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. LeAnn Norris in the Northern District.
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Q: What was your first job?
My first job was working in the antique photo store at Six Flags over Georgia the summer of my junior year of high school.
Q: Why did you decide to become a dentist?
I decided to become a dentist because it seemed like a very emotionally rewarding career that was patient-centered, but allowed for a work-life balance.
Q: How did you become a GDA member?
I joined GDA at the end of my senior year of dental school. GDA hosted a Lunch and Learn making it easy for our class to sign up! My main reason for joining was to stay connected with my profession and colleagues.
Q: What was your first GDA event?
My first member meeting was the Northern District meeting in Feb. 2017. Although I knew it was important to stay connected, I had yet to attend one single meeting or event with the GDA since graduation from dental school in May 2014. In 2016, I set a goal for myself to become more active in organized dentistry. My first step was applying for the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership. Through this program, I was connected with Dr. Evis Babo, who invited me to the NDDS meeting!
I have to admit, I was a little nervous to attend the meeting without knowing anyone except for Dr. Babo. However, when I got there everyone was really nice and made me feel welcomed. I anticipated that there wouldn’t be very many new dentists there, and this is now my next goal: getting more new dentists involved!
Q: What advice would you give a dental student about GDA?
Being a part of a professional group is important because it provides a network and support system among you and your colleagues and helps you stay abreast of new laws and regulations that play major roles in the way we practice daily.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Or how do you spend a typical weekend?
A typical weekend for me includes spending time with my husband and finding fun, new things to do around Atlanta, even though we are both suburban Atlanta natives. One of our latest adventures was indoor skydiving at iFly Atlanta!
Q: What advice would you give to people aspiring to go to dental school to become a dentist?
Shadow a few dentists and keep your grades up!
Q: Without saying “I am a dentist,” if someone asked, “What do you do?” What would you say?
I help people smile again whether it’s relieving pain or restoring teeth!