Henry Schein CEO Stanley M. Bergman, delivered the commencement speech at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.
Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein, Inc, delivered the commencement address on at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry.
Addressing the 2023 graduating class, Bergman stressed that in today’s digitized world, the concern for people – the human connection in the practice of dentistry – will always be paramount, from caring for patients and building and mentoring the office team to collaborating with other health care professionals, and giving back to society. He emphasized that the human touch is essential in building and strengthening relationships, whether it be in dentistry or other facets of society.
“We live in a world that is increasingly driven by technology, but we must remember that technology is just a tool, and humans wield that tool. How we wield that tool depends on our human touch,” said Bergman. “What links the best dental practitioners across the decades, and will continue to be the defining quality of the best dentists in the future, is the ability to establish a caring human connection.”
Bergman noted that the human touch is key in the interdisciplinary collaboration between oral health and the other medical disciplines. He underlined how dentistry is a vital component of the healthcare spectrum, with a direct correlation between good oral care and good overall health.
The graduation was officiated by Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD, Dean of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. The graduating class included 150 members receiving degrees in dental hygiene, advanced dental education programs, and dentistry.
“We applaud the 2023 graduating class of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry for their hard work, resilience, and dedication,” said Dean Guthmiller. “As our students begin their oral health careers, Mr Bergman’s message of establishing the human connection could not be more relevant. I know our graduates will continue to make us proud and provide outstanding patient care to the communities they serve!”
In addition, Bergman highlighted the technological advances available for dental professionals today, including digital scanners, 2D and 3D imaging, 3D printing, advanced implants, aligners, and dental materials, lasers, clinical software with artificial intelligence embedded for diagnostic support, and rapid salivary diagnostics to detect oral cancer and other diseases.
He reinforced that this technology is worth celebrating, but it cannot replace the human need for connection between the health care practitioner and the patient or the unique human ability to dream and imagine a new future.