Prof Brian O'Connell, ADEE President 2024 - 2025
Professor Brian O’Connell has been Dean of the Faculty of Health Science, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland since 2021. He is Professor of Restorative Dentistry, Dublin Dental University Hospital, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, where he served as Dean of Dental Affairs, 2015-2021. Brian has recently served as the Ninety-ninth President of the IADR, during 2022-23 and will be ADEE president 2024 - 2025.
As I begin my term as President of ADEE, my first action is to wish you all a happy and peaceful new year for 2024. Our member institutions and faculties in the Middle East and Eastern Europe regions are particularly in our minds at this time as they continue to cope with instability and conflict. Our hope is that 2024 will see peace restored to these regions.
While for many the COVID-19 pandemic is but a distant memory, it is clear that it has left a lasting impact on academic practice. Whether it’s the rapid growth in online learning, increased use of virtual and simulation technologies, advances in medical technologies and interventions, and of course the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence, the education landscape has been dramatically changed by COVID-19. At ADEE our role is to ensure that our members are enabled and equipped to meet these changes effectively and responsibly.
The education of oral health professionals is without doubt at a new crossroads. We need to take the lead so the voice of dental team educators is not only heard but actively incorporated into decisions at European and national level that will modernise academic practice, governance and regulation. In this regard, we note that FEDCAR (the Federation of European Dental Competent Authorities and Regulator) recently recommended to its national regulatory members and in EU candidate countries, the use of ADEE’s “Graduating European Dentist” (GED) guidelines. This is a considerable achievement for ADEE, though it also places an onus on ADEE to ensure the GED is maintained, updated and modernised to adequately reflect the requirements of a modern education. During 2024 and 2025 you can expect the GED taskforce to be active in this regards. The GED Domain V Research is currently open to public consultation and I would encourage members to have their say by completing the online feedback. You might also want to explore the recently updated and refreshed GED webpage, including a useful resources library section of associated curriculum documents.
During 2023 our quality improvement programme, LEADER, was overhauled and already a number of school visits are being scheduled. We will soon be issuing a call for site visitors for the LEADER programme and would encourage you to consider putting yourself forward if you meet the criteria.
Plans are well advanced for our 2024 annual meeting which will be held at the centre of Europe in the beautiful and historic city of Leuven, Belgium. We have selected "A.I. in Oral Health Professionals Education" as our overarching theme and each day of the meeting will focus on a specific related sub topic. We have also introduced, for the first time, 1-day registration rates to give delegates some flexibility and control over their own scheduling and budget. I am very much looking forward to meeting many of you in person in Leuven on the 7th to 10th September 2024.
During my Presidency, I will have the honour of hosting ADEE’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2025. Together with my colleagues in Dublin Dental University Hospital/Trinity College, and indeed the ADEE Office, we very much look forward welcoming you to Dublin to celebrate this ADEE milestone. Plans for the meeting in August 2025 are in development and we hope to achieve the optimal balance of reflection and forward visioning. As part of the celebrations, we are also expanding the ADEE archive and will shortly be calling on colleagues to share any photographs, memorabilia and memories they might have, so keep an eye to the website for more details.
The work of ADEE is delivered through the leadership of the ADEE executive as elected by our membership. I want to especially thank our outgoing President, Prof Pål Barkvoll, who led ADEE diligently through the difficult post-COVID transition and back to our face-to-face meeting in Liverpool. I greatly appreciate Pål’s calm, thoughtful and kind leadership which is an exemplar in our profession. His are big shoes to fill and I am honoured to follow in those footsteps.
I am very much looking forward to continuing our work with the current Executive Committee, each of whom shares a passion for high quality education and clinical practice. Our work will continue to be guided our current and evolving strategy as well as responses to changing environmental factors. At the core of our work remain the ethos of consensus, collaboration, and collegiality which have been the backbone of ADEE for almost 50 years.
We are always interesting in hearing your views and ideas so do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. During my term, I aim to share with you an update on the Executives work at regular interval as we work together to evolve ADEE and prepare it for its next half century.
For now Happy new year to you and your students.