Meet Women in Dentistry speaker Julie Charlestein

2016 02 25 16 38 43 264 Women In Dentistry 200

Julie Charlestein is the president of Premier Dental Products and also one of the engaging speakers at the upcoming 2016 Women in Dentistry conference. She is most looking forward to meeting with conference speakers and attendees.

Julie Charlestein is the president of Premier Dental Products and a fourth-generation leader at the company.Julie Charlestein is the president of Premier Dental Products and a fourth-generation leader at the company.

Charlestein is the fourth-generation leader at Premier, and she previously served as the vice president of dental business development. At the conference, which will take place April 8-9 in Park City, UT, Charlestein wants to learn more about the unique rewards and challenges of being a woman in dentistry.

"It's a great opportunity for me to learn. Women are a significant part of our industry, and there aren't many unique opportunities to just be in that core group," she said in an interview with DrBicuspid.com. "So I want to learn from the women there -- learn about them as people, learn about them as dentists, and build relationships."

The changing dental landscape

The dental landscape is changing rapidly, which is affecting women in the profession. One of the more prominent changes is the growth of dental service organizations (DSOs), which Charlestein credits as the most important trend in dentistry right now. Carol Gomez-Summerhays, DDS, ADA president and another Women in Dentistry conference speaker, also noted that DSOs are one of the most important issues facing dentistry today.

“Women are a significant part of our industry, and there aren't many unique opportunities to just be in that core group. So, I want to learn from the women there.”
— Julie Charlestein, president, Premier Dental Products

"It's really changing the dynamics of the marketplace from employment to distribution to product purchasing from really overall global investment," Charlestein explained. "It's putting dentistry in a different light, different place."

While DSOs and other industry trends do affect women dentists, Charlestein also noted that outside societal forces impact women in dentistry and any challenges they may face. For instance, a 2013 brief prepared for the ADA found new female dentists are far less likely to own a private practice compared with new male dentists.

"I hope that women in dentistry wouldn't face any challenges -- that's my hope -- but challenges could just be larger societal things where possibly women are being employed by others and not owning their own practice, so there could be a little bit of wage discrimination," she said. "In terms of dentistry, specifically, any barriers could be self-imposed, but the potential is limitless."

Accomplishing goals and overcoming challenges

Charlestein is proud to have the support of her organization, which allows her to lead, and she considers it her greatest accomplishment so far in her role as president of Premier. Charlestein's greatest challenge is wanting to do everything, and she has some specific goals for Premier that she wants to accomplish in 2016.

"My goals are related to a lot of strategic initiatives," she said. "It's a lot of focus on less of the day-to-day and a lot more forward thinking. One of constant opportunities and challenges is new product development."

As for the conference, Charlestein has a goal to forge meaningful relationships -- and also spend some time exploring the outdoors.

"I'm very excited, very honored to be a part of this panel," she said. "To meet the women there, to go on hikes, to enjoy Utah together."

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