Council Update: Council on Education

Dr. Sercan Akyalcin NESO rep, Council on Education

It has been an honor and privilege to represent NESO on the AAO Council on Education since 2020. The year I came on board was tough for all of us, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical training programs.

We experienced a lot of ups and downs as clinicians and educators. But we realized we are very good at managing infectious diseases compared to other professions. The clinical activities undertaken by dentists did not increase the risk of COVID-19 spread as long as they complied with regulations such as PPE requirements and surveillance testing properly. In addition, we learned how adaptable and resilient we were. The orthodontic programs in the Northeast and the U.S. quickly adopted the new technology and distance learning platforms to manage the disruption of clinical education. With the end of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, our orthodontic training programs are much stronger than before.

Here are a couple of exciting opportunities for educational programs to consider:

  • Join the Dental Match if you still need to become a member. As of end-of-September 2022, there were 4094 registered participants for the 2023 Dental Match programs. Dental Match provides a streamlined process for residency applications and saves the educational programs a lot of clerical work and administrative responsibility. As a result of the Match, programs can recruit a certain mix of students according to their requirements. In addition, competition for stronger candidates will also benefit our own programs’ strengths.
  • There is an opportunity for programs or residents to volunteer for the Health Volunteer Overseas program, which provides opportunities for volunteer teaching to other faculty/programs in various health fields in a few overseas locations. The ADA is one of HVO sponsors, and orthodontic programs are invited to become involved. HVO’s website is:
  • Encourage all full- and part-time faculty members to be a member of the Society of The ADEA Section on Orthodontics offers a three-year rising leadership position for junior to mid-level faculty who would like to serve on the Society of Educators. The faculty can benefit from the networking experience as well as listing their accomplishments in their CVs, as this is a national leadership opportunity.
  • Faculty in the educational programs are encouraged to apply for the AAO fellowship and scholarship programs. The application processes will open in September for the “Full-time Faculty Teaching Fellowship,” “Craniofacial Anomalies Award Fellowship,” “Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program” Scholarship and the Institute for Teaching and Learning Scholarship.

Please contact me directly for any additional information.

Sercan Akyalcin

Treasurer, NESO

Representative, Council on Orthodontic Education