April is here and spring is definitely in bloom. I love this time of year in Houston because the city comes alive with flowering plants and foliage, and the weather is the best in April.
April will be another busy month for Dr. Pettit and me. On the 13th of April, we will travel to Orlando, Florida for the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain (AAOP). I will be teaching an all-day Anatomy course on Thursday the 14th as a pre-conference offering before the Scientific Meeting begins on Friday the 15th.There will be approximately 25 participants in this anatomy course which will involve dissection of the head. I’ve taught this course every other year for the past 10 years and enjoy teaching this subject very much. Anatomy is the subject of my PhD and next to treating patients with TMD and Orofacial Pain, teaching anatomy is my passion.
I always enjoy the AAOP annual meeting. As many of you know, I am a Past President of this organization and have spent many hours on the Board and Counsel deliberating issues that directly affect patient care. Currently, we are continuing to negotiate with the American Dental Association regarding the specialty status for those of us who treat Orofacial Pain. In the March newsletter, I discussed a lawsuit that is currently in appeal in the State of Texas. In essence, we won this lawsuit. It will allow those of us who are Board Certified in Orofacial Pain the privilege of informing the public of that specialty achievement beyond the standard curriculum of dental school. Hopefully, we will be successful as we embark upon new strategies for approaching the American Dental Association. I will be meeting with the leadership of the AAOP to help lay out new strategies for our case that will go before the Board of Regents of the American Dental Association.
April is also a significant month for me. On April 25th, I will be inducted into the Baylor University Heritage Club. The Heritage Club is made up of Baylor graduates who have been out of school for 50 years. I graduated from Baylor in June of 1966. Recently, I received notice that I was to be inducted into the Heritage Club and I truly couldn’t believe it. I told my wife that I remember when my mother was inducted into the Heritage Club, and I can’t believe that I have been out of Baylor for 50 years. Needless to say, she reminded me that it was, in fact, correct and that I was very fortunate to be in this elite group of people. The ceremony will take place Monday evening in Waco. Linda and I, along with my brother and his wife and my cousin and her husband, will be in attendance to help me celebrate this milestone. I’m excited to be able to be a part of this prestigious group. I cherish my years at Baylor and I am blessed that I was able to get my academic start at such a wonderful University.
Also in April, I will be giving my last two lectures for the year to graduate students at the University of Texas School of Dentistry here in Houston. I have already given two lectures of an eight hour course, which I teach each spring. The graduate students there are serious learners and it is fun to teach these specialty lectures to such a fine group of students.
January through April is my busiest time of the year with extracurricular activities. I am really looking forward to May because my schedule will dramatically slow down and I will be able to enjoy some time off. Dr. Pettit and I have several articles that we want to write, and I am simply looking forward to the time off to be able to do more writing. I also have a graduate student in my VA program that will continue our research, so I will become her adviser and director of her Masters Research Project for her thesis.
As you can see, we are always busy. Dr. Pettit and I are continuously seeking new ways and new information so that we can better serve you. You are our greatest asset, and we will continue to work diligently to make your experience with us the very best.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PHD
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain