As NESO’s representative on the Council of New and Younger Members (CONYM), I would like to provide our membership with an update on our committee from our most recent board meeting in July 2022.
The AAO Connections platform (which launched in Fall 2021) has been met with very positive reviews from those who utilized the program; ‘advisors’ have rated their experience at 4.9/5 and ‘learners’ have graded their experience on the online platform 5/5. AAO Connections is an online peer mentoring and networking platform that connects members with each other for one-on-one virtual advising sessions. An advisor is someone who offers guidance and support through one-on-one virtual sessions. A learner requests guidance and support through one-on-one virtual sessions. There is also the option to do both. When participants sign up, they first create profiles as advisors or learners. During this process, ‘advisors’ choose from a list of knowledge areas and conversation topics that they feel comfortable discussing and providing advice on to the ‘learners’. This is how learners find them. Learners can then self-select who they want to speak with based on their needs and interests. From an advisor’s profile, learners will see a button to book a session. This will pull up the advisor’s availability and allow them to submit a request. Once the advisor accepts, a meeting is created for the advisor and learner to collaborate through the platform via one-on-one video or phone conversations. With AAO Connections, the AAO aims to create easy access to one-on-one, confidential support from other orthodontists who are making themselves available for this purpose. It truly is a wonderful community to be part of, and I myself sought out an advisor through AAO Connections when opening my first start-up from scratch last year (thank you Dr. Neal Kravitz for the advice!).
We would love for you to participate as well! Would you like to share your knowledge and experience with other members? Perhaps you feel you could provide great advice to younger orthodontists on a particular topic? Or maybe you have questions that you are seeking answers to from more experienced orthodontists? Perhaps questions on 3D printing, or maybe questions on beginning your own practice from scratch? We are always looking to add knowledge areas and conversation topics for both advisors and learners! To access this wonderful platform as either an advisor or a learner, please visit connections.aaoinfo.org or look in the “Careers” tab on the AAO member website.
In other news, the CONYM subcommittee for the 2023 Scientific Session in Chicago is helping organize and host the ‘New Orthodontist and Resident Conference’. This will feature speakers and topics of interest to new and younger members, and will include roundtable discussions led by subject-matter experts, orthodontists and members of the Board of Trustees and CONYM. If you have any particular suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me as your representative and I will be happy to listen to your thoughts and ideas.
Lastly, the Council of New and Younger Members is committed to continuing our member onboarding initiative to contact newly transitioned active members of the AAO. Our purpose is to welcome new and younger members to the AAO, establish a point of contact on CONYM, and build relationships that lead to engagement in many AAO/NESO initiatives. If you are a recent graduate, please reach out and say hello as I would be happy to answer any questions you may have as a new orthodontist. NESO, CONYM, and the AAO are always here to help you throughout your career with invaluable resources, guidance and advice.
I would like to thank you NESO for allowing me to represent not only NESO but more specifically the new and younger members of our organization; it is a privilege I take great pride in. I encourage any and all members of NESO to personally reach out to me should you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions.
I look forward to connecting with you all very soon!
NESO representative on CONYM
Saint John, NB, Canada