Dedication—The quality of being committed to a task or purpose

By W. Craig Noblett, D.D.S., M.S., ABE President

The journey to become a dentist, let alone an endodontist, is one that requires significant dedication of which only a few are capable. To go beyond and commit oneself to achieving Diplomate status demonstrates an even deeper level of dedication to our specialty. I am happy to report that we will gather in Denver to recognize 108 individuals who have committed themselves to demonstrating their knowledge and skill to achieve this milestone. This will be the largest class of new Diplomates in the history of the American Board of Endodontics, which represents a milestone of our own.

A question that is heard all too often from those contemplating the process of board certification is “What’s in it for me?” Although this is a legitimate question, I am always reminded of the immortal quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” In order to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” I echo JFK’s famous sentiment, but replace the word “country” with “specialty.”

Although there is a great deal of personal satisfaction in becoming a Diplomate, this process serves a much higher purpose. Specifically maintaining endodontics as a specialty. Becoming an endodontist is a privilege that comes with responsibilities. Some choose to fulfill those responsibilities by becoming board certified. In doing so, we demonstrate to the dental community and the public at large that we are dedicated to our specialty and profession by advancing our knowledge and improving the quality of patient care. The designation of Diplomate has never been intended to set one endodontist above another, but rather to encourage each endodontist to improve as individuals and in doing so, to preserve and advance the specialty of endodontics. In this respect, it is truly a team effort, particularly at this time as we prepare for the re-recognition of our specialty.

The Board is dedicated to making the certification process as accessible as possible to all endodontists while preserving and respecting the high standards set by our founders. Toward this end, we will welcome two new Directors, Drs. Brad Johnson and Neville McDonald during AAE18 in Denver. This will expand the size of our Board to 12 Directors. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the entire Board as well as our past Directors, whose passion and expertise continue to inspire us all. I would also like to acknowledge our wonderful staff, Margie Hannen, Ivana Bevacqua, and Patricia Scaletta. Not only for their assistance and support for the Board of Directors, but for all of their efforts in support of our candidates.

On behalf of the ABE Board of Directors and the entire Diplomate community, I would like to extend our congratulations to our new Diplomates for 2018 and thank you all for your efforts and sacrifice in attaining this goal. It is my hope that your example will continue to encourage and inspire many more endodontists to dedicate themselves to the journey toward Board certification.