interesting people. Getting people out of pain. Meeting and exceeding patient expectations.

1 hour uninterrupted TV time.

Immediately and permanently relieving my mom’s severe tooth pain via endodontic treatment.

Develop an outstanding bedside manner and you will be successful wherever you go.

That we use extracted teeth to make jewelry.