How do dentistry and politics intersect? The Pacific Dugoni Chapter of the Academy of General Dentistry recently invited alumnus Dr. Joel Strom ’79 to speak with the Pacific Dugoni dental community on how dentists have an opportunity to enhance their career through political involvement. Dr. Strom is a former California State Dental board president and president of Strom Political Strategies. After graduating from University of the Pacific’s School of Dentistry in 1979, he completed a National Institute of Health Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Human Nutrition at Columbia University. In addition to practicing general dentistry in the greater Los Angeles area, he has served as course director for ethics at USC’s School of Dentistry and as president of the Western Los Angeles Dental Society. Dr. Strom also founded Dentistry United for WWII Vets.
During his visit, Dr. Strom discussed points of intersection between dentistry and politics, and explained how he got involved in political issues while just starting out in his career. Issues such as malpractice rates, changes in healthcare laws, student loans and taxes all affect the lives of dental professionals. Dentists have specialized knowledge about the healthcare industry that puts them in the prime position to make a difference in their community by taking leadership roles at all levels of politics – including professional dental organizations.
At Pacific Dugoni, students are constantly challenged to engage with their communities to be forces of positive change. Our clubs and organizations offer events that give students an opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals as they share perspectives on different ways dentists can use their talents in society. Many thanks, Dr. Strom, for sparking conversation on these timely topics at our school!