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In the fall of 2013 after significant analysis and planning, leaders from the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons supported the creation of an organization whose purpose would be to reinforce previously adopted international standards of training with a certification process that would verify the achievement of these standards. This new body would focus on evaluating suitably trained specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery to ensure that these practitioners were knowledgeable of internationally accepted standards of care. This evaluation mechanism would be applied universally and with global acceptance, those countries striving to elevate healthcare and the delivery of services by oral and maxillofacial surgeons would have access to an additional tool to verify standards. The International Board for the Certification of Specialists in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery was formed with this intent. It is not a licensing examination or a method for establishing clinical competence. Instead, the IBCSOMS exists to protect the public by providing a certification process that recognizes specialty training in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS), attainment of the necessary knowledge, experience and skills for a specialist in OMS, and a commitment to lifelong learning and contemporary practice. Successful completion of the certification process leads initially to Fellowship of the IBCSOMS which is subject to a formal process of periodic re-evaluation. The certification process does not provide licensure in any jurisdiction for the practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery but may be utilized by a local authority to establish attainment of expertise.
The IBCSOMS began its work by identifying a number of vital issues that were intrinsic to the mission of the organization. A leadership body was appointed with representation from all major regions of the world, reflecting not only geographic and ethnic diversity, but also the different curriculum and training models that currently exist globally. Next, concurrence was reached concerning subject areas considered core or fundamental to the specialty as well as those which represented the expanded scope. An examination language and model were also developed that will hopefully accomplish the purpose of testing a candidate's knowledge and ability and not a command of language or limitations in clinical decision making created by limited resources associated with local healthcare delivery. A number of competencies identified by the World Health Organization and other influential health professional bodies, including the World Medical Association, have influenced the design of our certification process and examples of some of the values incorporated into the certification process include:
1. Patient centered care that is responsive and respectful of the needs, values, differences, and preferences of the patient.
2. Quality improvement practices to constantly be aware of changes that would lead to improvement in healthcare.
The IBCSOMS hopes to achieve its goals by delivering the first administration of its certifying examination in 2015. In order to accomplish this ambitious endeavor, the IBCSOMS requires additional financial help beyond the IAOMS and the IAOMS Foundation, whose commitment to date has been the sole support for the creation of the administrative and examination infrastructure of the Board. Additional organizations who might consider the mission of the IBCSOMS to be relevant to their cause include:
1. Regional or national oral and maxillofacial surgery organizations who would like for surgeons within their geographic areas to meet recognized standards of patient care. By adopting the IBCSOMS' certification process, these organizations would have knowledge that their member surgeons have met the standards and requirements established by their peers worldwide.
2. Health ministries charged to protect the public welfare could use the IBCSOMS certification process to be assured that certified surgeons have met a standard recognized by practitioners in the international arena.
3. Commercial vendors related to oral and maxillofacial surgery are committed to the proper and effective use of their products. Certification by the IBCSOMS would provide some measure of an individual's training and education in the specialty.