President’s Message

Greetings to all CAGD members! As we head into 2024, there is excitement as we welcome our new members, new leaders, our executive committee and kick off our fantastic CE course line up, and our stellar Pathway To Fellowship and MasterTrack programs. But we also start the new year with heavy hearts with the solemn loss of Dr. Myron “Mike” Bromberg, a figure who was at the heart and center of the AGD’s advocacy wing as Congressional Liaison. His contributions are beyond numerous, and had a direct impact on our daily practice of dentistry. Great leaders like Dr. Bromberg are rare because of their unique ability to inspire those around them with their unwavering energy to persevere for a common good. When I first heard him speak at our component leadership conference, I learned of his tireless efforts to better the profession of general dentistry and to help our patients get unimpeded dental care. Each time I heard him speak, I could not help but feel energized to hear about his legislative endeavors on our behalf. I felt immense pride knowing he was our advocacy leader. Pride for belonging to the constituent that Dr. Bromberg represented. Pride for the organization that I chose to be a member of since 2006 and became inspired to serve in. We were so fortunate to have him on our California team. I’m certain that he would want that team to continue his work with the same enthusiasm and common goal to protect our practice of general dentistry. In that spirit, we are delighted to have one of our past presidents, Dr. Guy Acheson as our new Advocacy and Legislative Affairs Committee Chairperson. As Chairman of the Watchdog Committee and our CAGD representative at the Dental Board of California for several years, Dr. Acheson is well suited to continue Dr. Bromberg’s legacy and we have no doubt that he will guide us through the legislative process and matters on dental policy representing the interests of general dentists in the CAGD.

I humbly assume the privilege of being your 2024 CAGD president and could not think of a greater honor knowing what a great history of leadership this organization has had before me. The AGD has been a very special organization for me. The people I have met over the years have not only been professional colleagues but have become dear friends I shall cherish for life. I am grateful for how my home component in San Diego, then our CAGD board welcomed me as I transitioned from being an AGD member in New England to a CAGD leader in California. I could not thank Dr. Darrell Chun and the entire board enough for their support and encouragement. My goal is to continue what he and others have accomplished, and to continue the momentum of providing high quality CE for our members, maintain our outreach to students, and communicate with our members on our legislative victories.

We have earned numerous awards at our House of Delegates over the years – all are well deserved because everyone worked hard. It was no easy task, but now more than ever, we need our members to partake in this mission so that they too can earn an award – that of being the best dentist they can for their patients and communities. That starts with high quality CE. Whether you prefer a hands-on course or a webinar, be it live or on demand, we have a course to meet your needs and preferred format. Thank you to those members who have completed our survey. Always know you can give us feedback on course topics or formats at any time.

To our student members, I hope you will continue your membership with the CAGD beyond your school years and I look forward to connecting with you this year. Remember that you have mentors willing to guide you in your career, thanks to the mentorship program developed by Dr. Chirag Vaid. Education doesn’t stop with graduation, so let the CAGD help you as you start your journey to practicing dentistry. With four components across the state that provide excellent CE, there’s never a shortage of options for courses. Fellows and Masters —- talk to new graduates and colleagues about your credentials, and share how expanding your skill sets have helped you become better general dentists for your patients. Let’s thank Dr. Cheryl Goldasich, Dr. William Kushner and Dr. Kirk Hobock, all remarkable leaders, for maintaining our Pathway To Fellowship and MasterTrack programs, which have outstanding course topics ahead in April and October of 2024.

Ultimately, my efforts this year will be centered around the notion that we are not “just” general dentists. We should take pride in our skills, our knowledge, and expand on them for improving our patients’ oral health. To do that, I aim to help keep that bridge of communication between the CAGD and our members frequent, and our pursuit for excellence in general dentistry through education at the forefront of my efforts. Help support the organization that supports you. Thank you for this opportunity to serve; I wish you all success and I hope to meet many of you at our course events.

—- Zeynep Barakat, DMD, FAGD, President