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Women in Dentistry with Dr. Lynn Tomkins: A Leader’s Journey


It was my pleasure to host Dr. Lynn Tomkins on Oasis Discussions to speak about her journey as a private practitioner and a leader in Canadian organized dentistry. 

Dr. Tomkins is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry. She held a number of important roles in the Ontario Dental Association various committees and became the association’s President in 2010. She is the recipient of numerous awards from reputable organizations, such as the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the CDA, and the Toronto Central Dental Society. 

Dr. Tomkins was the first woman ever to serve on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Dental Association as the representative of the CDA’s Council on Student Affairs. And, in 2015, she was elected by the ODA to the CDA Board of Directors, an office that she still holds to this day.

I hope you enjoy the conversation and share your thoughts with us at oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca

Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager 


Dr. Tomkins has had a distinguished career in both private practice and organized dentistry. Her journey has included various personal and professional challenges as well as highlights. She started as an associate in private practice in Windsor and had the benefit of having great mentors. Upon purchasing her own practice, she faced new issues.

Women in dentistry is not novel; and now, people are much more accepting of women being in a leadership role. With increased numbers of women in practice, practice models and choices of practice styles and environments will likely evolve and/or change. The ODA has found that younger men go into private practice within 5 years of graduation whereas, young women own their practices within 11 years after graduation.

Women are not much different than their male counterparts in terms of owner personality and professional work; however, women may often have more challenges with predominantly female staff members. Young women associates can often be seen as “one of the girls” but, there has to be a professional line in the sand. Over time, the presence of women in leadership roles in organized dentistry has grown and they have an important role in the decision-making for the dental profession.

Looking at the future, Dr. Tomkins would like to see gender balance in leadership roles become commonplace rather than a phenomenon.


Full Interview (15.44″)


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