Young Clinicians set a new pace in San Diego

A change of committee leadership following years of enormous growth

The first time the Young Clinicians Committee (YCC) officially came together in 2015, it was a small group of practitioners just beginning their careers. They were eager to find a peer group to share experiences and what they found has grown into an energized force within the Academy’s ranks. It didn’t take long for these members to realize the tangible benefits of these newly formed relationships and anchor this group firmly into place. (Young clinicians are described as students, residents and clinicians that have 10 or less years in practice.)

Jose Garcia-Montemayor, DDS, was among the initial group of clinicians during that Seattle Annual Meeting. This was his first AO conference and arriving alone from Mexico, Dr. Garcia-Montemayor was eager to make connections with his professional peers. After meeting this small group and forming fast connections, he quickly realized he had found a goldmine of support and validation.

“What I quickly learned, after getting to know the other clinicians, was that everyone was having similar issues – many of the same difficulties – in their practices,” Dr. Garcia-Montemayor explained. “It was comforting to know that everyone is pretty much the same at this stage of practice.”

Soon after establishing these invaluable connections, he realized that he wanted a more active role in the Academy, most especially in this new committee of young clinicians. He threw his hat into the ring to become the committee’s chairperson and has served in that role for six eventful years.

“For clinicians who are just beginning to build their practices, soaking up as much of the wealth of information that’s disseminated at each AO conference is what can set them apart from other practitioners,” remarked Dr. Garcia-Montemayor.

“Not long out of school and our residency training, and in the early stages of building our practices, it’s so helpful to attend these sessions, hear these experts, and confirm to ourselves that we are applying our knowledge accurately. We’re given a bit more confidence as we go back into our practices and our new knowledge gives us a sense that we’re a little ahead of the pack,” he offered.

But it’s not only clinical and scientific reinforcement these young dentists seek. They’re also eager for guidance in practice management and marketing trends. And for any professional starting a new career, building a global network of like-minded colleagues and mentors is a golden ticket to success.

Once these unique connections are made with each other, it’s a natural inclination to stay in touch and continue to share experiences, as well as bring other colleagues into the fold. And the YCC good news spread quickly, which created an exponential increase in attendance at the YCC Reception over the years. Dr. Garcia-Montemayor and his fellow committee members have worked to organize this gathering into one of the most popular social events at each Annual Meeting.

The growing interest in the Academy among this demographic, as well as the popularity of YCC events, can be directly attributed to Dr. Garcia-Montemayor’s efforts as chairperson. In addition to expanding the reception, this committee has also created a luncheon event at each Annual Meeting that continues to garner high attendance. The Young Clinicians’ Luncheon spotlights speakers who meet the ‘young clinician’ criteria and offer presentation topics that range from the newest science in implant dentistry to popular practice management trends.

After his six years of YCC leadership this year, Dr. Garcia-Montemayor is passing the baton to Simon Pardinas-Lopez, DDS, MS. As is the norm for YCC members, these two clinicians have formed a strong bond and will continue to work together to ensure this committee’s continued growth and vitality in the Academy. No doubt, the Academy will continue to benefit from Dr. Garcia-Montemayor’s involvement throughout.