A message from the 2017-2018 CFDDA President, Dr. Bryan Bergens:
Membership – What Does It Mean?
Membership means different things to each one of us, but what unites us is the common bond that we all share as dentists and our mutual desire to practice our great profession. We all share a vested interest in maintaining the well-being and freedom we have enjoyed because of the advocacy and focus our leaders provide us through a single voice for a common cause. Every member who joins our organization makes us a stronger association. For you, belonging to a professional organization may simply mean that you pay the annual dues to support our profession. To others, it can also mean that along with paying your dues, you are active in the organization. In either case your membership is extremely important and significant!
For many, creating professional relationships is important and joining an organization allows you to have a sense of security and trust. From this, you can support and help one another in reaching professional goals. Many associations sponsor numerous events throughout the year that allow you to connect with your peers. It’s a great opportunity to share ideas, ask for advice, and volunteer to be a speaker or committee member. Since most associations have national or local conferences, you are able to hear “breaking news” on your profession, learn “best practices” or new ideas, hear about key achievers in your field, and meet and brainstorm with others who are also looking to share and learn new information.
Another benefit of enhancing your network is the opportunity to find a mentor to help with your professional needs. Or maybe, you are in a position to become a mentor to someone else. Giving back can be the greatest reward and benefit. Participating in forums or discussion boards sponsored by the association is beneficial to growing your personal network and allows you to use your peers as sounding boards. It’s often a great way to meet new people with the same interests as you. Another important reason to consider membership (or continue your membership) to a professional organization is to take advantage of their numerous career resources.
Value of an organizational membership is measured by what we see as important to ourselves, our practice, our family, and the dental profession. Membership is multifaceted. Our tripartite membership means being a member in the American Dental Association (ADA), the Florida Dental Association (FDA), and the Central Florida District Dental Association (CFDDA) — all three are working for you! So, is it important to be a member? Yes, you bet it is! The dental profession needs to have a strong voice in the political realm, whether it be national, state, or with your local representatives. This is what being a member of our tripartite delivers and with your help, it can be even better. Think about attending the FDA’s Dentists’ Day on the Hill, February 5-6, 2018.
There are many committees that a member can participate in, as well as many outreach events if you desire to help others in the community. Contact the Central Florida District Dental Association for more information. Being a member of the ADA/FDA/ CFDDA also gives you access to tremendous continuing education, both online and live presentations. Take for example, the 2018 CFDDA Annual Meeting on May 4-5, 2018 at the Hilton Resort Daytona Beach. We have two excellent speakers presenting pertinent topics to all dentists and it is free to all CFDDA members and their dental teams … up to 12 hours of CE (see pages 8-9). The CFDDA also has required courses available online — free. These are just a few membership benefits available for you as a tripartite member.
Overall, membership means service, opportunity, and support for its members, as well as the dental profession as a whole. This is what the tripartite and all of us at CFDDA strive for every day.
Dr. Bryan M. Bergens