Meet The WFO
There are many different kinds of medical organizations in this world, and most of them are local or regional; there many North American or British organizations, for example. But global regulations of medical practice and organizations that uphold global standards are rare, especially for a field like orthodontics which many people consider to be merely aesthetic in nature. This is why the efforts of organizations that deal with regulating quality in this field are so important. The foremost organization that can be categorized as a truly international representative of orthodontics that seeks to hold all orthodontists to a single measure of quality is the WFO, or World Federation of Orthodontists.
Who They Are
The WFO is a worldwide organization of orthodontists with a specific plan. The plan was formulated into a charter and signed by 69 affiliated organizations from around the world on May 5th, 1995 at the 4th IOC held in San Francisco. The current federation has over 8000 members and over 100 affiliated organizations. The purpose of this body of orthodontists is to further the skills of orthodontry throughout the entire world, and they have a 7 step plan to do just that. These 7 steps are taken directly from their website (http://www.wfo.org):
Encourage high standards in orthodontics throughout the world;
Encourage and assist in the formation of national associations and societies of orthodontists when requested;
Encourage and assist in the formation of national and regional certifying boards in the field of orthodontics when requested;
Promote orthodontic research;
Disseminate scientific information;
Promote desirable standards of training and certification for orthodontists;
Organize the International Orthodontic Congress to be held at least once every five years.
Working with an orthodontist who is part of the WFO is a good idea, as they have to maintain very high standards of work, and attend meetings and other mandatory sermons and seminars about their area of expertise. Of course, an orthodontist can be quite competent and able to do their task without being a part of this organization, but the seal of the WFO is a guarantee.