Members Remember Friend and Colleague Myron “Mike” Bromberg, DDS

  • by AGD Staff
  • Jan 29, 2024
Reflecting on a Life of Dedication and Passion for General Dentistry and AGD

Myron “Mike” Bromberg, DDS, always stood out for his unwavering dedication and commitment to organized dentistry as well as his laser focus on the needs of general dentists. He left an indelible mark on AGD through his service, expertise, mentorship and passion for the profession. It was with immense sadness that AGD shared his passing on Dec. 22. 

AGD recently invited several of Bromberg’s close friends and colleagues to share a few stories about his life and leadership, shedding light on the person he was, his mentorship and the lasting legacy he leaves. 

“I got to know Mike Bromberg through my involvement with the California AGD,” said James “Jay” H. Thompson, DMD, FAGD, of San Diego, California. “But I truly got to know Mike when, as president of the California AGD, I failed to put him on our list of delegates to the AGD House of Delegates (HOD). Those who know Mike can imagine how that conversation went. I quickly saw the need to correct this oversight. Over the next several years, I was privileged to become Mike’s friend and observe his work with the California AGD, California Dental Association (CDA), American Dental Association (ADA) and AGD to preserve and protect the practice of general dentistry.”

“Mike’s understanding of the governmental policies and the internecine conflicts within organized dentistry was impressive,” Thompson continued. “He was a beacon to the central issues that affected the practice of general dentistry. He was also a fearless advocate. It made little difference to him who he had to battle. He was just as eager to fight the CDA, ADA or state legislature as he was to get a policy statement passed at the AGD HOD. He was always ready and prepared to bring forth a position that usually carried the debate.” 

“Dr. Bromberg had a great sense of humor and didn’t take things personally,” explained Anita Rathee, DDS, MAGD, of West Hills, California. “His friendships were important to him, and he respected people even if they had opposing points of view. He always said, ‘If we don’t take an active role, the future is out of our hands.’”

Ralph A. Cooley, DDS, FAGD, of Houston, Texas, noted, “Dr. Bromberg’s involvement in legislative efforts and advocacy work was relentless, consistent and tireless. He looked at all issues with the mindset of what was best for the general dentist and never wavered from that position. He was someone who could never be intimidated in his positions. He would acknowledge opposing arguments in a professional manner and then explain their fallacies, weaknesses or misinformation. He knew the issues well.”

Bromberg had “input or influence" on most pieces of legislation considered by this organization over the years, explained Gary L. Myers, DMD, MAGD, of Birmingham, Alabama. “He was constantly at the microphone to give us directions, historical context or needed direction. However, I did not have the feeling that it was self-serving. It was about what is best for our patients, profession and organization. He had his opinions, but I found him willing to listen to other opinions, debate, and then modify his stance or remain strong with his opinion. Sometimes, he would even change his mind. But he gave others a chance to opine, too.” 

Thompson shared some of Bromberg’s most notable contributions. “Two of the events that Mike never missed were A Good Dentist Goes to Washington and the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day, where he would teach a class on how to talk to your elected representative. He would show you how to present your concerns, talk to the elected representative’s staff and be effective when you were required to speak publicly on issues concerning dentistry.”

Rathee was introduced to Bromberg early in her career, and they became great friends. “To me, he saw potential in people and wanted to help others be successful. He encouraged and inspired people by instilling confidence. He demonstrated how easy it was to build relationships with people in legislative and regulatory areas, and this inspired people to get involved and join him on his crusades.”

Myers shared a recent conversation with Gordon R. Isbell III, DMD, MAGD, where they recalled a mentoring experience they had with Bromberg. “One year, early in my leadership beginnings, the California AGD delegation was seated at the back of the HOD, and Alabama was near the front. Someone came up to Gordon and said that Dr. Bromberg would like to see him in the back of the room. Gordon went back, Dr. Bromberg introduced himself, and Gordon said, ‘Yes sir, I know who you are.’ Dr. Bromberg explained that he had been watching Gordon, liked his ideas and presentation skills, and would like him to help him out with legislation he was backing. Gordon accepted. Dr. Bromberg handed him a note card and said, ‘Go to the mic and say this, and when you get done, come back, and I have another card for you.’ A year or so later, I had a similar experience with Dr. Bromberg’s notes. Gordon and I both agree that was one of his mentoring techniques, and we were being guided through the maze of leadership. If he believed in you or liked your efforts, he was willing to help you move forward.”

“He believed in leading by example,” added Rathee. “He never formally mentored people, but I think he believed that if someone helps you out, you should pay it forward.” 

“He was always willing to hear the viewpoint of young dentists and serve as a mentor and role model to them,” said Cooley. “Dr. Bromberg and I disagreed strongly on some budget and board issues in the 2000s and debated them at the AGD HOD. However, he never held a grudge, and we became better friends afterward in working on other legislative issues with AGD. Although I might have disagreed with him on some things, I always had great respect for him.”

Many of Bromberg’s friends said that they thought his greatest legacy would be how he never stopped advocating for the general dentist and the profession on local, statewide and national stages. 

“He was not afraid of anyone or any organization, and he put the needs of the profession and general dentist ahead of his own,” said Cooley.

Myers added, “I sincerely hope that we have future leaders who have the passion, integrity, ethics and commitment to our profession that Dr. Bromberg demonstrated to me over many years. We did not always agree, but we always agreed to disagree respectfully. He encouraged us to stay true to ourselves and our profession. He never wavered from standing up for his patients, profession and our beloved AGD. May he rest in peace, and may he look down and guide many more of us to be like him for the betterment of our future.”

“Certainly, the people whom he has had the opportunity to meet and mentor will continue his legacy of fighting to protect our profession,” added Rathee. “I think that his life and the way he lived will inspire others to have the drive, ambition and hope to advocate for our profession. He always emphasized that we don’t have to sit on the sidelines; instead, we must take an active role. This is the only way we can make sure the future of dentistry is what we want it to be.”