Proud reflection on a difficult year
As he reaches the end of his year as president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Paul Abrahams reflects on what the past 12 months have meant for dentistry and for the organisation.
‘It has, without a doubt, been a difficult year for everyone in dentistry,’ says Paul Abrahams, president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD).
‘Our aim was to support our members in any way we could. One of the first things we did was freeze membership fees for three months to help alleviate potential financial strains.
‘Though already in the pipeline, the pandemic also accelerated plans to present webinars. The BACD now provides these free to members, to support remote learning.
‘Though education has always been the primary focus of the BACD, we really thrive on social contact. The lack of face-to-face interaction meant we had to find new ways of engaging with members. I think we did this very successfully with virtual events such as a gin and whiskey tasting, which was brilliant! It was great to see so many people get involved.
‘When we were able to present live events again, we knew our first had to be special. The BACD drive-in cinema was a fantastic affair. It was a beautiful day and an idyllic setting, with a bar, street food van and the amazing Christian Coachman speaking on the big screen live from Madrid.
‘The brainchild of Shameek Popat. It was such a clever and unique event and we were delighted to see so many cars join us!’
Paul continues: ‘With regards to the internal workings of the BACD, many of our committees have met virtually during the pandemic. This will likely stay where appropriate. The increased accessibility of meetings enables more people to get involved, which is what we’re all about.
‘We have also been able to strengthen partnerships with other associations, sponsors and trade members, to further enhance the benefits provided to members. There is now a huge list of benefits available that I would encourage everyone to browse on the website.’
Clearly, the BACD did not sit back and rest during the pandemic. Rather, they remained focused on its members and how it could support them.
Paul comments on what he is most proud of from his term as president: ’It’s been great to see that the BACD didn’t lose any members despite everything this year. We have developed our support of members even further.
‘Perhaps what I’m most proud of is our affiliation with charity Confidental. Their work in supporting dentists who are struggling has been incredibly important this past year. Especially when so many have faced hardships.
‘Our backing has enabled them to train more volunteers so that more phone calls could be answered and more individuals given the advice and life-changing support they needed. I’m very proud that we have been able to help our members and the wider profession by broadening the charity’s reach and capabilities.’
Looking ahead, Paul is nothing but positive about the future of the BACD, with various events in the making.
He continues: ‘We will be continuing to combine live education with social aspects where we can moving forward.
‘The 2021 sell-out annual conference aside, we can look forward to the Anoop Maini memorial lecture in June 2022. As well as a day of lectures by an amazing all-female speaker line-up, championing and promoting the diversity and equality already present across the academy.
‘Our prestigious BACD Accreditation programme will also be reformed to make it more accessible. It will enable more clinicians to be recognised for their skill and dedication. It will also be updated to reflects some of the latest techniques in dentistry.’
With all this and more yet to come, the BACD remains a dynamic, inclusive and thriving organisation for all dental professionals with an interest in clinical excellence.
Paul’s final words are to encourage more people to get involved. He said, ‘It’s important that every organisation welcomes new people and fresh blood to stay relevant and move with the times. We’re always keen to invite new professionals to join.
‘The BACD is proud to be a progressive and supportive community, which should not be underestimated. We’ve seen dentists join early in their careers, grow and truly excel. Some of the work they’re doing now is phenomenal.
‘We share a passion for what we do and this is evident during every event, every course and every virtual interaction. It’s what the BACD is built on.
‘On that note, I would like to thank everyone who has supported my term as president.
‘We have a very strong board and strong committees. This is only made possible by the people who selflessly give up their time. Your hard work is so appreciated and the BACD wouldn’t be what it is today without you!
‘In addition, having preceded me as president, Nishan Dixit has been incredibly supportive during my term, so many thanks to you also.’