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AAO connections

Advisor Guide.

The mission of AAO Connections is to support and facilitate professional relationships between members across the country. Using the network, members have the unique opportunity to connect directly with advisors, learning from their knowledge and experience.

How it Works

  1. AAO invites members from across the country to join the platform and create profiles as advisors or learners.
  2. Using the platform, learners schedule sessions with advisors by filtering through the network of advisors based on their knowledge areas of interest (i.e. career and practice transitions, clinical, practice management, etc.) and topics they’d like to discuss about orthodontics (i.e. career exploration, diagnosis and treatment planning, business and strategic planning, etc.).
  3. Confirmation emails are sent to both the learner and advisor with session date and time, a link to the session, and a connection test to ensure audio/visual is set up properly for the session.
  4. Sessions are held at the scheduled time on the platform via live video (preferred) or phone chat.

Creating Your Advisor Account

  1. Create your account by clicking “Sign Up” from
  2. Complete a brief profile setup. Please complete every step and make sure to upload a picture!
  3. Set your availability. You can do this manually or connect and sync your online calendar to your profile, carving out what days/times you are available to talk to members.
  4. You can always make edits to your account by logging in and using the drop down menu under your name located in the upper right corner of the website or edit icons from your profile page.

Coaching Session Best Practices

  • Kick off the session with the member. Thank them for scheduling time and their interest in the topic.
  • Explain that you are there to help with questions about your career, practice, and profession.
  • Listen and give the members the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Share your experiences, including mistakes and challenges, as those are often the best moments for learning. Relate to their experiences by sharing yours.
  • Ask questions that will probe their knowledge, passions, and interest to help get a sense of their skill set.
  • Rate the session from 1 (unprepared) to 5 (outstanding) following your session.

Frequently Asked Questions

We ask mentors to volunteer at least 1 hour (3 sessions) per month but you can always participate more. You can adjust this via the “My Availability” link in your profile menu

AAO Connections is available to members of the American Association of Orthodontists.

  • Members (a.k.a., Learners) using AAO Connections are given “credits” to book sessions with advisors.
  • With a credit, they can browse by advisor name or filter by topic (i.e. career exploration, diagnosis and treatment planning, business and strategic planning, etc.). During the onboarding process, advisors select from this same list of topics to determine what areas they would like to advise on or share their experiences with learners.
  • After selecting an advisor, the learner schedules a session using the calendar function displaying available time on the advisor’s profile.
  • A confirmation email is sent to both the learner and advisor with session date and time, and the link to enter the session (you can also enter the session via your profile page).
  • The sessions take place on the platform or over the phone, depending on your preference (configurable on your profile page).

No. All messages sent through the platform are double-blind with no personal contact information or emails shared. You may choose to share information on your own, but it is never available through the website.

When creating your profile, you have two different calendar modes. (1) The custom calendar mode, you can manually schedule when you will be available for sessions and (2) Online calendar mode, you can link the scheduling calendar to your personal calendar (i.e. Outlook Calendar, Google, iCloud, Office365, Exchange). No specific details are shared, but users will only be able to book a session when your calendar says you are free based on the time windows you’ve indicated availability. In the event you have a last minute conflict, you can reschedule via the “Reschedule” link in the session confirmation and reminder emails, or from your profile page where all scheduled sessions will be listed.

In addition to selecting knowledge areas and conversation topics, when creating your profile you can share personal and professional information in several areas: experience and accomplishments, approach to coaching, favorite sports or team moment, alma mater, job title, and when you joined your practice. Be as brief or extensive as you would like, but know that members use this information to select and schedule sessions with advisors.

When you complete a session, you’ll be asked to provide a rating (1-5) on the session and the member you spoke with.

Contact [email protected] with the issue details and time and date of your session. 95% of the time, technical problems can be solved by restarting your browser. If you experience technical issues during the session try the following:

  • Use Google Chrome if you are not
  • Restart your web browser
  • Check to see microphone and camera are allowed to be used (you can access this menu by clicking the video icon that appears in the address bar when you’re in the session.
  • Always test your connection prior to your session to make sure everything is working properly. This will ensure a much smoother mentor session! A connection test link is sent in the confirmation email when a session is scheduled.
  • If all else fails, restart your computer and try to access the session again.