It is the position of the American Student Dental Association that each dental school should assure that its faculty and administration are sensitive to the cultural diversity and changing demographics of today's dental students.
The American Student Dental Association defines diversity as: differences and variations among and between individual characteristics, demographics and professional choices, including, but not limited to, race, religion, ethnic background, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identification and gender expression. ASDA recognizes the unique challenges faced by these diverse populations of students. (Excerpt from E-4 Sensitivity to Diversity Policy)
Resources from ASDA
ASDA Position & Policy Statements
- The matter of race, gender, and patient management, ASDA News, Aug. 2016
- The role of diversity and inclusion in organized dentistry, ASDA News, Sept. 2015
- How you can better serve the LGBT community, Mouthing Off, Aug. 17, 2015
- Cultural awareness: Connecting dentists & patients, Mouth, Summer 2015
- Identifying oral health risks for transgender patients, ASDA News, Jan. 2015
- Dental Schools Seek to Expand Student Diversity, ASDA News, Oct. 2013
- Diversity & Dentistry Issue, Mouth, Summer 2010
- Student Columns: Diversity in Dentistry - Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Dental Students in Need of Resources, ASDA News, December 2009
Resources from other organizations
The following list directs you to websites offering assistance or information related to matters of diversity and inclusion in organized dentistry.
Race & Ethnic Background
Asian American student dental associations: While no national organization for Asian American dental students currently exists, many schools offer clubs or school activities that bring Asian American students together.
Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) - Student Chapters
Indian Dental Association
Iranian American Dental Association
Korean American Dental Association - Student Chapters
Student National Dental Association
Academy of LDS Dentists – Student Chapters
Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity
Christian Medical & Dental Association (CMDA) - Student Life
Muslim student dental associations: While no national organization for Muslim dental students currently exists, many schools offer clubs or school activities that bring Muslim students together.
American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD)
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identification and Gender Expression
Gender & Sexuality Action Committee of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
Gay & Lesbian Medical Association
Gay-Straight Alliance Section of ADEA
Gay & Lesbian Association of Doctors & Dentists (GLADD) (UK-based)
A number of organizations and alliances operate on the local level at various dental schools:
Summer Medical & Dental Education Program: SMDEP is a free six-week residential program for first- and second-year college students interested in medicine and dentistry. Hosted at 12 institutions across the nation, the program aims to assist students who represent economic, geographic, cultural, racial and ethnic diversity in their pursuit of gaining admission to both medical and dental school. As health care disparities continue to persist, SMDEP is committed to developing a diverse medical and dental workforce as they will be well-suited to address such gaps.
Resources for patient care
Patient Education - English
Patient Education - Spanish
National Center for Cultural Competence: The mission of NCCC is to increase the capacity of healthcare programs to design, implement and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems to address growing diversity, persistent disparities and to promote health equity.
ASDA is not responsible for the availability or content of the sites linked above, nor does their inclusion imply endorsement.
If you are interested in hosting a chapter event focused on diversity and inclusion, see the Chapter How-To Guides for additional assistance.
For tips on finding and fostering relationships with mentors, see Mentorship in Dental School.
To suggest additional resources for this listing, email Membership@ASDAnet.org.