How 1 organization plans to support people of color in DSOs

People of Color in DSO was recently launched to help members thrive in the industry. 

Founder and President Tobi Bosede recently spoke with Becker's about what inspired her to start the organization and her goals.

Ms. Bosede will also be a panelist during Becker's Future of Dentistry Roundtable Oct. 25-27. 

Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for length and clarity. 

Question: What inspired you to launch POC in DSO?

Tobi Bosede: There was Women in DSO and I had seen their success and the community they had. I'm also relatively new to the dental industry ... My background as a whole is in AI, data and technology. I've always worked in that space in different industries, whether it was healthcare, telecommunications or finance and so, now that I'm in the dental space, I was just looking around, like I see women but usually when I see the women stuff and I see the minority stuff, there are usually those basic things. The closest thing I saw was the National Dental Association, which is like the [American Dental Association] but for African Americans, or the [Society of American Indian Dentists], but those are all for dentists. They weren't just for professionals in the dental field like how Women in DSO was for women in the dental space. I was just shocked that there was absolutely nothing. 

I was at Dykema and I was sharing with them the lack of support for people of color in dentistry and [Director] Brian Colao introduced me to [Member] Eric White. Eric was like, "We have tried to diversify the conference." They talked about different attempts and they were like, "We just need someone to help execute. People have brought this up in the past, but we need someone to rally troops and organize everyone." So that's how POC in DSO was formed. 

Q: Have you heard from a lot of people who are interested in joining?

TB: We've gotten a lot of great feedback. We've gotten a lot of other people saying, "This is very much a need. You are filling a gap. I'm so glad this exists now," so we've definitely gotten a lot of support. 

Right now, we already have 15, which I know is really small but it's a start and we've only been existing for a week and a half. The goal would be based on how many people of color are in dentistry, but I would say maybe at least 100 people by 2024.  

Q: What are some of the other goals you have for the organization?

TB: The mission is to support people of color at DSOs in such a way that they thrive and advance in the field of dentistry. So definitely growing the membership base and then having an in-person component. We're starting off with meeting virtually because people are around the nation. We're establishing ourselves, so we need help getting the word out to people of color in DSOs and we need allies as well to join our advisory board to help us spread the word because there are a lot of people we can affect with this and support in their roles with various resources. We just don't want them to miss out. We need sponsors to make that happen. One of the examples could be having a happy hour that [is] embedded as part of a conference. We're looking for venues where we can share the work we're doing, the initiatives we have, and corporate partners who can sponsor the happy hours and help us get the word out about this and other initiatives.

Q: How do you plan to work with DSOs in the future?

TB: I think it would just be around the early roles I mentioned in terms of sponsorship. It could even be mentorship, like we have people who want to mentor dentists so we could potentially be helping the DSOs mentor people of color at their organization and be a resource to them in that way. Those are just a few that are the most obvious to me, but I'm open to other people sharing ideas. 

Right now, just supporting the people who are already here would be amazing, if we could help them thrive in dentistry. Then, of course, the next goal would be to reach back and go even earlier and drum up interest for POCs getting in the field.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.