On Saturday, July 28, 2018, dental students from ASDA District 10 gathered in Las Vegas for a leadership conference. We had the privilege of hearing from Dr. Cari Callaway, a general dentist and multipractice owner for Pacific Dental Services (PDS). Dr. Callaway covered a slew of topics ranging from elements of leadership to creating an individual development plan, but the focal point of her talk was structured around Good to Great by Jim Collins.
One of the breakout sessions that stood out the most to me was called “The Hedgehog Concept” from Collins’ book. I learned the most about myself as a leader and future dental professional from this exercise, but it was a struggle at first. The Hedgehog Concept consists of 3 questions: what are you deeply passionate about, what can you be the best at, and what drives your economic engine?
Dr. Callaway stressed translating what we are most passionate about from day to day into our professional lives. Although it took some time, I finally was able to figure out these 3 questions for myself. My passion is to be a part of someone’s journey to success whether it is by educating them, physically helping them, or by simply listening to them. I know I am good at tending to others’ needs and using my experiences to help others. These qualities will translate into my professional life by allowing me to connect with patients through better understanding their oral health needs and wishes. As their provider, I will be able to deliver excellent care and help them succeed in reaching their health goals. Eventually, I hope to use my clinical skills to become an educator for future dental professionals and provide resources for them to succeed. Understanding my hedgehog concept has helped me to not only decipher my vision as a healthcare provider, but also where I stand in regards to my leadership skills and how much more I can learn.
“It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life.” This is a quote from Collins’ book and my biggest take-away from the bootcamp. We strive to achieve greatness and to become leaders for our patients and create a positive impact in their lives. As students, we are often focused on exams and completing competencies, that it is easy to forget our purpose and the importance of the skills we are developing. Opportunities like this remind me of why I chose this beautiful profession and the reason why our struggles and challenges are worth it. Daily we are all being shaped as leaders and providers. What kind of leader are you or do you want to be? What visions do you have for yourself as a provider and your future practice or career? And is that level of leadership great enough to achieve your visions as a dentist?
A special thank you to PDS and Dr. Callaway for organizing this leadership conference for ASDA District 10.
Written by: Kristen Drinkwater | Class of 2020