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President's Message

President’s Report Fall, 2019


We all are living in interesting, exciting and (some would argue) controversial times.

In an ever-changing world we need to ask questions:  What provides positive consistency for us personally and professionally?  What can we do to keep up with a mindset of continuous improvement and change? What is working for us?  What is working against us?  As an individual, you may ask, what is working for me?

Speaking with the younger orthodontic clinicians, it is apparent to me that populous pressures have never been greater: owning a practice, providing for families and substantially higher student debt loads weigh heavily in everyday life.  There is a shift occurring in our profession – an imaginary boundary that makes new clinicians highly critical of the perceived value of their hard-earned dollar. 

The principal topic of debate:  "Please show me the value of being a CAO member - I don`t see it right now."

Since joining the leadership of the CAO eight years ago, I have been a participant and a witness to the idea framework of improvement put into action.   The CAO Board of Directors works hard, not just for the membership but for the profession itself.  Now is the time to share with the membership the work to date and to continue the tradition of transparency with regards to these actions. 

Professional Advocacy: The CAO advocates on your behalf.  Direct-to-Consumer issues, First Nations Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) refinement, Health Canada communications, HST/GST advice, contact with provincial regulatory bodies, national and international association relations, an insurance task force, a professional assistance line and a consumer concern committee.  Professional resources at your fingertips - a worthwhile member benefit.

Consumer Awareness: The consumer awareness program is the strongest it has ever been.  The CAO's ever-improving advertising campaigns educate a record-breaking number of patients about what orthodontics is all about.  Moreover, these individuals are able to locate members in their area with the "search for an orthodontist " online feature.  As a member, one can track in real-time the number of times one’s office has been identified as part of a search.  Daily new-patient opportunities - a worthwhile member benefit. 

Social Media Campaigns: Until two years ago the CAO did not have a significant presence on social media.  The message that contained the definition of an orthodontist wasn’t prevalent in the popular media.  The CAO responded with an incredible campaign using major social media platforms and created a stronger web platform to educate the public.  Public education of your specialty - a worthwhile member benefit. 

Professional Development: The CAO provides innovative opportunities for professional education, business networking and personal growth.  The scientific sessions are a perfect balance of education and travel combined with a social experience that is second to none.  Webinars and virtual education are also part of the CAO`s platform.  The provision of consistent education and communication venues in Canada - a worthwhile member benefit.

Pressing for Progress: The CAO evolves constantly in the name of better representation of the profession and its membership.  The CAO seeks new ideas, new concepts and new ways to work on behalf of all the Canadian orthodontic members who support it.  While CAO members are the primary focus, the CAO is open to feedback from any orthodontist in Canada.  The work to meet all of the above-mentioned objectives occurs outside of individual practice lives on behalf of the membership by volunteers passionate about the specialty The CAO works tirelessly and relentlessly for the membership - a worthwhile member benefit.

With bias, as orthodontists, we have the daily privilege to work alongside amazing people who contribute to making orthodontics the strongest specialty in dentistry.  Preservation of the profession begins and ends with the coordination of the efforts of numerous individuals who believe in the ‘big picture’.

I am proud to serve the members of the CAO and I am honored to be a part of the bigger picture of Canadian orthodontics.  As members we provide one another the opportunity for growth, strength and solidarity.  There is value in the CAO.  Spread the word - the CAO is a worthwhile lifetime benefit.

Respectfully yours,

Dr. Mike Wagner