About The ACD
The American College
The American College of Dentists (ACD) is the oldest major honorary organization for dentists. Its members have exemplified excellence through outstanding leadership and exceptional contributions to dentistry and society. In response to serious problems facing the profession, the American College of Dentists was founded August 20, 1920, by the then leaders of dentistry to elevate the standards of dentistry, to encourage graduate study, and to grant Fellowship to those who have done meritorious work. Each year, worthy candidates are nominated for Fellowship in the College. These visionaries understood the issues facing the profession and the impact that the Flexner report had on medical education and the corresponding Gies report would have on dental education. This initial cohort of Fellows actively participated in the landmark Gies Survey of dental education for the Carnegie Foundation.
Since its inception the American College of Dentists has done much to define, redefine and shape the future of the dental profession. The College is currently involved in a wide range of activities, nationally and locally, to accomplish its mission. These efforts include ethics summits, online courses in dental ethics, the Professional Ethics Initiative, an entry level ethics course, online leadership courses, leadership symposia, a multimedia dental history resource, resource materials for dental schools, a variety of award programs, and more. The American College of Dentists is a nonprofit organization and has long been regarded as the “conscience of dentistry.” In 2020, The American College of Dentists will celebrate its 100th Anniversary- “celebrating a century of service to the profession and the public we serve.”
Ethis and Professionalism
Since its founding the American College of Dentists has come to epitomize ethics and professionalism in dentistry. It has worked tirelessly to improve the ethical climate of dentistry and many of its projects-former, current, and planned-reflect this focus and heritage. The College is recognized by its peers as the “conscience of dentistry.”
The College has a long and distinguished association with leaders and leadership. The College was founded by the leaders of dentistry in 1920, selects new Fellows primarily based on leadership, exhibits leadership in areas related to its mission, and includes leadership as a key mission element. While Fellows represent diverse interests, the single characteristic all Fellows share is leadership.
Membership in the American College of Dentists is by invitation only. There are over 7,000 Fellows – all selected based on their exceptional contributions to organized dentistry, oral health care, dental research, dental education, the profession, and society. Approximately 3.5% of dentists are Fellows of the American College of Dentists.
“The College must be a symbol of the ideals that have made our profession great; the College should be a catalyst… a stabilizer… a resource… to which the profession can turn for guidance in matters of ethics, of philosophy, of principle… The American College of Dentists has many functions but its basic mission - its reason for being - is leadership."
– Philip Blackerby
The College has played a vital role in positively shaping the profession. Early accomplishments include being the first organization to promote what we today call “continuing education,” organizing and incorporating the American Association of Dental Editors, and essentially saving the Journal of Dental Research during the Depression. The College is currently involved in a wide range of activities, nationally and locally, to accomplish its mission. These efforts include ethics summits, online courses in dental ethics, the Professional Ethics Initiative, an entry level ethics course, online leadership courses, leadership symposia, a multimedia dental history resource, resource materials for dental schools, a variety of award programs, and more.