I am an ICD Fellow… in Five Words Last year marked the 25th anniversary of my induction into the International College of Dentists. Over the course of my professional career the “FICD” title has taken on a variety of meanings. Within these various meanings, however, I have found five words that represent how I feel to be an ICD Fellow.
Honor In my early years of dental practice, I was somewhat aware of the ICD. I noticed the organization’s understated publicity in local journals and I began to understand that many of the highly respected and active colleagues, in various organizations I belonged to, were ICD Fellows. It was not difficult to discover the significant impact ICD projects and programs were having throughout the world.
I remember thinking this group represents many of dentistry’s movers and shakers. For me it would be a great honor to be in an organization whose very foundation was demonstrated by doing so much for so many. I inquired about the possibility and soon learned one cannot join, but rather must be invited into Fellowship based on merit, service and deeds.
My interest in the ICD continued to heighten. At ADA Annual Meetings I would often pass the room in which the next generation of Fellows, along with their sponsors and senior ICD leaders, were having their College gowns adjusted in preparation for the Induction Ceremony. I was touched by their focus on tradition, humility and honor.
Pride November 1985, San Francisco: I was inducted into the International College of Dentists. Our class was praised for having been selected for Fellowship status and our collective accomplishments and activities were enumerated. Who would not feel pride sitting among the elite of our profession many with a background of humanitarian service at home and in faraway places?
I remember the wonderful banquet that evening as costumed Chinese dragons snaked through the audience. I was so proud of being named an ICD Fellow. I assumed that my background in professional and community activities had made me a worthy candidate for membership. But I had much to learn and that increased knowledge would further strengthen and deepen my pride in our College.
Responsibility I recall mention of future responsibilities as a Fellow during the induction speech, but to be honest, I was so caught up in the moment that the impact of those words was diminished. I didn’t realize then that the real reason my colleagues nominated me for ICD Fellowship was because of my future potential.
As time passed, I accepted a challenge that would guide me for the next quarter of a century to carry on the work stated in the ICD motto, Recognizing Service and the Opportunity to Serve. I became committed to the College’s values by contributing to my profession, my church, my community and both my state and national dental organizations. As a Fellow I saw myself as a representative of the ICD traditions and objectives. I accepted leadership roles at the District and Section levels and, later on, the International Council. I also felt a special responsibility to encourage and sponsor deserving dentists for possible Fellowship in the International College of Dentists.
Camaraderie I have enjoyed participating in many professional and social occasions with colleagues in the College. In my U.S. Section and worldwide travels, I found there were many like-minded dentists who valued the core objectives of our College, while making significant contributions to improving dental care worldwide. I acquired many lifelong friends through our mutual discovery of shared values and common interests. There’s no other society that consistently supports an environment of camaraderie and cordiality. Joining my colleagues in humanitarian activities further enhanced the spirit of fraternal appreciation as I feel a true kinship for every colleague who performs acts of kindness and charity anywhere in the world.
Optimism The privilege of holding leadership roles in the College has given me a perspective which has embodied me with a deep and justifiable sense of optimism for the ICD. We have outstanding, committed leaders working at all levels of our organization, ensuring that the College continues to be relevant to all of us and dedicated to increasing the contribution of the College to humanitarian needs throughout the world. We see the results of those efforts in all fifteen Sections. Admirable projects continue to grow in quantity and quality.
On my Section visits, I have been impressed with the qualifications of our inductees worldwide. I am so proud to welcome these outstanding, enthusiastic and talented new Fellows into our College. I am certain that many of them will answer the call to become ICD leaders. I am especially optimistic about this year as your President. Along with my fellow officers, I will be conscientious and diligent in making the important decisions that I am confident will bode well for the future of our College.
As memories drift back to the West Coast fall of a quarter century ago, I can still visualize that San Francisco snapshot, reminding me of my first moments associated with our College. I am again filled with enthusiasm in anticipation of a new ICD season; a season in which opportunity holds no limits and the College goal to extend compassion for our fellow human beings is being promoted by thousands of Fellows worldwide.
This and that … Your ICD Leadership at all levels is looking for your thoughts and opinions about your College and its activities. Please take the time to write or call and share.
Charles L. Siroky, International President
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