Penn Dental Student Joins Discussion with Lawmakers on Oral Health Issues


Sara Shah was one of 10 students nationwide to participate in the AGD 2013 Government Relations Conference. (Photo by Kaveh Sardari/

Philadelphia – Sara Shah, a fourth-year Penn Dental Medicine student, was among 10 students nationwide selected to participate in the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) 2013 Government Relations Conference, A Great Dentist Goes to Washington, on April 15 and 16 in Washington, D.C.

As a member of the AGD, Shah joined the other students and 70 general dentists from across the country in the nation’s capital, where they learned about legislative issues related to dentistry, honed their advocacy skills, and met with lawmakers to educate them on oral health topics.

Discussions focused on the rising costs of dental education and how the financial burden experienced by many new doctors limits their practice options for providing dental care to underserved populations throughout the country. Conference attendees also educated lawmakers on the need for improved oral health literacy in America and how repealing key federal legislation would reduce consumers’ out-of-pocket costs for dental treatment.

“Penn Dental student, Sara Shah, played an important role in advocating with congressional leaders,” says AGD President Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, MBA, FAGD. “Sara is now prepared to speak with her state legislators about the local dentistry issues that impact her colleagues and patients.”

Shah, who will graduate this month from Penn Dental Medicine, will then begin a general practice residency at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Central Florida.