How many of you think we have too few orthodontic residency programs?

That’s what I thought. So why would we donate millions to the AAOF so they can artificially support residency programs that the marketplace does not support? That’s what the money you donate to the AAOF does. Grants for residency programs and supplemental pay for faculty. Oh yeah, I hear you, the AAOF also supports research to create new technology and make what we do easier and faster. Super. Just what we need. Faster treatment provided by more expensive technology that makes it more difficult to finance and thus less affordable to the vast majority of patients…. I guess on the upside, these developments will also raise the average orthodontist’s operating cost while making it easier for those without our speciality training to do what we do.

I’ll say it one more time for the cheap seats: Supporting The AAOF is Stoopid.

6 thoughts on “Supporting The AAOF is Stoopid

  1. I agree! faster more expensive Tx merely makes more money for manufactures and artificially creates the “need” to hurry up Tx that needs time to develop! We need to slow down tx time to allow a greater % of pts. the affordability of QUALITY orthodontics. Intriguing post Ben!

  2. Glad you agree. I’ve talked about this several times over the last few years and have been regularly chastised for daring to speak against the AAOF but orthodontists seem to be waking up to the new reality and our precarious position. The AAO and the AAOF wants more MEMBERS no matter the cost. They believe that the AAO and its minion entities are the important thing that needs protecting and have abandoned the dues paying members who make up the AAO rank and file to fend for ourselves.
    I have to admit that the thing that disgusts me most about the AAOF is the coordinated and heavily applied peer pressure used to force residents to become “vanguard members” and pledge money they don’t have to be spent on things they don’t want or need by their professors, deans and “AAO leaders”. It’s unethical at best.

  3. Agree on all points. I made the “Vanguard pledge” as a resident. I’ve had a change of heart since then. It’s not about the $. It’s that I don’t think the AAOF is right for the health of the profession. All the AAOF can do is distribute $ to schools that have long since moved past begging for money as a way to fund their bottom line. Stoopid.

  4. The points you make towards the AAOF are worthy but just a bit of history from an older orthodontist. There was a time when we had the potential of lawsuits on TMJ problems that some dentist were trying to claim were related to the extraction of upper 1st bicuspids. The AAOF was a brainchild of these concerns, to develop a research fund to refute some of the false claims against orthodontic treatment and to truly find some answers. I would agree that the purpose of the fund may have become distorted. I wish they would use the funds to help reduce debt for young orthodontic graduates who are willing to begin a career in academics. It would encourage talented young orthodontists to become our future researchers and teachers to improve our educational system and our specialty.

  5. While I appreciate your perspective, I cannot go along with your assertions.
    1) it doesn’t matter why he aaof was started, it is what it is and it does what it does and what it does is not in the best interests of AAO members or other practicing orthodontists.
    2) supporting faculty and schools that the market will not support is the same no matter what form it takes. Whether you waive their debt or pay them or subsidize schools that can’t make ends meet.
    3) orthodontist are obsessed with their fear of civil action but being sued is not even in the top ten of things the profession should worry about.
    4) I’m sorry but claiming authority based on being older or based how long one has been an orthodontist is a huge factor in how we have arrived at such a sorry state as a profession. There is no authority in one’s birthdate or how many years they have worked. Results and acumen are the only currencies in the new world.
    5) if you want to use the millions the AAOF has and the 25 million the AAO spends annually to save the profession, let’s address the primary issue. THE PUBLIC DOESN’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ORTHODONIST AND A PCD AND WE REFUSE TO EQUIP THEM TO DO SO!!! We should spend all our money teaching people how to tell the difference. It’s easy. Just run ads saying something like this, “Before you let someone treat you or your family with braces or aligners, be sure to ask these simple questions to make sure you’re getting the best care!
    1) Did you treat your kids and your spouse or did you send them to an orthodontist?
    2) Have you ever had to ask an orthodontist to “bail you out” on a case that wasn’t going well?
    3) Did you attend dental school and then earn the right to attend a full time, accredited 2 or 3 year orthodontic residency program?”

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