As my blogs always come out on the first Monday of the month, there is a good chance I am still enjoying myself in the warm sunshine of a Caribbean cruise as you read this. But it is not just any cruise I am on.
I am on the third annual Golden Girls of Dentistry Cruise.
Yes… I am a male… the lone male… on the Golden Girls of Dentistry Cruise!
It is a cruise we, at DentalPeers, put together to bring a number of the greatest minds in dental consulting together to share our knowledge, experience and expertise. We believe that sharing our wealth of experience puts all of us in a better position to serve our dental clients in a time of tremendous change.
Because the face of dentistry is changing rapidly!
Some analysts, who possess far greater mathematical knowledge than I, have predicted that by 2020, there will be more women practicing dentistry than men! This really should not come as a big surprise. After all, women have outnumbered men in dental schools for years.
So what impact will this demographic change on the profession as a whole?
In the short term, very little will change. While women may soon outnumber men at the grassroots level of dentistry, most leadership positions will continue to be held by men. Most dental schools in North America are still led by male deans. The bodies that govern dentistry at provincial or state levels are also predominantly led by men.
Even the corporate dental world has followed this trend. The CEO’s and management teams of largest of these groups in both Canada and the US are mostly men.
However, women are making inroads into these positions and that will likely be a continuing trend. And the Golden Girls of Dentistry are proud to be at the forefront of this evolution.
We believe it is vital for the profession that women have a greater voice in leading us through the changes that are coming. Because it is not just the demographics that are changing. Technology is changing the world at an ever faster pace, and dentistry will not be immune to these changes.
Just think…the University of Toronto recently received its largest donation ever for the development of a centre for the study of artificial intelligence. AI is coming and it will dramatically impact both the clinical and business side of dentistry.
At the same time, we continue to unlock ever greater knowledge on the importance of oral health and total, overall health. In fact, Dr. Uche Odiatu, a renowned Toronto area dentist and international speaker, recently presented to a group of leading American cardiologists on this very subject. Imagine…a dentist speaking to a group of cardiologists on issues that include cardio-vascular health!
These changes are happening at precisely the same time and they are changing the big picture of healthcare and how to deliver it. Interestingly, women offer a different combination of both experience and perspectives from men. They also tend to see the big picture better than men. That will make their voices critical to the evolution of dentistry and its role in total health care.
The Golden Girls of Dentistry are proud to play a role in this evolution. They encourage women in the profession to take on leadership roles alongside men to share their knowledge and expertise. It is something I am proud to encourage, support and participate in. It is something I hope more men will also support as I believe we all benefit when we welcome new voices and new perspectives.