Eastman Institute for Oral Health resident Dr. Mayank Kakkar (GenDen ’22) was recently awarded the Future Leader Baton Award by the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) during its annual conference.
This award recognizes a student member of AADMD who has contributed to the organization’s national efforts. Dr. Kakkar has been serving as a Young Dental Professional Chair for the National AADMD Student/Resident Committee.
“In that role, I help oversee and support students and residents who are involved in dentistry-related projects throughout the U.S. that aim to improve access, increase awareness, and improve the quality of care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Dr. Kakkar explained.
Previously, Dr. Kakkar established the AADMD annual publication, One Voice Journal, which highlights, celebrates and advocates what various student/resident chapters have done across the country. He also contributed to the quarterly newsletter with articles and dental research updates. He attends monthly leadership meetings and helps other committees and projects when needed.
Dr. Adela Planerova, director of dental services at UR Medicine’s Complex Care Center, presented a poster at the virtual meeting with Dr. Kakkar about the role of teledentistry in the interdisciplinary care for people with IDD. They also presented during the recent International Association of Pediatric Dentistry Virtual Congress about the challenges transitioning dental care from pediatric to adult dental for people with special needs, and behavior management for people with IDD during the Rochester Chapter of the American Academy of Dental Research’s annual meeting.
“Perhaps Dr. Kakkar’s greatest strength is his interpersonal communication skills, which manifest in his outstanding clinical performance,” said Dr. Adela Planerova, director of Dental Services at UR Medicine’s Complex Care Center. “His attitude and knowledge, coupled with his ability to learn and integrate with the interdisciplinary team exceeds his peers. I have seen tremendous personal and professional growth in his clinical skills, patient management and academic knowledge.”
“AADMD is one of the biggest organizations when it comes to people with special needs and this is a huge honor and accomplishment for me,” said Dr. Kakkar, who completed the first ever Fellowship at Complex Care Center, and is beginning a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship this year. “Any award is an accomplishment, but because AADMD encompasses dental, medical and other healthcare disciplines, this award is especially meaningful.”
When Dr. Kakkar graduates next year, he plans to continue working in clinical care, research, awareness and advocacy in this area.