Anthony Rossi ready for year ahead as President of the DSS

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Anthony Rossi is set to assume the position of President of the Dental Student Society. Born and raised to a Montreal-Italian family (his dad immigrated to Canada 25 years ago), he is the first family member to attend university. After finishing his DEC at John Abbott College, Anthony was accepted into the Dent-P Program and has volunteered his time and knowledge ever since, whether it be in organizing student-run initiatives or presiding his class. A hard worker, both in and out of school, he’s designed several websites and even found time to start a small online business of his own. With his varied experiences and strong sense of leadership, he has big plans as President. I sat down with him to talk about next year.

Why did you choose dentistry? Why McGill?

Growing up, my dream was to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be able to work for myself. I knew I was not suited for a typical 9-5 desk job. I have also always been passionate about sciences. I grew up watching TV shows like ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’. As I came to end of my studies in CEGEP, I began to think about dentistry. What drew me to the profession was that I could combine my passion for health sciences and entrepreneurship. I felt suited for this career seeing as it meant I could make a difference in my community, all the while, being involved in all aspects of managing a business.
I decided early on that regardless of the career path I chose, I wanted to be a McGill graduate. So when it came time to apply for schools I took a risk and bet everything on McGill, only applying here. Little did I know I would be fortunate enough to find myself in this program with incredible professors, a wonderful student body, a strong commitment to community service and a state-of-the-art dental facility.

Congratulations on becoming President of the Dental Student Society! How do you feel about taking on this new responsibility?

I am both honoured and excited! I have been Class President for the past three years so this has greatly prepared me for the responsibilities of my new position. I have worked closely with past DSS Presidents and I look forward to taking on this new responsibility, representing and leading our whole student body.

Do you have any plans for next year as President of the DSS?

Of course! I have been involved with the DSS since day one, even as a Dent-P, and have seen first-hand the ways it has influenced student life over the past years. Now, with all the changes going on within the faculty, I think it is time to revisit and reconsider what the Dental Students Society’s role is in the day to day life of the students. One way to do this would be to update our constitution, among many other things. Affectionately referred to as the “tech-guy” by my family and friends, I would also like to give the DSS more of an online presence and make information more readily available to students and faculty. I hope in turn this will promote a greater involvement from our student body. I am always open to feedback and suggestions on ways we can improve the DSS.

You have always been your class president. Why have you chosen to take on a leadership role?

I love being involved in this way. I would be just as involved as I am now even if I was not president. I think the leadership role just comes naturally to me. I enjoy working with groups of like-minded individuals all working towards a common goal.

You’ve been a Student Ambassador for a while now. Why is this important to you?

I remember how it was being a prospective student with endless questions and worries about what was to come. It was the McGill students I met at the Dent-P interviews that reassured me that I was making the right choice. They were extremely kind and welcoming and answered all of the questions that I had at the time. Quite simply, I believe that it is important to give back and never forget what it was like to be that prospective student.

Has anybody in the Faculty been instrumental in helping you get to where you are today? Who and why?

We have an amazing group of faculty members that work tirelessly to make sure we are getting the highest quality educational experience possible. Each professor brings something unique to the table. Last year, Dr. Sam and Dr. Drummond were integral to our success in second year. As we know, second year is crucial to developing the necessary dexterity to master the art of dentistry. Thanks to their persistent efforts, we are where we are today. This year, Nareg, our 3rd year clinical director, has taught us a great deal about the clinical aspects of dentistry. He is always open to new ideas and serves as a mentor for all of us.

What are your plans for the future?

Like the majority of McGill Dentistry graduates, I intend to pursue a residency so that I can further improve my skills before entering the workforce. I have always considered specializing in Orthodontics. I’m interested in it because you are most often working with a young population and have the opportunity to shape their smiles for life. The change an orthodontist can make in a person’s self-image is truly remarkable and can have very long reaching impact. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most competitive specialties to get into!

What does success mean to you both in and out of the classroom?

To me, success means that I gave 100% of myself to both the theoretical and practical dimensions of our profession. I made a promise to myself that I will always go home at the end of the day knowing that I did the very best for the patients in my chair.

Despite my involvement in student government and my many hours spent studying, I also do my best to make time for the loved ones in my life, especially my girlfriend of five years who has played a big role in my success today. It may sound like a cliché, but it really is about finding the right balance between professional life and personal life. I feel comfortable with the balance I have found, but not without a lot of effort!

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