Dr. Esfandiari visit White House with the ADEA Leadership Institute

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IMG_3096 Dr. Shahrokh Esfandiari was at the White House last month as part of his training with the ADEA Leadership Institute.

The day-long visit was part of the academic curriculum, designed to develop the nation’s most promising individuals at academic dental institutions to become future leaders in dental and higher education.

Phase II of the ADEA Leadership Institute, entitled Legislative Workshop, culminates with each Fellow meeting with their Members of Congress. As part of the learning process, participants were required to request appointments with their elected officials and meet with them to create more awareness around oral health care. “For a Canadian this was a huge learning exercise,” says Dr. Esfandiari. Not only does the United States Government runs very differently from the Canadian Government, the issues and budgets are not the same.

The purpose of the visit was twofold; an opportunity to increase the knowledge and awareness of the Members of the United States Congress with regard to the necessity for oral health care, dental education and dental and craniofacial research, and to request adequate funding for programs of importance to academic dentistry.

Throughout the program the recurring theme is leadership competencies. Through this visit and other activities, Fellows reinforce their confidence in a leadership position. As constituents and professionals representing academic dentistry, the Fellows learned that they are the most effective advocates for the dental profession and education. American Legislators often look to their constituents, learned professionals in specialized areas of education and training, for their expertise. They also tend to respond more favourably to their constituents who have the power to vote them in and out of office.

The goal for Dr. Esfandiari’s colleagues, and eventually for him here in Canada, was to being to establish ongoing relationships with their elected official and their staff.

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