Why Open Accreditation?
The concept of allowing non-members to pursue and achieve Accreditation by the AACD is based on two main premises:
The concept of Accreditation is unique in that success is dependent solely upon demonstration of knowledge and excellence in cosmetic dentistry in a three-step system; written examination, clinical case examination, and oral examination. As stated in our Accreditation purpose; “Achieving Accreditation status from the AACD requires dedication to continuing education, careful adherence to the protocols, and a resolve to produce exceptional dentistry.” Success is not dependent on age, gender, race, nationality, years of education, type of education, type of continuing education, location of degree, location of continuing education, type of practice/business, location of practice/business, or personality. Removing the membership requirement adds one more layer of validation, in that Accreditation would not be dependent upon paying dues to a specific organization. This leads to the second point which positions the credential closer to the concept of board certification. Our review has not found any specialty board examination, neither in dentistry or medicine, to require organizational membership as a pre-requisite for board eligibility. While the position of opening the Accreditation process to non-members creates better alignment of Accreditation with specialty board certification, it is not a statement in support of specialization, as that is a topic beyond the scope of this discussion.
Potential benefits include (but are not limited to):
It should be noted that all candidates will be required to adhere to the protocol and ethics policy of the AACD. Accreditation status maintenance requirements will be the same for AACD members and non-members alike. Non-members will be at a disadvantage both financially and in access to resources (cost schedule). Successful candidates must abide by the ethics policies. We find it hard to imagine anyone experiencing Accreditation and not wanting to be part of the Academy for the camaraderie and superior educational opportunities.
This vision position, like most visions, is not without risk. There is a potential for a net loss in membership if members fail to value the Academy for its resources both within and outside of Accreditation. There is also the risk of unforeseen consequences.
Bradley J. Olson, DDS
Former American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry Member