Phoebus Madianos - new EFP President
Phoebus Madianos Office
"The EFP must open up to the national societies of periodontology and to the entire international dental sector"
Phoebus Madianos is the new president of the EFP, having succeeded Belgian periodontist Michéle Reners this spring.
Following the General Assembly of the European Federation of Periodontology in Brussels this March, Phoebus Madianos has taken up the mantle of leadership intent on seeing the EFP continue to open up to national periodontal societies and to the wider international dental sector. He is confident that periodontology will be officially acknowledged as a medical specialty in all EU member states, beyond the 12 countries where it currently has this status.
Madianos is very much aware of the scientific thrust of European periodontology, and aims for greater involvement of young periodontists in the future of the specialty. He wants to stimulate interaction between the EFP's 29 national societies as part of the implementation of the Federation's overall Strategic Plan. The key words for Madianos' presidency will be openness, participation, and transparency.
"Periodontology for all," is his mantra.
This appears to be a time of growth and consolidation for the EFP, which is implementing quite a detailed strategic plan. In what ways is the EFP moving forward?
The European Federation of Periodontology, the EFP, is currently the leading global influence in scientific terms, thanks to the impact of our Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the rigour of the European Workshop and, in particular, the pre-eminence of our triennial conference EuroPerio.
The implementation of our Strategic Plan and the Periodontal Health for a Better Life campaign will give us an incredible boost. What the EFP now has to do is to fully establish itself as a body at the service of the 29 national societies that comprise it. This first step will see us reaching out to the whole international dental community. To achieve this mission, industry involvement must be boosted, mainly through our EFP partners - Dentaid, Johnson & Johnson, Oral B, and Sunstar - who I want to thank for their regular and solid support.
What are the main objectives of the EFP's strategic plan?
The Strategic Plan of the EFP has objectives in five areas: improved health, education and training, policy, research, and communication. Achieving these objectives, means strengthening the EFP's role as the leading international influence in periodontology, making it more accessible to the dental community right from periodontists to other dental specialists, and even general dental practitioners. We should also be working closely with hygienists and other health professionals. We must open up to the entire dentistry sector.
What should EFP members - and there are over 16,000 of them from 29 different member nations - expect from the Federation during and after your presidency?
One of my main aims as president is to carry on with the mission of opening up the EFP in a global sense to both national societies and members. We need to boost the enormous human capital to be found within the 29 scientific societies that form the EFP, involving professionals with accredited careers, the great quantity of female periodontists, such as my predecessor Michèle Reners, and young professionals who are doing their master's degree in periodontology or who recently finished it. Their fresher and more current vision is strengthening the development of periodontology right now, as we saw at our first Master Clinic in February, as demonstrated by the more dynamic periodontology societies, or as we are going to see big-time at EuroPerio8 in London in June 2015. We are working in a Federation that belongs to everyone and which is for everyone. “Periodontology for all” could be our mantra.
How can communication and the exchange of good practices be fomented across the EFP?
One of the chief aims of the EFP is to boost interaction between national societies, between members, and among periodontology postgrads. We must find more ways to encourage periodontal research in Europe and stimulate and become a nexus for multicenter trials. We could also play a significant role in identifying opportunities and facilitating research collaborations with our partners across the Atlantic or other continents. It is important to foment intellectual mobility and exchange of knowledge between EFP-accredited Master in Periodontology programs. And we need to get behind the sharing of good practices between the national societies that form the Federation.
The big issue of periodontal systemic associations is attracting attention for periodontology within the wider medical science community, and even as news for the public. Does the EFP have a strong enough knowledge base to keep this question under the spotlight?
"Periodontal Health for a Better Life" is the EFP's vision. It is a declaration that represents the need to put the public at the centre of our work as a scientific body. Research, training, and disseminating knowledge must focus on improving oral and general health for the populace. This is backed up by scientific evidence, as was recognized by the 9th European Workshop in "Periodontal and Systemic Diseases" an event held jointly by the EFP and the AAP, the American Academy of Periodontology. And this is officially promoted by our own Manifesto on Perio and General Health.
Your presidency of the EFP begins when the Federation is on the verge of holding its biggest ever European conference. What importance does Europerio, and particularly Europerio 8, have within the EFP's role in periodontology?
We hold EuroPerio8 in London from June 3 to 6, 2015. It will be a scientific gathering of the first order, thanks to the work of an Organizing Committee presided by Francis Hughes. It boasts the leading speakers worldwide as part of a top-of-the-line scientific program put together and coordinated by Mariano Sanz. I know that the EFP's 29 national societies and their ambassadors will go all out for EuroPerio8, and the British Society is hosting the event. EuroPerio is now the point of convergence for science in periodontology and dentistry in general. This is why we can bring such frontline professionals from all over the world.
What is now needed in the push to have periodontology recognized as a specialty?
A major priority for EFP is the general recognition of Periodontology as a dental specialty in Europe. Today, the EFP is working with all relevant parties to communicate and promote the rationale of the recognition of Periodontology as a specialty to regulators, licensing bodies and policy makers across Europe. Periodontology is currently recognized as a specialty in 12 member states of the EU: Croatia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and the UK. The ultimate goal is of course the recognition of Periodontology as a specialty throughout all member states of the European Union. In close relation to this goal, the creation of a common curriculum for postgraduate studies in Periodontology, promoted by the EFP according to standardized criteria, will help to ease free mobility of professionals and citizens throughout the EU, the ultimate aim being to improve the quality of treatment and people's general health, especially in view of the evidence linking periodontal health with diabetes, cardiovascular illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and other health problems. In this sense, we are working hard from within the EFP.
Phoebus Madianos, you are a young-looking 48-year-old. What aspects of your career and personal qualities have led to you reaching such a height? What does it mean to you? And how much responsibility is attached to such a position?
As you know, age is relative and definitely overestimated! As a very good friend of mine says, I am 28 with 20 years of experience! Let’s say that periodontology helps to keep you young and that would also fit in well with the “Periodontal Health for a Better Life” campaign! On a serious note, this position is a great honour and privilege but comes with great responsibility as well. I think one has to go through a maturation process within the board to be able to get a broader vision on several different aspects regarding the EFP’s present and future, and to be able to focus on critical areas during the presidency. Of course, the president is only one part of the team steering the EFP and, I must underline, according to the will of the national societies. I am the last person to talk about my personal qualities, but I think the most important thing wherever you are is to be true to your beliefs and values.