by Joseph DeRosier
The Chicago Dental Society welcomed our neighbors to the north, the Wisconsin Dental Association, with a breakfast reception Friday morning, Feb. 24, at the 152nd Midwinter Meeting.
With the WDA canceling its annual meeting, the Midwinter Meeting in Chicago is a convenient and assessable way for Wisconsin residents to see the latest in dental technology and gain valuable continuing education.
The WDA President-elect, David Clemens, who went to dental school at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and now practices in the Wisconsin Dells area, said attending the Midwinter Meeting is like coming home.
"I see a lot of my classmates (at Midwinter), I graduated in 1980 from the University of Illinois and lived about two miles from here (McCormick Place West) and so for me this is coming back and having fun in the city itself, I always enjoy just getting out to the restaurants and maybe going to the theater and bringing my staff," he said.
Besides the social aspect of the event, Dr. Clemens said he enjoys the professional enhancement the meeting provides.
"The meeting itself is great too, because it has a lot of speakers, it pretty much has something for everybody, as long as you get in early enough and don't try to sign up the last week," he said.
Although there are other dental meetings during the year, Dr. Clemens said he looks forward to the Midwinter Meeting every year.
"I consider this to be the Midwest's big meeting, I do go to the ADA meeting every year so I do see things that are very similar between the two. The Wisconsin Dental Association tried to run our own meeting for years and couldn't quite pull it off."
As for the two neighboring dental groups working more closely together, Dr. Clemens said he saw more cooperation down the road.
"Wisconsin will definitely put more effort toward getting its members to come to this meeting rather than trying to run our own," he explained.
Kristi Kopatich, a dental hygienist from Oconomowac, which is just west of Milwaukee, said she attended the Midwinter Meeting two years ago when she was a student.
"I just like everything (about the meeting) I love the main floor (Exhibit Floor) looking at all the new supplies, all the new instruments, and getting education about all the new things."
She said this year she will be taking continuing education courses for the first time.
Fellow Wisconsin dental hygienist Allyson Plautz from Milwaukee said she has been to the Midwinter Meeting once before.
"I love walking the main floor just seeing all the different products and just different things that are out there that I never knew about and getting to recommend some of those things to my patients," she said.
Wisconsin Dental Association President Ned Murphy said he always has a good time coming to there Midwinter Meeting.
"This is always a great show, its a great time, we bring some of the staff and we have fun in the city and we enjoy ourselves on the Exhibit Floor and the classrooms are of course superb," he said.
Dr. Murphy said he helped get the word out about the Midwinter Meeting during eight component visits this past year throughout the state of Wisconsin.
"I tell them, remember the Chicago Dental Society meeting is even better than it used to be and it was always great, so we try to encourage it component by component," he said.