|Wednesday, 05 September 2012|
The Dental Faculty is expanding its presence in North America
The College had high visibility at the annual American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, in April. This year saw four candidates sit for the Conjoint FDS with the American Board of Oral Medicine (ABOM) examination. While this number is small, it is the largest number of AAOM members ever to take this College examination at one meeting and needs to be seen with the backdrop that the specialty is very small. Currently, 26 AAOM members have FDS RCSEd.
“The popularity of the conjoint examination in North America is greatly enhanced by the universally positive comments from AAOM members”
Since 2006, there has been a system in place for North Americans who have Board status with the ABOM to receive the RCSEd Diploma through one of three avenues. First, AAOM member candidates taking Part B (oral examinations) of the ABOM can be examined by one or more Royal College examiners at the same time. Alternatively, AAOM members who are already diplomates of the ABOM can sit for College examiners in a parallel process. Finally, since 2006, an outstanding member of the AAOM has occasionally been put forward for FDS RCSEd Without Examination.
This year, Dr Sook-Bin Woo, an oral pathologist and oral medicine specialist at Harvard, was presented with an FDS award letter from the College President by Dr David Felix, Immediate Past Dean of the Dental Faculty. Dr Felix attended the AAOM meeting for the second time as an examiner and the College representative to the ABOM Examiners.
This overall system has worked well since its inception in 2006, and it is clear that the increasing visibility of the College at these AAOM meetings will result in an expanding relationship that benefits both organisations. The popularity of the conjoint examination in North America is greatly enhanced by the universally positive comments from AAOM members who have been through the process, including the Diploma Ceremony in Edinburgh.
Although there has been a lengthy period of inactivity, a discussion is underway for a renewed agreement between the College and the Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA) in Chicago, Illinois. The SCDA has been in existence since the late 1930s, originally as the American Association of Hospital Dentists. This tri-partite group also encompasses the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities (ADPD) and the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry (ASGD).
From 2001 until 2004, the College offered the RCSEd Membership examination to SCDA members who had passed one of the three fellowship examinations. Over 20 individuals took advantage of this opportunity and they joined 10 SCDA members who have Fellowship status (FDS RCSEd) in Special Needs.
The introduction of the RCS exams to the SCDA accelerated formation of the American Board of Special Care Dentistry (ABSCD), and since that time, a new Diplomate board examination has been developed and it was introduced at the SCDA meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona,
This examination fosters standardisation among the three SCDA groups, while still recognising the differences in their clinical focus. This now provides the opportunity to develop an FDS Conjoint examination in Special Needs, analogous to the current arrangement between the College and the AAOM. Discussions are now under way to move the process forward such that there will be a Conjoint Examination at the next SCDA meeting in April 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is anticipated that this examination will be very popular with North Americans and that strong links will develop between special care dentists in the UK and North America. l
Professor and Chair of Oral Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center,