Guessy Wang, a 4th-year student at Western University and the founder of the Students Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA), spoke with Dr. Chiraz Guessaier about this SPEA chapter established in 2015.
The focus of SPEA is professionalism and ethics in dentistry which aligns with the Practice Administration course at Western. The chapter has hosted several events:
- “Graduation and then what?” for 3rd/4th year students with guest speakers to discuss the excitement and challenges that may be faced post-graduation
- “Main Clinic Ready” event – clinicians spoke with lower year students about how to prepare for clinic
- Surviving the 1st year – dedicated to 1st/2nd years which discussed academic as well as personal management
- Committee Transition – a new committee was chosen after several interviews and meetings
- Full house for all events
- Overwhelming interest to join club’s executive
- Won the “Best Event” award at the ADA for all US and Canadian chapters
- Financial resources
- Time constraints due to academics
Western’s SPEA’s success can be attributed to high engagement from the students and faculty. Additionally, the club is responsive to the students’ needs and aims to provide events that are aligned with the needs and interests of the students. The flat structure of the organization allows for group discussion and there is a lot of coordination amongst the students behind-the-scenes.