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. Ched Smaha in the Central District. .
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
As a young boy, I always wanted to be a professional baseball player. Since I played baseball, watched the Braves on TV, and wore a baseball hat every day, it was my dream
Q: What was your first job?
My first job was in 1986. Cutting grass and lawn maintenance was my specialty. That was a tough job, but I pushed that old lawn mower with my shirt off for the entire summer!
Q: Why did you decide to become a dentist?
Pushing that old lawn mower in the summer of 1986 made it nice and clear that dental school and working indoors was the light of my future!
Q: How did you become a GDA member?
I was president of the American Student Dental Association for my class in dental school. I learned the importance of organized dentistry as a student. I worked closely with Miles Mazzawi and Victor van Greuningen. They showed me the light!
Q: What was your first GDA event?
My first meeting was a Central District meeting. Since I was a new member, my father was going to introduce me to the group. As luck would have it, he was in the restroom when they called for new member introductions. My friend Pinkney Gilchrist noticed he was gone and stood up for me. He knocked it out of the park! Thank you, Pinkney!
Q: What advice would you give a dental student about GDA?
My advice would be to get your MBA first, then go to dental school.
Q: Have you made any friends or long relationships through GDA?
I have made many new friends through the GDA. I really enjoy seeing them and my old friends at the annual meeting every year.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Or how do you spend a typical weekend?
On the weekends, I enjoy spending time with my wife and son. I also enjoy golf, tennis, hunting, and fishing. Football games and friends is always a favorite, and, of course, relaxing at the house enjoying a good movie is always a great time.
Q: What is the single most important thing the GDA can do to help members?
Governmental affairs can make or break our profession. This is the most important aspect of the GDA. Without good legislation, our professional lives and personal lives can dramatically change unfavorably.