I am honored and humbled to be elected as the President of the College of Diplomates (COD). These are sensitive and critical times imposed by a highly disruptive COVID-19 pandemic that has affected all our lives. More than ever there is a need to exercise concern, respect, and support for each other as we also strive to fulfill the mission of the College. The years I spent as a COD Director, leading up to the presidency, were both instructive and humbling. It has been my good fortune to have been guided and mentored by many leaders in our field. I am deeply indebted to them for their wisdom, patience, trust and counsel.
As incoming president, my top priority is to continue to enhance the College’s promotion of board certification among those who have not yet achieved Diplomate status. Additionally, the COD plans to continue to provide standout educational opportunities for Diplomates, strengthen the College’s support of the American Board of Endodontics and to become a valued organizational partner of the American Association of Endodontists, in promoting and supporting the specialty.
Reflecting on the COD’s official beginning in 1996, its mission was grounded in the encouragement and mentoring of candidates for board certification and enabling educational opportunities, as well as high level educational experiences for Diplomates. Since then, the COD has grown in number of members, has become more accessible to candidates and expanded its support for board certification. Looking towards its Silver Jubilee in 2021, it has a continued focus on its role in promoting and supporting the endodontic specialty.
In my journey as a COD Director and Mentoring Committee Chair, we have expanded our program mentorship internationally which has contributed to the College’s success in mentoring over 250 candidates. I assure you; we are just getting warmed up! With a successful program already in place, we launched the first ever mock oral board simulation at our 10th Annual Board Review Course earlier this year. Efforts are well underway to update our website to make it more interactive and useful to the user.
The beginning of this year was highlighted by the 10th Annual Board Review Course from January 31 to February 2, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. It was a tremendous success, attracting over 200 endodontists and residents. The course featured the inaugural launch of real-time mock oral exams in which two exams are run concurrently, providing a near duplication of the experience the candidates will have during the ABE’s oral exams. Twelve experienced examiners provided invaluable feedback to the candidates, helping them build confidence and focus their preparations. The Diplomates in the mentorship program share a vision to promote board certification and uphold the highest quality in patient care. I would like to thank all our mentors for their invaluable time, expertise and guidance for the candidates.
Moving forward we will focus on building the COD’s continuing education momentum directed towards Diplomates and board candidates. This effort is highlighted by the biennial Summer Conference along with the annual board review course. The Summer Conference presents the latest developments in the science, art and business of the endodontic specialty customized for board certified endodontists. Due to the extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and concern for the health and safety of everyone, the 2020 Summer Conference, in Stowe, Vermont, has been rescheduled for August 2021 at the same location.
The successful journey of the COD encourages us to look beyond what has been achieved and focus on what more needs to be done. Although the future is challenging, your dedicated board of Directors continues to work hard promoting and preparing candidates for board certification, and to provide uniquely suited continuing education for the board- certified community. I will endeavor to provide innovative approaches for our organization and go the extra mile to strengthen and expand the mentorship model. I will work to spread awareness of the value of board certification through our technology interface and social marketing, sensitizing the public to the COD’s mission. Members of the COD are ready to invest their time and energy to mentoring candidates as we prepare for the second iteration of the mock oral simulation at the 2021 Board Review Course. With the enthusiastic support of the COD Board and the members of the COD, I look forward with passion, commitment and hard work to fulfilling the mission of the College.
Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Colleen Shull, Immediate Past President, for her leadership during the last year, and to our dedicated team of Directors who have and will continue to work diligently to accomplish the mission of the College.
Priya S. Chand, MSD President, College of Diplomates