Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

Report on World Federation of Orthodontists’ Breakfast May 1st 2016

There is an annual WFO breakfast held at the AAO, and this year Ireland was represented by me, Stephen Murray, currently the secretary of the Orthodontic Society of Ireland. This is a useful insight into what’s going on with the WFO, and - if you are of that disposition - a vital networking opportunity with the presidents and representatives of most of the world’s orthodontic societies. I was sharing a table with Stephen Rudge from the British Orthodontic Society (he’s their treasurer at the moment) and Jesus Villa from Chile.

Dr Stephen Rudge from British Orthodontic Society
Dr Stephen Rudge
from the British Orthodontics Society

The event began with an address from the new AAO president, Morris Poole, who welcomed us to the event and introduced the new WFO president, Allan Thom. Dr Thom has had long career as a consultant orthodontist, and also does dento-legal work, and was president of the BOS at one stage. He’s probably familiar to many Irish orthodontists as an author of the UK’s Orthodontic Radiology Guidelines, which is their standard publication on the use of X-Rays in orthodontics. He takes over from international orthodontic legend Roberto Justus.

After Dr Thom, Jorge Faber, the editor of the WFO Journal encouraged members to use the online access to the journal, and WFO vice president Amanda Maplethorpe (formerly the Canadian Orthodontic Society president) encouraged us to use the WFO’s website. After that, we received a report on the WFO Gazette from its publisher, Jessica Kassel.

One of the main reports of the event every year is regarding the WFO’s big event, the International Orthodontic Congress, the gathering of the world’s orthodontists that only happens once every 5 years. This year, Prof Jonathan Sandler, the organiser of last year’s 8th IOC gave his final report and showed a video of the highlights of the London Conference – an event nearly 9 years in the planning. He handed over the role of Congress Chairman, like passing a relay baton, to Takashi Ono who will be in charge of our next congress in Yokohama, near Tokyo happening between October 4th and 7th, 2020. Dr Ono showed a video of Yokohama and Japanese culture (which even when prepared by locals seemed to boil down to Sumo Wrestling and Sushi), reminded us that 2020 will also be year that Tokyo hosts the Olympics and Paralympics so the city will be in full international reception mode. He added that the average annual delay for a Japanese Bullet Train is 36 seconds, so we couldn’t be looking for a more efficient bunch when it comes to organising things.

The WFO are now inviting applications for countries to host the 2025 International Congress. It was mentioned that expressions of interest have come in, from various countries including South Africa and some in Latin America, and the winner will be announced in at next year’s WFO breakfast meeting in San Diego. One interesting observation was that the presidents of the world’s various orthodontic organisations have been contacted by email to see if their country wants to host the event, and although 66% of them have opened their emails, 31% haven’t and 3% of the emails bounced!

Dr Allan Thom, President of World Federation of Orthodontics
Dr Allan Thom addresses the World Federation of Orthodontists as their new president

 

After the meeting, I was approached (as the Irish representative) to support a bid by another country to host this. The OSI hasn’t confirmed a position on this yet, but probably will do in the next few weeks, and so we will be starting to set the wheels in motion on a massive orthodontic juggernaut that won’t manifest until many of the people in that room have retired.

For the time being the fees for student membership of WFO have been waived and this will be reviewed again in September, so anyone who knows a student thinking of joining the WFO was advised to encourage them to do so in the next few months before there was any chance of the rules changing.

Finally, there was a call for appreciation of the hard work done by Awstyn Cochran – she does most of the day to day work of the Federation’s administration, a huge amount of work. It’s usually Awstyn that picks up the phones and answers the emails and sorts things out when the OSI needs to get in touch with the WFO. Then we paused for a photograph and went our separate ways to trade shows, lectures, committee meetings.

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