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. Rico Short.
Q: How did you become a member of the GDA?
A: I became a member of GDA in 1999, right after dental school. I realized getting involved in organized dentistry early was very important.
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: I wanted to be a professional baseball player!
Q: Why did you decide to become a dentist?
A: I decided to become a dentist to help others with tooth pain. I had to have six anterior teeth extracted as a child because of a low dental IQ and my access to dental care. I still remember how painful it was and how I cried myself to sleep at night. I wanted to make sure I can help others with tooth issues.
Q: Who introduced you to GDA?
A: I was introduced to GDA by my mentor, Dr. Isaac Hadley, who is now retired. He was
a board examiner for many years.
Q: What would you tell a dental student about GDA?
A: I tell the “younger generation” that it’s important to be a member of GDA because
we are stronger together. There are many issues dentists face in the legislature and community, and we need to have a unified voice. GDA helps us to amalgamate our voices and resources together for a positive impact. GDA is also a valuable resource
to ask about insurances and patient management information.
Q: What was your first job?
A: My first job was a dentist!
Q: What advice would you give to people aspiring to go to dental school to become a dentist?
A: I would recommend the dental profession because you can be an immediate help to someone who is hurting. I am an endodontist, so I see it all the time. People are very surprised root canals don’t have to hurt, and that they actually make them feel better! How rewarding is that?!
Q: What is your all-time dream vacation?
A: My all-time dream vacation is to go to the Maldives.
Q: Without saying “I am an endodontist,” what would you say if someone asked what you do?
A: I help people stay out of pain or relieve pain comfortably.