Remember the most important reason…

We have the best profession in the world. Each precious child is unique and ensures we will smile and reinvent ourselves daily to best serve them. Of course, what we do is far from easy. It seems with each passing year the business of pediatric dentistry gets a bit more complicated.

Perhaps this pre-patient care day thought process seems familiar: Are we missing a team member at our morning huddle? When was the last time we checked that the fire extinguishers were working? Where did the radiation sign go that was outside of the x-ray room? Is it time to do our medical emergency and natural disaster drills again? It is already time for biannual reviews of the team? Did we get our updated state license renewal? Is it time for the DEA license renewal? Did the property management company switch our flowers to a spring variety? Do we have team coverage for when her baby is born? Did we announce our contest in social media?(I just reminded you of something you need to put on “the list”, didn’t I?)

It is understandable that pursuing board certification, or simply maintaining your board certification, could be thought of as being yet something else on your list. There are many reasons for board certification. For starters, it is the new standard. More than 75% of pediatric dentists are board certified compared to approximately 25% in the early 2000s. (This was prior to the Oral Clinical Examination becoming the second step after the Qualifying Exam to achieve board certification.) Maintenance of employment, hospital privileges and reputation are other top reasons candidates state they pursue board certification. Sometimes amidst the rather long lists of things to do while trying to find balance between personal, family and professional life, it is possible to lose sight of our true reason to be board certified. We became pediatric dentists because we are called to serve the oral health needs of children. When we think of pursuance and retention of board certification in alliance with the values of excellence in pediatric oral health care and lifelong learning, it is simple to see that diplomate status goes beyond something that needs to be addressed on our to-do lists. It becomes more meaningful tasks in-line with our already present value system to achieve or maintain diplomate status. We have the opportunity to easily review or acquire new knowledge and bring it forward to enhance our care of children. If an effort to make ourselves accountable and embrace integrity for our profession results in making a difference for just one child… it is all worth it!

Read this article as it appeared in Pediatric Dentistry Today






E. LaRee Johnson, DDS, MS
Director and OCE Board Liaison, ABPD
Raleigh, NC
Board Certified since 2001