July 1, 2004
by Oral Health
I read with dismay the misinformation in Dr. Jordan Soll’s column. I would encourage Dr. Soll or anyone with an interest in AACD policy and issues to contact the AACD office before speculating about the Academy’s policies.
I have been Executive Director for just under two years. Nowhere in the policies or literature of AACD is any suggestion that the term “cosmetic dentist” should be limited to dentists accredited by the AACD. AACD has no plans to seek specialty status for cosmetic dentistry–and I keep the strategic plan, so I know. (Also, it’s posted on the website, www.aacd.com, so members may know what is–and is not–in the Academy’s plans.)
The Academy does have hopes of educating ADA, other organizations, dental professionals and consumers about the value and validity of the AACD credential. Clearly we have done a poor job with members like Dr. Soll.
While a few practitioners were grandparented in the early years, as is standard with credentialing programs, the folks I talk to feel the program, though different, was as rigorous five years ago as today. It has been changed to increase objectivity and user-friendliness, based on feedback from candidates over the years. That, too, is standard for credentialing programs, in organizations that listen to the members.
Many of the speakers Dr. Soll mentioned, while not members, believe in the Academy so strongly they are willing to speak without fee at the AACD conference. Drs. Kois and Christensen spoke this year; Drs. Spear and Dawson are scheduled for 2005 in Nashville.
Dr. Soll has every right to disagree with the opinions of fellow members, and in fact, I’ve heard his opinions expressed by leaders of the Academy. But it’s not fair to attribute those opinions to the Academy without checking. And if you believe everything on the Internet, trust me, those folks in Nigeria do not really have millions of dollars they want to share with you!
Robert A. Hall
AACD Executive Director
Dr. Soll replies: To paraphrase from Hamlet, methinks thou doth protest too much.