by Kyle Patton, Associate Editor, Orthotown Magazine
There was golf, a stroll through the famous Budweiser Brewery, a trip up the egg-shaped elevator of the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch, a tour of one of the best city museums in the country, and even a baseball game at gorgeous Busch Stadium.
But this wasn't a vacation—even if it felt like one for the more than 500 orthodontic residents who attended the plentiful festivities of the 27th annual Graduate Orthodontic Residents Program (GORP).
A purposeful vacation
This year, GORP took place at Saint Louis University (SLU), just a couple miles away from the heart of downtown St. Louis, Missouri. GORP was held between July 30 and August 2, continuing the summer trend of the annual getaway that gives residents the opportunity to attend an educational event outside of demanding school schedules.
GORP is sponsored by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), various associations, and exhibitors.
This year, GORP brought in 447 residents and 58 exhibitors, once again exceeding the 500 attendance mark. The first GORP, in 1989, drew 175 residents. GORP is the brainchild of Drs. James McNamara, Gary Starr and Pat Nolan. The three were residents together in 1988 when they attended the University of Michigan's orthodontic and pediatric dentistry program. McNamara has served as the faculty director of GORP every year.
In a profession full of conferences, exhibitions and meetings, GORP remains one of the most fun and talked-
about events in the business. GORP is a premier conference for current and graduating orthodontic students from around the country.
The conference is special in that it brings together residents in dental and medical specialty programs. And let's not forget the aforementioned lineup of fun things to do. Unlike some dental conferences, GORP has a tangible buzz from start to end. The show has something for everyone, and most importantly, it has a pulse.
The exhibition hall bustled and the speakers had full houses. There was a distinct lack of disinterested attendees roaming the halls on their phones, or absentmindedly picking at a scone as they waited for a speaker to finish. Everyone was engaged, and in today's society that's impressive.
Speakers included Drs. Greg Jorgensen, David Sarver, Mazyar Moshiri, Brent Larson and Lucia Cevidanes, and Mrs. Sheila Backer.
Outside all the fun to be had in St. Louis, and the speakers to learn from and listen to, residents had the opportunity to meet and network with hundreds of exhibitors and vendors representing the full breadth of the industry (not to mention the swag and great prizes that residents walked away with).
This year marked the third year Orthotown attended GORP, where we proudly sponsored a beer cart during the golf outing.
The AAO-sponsored picnic was a favorite among attendees. Hundreds of residents attended, all wearing team T-shirts to represent their residency program in hopes of claiming what has become a prestigious win in the annual T-shirt contest.
Next year, GORP will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the University of Michigan (UM), July 29 — 31, 2016.
While in previous years GORP has bounced around all over the country, the meeting will now alternate each year between SLU and UM. Orthotown will proudly attend GORP next year. We hope to see you there.
For more information on GORP, visit Gorportho.com