Orthodontics, Students

School Hosts 25th Anniversary of Graduate Orthodontic Residents Meeting

Recently the UNC School of Dentistry hosted the annual Graduate Orthodontic Residents Program (GORP) meeting in Chapel Hill.

GORP began in 1989 to bring orthodontic graduate students together each summer to create an environment to foster professional growth and interpersonal relationships among colleagues. Every other year, the multi-day meeting is held at the University of Michigan; the event moves to other locations in alternate years. This year’s meeting in Chapel Hill was the largest ever, being attended by over 625 orthodontic faculty, residents, and members of the industry from the U.S. and Canada.

“This was the second time since GORP began that our school has been able to host the event,” said Dr. James Martin, chair of this year’s GORP meeting. “As this was the 25th anniversary of GORP, we wanted to make it truly memorable edition of the annual conference and showcase both UNC Orthodontics and the University. This event is organized by the host residents to benefit the young members of the profession and, as we spent more than 12 months planning, it was very gratifying to meet some of the nearly 500 highly enthusiastic orthodontic resident attendees over the course of the weekend. In addition to exploring Chapel Hill and enjoying social events with those who attended, we were able to learn together and build relationships that we’ll maintain throughout our career.”

The meeting, which began on Thursday, August 1, opened with a welcome reception at the North Carolina Basketball Museum and included tours of the Dean E. Smith Center. On Friday, attendees were able to see more of Chapel Hill through two local tours and a golf outing before a cocktail hour at Kenan Football Stadium’s Blue Zone, followed by dinner at the Carolina Club. The dinner was highlighted by remarks from UNC D.D.S. graduate Dr. Gary Starr, who inspired GORP more than 25 years ago. Saturday and Sunday featured a lecture program and exhibitor fair at the Friday Center. Speakers included Dr. Peter Ngan, Ms. Rosemary Bray, school adjunct professor Dr. Hugo DeClerck, and school professors Dr. Rick Steedle and Dr. William Proffit. Additionally, a picnic was held on Saturday afternoon outside the Wilson Library and the Saturday evening social event was held on Franklin Street’s Top of the Hill restaurant.

Sixty companies and organizations, including the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), the AAO constituent societies and the AAO Foundation, sponsored this year’s GORP. The program is unique in that it was the first conference to bring together residents in a dental or medical specialty program annually. Next year, the event will be held July 31 – August 3 and returns to the University of Michigan.