Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 33 (2013), No. 5 15. Aug. 2013
Webster's dictionary defines a "master" as "an artist or performer of great and exemplary skill"; a reminder that the world of sports offers metaphors that apply to our own private lives. The Masters Tournament, also known as "The Masters," originated in 1933 and is one of the four major championships in professional golf. It is played in April each year at Augusta National Golf Club, a private club in the city of Augusta, Georgia, USA. The tournament is invitational and has a number of traditions: the blooming of beautiful spring flowers around pristine fairways and greens, the pretournament dinner where all past champions meet and greet one another and share the camaraderie and bounty of their personal and professional lives, and, of course, the famous green jacket award ceremony when the winner is given the prestigious green jacket that is worn by Masters champions. Only a select group of elite corporations are given the privilege of sponsorship.
For the 90 players who have earned an invitation to play in the Masters, the excitement begins to build weeks in advance, and each golfer has a personal story and a unique dream. The Masters Golf Tournament is truly inspirational and has a lasting effect on the participants, the patrons, and the international sponsors.
Some distance north, the city of Boston, steeped in history, is the location of the International Symposium of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry (ISPRD). The founders, Drs Gerald Kramer and Myron Nevins, are the Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones of periodontics. They began hosting the Symposium in 1983 as co-editors of The International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry. This past June marks the 11th anniversary of this momentous event that is held every 3 years in June in Boston.
Myron Nevins and his son and co-editor, Marc Nevins, remain no less committed than 33 years ago in their quest to maintain the excellent tradition of this unique event in dentistry. The 2013 participants represent 59 countries and 38 US states, along with Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The majority of attendees came from Japan, Canada, Mexico, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, China, and the United States.
To be named one of the 85 lecturers at the ISPRD meeting is an invitation to the Symposium's own champions' dinner. To arrive at the speakers' dinner at the Algonquin Club on Commonwealth Avenue is glorious. That flute of champagne as you climb the beautiful winding staircase to the second floor to the accompaniment of a piano rendition of "Some Enchanted Evening" is superb! To finally meet many of your idols who are lecturers, including authors, academicians, researchers, and clinicians, is as exciting as being on the great stage of the Masters at Augusta. If Dr Gerald Kramer were alive, I feel certain he would like what he saw at the 11th annual ISPRD!
Young professional golfers and noted amateurs dream of receiving a ticket to play in the Masters. Likewise, young talented dentists dream of writing an original paper of significance, contributing a chapter to a textbook, or becoming an expert in an area of dentistry that might yield an invitation to lecture at the prestigious international Symposium.
For a lecturer to win dentistry's green jacket, just one time, is in itself quite an accomplishment. As in other walks of life, the young will slowly replenish the esteemed ranks of participants. If you only receive one invitation in a lifetime to speak at the ISPRD, you can sleep well knowing that you made the team! Congratulations!
The 90 players participating in the Masters in Augusta know that there can be only one winner each year. By winning, you receive a lifetime invitation to play in the Masters and attend the pre-tournament champions dinner. Names such as Jones, Player, Palmer, Nicholas, and Woods are synonymous with the recipients of the periodontal and restorative awards that are presented at each symposium for their contributions to the profession. These champions are Ulf Lekholm, George A. Zarb, Morton Amsterdam, Peter Schärer, Lloyd L. Miller, Gerald M. Bowers, Robert G. Schallhorn, Jörg Strub, James Mellonig, and Arnold Weisgold, and they are recognized as champions in this special society.
Every 3 years, only 85 lecturers receive an invitation to participate in the ISPRD; many of these unique individuals are repeat invitees. The preparation is immense: A 1-hour lecture on a 10 × 30-ft screen with possibly 2,500 to 3,000 spectators (patrons) and sold-out signs at the registration desk are the norm, and early registration months in advance is suggested. The attire is coat and tie. Just looking around provides another reinforcement of the elegance and confidence of the select lecturers and audience. Like the patrons and sponsors of the Masters, the ISPRD attendees and sponsors are an esteemed group.
Preparation is already underway for the 12th ISPRD to be held in Boston in June 2016. The audience will again look forward to long-term follow-up of cases as well as the new therapies that are continuing to evolve. Will the returning speakers' opinions on ideal care remain the same? Will new research unravel our established evidence-based care? Will our clinical judgments, based on evidence and experience, change dramatically? Will the lecturers at the 11th ISPRD be invited to return to the 12th? Who will be the newcomers?
The ISPRD will continue to be the breeding ground for the future masters of the dental profession, and authorship of The International Journal of Periodontics & Restorative Dentistry will remain one of the valid qualifying mechanisms.