Message From The President
I feel honored and very privileged to serve as President of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. I promise to serve to the very best of my ability and hold the mission and interests of the College as my guides.
I want to thank our recent President, Dr. Gerry Ferretti, and Immediate Past President, Dr. Catharine Enright, and all our Board members, who have worked so hard to steer the College as we navigate times of tremendous change. I hope to earn your trust and to continue the legacy of service and leadership that my colleagues have given this organization. Dr. Ferretti’s report, presented at the Annual Meeting, describes the many successes and achievements in the last year. These have been accomplished even while Dr. Ferretti had health challenges and the achievements are a testament to the caliber of the Executive Committee of the Board, as well as their wonderful teamwork. I’d like to give my special thanks to Dr. Enright for her tireless efforts and mentorship during Dr. Ferretti’s illness. In addition, Ms. Molly Major, our Executive Assistant, and the RES staff have provided excellent support and worked very hard to keep our work running smoothly. I look forward to the next year knowing that I will have the support of our Board and our new President-Elect, Dr. Anthea Mazzawi, to help guide me along.
I’m really excited about the Strategic Planning process which is already underway, led by Dr. Parvathi Pokala as Committee Chair. I have great confidence in her calm, wise leadership as the Strategic Planning committee works to identify a road map to move forward. We have a very different College from that which was organized some 50 years ago, and indeed from the College I joined in 1994, but I think our Founding Fathers (and that’s exactly what they were…..not a woman amongst them) would be proud of what we’ve become. Not only are we larger, but we’re a very diverse group now!!
We are living in exciting times, not only for the College, but for all of us in our daily lives and at work. Our world is changing in so many ways. For example: how we access information, how we interact with one another, how we contribute, or give back as we sometimes call it. We are able to access information in a second or two – I think back to long evenings in the library as a resident looking up relevant articles on obscure syndromes. Now when I see a patient with a newly identified chromosome deletion condition, I can go to Wikipedia and get the basic information immediately! On the other hand it takes quite a bit more work to make sure I’m looking at good information from a recognized expert in the field, or data from a peer reviewed journal.
We don’t pick up the phone and talk to our colleagues as much anymore. Depending on the relationship, we can email, text, Messenger, or use WhatsApp. While this can be time saving, it also makes us more isolated. I can be totally alone with a computer taking an online CE course and get all sorts of CE credits, but it just isn’t the same as the wonderful camaraderie and social interaction of our COD Study Clubs.
A major goal of the College is to provide very high caliber professional enrichment to our membership and we work hard to do this with our Study Clubs, the hands on SimMan course, and the Breakfast meeting, which is usually a relevant healthcare topic but not dental. We are also looking at new ways to provide excellent quality CE for our members, taking advantage of technologic changes and opportunities for distance learning. Recently, we conducted a pilot webinar which allowed live Q&A and we think this avenue holds great promise.
For me, the COD Study Club meetings have become happily anticipated events to learn, to discuss, to reconnect with friends and colleagues, and to make new friendships. There is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom contained within this organization, and the rich discussions among attendees add great value to the meetings. The small group format allows time to get to know one another as well as learn from many experts in their fields. For example, Dr. Juan Yepes was the speaker at the 2015 Study Club, in New Orleans. His lectures on Oral Radiology and Oral Pathology were excellent, but as great benefit was having the opportunity to meet and interact with him directly.
I want to end by congratulating our new Diplomates and challenging you to find ways in which you can contribute and make a difference in your communities. I also very much hope all of you will engage with us and use this as YOUR College, as a place to expand your horizons of pediatric dentistry, as an energizing source of knowledge and camaraderie, and make lifelong friendships. It’s often intimidating when you don’t know other people, but don’t be afraid to introduce yourselves and reach out. I encourage you to come to the Study Clubs, get involved, renew your membership in the College, become a mentor and support our Foundation! I would love to see many new faces and to get to know you better at the Loretto Inn at Santa Fe for Dr. Nestor Cohenca’s course in October.
Thank you for putting your confidence in me as your new president. My cell is 206-295-8604 and I’m easy to reach by text.
Penelope J. Leggott
President COD of the ABPD 2016-17
University of Washington, Seattle WA