Learn about one member's GDA experience.
This column highlights GDA members talking about their path to dentistry and the value
they find in GDA membership. This month, we hear from Dr. Megan Flournoy in the Central District. Pictured: Dr. Megan Flournoy and Dr. Margaret Moore.
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Growing up, I knew I wanted to work with kids, always admiring teachers and pediatricians. In my small town, our family dentist was highly respected and loved, so I always had a positive view of the dental profession. It wasn't until college that I really explored dentistry as a career, loved it, and naturally fit into the specialty of pediatric dentistry.
Q: Who introduced you to GDA?
I learned about GDA in dental school as a very important part of the dental profession. It was part of our experiences as a dental student and an easy transition after school to stay involved. When I settled in to the Macon/Warner Robins area after residency, a couple dentists reached out to me to attend the GDA meetings and I'm glad I did! It's important for all members to welcome new dentists in their area so that they feel comfortable getting involved in their local district.
Q: What was your first GDA event?
During pediatric residency, I visited the Central District meeting with Dr. Rockman, pediatric faculty, who was giving a lecture on dental trauma. I was so impressed with the comraderie among the members and was excited to return to this group after residency. The meeting was well-attended and everyone was welcoming and very friendly.
Q: What advice would you give a dental student about GDA?
The GDA provides opportunities to get to know other dentists in your district and around the state. You will develop relationships with other specialists who will ultimately be your team when helping patients with comprehensive care. It's nice to get to know other dentists at various stages of their dental career who may have experiences to share and a different perspective to offer. Legislative issues related to dentistry will always affect how we practice and it’s nice to be a part of a group that protects our profession. Also, GDA meetings provide opportunities for continuing education and learning.
Q: Have you made any friends or long relationships through GDA?
Yes! I met Margaret Moore (Pediatric Dentistry of Central Georgia) when I visited the Central District meeting as a resident and started working with her right after residency. Her commitment to the GDA set a good example for me to get involved as well. It was nice to connect and reconnect with GDA members at the first couple meetings to build on friendships and a professional network of colleagues in my area. I've met many new friends at our meetings and enjoy talking with them each time we get together.
Q: What advice would you give to people aspiring to go to dental school to become a dentist?
Work in a dental office and spend more time than just shadowing, if possible. If you can find an opportunity to work with a dentist, it will give you a better sense of the day to day operations like insurance, assisting, and experience talking with patients in the dental setting. Stay positive, be professional, get along with people, do the right thing, learn from your mistakes, and have an open mind to continuous learning. Life as a dental student and dentist will be much easier with a good attitude!
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Or how do you spend a typical weekend?
As a mom of three young boys, we always have something going on and not a lot of spare time! Weekends are filled with soccer games, birthday parties and time with friends. We enjoy playing in the backyard with the boys these days and getting away to the beach when possible!
Q: Without saying "I am a dentist,” what would you say if someone asked what you do?
I enjoy working together with families to help children prevent cavities and avoid tooth pain, reduce dental anxiety, and transition to permanent teeth for a healthy smile! It's very rewarding to see a nervous child build confidence at each visit and develop a positive attitude towards oral health that will benefit them for a lifetime.