What is IFEA?

A BRIEF HISTORY AND OVERVIEW

From IFEA Newsletter – April 2004 (edited by Dr. Joe Maggio, Feb 2014 & Dr Mark Wotzke, April 2016 )

The International Federation of Endodontic Associations (IFEA) was formed in 1986. The main aims then were to promote fellowship amongst endodontists and dentists with an interest in endodontics, and their national endodontic associations, and to promote continuing education in endodontics throughout the world. IFEA is an international organization and membership is open to all national endodontic societies and associations in the world. Currently, there are 36 countries enrolled as members as outlined in the Membership Roster. The Officers and Board of Directors of IFEA hope to eventually enrol the national endodontic society from every country in the world and thereby be truly representative of the interests of the profession on a global scale.

Previous Presidents and Officers of the Federation have come from a wide range of countries and this has ensured a global approach to the challenges of meeting the needs of the membership and attracting new members. Countries that have had representatives serve as Officers of IFEA include: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, the UK, and the USA.

Present Officers of IFEA
2016 – 2018

  • President: Dr. Mark F. Wotzke, Australia
  • President-Elect: Dr. Luke Sung Kyo Kim, South Korea
  • Past President: Dr. Samuel O. Dorn, USA
  • Secretary/Editor: Dr. Catherine Ricci, France
  • Treasurer: Dr. Eleftherios-Terry Farmakis, Greece


ORGANIZATION OF IFEA
IFEA is governed by the Officers (the President, President-elect, Secretary/Editor, Immediate Past President and Treasurer) and the Regent Directors. The Regent Directors represent each of the world’s major continental regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America). The Officers communicate regularly by telephone, fax and electronic mail to conduct the Federation’s business and to make policy decisions. The Regent Directors also have regular communication with the Officers and a Board Meeting is held every year in conjunction with the Annual International General Assembly. This may be held in April during the American Association of Endodontists’ Annual Session or at another appropriate meeting decided upon by the Officers (e.g. an ESE meeting or similar international endodontic meeting). Every second year when IFEA is conducting a World Endodontic Conference the Annual General Assembly is held during this World Congress.

The IFEA By-Laws were originally formulated when IFEA was established in 1986. They were extensively revised in 1996-97, almost totally rewritten in 2002, with subsequent periodic amendments to reflect the changes in operational methods, the legal requirements for a not-for-profit organization in the State of Illinois, USA, and the increased membership of the Federation. As the number of members grew, it became necessary to expand the size of the Executive Committee and to establish the Board of Regent Directors to provide wider representation from all regions of the world.


PURPOSES OF THE FEDERATION
In essence, the major aims of IFEA are to promote endodontics and endodontic education throughout the world. It is hoped that this can be achieved through regular meetings such as the World Endodontic Congresses (now held every two years), through the web site, by sponsoring lecture tours and through the fostering of personal contact amongst members. These aims are in accordance with the revised By-Laws of IFEA, adopted in April 2002. The following extract is from Article II of the current By-Laws:

“The purposes of the Federation are to:

 

  1. elevate the technical and scientific standards of endodontic research, practice and teaching to its highest levels, and to disseminate this knowledge throughout the world in order to improve the dental health standards in all nations
  2. help promote and further the interests of Federation members
  3. cultivate and foster international professional endodontic relationships
  4. promote and further the educational interests of Federation members and to coordinate and assist the educational endeavours of Federation members through, but not limited to, periodic international endodontic conferences
  5. disseminate professional information concerning endodontics internationally
  6. encourage and assist endodontic organizations to meet the membership requirements necessary to join the Federation, and
  7. engage in any other purpose and lawful activity related to the above purposes”.

 

The current Officers, Regent Directors and members are all fully committed to supporting these Purposes and to promoting the Federation in their own countries and regions as well as throughout the entire world.


ACTIVITIES OF IFEA
As mentioned above, IFEA has an Annual International General Assembly for the purposes of discussing and reporting Federation business. Other regular activities include:

World Endodontic Congress – this is now held every two years in different locations. Previous World Congresses have been held in Mexico (1990), France (1992), Italy (1995), Israel (1998), Spain (2001), Australia (2004), Canada (2007), Greece (2010), Japan (2013) and South Africa (2016). These Congresses attract a large attendance of dentists and endodontists from all parts of the world to hear a wide range of lecturers speaking on many topics of interest to the modern-day practice of endodontics. A typical World Congress will have invited Keynote Speakers, IFEA Country Representative Lecturers, poster and oral research presentations, clinical case reports, free papers, social events and a large commercial dental trade exhibition.

Web Site – with reports from the Officers and Committees, news about IFEA activities, research reports, and articles from member societies about their activities and meetings.

The annual IFEA Jean-Marie Laurichesse Research Grant Award  – prizes are awarded every year by the Research Committee to honor the most outstanding research project(s) submitted from members of IFEA’s country societies.

Poster and Oral Research Presentation Prizes – these are awarded by the Research Committee and a panel of judges at each World Congress for the Best Poster and the Best Oral Research Presentation.

Endodontic Education Grants – IFEA’s Education Committee has sponsored visiting lecturers to developing countries, such as Fiji, Vietnam, and New Guinea to assist with establishing endodontic curricula and educational programs at their dental schools. Assistance has also been provided to help establish clinical facilities and treatment protocols, and to provide continuing education to dentists in places that do not have the facilities and expertise readily available in their own country. Recently funds were made available for the education of future teaches for Fiji and Nigeria.

Teaching Manual – IFEA’s Education Committee has sponsored the writing and production of a teaching manual for use in dental schools in developing nations to supplement the lecture program. This manual is designed to be adaptable to the local situation in which it is being used although it could also be used by other dental schools and for continuing endodontic education of general dentists.

SUMMARY
All national endodontic societies and associations are invited to join IFEA and to participate in the Federation’s regular activities. IFEA is an international body that is committed to promoting endodontic fellowship and education throughout the entire world. Close professional relationships between individuals and between national societies are greatly encouraged and can be achieved by joining IFEA. IFEA offers an opportunity for all organizations that are governed by a formal constitution and/or by-laws to voice an opinion and to guide endodontics throughout the world in a collective and unified manner. If your national endodontic society/association is not already a member of IFEA, then please join now! Applications for Membership can be obtained from the Secretary or downloaded from this web site.