The Augusta University student chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) hosted its annual Friendsgiving potluck Nov. 18 at the home of Dr. Martha Brackett, the group’s faculty mentor. The event has been a yearly tradition for the chapter since its founding in 2017.
Students in professional programs often live far from their families, so this event gives dental students a “home away from home” for the holiday season.
“I love the community that AAWD creates on campus, and the way we foster female dentists’ education, community outreach, personal growth and career success,” said Caroline Carlock, a third-year dental student and the president of AAWD.
“It is also a great way for students to get to know other classes and our amazing female faculty.”
AAWD’s mission is to be a leading resource for advancing, connecting and enriching the lives of women dentists, as according to American Dental Association data from 2020, only 34.5% of practicing dentists are female.
Gender diversity in dentistry has improved since the turn of the century, but according to the AAWD, there is still progress to be made: “Although the gender composition of U.S. dentists has changed dramatically in the last twenty years, there’s not much else that has. Dental equipment is still designed for male bodies, journal ads are still aimed to a male audience and local dental meetings are still very much male territory.”
The DCG chapter of AAWD hosts several events each year, including Friendsgiving, the annual Women’s Leadership Conference, bake sale fundraisers and a kickball tournament.