The Fellowship and Mastership designations are two of the most rigorous continuing dental education programs today. A general dentist who is a “Fellow” in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) has been recognized by other general dentists as a leader and example to other dentists of the importance of quality continuing dental education to patient care. A general dentist who has earned the designation “Master” of the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD) has completed a structured and demanding set of requirements involving all the dental disciplines.
The Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists from the United States and Canada. Founded in 1952, the AGD has grown to become the world’s second largest dental association and it is the only association that exclusively represents and lobbies for the needs and interests of general dentists. AGD’s headquarters office is located in Chicago, Ill.
To earn a Fellowship Award, a dentist must earn a minimum of 500 approved continuing dental education credits and pass a comprehensive 400-question examination. The dentist is required to be an AGD member for three continuous years. While attaining Fellowship is a challenge, it allows dentists to remain current with what is new in dentistry, and to incorporate the latest research techniques into their practices.
To attain Mastership, members must first be Fellows in the AGD. Then dentists must earn an additional 600 approved continuing education credits, meeting minimum requirements in certain dental disciplines, of which 400 hours are hands-on courses. Thus, a Master of the AGD has taken a total of 1,100 hours of continuing education. A Master has studied 16 disciplines in dentistry, such as periodontics, orthodontics and implants.
How FAGD or MAGD Benefits Patients
Fellows and Masters of the AGD follow a lifelong pursuit of continuing education to provide the highest quality of dental care to patients. The award symbolizes the professional responsibility of general dentists to remain current in their profession and reminds each member of the dental profession to continue to learn new techniques for their dental practice. These are awards, however and should not be confused with post-graduate degrees or certification. Every dentist who applies for the Fellowship or Mastership Award has their application reviewed by the AGD Council on Dental Education to assure that the high standards of the AGD are met.
How AGD Membership Benefits Patients
When a dentist has achieved the Fellowship or Mastership Award, patients can be assured that their dentist is dedicated to providing the finest care in general dentistry. To date, more than 14,000 members of the AGD have become Fellows and over 2,200 have gone on to receive Mastership. The AGD is proud of all of its members who must take at least 75 hours of continuing dental education every three years, and especially proud of its members who have made the commitment to pursue these awards.