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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 339-341

Necessity is the mother of innovation

Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication17-Jan-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Freny R Karjodkar
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaomr.jiaomr_200_18

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How to cite this article:
Karjodkar FR. Necessity is the mother of innovation. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2018;30:339-41

How to cite this URL:
Karjodkar FR. Necessity is the mother of innovation. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Jun 26];30:339-41. Available from: http://www.jiaomr.in/text.asp?2018/30/4/339/250255

Together we grow …

We are sure that when most of them read the tag line of this Guest Editorial, the first thought that it will strike will be “typographic error, simple proof reading also cannot be done; should be 'Invention not Innovation'.” Mind you, we said most but not all. Most of us have this negative critical attitude, where we sit back in our well-sheltered cocoons, grumbling that nothing can be done about this country, of which our association and speciality form a very small part.

We request all these self-appointed critics to please step out of the cocoon and endeavor to spread their wings and you will realize that you are not the downtrodden caterpillar but a beautiful butterfly which can spread joy and beauty to propagate our branch and together reach new heights, and establish our place in the sun.

As one individual, you may feel you have relatively little power to effect change, but membership in a large organization of like-minded professionals can help you not only advocate for the issues that matter to you, but often see major results. The concept is that all of us are smarter than any [one] of us; we the members of IAOMR all need to take an initiative each in our own stronghold to bring about “INNOVATION” – the change.

We are very pleased to have been asked to write this guest editorial. IAOMR has an outstanding faculty which, in our opinion, represents the world leaders in the field of Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Radiology. Having agreed to write the editorial, we did what most speakers and writers do to prepare – the MEDLARS search, selection of pertinent articles, reading, picking the brains of our colleagues, and then isolating oneself for several nights surrounded by stacks of journals, books, and photocopies of articles. As we delved deeper, we realized that the standard approach to writing an article was inappropriate for this subject. Therefore, we told ourself to shelf the scholarly approach and take a more personal track. Experience along with intellect and experimentation are, after all, the essential ingredients of knowledge. At the outset, we apologize to those faculties from other countries for the chauvinism of some of our remarks.

We would like to share with you some of our ideas about “Innovation” based on our experience as a dentist who has been a dental educator for the past 30 years. We do not pretend to have all the answers, but strongly feel that we have gained a somewhat unique perspective. As a faculty and member of IAOMR, we have been able to identify some of the major problems faced by our brethren; particularly problems which relate to what next after postgraduation?

Recently, our association has been advocating conduction of programs for the undergraduate students to increase awareness of the subject. Attending some of the events, one realized that some of the presenters were highlighting on how you get good returns as an Oral Diagnostician. When one introspected, one realized that the most important underlying agenda for organizing was to entice students to opt for postgraduation in our subject, besides of course “Creating Awareness” and why would one to do that? The answer so that teaching jobs remain secure.

Innovation for our speciality, in our perception, is that we should start thinking beyond the dental schools and jobs as teaching faculty. Let us not rest on the laurels of a few achievers and many self-appointed messiahs.

An organization is nothing without its leaders. In order for the organization to continue operation, new members must come in and take over leadership roles to enthuse verve and vigor into the association.

Our association needs aboost with streamlined policies and agenda:

  • Strengthen professional associations through building sound governance and accountability
  • As faculty, we need to stress the importance of our subject and not subjugate to pressures of employment. For growth and change, there has to be some sacrifice and squalor

    • As teachers, we need to be dedicated and pursue the students with teaching methodologies, which will create interest, instinct for the subject, and inculcate a passion to become an Oral Physician or Maxillofacial Radiologist
    • We need to refrain from accepting dictates from the administration only to conduct OPDs
    • When we are a part of the institute, it is our duty to inform and educate the administration regarding the important role one can play in diagnosing much more than only odontological pathologies
    • Demand change in the curriculum, syllabus, and examination system so that we stop producing rote specialists who have only read textbooks but never experienced the joys of actually treating a patient
    • Refuse to be a part of the nexus; be it as staff/examiner/inspector, you be may, momentary feel lighter in the pocket, but the long-term benefits, if we all follow the same principles, are a plenty.

  • Promote best practices in professional management through executive education, technical assistance, case studies, and toolkits
  • Conferences/symposiums/seminars should be informative where students can upgrade themselves on information and technologies that are not part of the syllabus and difficult to incorporate in teaching institutes. This platform should not be used as a stepping stone to self-propagation and building contacts

    • Panel discussions on relevant issues should be tabled and followed up. The final outcome and resolution should be formulated and implemented. The organizer should be accountable not only regarding the financial statements but also for the academic and clinical contributions of the conference to the subject
    • CDE programs for revision before examinations are setting a new trend of coaching classes before postgraduate examinations. This need would never arise if we teach the student what needs to be taught during the hours allotted for teaching
    • Compulsory journal clubs/seminars are all modernisms of compensating for lack of live patients for students to experience and learn. Case studies and treatment plans should be stressed on
    • Brochures/information pamphlets/web sites of the above-mentioned events are loaded with names of committee and subcommittee members rather than information of the scientific activities for which they are held. We should learn to grow beyond the name game and start playing and propagating scientific research and clinical activities

  • Facilitate public–private dialog by initiating increased public awareness regarding our specialty
  • Have seminars for the medical fraternity to educate them about our speciality

    • Provide program models such as the National-Based Workshops to assist in creating grassroots-driven campaigns that promote the speciality

  • Educate businesses and policymakers on the importance of participatory policymaking, Make them aware of our needs and capabilities

    • Increasing number of teaching posts should not be the expectation from the governing body; implementation of strong rules, installation of radiology equipment, and mandatory reporting of radiographs by a qualified maxillofacial radiologist should be our agenda. This representation should go from the office bearers of our association to the governing body and all colleges
    • We need to assert our right as Oral Physician, and medical treatment of oral pathologies should be carried out as a routine procedure in all our departments and clinics
    • This tendency for graduates to go into academia raises a question about the viability and sustenance of the specialty in private practice. While there have been other specialties that have traditionally been required to be attached to a hospital or a teaching institution, oral and maxillofacial radiology/medicine has not yet made clear strides toward having an equal distribution between academics and private practice. One of the key challenges is to ensure sustainability of the specialty is an equal distribution of the graduating specialists in academics and private practice
    • The investment for the maxillofacial radiologist among all dental specialities is the highest, hence the associations should negotiate or tie up with financial agencies to get better deals for the members

  • Bring about a total revolution; split the speciality into two streams, Oral Medicine and Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. The benefits are plenty, and we cannot see any disadvantages

    • The number of jobs has doubled
    • The syllabus will become more intensive, with more time for a specific subject, Radiology or Medicine
    • Persons can orient toward Radiology and do exclusive practice
    • We can specialize in Oral Medicine and set up diagnostic centers, early detection of potentially malignant disorders, laser treatment of soft tissue lesions, medical treatment of orofacial pain, and sleep medicine

  • Clinical Research Activities: a set of strategic, proactive, catalytic, and capacity-building activities designed to facilitate individual faculty members and teams of researchers, in attracting extramural research funding, creating relationships, and developing and implementing strategies that inform and provide knowledge on the association agenda. Funds and scholarships may be awarded on merit basis to encourage research activities by the members

    • Advocating multicentric studies (cohort, randomized controlled trial)
    • Setting up nation registries for various oral mucosal lesions
    • Funding of various research projects
    • Creating national Evidence-Based SOPs for investigating and treating soft tissue lesions
    • Populism and research policy
    • Lack of venture sameness
    • Environment for research in schools of dentistry
    • Lack of emphasis on prevention and behavioral studies

  • Funds and sponsorship: sponsorships are a great way to increase your speciality's visibility and put your name and message in the hands of thousands of prospective clients
  • Appreciating and lauding the work of our own members, but for the “slavish international” mentality (we still have not got over the rule of the British) which propagates that all person and developments which are non-Indian which means “INTERNATIONAL” are better. Be it textbooks/journals/opinions, we all tend to believe blindly in the “International” inputs, but contributions and efforts from our brethren are always questioned and taken with a pinch of salt.

In fact, joining an organization that is working for your best interests not only allows you to support the causes that matter to you but also provides an outlet where your voice as a professional is heard.

Asserting your opinion to an influencing body that counts you as a member makes a difference in what happens with your message. When we connect with one another in associations, we learn that our self-interest is actually connected to the interests of others. That gives us a conception of the public good, common identity, and sense of common responsibility, and a wealth of other social benefits can be attainable through organizational membership.

Being a member of IAOMR should help you define your identity as an oral physician and maxillofacial radiologist, bolster your profile within your specialty, and connect you to a community of similar provider organizations. Association membership can provide you with fulfilling relationships, professional networking and leadership opportunities, career advancement leads, and easy access to recommendations, resources, and advice on a wealth of business or patient care topics. It could win you some new patient referrals from fellow members and help you make a difference in the future of your profession.

It is true the Oral Physicians and Maxillofacial Radiologists are under pressure as the demand and recognition of the speciality in the present scenario are debatable, but some see these troubles as the writing on the wall, while those who know better see it as an opportunity to Innovate.


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