LORNE AKLER, BSC, DDS1263 Wilson Ave Toronto, Ontario, M3M 3G2416firstname.lastname@example.orgMay 2012Dear colleagueI would like to take this this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Lorne Aklerand I am asking for your support as I run for the RCDSO council position in TorontoWest (District 10).I graduated from the University of Western Faculty of Dentistry in 1993. I practiceexclusively in West Toronto, full-time in a large group clinic performing all aspects ofclinical dentistry.I have previously served two terms (4 years ) as a non- council member of thecomplaints committee at the R.C.D.S.O. In addition, I have served the college as anoffice monitor and as a mentor. Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors of theNational Dental Examining Board of Canada as the R.C.D.S.O representative. In Marchof this year, along with other college council members and members of the College’sQuality Assurance Committee, I participated in the selection of questions for thePractice Enhancement Tool that all dentists in Ontario will have to complete within thenext 5 years.I have certainly gained an appreciation of what it means to protect the public trust onthe one hand, but on the other hand, I realize that there must be a fair and justcommunication between the College and the individual dentist to provide a fairbalance.My candidacy revolves around several issues that are applicable to all dentists in WestToronto and need to be addressed at council level: 1) I would like to see a system that streamlines the complaint process to avoid the extended, needless aggravation for our members when they have to defend themselves against frivolous and false accusations. In addition, from my experience in dealing with complaints against a dentist, it became
apparent to me that an over-preponderance of complaints were triggered by a subsequent dentist’s criticisms of the previous dentist’s work or fees charged, without knowledge of all the pertinent facts with regards to the patient’s treatment. I believe more needs to be done to hold these dentists increasingly accountable for their actions. This should help to decrease the overall number of complaints that are made by patients who are unhappy with a previous dentist’s treatment.2) More enforcement needs to be provided to shut down unlicensed, illegal dentists practicing “underground”. This is very dangerous for the unsuspecting public. The public needs to be treated by only licensed professionals who have gone through formal education and proper training. The College needs to lobby for more funding and perhaps allocate some of the fees that members already pay in order to go after these illegal practitioners. Only then will police get the necessary court injunctions to close them down, since they can’t be regulated under the Dentistry Act.3) The College needs to be more proactive with respect to the oversaturation of dentists in Toronto. This problem of too many dentists in Toronto has been an issue for quite some time and is only getting worse. This affects the bottom line of all of our dental practices! I would like to see Council do more to address this issue. A good starting point would be to get together with representatives from the N.D.E.B, Provincial and Federal governments, and devise a plan that will see newly licenced graduates who earned their degree’s outside the country placed in geographically underserviced areas in Ontario for a speciﬁed period of time. This is one idea that may alleviate some of the over-congestion of dentists in Toronto.4) I am dead-set against insurance companies dictating treatment options or inﬂuencing treatment for our patients. This is a very troubling trend for me. Since the College’s mandate is to protect the public, I would like to see Council stand up for this. The College should engage the ODA and all the component societies together with our members to form a loud, uniﬁed voice to mandate that dental treatment in this province is dictated by what is in the best interest of the patient.5) I feel very strongly that a dentist be able to treat their spouse without fear of licence suspension or penalty, due to a draconian court ruling a few years ago. Council has already taken action on this with the Provincial government. I will ensure that as a Council member for District 10, the College continues to stay engaged on this issue by working through the proper channels at the Provincial government level in order to efficiently rectify this matter.
6) I am strongly against any type of capitation fee structure (ppo, hmo) in the practice of dentistry in Ontario. Fee for service dentistry utilizing the ODA fee guide is in the best interest of the patient and the dentist. For all these reasons, it is very important to have someone like myself represent your interests on council. I can’t over emphasize the importance of having an experienced full-time clinician who understands the daily ebb and ﬂow of running a dental practice serving on Council. My strong inter-personal skills will allow me to effectively partner with the other members of Council to bring about the necessary changes that I have outlined in addition to ensuring good governance and representation. In these uncertain economic times it is more important than ever to have the strategic and proactive leadership that I can provide. It would be an honour and privilege to represent your interests on Council and to let me continue giving back to the profession. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, my door is always open. Call me at the office (416-241-1190) or e-mail me at email@example.com. Professionally Yours, Lorne Akler