President’s Greeting

As my 2 year term ends as president for our society, I reflect on several realities of life. First, is that Hank and Leslie do 95% of the work of keeping our organization as good as it is and we need to constantly thank them for their efforts on our behalf. Second, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Obamacare is now in place and despite our fears; luckily most of us are still thriving and continuing to run successful practices. This does not mean that we should not remain vigilant in our efforts to ensure that our patients can receive the best quality of care, and we are properly compensated for our efforts. The third component of my reality check is that despite the goal I set for increasing the participation of our younger members in our society, there appears to be a dearth of attendance and involvement. Nobody can practice in a bubble, we all need to continue to interact with each other and improve the level of care in Georgia.

There continues to be a drop in the number of oral and maxillofacial surgeons, applying for and maintaining hospital privileges. Since this is probably the last time I will be president of anything, I am going to go out with a bang. Why would somebody spend 4-6 years of extremely hard work and grueling hours of training to then throw it all away? My opinion is that, if all people want to do are place implants and take out teeth, they should have entered other specialties. Many people have accused me of being too outspoken and I admit that this last statement is inflammatory, but is it? We have achieved so much over the past 30 years of our specialty and now are we taking steps backwards? I understand that many of the services we provide can now be performed in outpatient settings, but so can GI procedures and orthopedic surgeries. Yet our colleagues in medical specialties still have hospital privileges and take call. Certainly if the only reasons to become an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon were to make money and have a good life, then people should have become stockbrokers. I am proud to be an Oral Surgeon and always will be. I want to know that in the future, if my children or future grandchildren have an accident or need facial surgery, an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon will be there to take care of them. If everyone did a small share of hospital coverage and indigent care, the communities we live in would be better places.

I would like to thank all who have helped me during these past two years and look forward to seeing Jeff Prinsel continue to move our specialty forward in the next few years.