Spring 2005 Table of Contents
     
International Partners in Health
A Visit from the President of the FDI World Dental Federation
 

Dr. Yoon (center) shows Associate Dean Hirsch and Dean Alfano the FDI's new stamp for its global anti-smoking campaign.
Last fall the President of the FDI World Dental Federation, Dr. Heung-Ryul Yoon of Seoul, South Korea, visited NYUCD and spoke with Dean Alfano, Associate Dean for Development and International Affairs Dr. Stuart Hirsch, and Global Health Nexus about his goals as president of the world's only federation of national dental associations. The occasion also provided an opportunity for Dr. Yoon to reminisce about the two years he spent at NYUCD from 1978 to 1980 as a post-graduate student in periodontics.

Global Health Nexus (GHN): Dr. Yoon, what are your major goals as president of FDI and what have been some highlights of your tenure?

Dr. Yoon: Well, I'm very proud to have initiated the rewriting of the FDI constitution, which is the keystone of our organizational governance. Another point of pride is that my successor as president of FDI will be a woman -- the first woman president in the organization's 104-year history.

Regarding my goals, I would certainly list completion of a new constitution and establishing a foundation, based on the ADA Foundation model, to enable FDI to work with other organizations to increase assistance to developing countries. Additional goals include increasing non-dues income sources, increasing the number of students actively involved in organized dentistry around the world, enhancing the quality and number of FDI policy statements, and maximizing media coverage of FDI events.

In terms of attracting media coverage, our focus is on the August 2005 FDI Annual World Dental Congress in Montreal, where we expect upwards of 5,000 attendees, and on mounting a global campaign to end smoking in every dental family in the world.

GHN: Dr. Yoon, you are a graduate of our Advanced Education Program in Periodontics. Why did you choose NYU for postgraduate study?

Dr. Yoon: I believed that at NYU I would find excellent mentors, and I was right. In particular, I remember Dr. Sigmund Stahl, who was then Director of the Advanced Education Program in Periodontics. He personally persuaded me to apply to NYU. The other major attraction for me was the opportunity to live in New York City. I loved my time at NYU and have wonderful memories of the experience.

GHN: How does it feel to return to campus after nearly 25 years?

Dr. Yoon: Coming back here today, I feel deeply moved. Also, I'm very excited to see old friends in the periodontics department and the many improvements in the physical plant. I feel completely at home.