There is No Returning to Normal After Covid-19. But There is a Path Forward.
Rough times. Never thought I’d see the day I’d be forced to close for so long. What a nightmare. And, it’s not over.
As I write this on April 15 there is talk about the economy re-starting. What does that mean? And what does it mean for our practices and patients? The shutdown was dramatic and quick. I suspect the restart will be much more complicated. Some areas may be able to see patients before others, depending on what their state or provincial leaders decide. How we see patients will be different as we strive to protect ourselves, our staff and our patients. How do we know what to do?
It is times like these when an organization really shows its value. You need to be able to have a go-to resource for answers specific to your needs. You need an organization that has your back and the back of the profession. Your NESO and AAO staff and volunteer leaders have been working tirelessly since the start of this crisis to ensure everything can be done to support you and your practice. Here is a link to connect you to resources to support your practice management and assist in the patient experience as this pandemic evolves. It is updated daily as information keeps coming fast and furious.
So what about the restart? The AAO has been and is being very proactive in anticipating our offices’ re-opening. A Task Force is currently working to develop orthodontics-specific criteria, with support of the ADA, to aid our members in their determination and to ensure the health and safety of ourselves, our staff and our patients. In addition, we recognize the importance of being at “at the table” when state and federal regulators are discussing and deciding new rules that will directly affect how we work. We recognize that our practices are unique compared to our general dental brethren. Having our own voices heard as regulatory decisions are made is our new “essential.”
We don’t know when we’ll get to restart. But we will, and we will adapt to make it work. Personally, seeing patients of record remotely was something I only tinkered with prior to this crisis, but now our office does every day. So, I see this also as an opportunity. We will all have to change, and in the end we will create the new normal. But no matter what, being an orthodontist is still the best.
Please be well and be safe.
As always, feel free to contact me on any subject or issue. I want to hear what you think and how you feel.
Trustee – Northeastern Society of Orthodontists
firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-569-8219