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D1 Perspective: Pontics and Politics 2018

Posted on Oct 22, 2018 07:34 am by Elijah Cutshall, ASDOH ’22

I had heard of Pontics & Politics but had no idea what it was or the format, so I was quite surprised when I was asked to debate. Nervous but excited for the opportunity to represent ASDOH, I accepted the offer and began to build an argument. Pontics & Politics is a professional debate and social event between ASDOH and Midwestern with topics focused on the dental field.

This year’s debate topics were ‘Should Implantology be a Dental Specialty’ and ‘Should Dental Benefits be Included in Medicare’. My partner, Marc Hodges a D2 and I debated on the former. Marc was invaluable in our preparation and arranged interviews with dental professionals, on which we could build a strong factual argument against Implantology becoming a specialty. While we worked separately to gather data and supportive points from research articles, we met up throughout the process to compile our thoughts and discuss the format of our argument as well as the possible angles our opponents would take. Since the time of team selection and the debate was so short, and dental school is so rigorous, we had to work as a team and pick different points of interest to focus our research on and rely on the other to cover their sections. 📷 The night of the debate was stressful, but in a good way. Marc and I met up at the event to go over last minute points and to ensure we were both on the same page with regards to structure. Our debate flew by and before I knew it I was sitting in the crowd watching Jared Hyer and Sohaib Ahmad debate against a fierce duo from Midwestern. It was an awesome night of debating and socializing with other dental students, the President/CEO of Heartland Dental (the event sponsor), as well as the president-elect of the ADA, Dr. Jeffrey Cole. The debate came to a close with the announcement of Midwestern finishing victorious over ASDOH and claiming the trophy that had been with ASDOH since the inception of Pontics & Politics back in 2016. 📷 While it was disappointing to not come away with the victory, I loved every aspect of the challenge that was brought on by the debate. From researching and structuring our argument, to representing ASDOH on stage against a well-prepared Midwestern team, I learned and grew as a future professional in the dental field. I look forward to attending next year and would encourage every ASDOH student to do the same. Who knows, maybe I will even have the opportunity to get that trophy back from our colleagues at Midwestern! Elijah Cutshall, ASDOH ’22

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