Disclaimer: Beware of emails from WFO officers asking for financial assistance or posing as being stranded in situations that require urgent help. These are phishing/hacking activities. WFO officers will never email you for any assistance of this kind.

Symposium on Orthodontic Certifying Boards

More than 100 orthodontists convened for the first Symposium on Orthodontic Certifying Boards Feb. 5 prior to the 7th International Orthodontic Congress (IOC) and 4th Meeting of the WFO in Sydney, Australia. These orthodontists included presidents of WFO affiliate organizations and representatives from the 15 recognized orthodontic boards around the world.

One of the WFO’s priorities is to support and encourage the development of orthodontic boards. Specifically, in 2005, the WFO set out to affiliate orthodontic boards around the world; to support the development of national and regional orthodontic certifying boards by providing guidelines; and to provide a board standard against which any of the orthodontic boards could be measured.

At the beginning of the symposium, Dr. Roberto Justus, incoming WFO president and chair of the Committee on National and Regional Orthodontic Boards, announced the completion of these original objectives as stated five years ago during the 6th IOC, including the establishment of the Committee on National and Regional Orthodontic Boards and the creation of the WFO Guidelines on the Establishment of New National and Regional Orthodontic Certifying Boards. This document, developed with the help of representatives from the recognized boards, offers recommended examination standards.

Dr. Jeryl English, president-elect of The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), and Dr. John Carter, past president of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics (CDABO), were the keynote speakers for the symposium.

Following these presentations, all attendees were divided into five breakout sessions to answer six questions. Each group was led by representatives from a certifying board. The groups discussed the following topics:

  • potential changes to the current WFO Guidelines on the Establishment of New National and Regional Orthodontic Certifying Boards;
  • how to make the public aware of the importance of receiving treatment by a board-certified orthodontist;
  • the advantages of establishing a College of Diplomates;
  • the methodology of training, selecting, calibrating and synchronizing examiners;
  • methods to encourage orthodontists to become boarded; and
  • the current statistics on the number of board-certified orthodontists in each country or region.

“This symposium was planned in an excellent way in order to initiate representatives to the actual situation of the orthodontic boards,” said WFO Executive Committee member Dr. Joseph Bouserhal of Beirut, Lebanon. He participated in the breakout group that discussed the WFO guidelines for orthodontic certifying boards. “There was high interest and a good presence from the invited organizations and an interactive discussion. The symposium was a real success and should be repeated. Establishing certifying boards is an important step for the advancement of the specialty of orthodontics. We hope these boards will reevaluate their status and compare their bylaws to the WFO guidelines and the recommendations of the symposium. For those who have the intention to create new certifying boards, they were initiated to the way to do it and given the guidelines to follow. Their task has been enormously facilitated.”