March is Women’s History Month, which celebrates the many achievements and contributions that women have made to our society over the course of hundreds of years. International Women’s Day was also celebrated around the world earlier this month on March 8.
Many women are well-known in our time and many of them I know. Today, however, I will take this blog post as an opportunity to highlight two women that many of us love and know: Maria Maranga, our current vice president of the ADA, and Dr. Maxine Feinberg.
When I was a relatively new member of our profession, I knew there was a lot I didn’t know, and I really struggled with finding resources and mentors as I navigated my path. Drs. Drs. Feinberg and Maranga helped me focus my efforts towards my goal and were always available with wise counsel and friendly advice.
They both learned the value of being thoughtful in their actions and words. It can be confusing and difficult to navigate the complex world of organized dentistry, practice ownership, advocacy, leadership, and leadership. This was something that I struggled with. It’s often difficult to find a way forward. Sometimes, it helps to take a step back and look at things from a 30,000-foot perspective. As dentists, we are often too narrow in our thinking. Both of these are things I’ve learned and can now incorporate the decision-making skills of Drs. I incorporate Maranga and Feinberg into my daily decisions.
Mentors see the world differently than us, so they offer advice and thoughtful opinions that will help foster and sustain forward progress for future generations. Both of them have accomplished exactly that. As ADA president, Dr. Feinberg accomplished so much and continues to inspire, guide, and mentor, countless dentists, residents, and new (and seasoned), dentists. Dr Maranga is exactly the same. These are the women I turn to when I have questions about purpose and path.
From my current position, I think the best piece of advice is to find your friends: your team, cheerleaders or mentors. Your best support is made up of strong women and men. The wisdom you get from others who have gone before you comes with many successes and failures. Learn from others and you’ll continue to learn.
Amrita R. Pattel was raised in Chappaqua (New York). She graduated in 2011 from the New York University College of Dentistry before she completed a general residency at Nassau University Medical Center. Dr. Patel is a general dentistry in private practice in Westchester County, New York with her father, Dr. RohitZ. Patel. She chaired the New York State Dental Association New Dentist Committee, is the International College of Dentists – USA Section Fellow Ambassador of Social Media, and currently serves the new dentists on the American Dental Association Council on Dental Benefit Plans for the 2020-21 term. She was also awarded the 2021 ADA 10 Under 10 awards.