Return to the Spring 2021 Newsletter

President's Message

 Dear AAOM Colleagues, 

As I ponder over the past twenty-two years of my journey in Oral Medicine, I am impressed by the multiple milestones our specialty has achieved. In the dawn of this new phase of our Academy, we face a critical juncture requiring careful and strategic thinking. It is only once in a lifetime that a person is in place at the right time to make significant contributions that impact the course of local, regional, or national history. The year 2021 will be remembered as the year of revival from the COVID pandemic, a year to pause and re-valuate many priorities, a year to plan how we will return to the business of healing and be the BEST at it! This juncture demands for building up innovation, collaborative teams, and purpose.

At the time, I write these words, the Centers for Disease Control publishes permissive masking guidelines, and the Governor of Ohio, the State where I live, announces the lifting of all restrictions by June 2. We reset, remembering the tremendous toll our society paid and is still paying in many parts of the world. With hope and confidence, we look up to the future, a future full of promises and cautionary tales that warn us about the cyclical nature of human experience. Our Academy has much to consider, not the least our role within the oral health community and the public's health. Our role in addressing social determinants of health that unequivocally affect our patients in most need and how our stewardship will take a front row in alluring young students and dentists into a rewarding career in Oral Medicine.

Over the past week, I experienced the two sides of the coin that any oral medicine clinician will encounter in his or her career. The complex correct diagnosis after multiple years of patient suffering and the subsequent almost immediate relief with the right approach. A Eureka moment! I also experienced the routine procedure that complicates to the point of becoming life threatening. These are both sides of clinical practice that prove that we are human. These cases remind me how important it is for our fledgling group to stay connected to exchange ideas, clinical experience, and opportunities. After all, relationships, not only networking, enrich our lives and benefit our patients.

The next twelve months are the beginning of the first decade as fully accredited specialists, after the April 2021 approval of the American Board of Oral Medicine as the official board granting organization for Oral Medicine in the United States. We embark on a strategic planning process in late summer that will include thoughts shared by all of you about the direction AAOM should take. We remain strong and energized by these events, an extraordinary annual meeting mastered by our fantastic managing group, including Felicia Kenan, Katie Berry, and others. Please do not forget the formidable job done by the organizing committee, including Arwa Farag, Alessandro Villa, Ken Ikeda, and many upcoming champions of our field.  

I remain humbled and honored to be your President and look to a time when we can share a glass of our favorite spirit.


Andres Pinto DMD