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Interview: “Listening and learning from the very best in the world”

Dr Roger Macias, 2019 General Chair of the Committee on Annual Meetings from the American Dental Association, spoke about the upcoming FDI World Dental Congress in an interview with FDI World Dental Federation. (Photograph: FDI World Dental Federation)
FDI World Dental Federation

FDI World Dental Federation

Mon. 17. December 2018


In an interview with FDI World Dental Federation, 2019 General Chair of the Committee on Annual Meetings from the American Dental Association (ADA) Dr. Roger Macias, shared his excitement for collaborative, hands-on learning opportunities for the next FDI World Dental Congress. The congress will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from 5–8 September 2019.

Dr. Macias, how is the scientific programme structured? How do you prioritize topics and speakers for an international audience?
In the process of creating a great meeting, we directed our committee to take into account the requirements of the main players in this collaboration, namely, the ADA, FDI and the California Dental Association. The programmes were selected by reviewing hundreds of abstracts from ADA Councils, California Dental Requirements, FDI and the ADA. This was a laborious, yet satisfying process in which we looked at subject matter, content, context, relevance, speaker credentials and their past history of speaking engagements. Once this information was collected, we were then able to create a structure according to the following subjects: science, technology, practice management, wellness, hot topics, dental assisting track, dental hygiene track and others.

Prioritizing topics for education for such a diverse group of dental professionals began during our meeting with our FDI Education Committee counterparts this past May in Iowa City, Iowa. Once we identified the subjects and speakers who were at the forefront of FDI requirements, we worked with both FDI and ADA staff to make that happen.

How do you keep the scientific programme relevant and engaging at a time when many continuing education courses can be completed remotely?
Remote learning is a challenge that must be dealt with when putting together any dental meeting. The very fact that education is available at your fingertips via your smartphone or tablet requires us to create an outstanding learning environment in a great city, such as San Francisco. A person might be able to learn from their smartphone or tablet, but there is a lot to be said about learning environments that lend themselves to face-to-face interactions. Another thing that is difficult to measure, but is certainly satisfying, is networking with other dentists.

Attending a dental meeting allows participants to engage with others on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting with the opportunity to collaborate. Sometimes I think that online options, although convenient, limit the scope of learning. This is very evident when it comes to workshops and hands-on courses. I can certainly learn from a video, but when I can “feel” that composite in my hand, that is where real learning can begin!

Tell us about a specific session(s) that you are particularly looking forward to.
I have been involved in dental meeting planning for over 14 years. I have seen new products exhibited, new techniques shown and technology changing at a pace like I have never witnessed before. The learning that occurs at meetings such as the ADA FDI World Dental Congress is remarkable! We have speakers that I know very well and others that I have only heard of or read about. I have a great interest in dental sleep medicine, implants and bonded anterior restorations, because of this, I am excited that we have with us some of the leading authorities in these very fields. As a general dentist, my interests, other than the ones I just described, are varied.

I am truly excited to see some of the great FDI speakers who will be presenting on a plethora of awesome titles. From enhanced aesthetics to the management of furcation defects, the expertise brought to the congress by the speakers will be met with anticipation, because of the opportunity to listen and learn from the very best in the world.

I am so excited to be part of the leadership of this meeting in San Francisco. It will truly be a meeting not to be missed! As legendary singer Tony Bennett says in his classic song I Left My Heart in San Francisco: “When I come home to you, San Francisco, your golden sun, will shine for me!”

2019 ADA DR Roger Macias FDI World Dental Federation Interivew San Francisco World Dental Meeting