This is one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a long, long time. To see the people on this video talk about why being board certified makes you a better orthodontist is sheer entertainment. Why?
- This obvious, concerted application of peer pressure to try and force conformity and compliance among the young in our profession is sickening and the ABO‘s efforts are only surpassed by the AAOF’s predation of residents via the Vanguard Program. I guess funny is not the word for it. Sickening is probably more accurate. It boils my blood to see the AAO and its satellites harness their beneficiaries’ positions of power and utilize their “authority” to squeeze every dime they can out of residents who are graduating with nothing but an orthodontic certificate and a ton of debt. These graduates have to face a competitive market that is unimaginable to the older generation of orthodontists in leadership positions who depend on donations from AAO members to sustain the standard of living and maintain the public accolades to which they have become accustomed. No one in the leadership, the AAO, the ABO or the AAOF cares what happens to the young orthodontists as long as the money keeps rolling in and they keep moving up the feed trough.
- If we must judge fellow orthodontists, we should judge a clinician and/or the orthodontic residency program they run/ran on their AVERAGE case that walks in the door on a daily basis not on a few, cherry picked cases as the ABO suggests. In that light if you want to evaluate an orthodontist, go to their orthodontic residency program or their office and look around at the cases and see how long overtime they are. You may also want to see how many cases they actually treat…
- Becoming ABO certified does NOT make you a better orthodontist. I would argue it does quite the opposite. It encourages you to get bogged down in the minutia and makes you lose track of the fact that we are in the people business working on teeth, not the teeth business working on people. Of course we want root parallelism and aligned marginal ridges and the best possible technical result for every patient but we also want happy, satisfied patients and that is multi-factorial. Not to mention root parallelism and marginal ridge alignment can be contradictory depending on the anatomy! I have long wanted to do a study that looked at how long “ABO Cases” take vs regular cases in residency and in private practice. I’m betting the results will be statistically significant…
- One can get ABO Certified while in school. How does presenting cases that were done under the supervision of faculty give a freshly minted orthodontist the authority and skill to claim superiority over other, non-ABO orthodontists who have treated hundreds or even thousands of patients successfully?
- While on that subject, I love that the ABO and the AAO have the nerve to say an ABO orthodontist who shows 6 cherry picked cases is better than an orthodontist who refuses to pay more money for a piece of paper and isn’t willing to prostrate themselves before a bunch of academics who can’t hack it in private practice. But these same people are NOT willing to say that orthodontists are more qualified than PCDs even though we have YEARS of formal training beyond dental school and had to out compete our dental school classmates to get the chance. The ABO leadership will beat up their fellow orthodontists because that’s what academics do. The sad part is they have trained so many others to do the same.
- The public doesn’t know what an orthodontists is, much less a board certified orthodontist. I guess that’s the good news and the bad news in this scenario.
Wake up. Use some common sense. Invest your time, money and your mind wisely and encourage others to do the same. Don’t swallow the “facts” just because a program director, a bunch of people who have “done this for 30 years” or even all your friends say it is so. Think for yourself and challenge everything. Don’t take my word for it! Do your own research. The facts are self-evident once you escape the groupthink that dominates our profession.
A few more things to consider based on conversations I’ve had. First, here’s a great paper on the ABO that wasn’t widely publicized. I wonder why?
Another strike against the ABO exam and the ABO establishment is that requiring educators to be ABO certified effectively insures that many successful private practitioners who would love to teach, won’t. This protects the academics but hurts the kids in residency. I know the ABO doesn’t care but this will hurt the profession massively in an ever more competitive world.