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ALD In the Scary Time of the Coronavirus

This past Sunday, my family and I should have been flying out to San Diego for my 23rd consecutive Academy off Laser Dentistry Conference. We planned on flying out early to enjoy the area and meet with some of our relatives that live out there and we don’t get to see very often.

We were also looking forward to eating dinner at a wonderful Iranian restaurant that we go to when we are in San Diego, called Bondar. You can tell it is authentic as there are many Iranian families among the patrons. They make a fabulous Pomegranate Chicken. I highly recommend it.

Unfortunately, the rampant spread of the coronavirus pandemic forced the ALD Board of Directors to make our most difficult decision ever – to cancel our annual meeting for the first time in the Academy’s history of hosting the annual conference.

I have attended 22 ALD conferences in a row and the Coronavirus is breaking my streak! Every year, I look forward to meeting all of my ALD buddies. Getting their hugs and kisses, seeing their smiling faces, laughing and joking with them and catching up on what happened to them and their families during the year.

I also look forward to meeting new members and conference attendees, meeting new friends and dancing at President’s Inauguration Dinner. I especially enjoy carrying on the ALD tradition of teaching and sharing our laser experiences and knowledge.

Because of the Academy and its annual conferences, I now have friends in every part of the country and around the world. Thanks to these relationships, in a little over a year I have been honored to speak in Australia, Dubai, Qatar and many parts of the United States.

Before I continue I would like us all to thank Dr. Ed Kusek for all of the time and work that both he and his committee put into the ALD 2020 conference only to have it pulled out from under him. Ed my heart goes out to you. I wish you could have felt the pride in seeing the rewards of all of your work come off.

Dr. Arun Darbar is the conference chairman for 2021 and in the true spirit of the ALD has already reached out to Ed and offered him to be a co-chair of 2021. By the way, this will be held in April 2021 at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria Virginia, which is just across the river from Washington, DC.

They are already working hard to make this a fabulous conference with many of the speakers from this year’s canceled conference. We are not being complacent, last Monday and this Thursday the Executive Committee has had emergency virtual meetings and the academy Board of Directors will still have their scheduled meeting only instead of being face-to-face it also will be virtual.

Last Friday, I re-presented my webinar, “Using lasers to treat the medically compromised patient” on the Virtual Dental Expo site as part of their two-day symposium. I hope that many of you were able to take part in the free CE as part of the ALD. If you missed it or weren’t available here's the link. There were some wonderful speakers and topics to learn from.

Keeping with the new reality of virtual learning, Dr. Walid Altayeb and Dr. Manaf Taher Agha have performed another miracle by putting together a 3-day virtual conference. Therefore, it gives me a great pleasure to invite you to join iLED Stay at Home Online Congress with more than 33 international speakers from all over the world.

iLED Stay at Home Congress (Free event)
April 7-9, 2020 (3 days, 11 hours daily) 33 hours of high-quality education

09:00 am - 08:00 pm (GMT+0:00 time zone)
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm (GMT+03:00) Saudi Arabia, Jordan
11:00 pm - 10:00 pm (GMT +02:00) Italy, Egypt, North Africa
03:00 am - 02: 00 pm (CST USA)

Register in advance for this webinar here.
Limited numbers will be allowed.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The ALD believes that during these times, we have duties as speakers and continuing educational providers to think proactively and constructively in terms of professional development of our dental colleagues on a global level. The iLED Stay at Home Congress is an early example of laser education programs to come

I hope this letter finds everyone safe and well. The coronavirus is real and cannot be taken lightly. It has affected many of us on a personal level. For example, last week I received a call from my sister that my brother, who is a veterinarian in New York City and lives in the virus hot spot of New Rochelle, was admitted to the hospital with the virus and a severe respiratory condition. My brother, who used to be one of the top power lifters in the United States couldn’t even stand. Monday he was placed in the ICU We are all praying for him.

So, to all of my ALD friends and colleagues. Please be Smart. Be Safe and Stay Healthy. Take advantage of ALD online learning opportunities.

Sincerely, Mel

Dr. Mel Burchman
ALD President
Langhorne, Pennsylvania
ALDIntheScaryTimeoftheCoronavirus: MoreImages1      

Dr. Mel Burchman
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