It was fantastic to finally see everyone in person once again at the annual meeting in Boston!
The venue was great and the program itself was excellent in every way.
Many thanks to the program committee for organizing such an informative slate of speakers. It was a fitting schedule for celebrating our new specialty and approval of the ABOP as the certifying board. The past few years have proven difficult at best for all of us, but particularly for our last two Presidents. Drs. Mackman and Shaefer provided leadership in the most trying of times and saw the AAOP through the specialty recognition owing to their tremendous efforts and dedication. Our executive director Ken Cleveland and his staff also worked diligently and effectively to help guide us through the past few years and provided counsel to navigate all that transpired. We all owe them our sincerest thanks for a job well done!
As we move forward as a specialty our focus now must be on increasing awareness to the public and professionals of this fact. Collaboration with other specialties in dentistry and medicine as well as public support groups for various pain conditions is crucial to further this agenda. We must also work to improve access to care for patients by working to advance our recognition with state dental boards and insurance companies to allow effective treatment to be rendered by our members. The CODA standards that now exist for undergraduate dental education will help with this and prevent unnecessary treatments from being provided, and our graduate academic programs are necessary to create an increasing number of specialists as well as the significant contributions they provide to advance the science.
I am reaching out to the academic programs and their residents to help provide content in the form of lectures, case reports, and research presentations.
One of the ways we can increase exposure of the AAOP is through our website and the content it has the potential to provide to our members, the public, and other professionals. To that end, I am reaching out to the academic programs and their residents to help provide content in the form of lectures, case reports, and research presentations. This also extends to the membership at large, and any content that members are willing to share would be greatly appreciated. We have already had great success with our podcasts through the efforts of Dr. Moreno-Hay and have recently reached 10,000 plays in SoundCloud. The more people we can drive to our website the greater our potential reach is which is important at this point in our specialty.
The need for more academic programs is also important to increase the number of providers capable of improving access to care, and another aspect of this issue would be to have an orofacial pain specialist on the faculty of each dental school. These approaches will help to solidify and grow our position as a specialty as well as improve the overall treatment for all patients.
Our meetings and online presence must include content that would benefit general dentists to allow an appropriate standard of care to exist for all patients who require treatment.
Lastly, we must provide educational opportunities that benefit general dentists and use our position as the sponsoring organization of our specialty to extend the acceptance of the evidence-based knowledge in our field. Our meetings and online presence must include content that would benefit general dentists to allow an appropriate standard of care to exist for all patients who require treatment. The advantage of having such a standard cannot be stressed enough as historically our field has been fragmented among various approaches. This has left patients over many years unsure of which provider to see and what treatments to pursue. We are in a position to help provide the content to benefit our profession as well as the public. The AAOP should first and foremost advocate for our members, but also for the patients we treat.
We have an active council and committees which are populated by a talented and motivated group, and I know that the AAOP will have outstanding leadership for many years to come. We will be pursuing multiple agenda items with the goal of providing benefit to our membership as well as advancing our field. The celebration in Boston was long overdue, and now we can all move forward in making this the best specialty possible. I sincerely hope everyone has a great summer, and do not hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns or questions.