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Current Statements of Position or Policy - Licensure

L-1 Initial Licensure Pathways (revised 1998, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2013)

The American Student Dental Association believes that any clinical licensing examination intended to measure technical skill via a sequence of independent clinical tasks should:

  1. Be a non-patient based examination emphasizing the recognition, diagnosis and treatment planning of disease, in conjunction with the treatment of simulated disease by use of a typodont.
  2. Be administered in the final year of dental school.
  3. Provide opportunities for remediation, at the candidate's dental school, prior to graduation.
  4. Guarantee anonymity of candidates and examiners.
  5. Be administered by examiners who have been calibrated to provide standardized and consistent scoring.
  6. Not include a written examination that duplicates the content of the National Dental Board Examination Parts 1 or 2.
  7. Be offered to candidates at the lowest reasonable cost possible.
  8. Be universally accepted by all state boards of dentistry.
  9. Be psychometrically sound.

While the American Student Dental Association supports continual improvement of existing examinations and collaborative development of a new examination, the association believes the following alternatives are preferable to the current licensure process:

  1. Initial licensure without an independent clinical licensing examination. Graduates of dental schools accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation should be eligible for initial licensure without taking any additional clinical examination.
  2. A portfolio-type clinical examination based on cases compiled during the final year of dental school. Such an examination should require a standardized catalog of required clinical procedures and the portfolio should be evaluated by an examiner independent of the dental school.
  3. A non-traditional patient based clinical licensure examination. Although the American Student Dental Association does not support the use of live patients in traditional clinical licensing examinations, the association recognizes the potential for creation of an ethical, patient based examination.
  4. An Objective Structured Clinical Examination designed to evaluate a candidate’s diagnostic and treatment planning skills.
  5. Completion of a one year post graduate residency program in accordance with ASDA's A-1 policy. Completion of a postgraduate residency program that has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation that has a minimum duration of one year should be sufficient to substitute for the clinical licensure examination requirement in any jurisdiction.

L-2 Licensure for Graduates of Foreign Dental Schools (2003, 2012)

The American Student Dental Association is opposed to licensure by any mechanism of graduates from schools not accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Graduation from a dental program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, regardless of its geographic location, should be required for eligibility for initial licensure in any jurisdiction in the United States, given that all other jurisdictional requirements are also fulfilled.

L-3  Definition of Curriculum Integrated Format (2007)

An initial clinical licensure process that requires candidates to successfully complete an independent clinical assessment prior to graduation from a dental education program accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation.

If such a process includes patient care as part of the assessment, it should be performed by candidates on patients of record whenever possible, within an appropriately sequenced treatment plan. In order to be integrated into the curriculum, the competencies assessed must be mutually accepted between the dental education program and the examining agency.

All portions of this assessment must be available three or more times during dental school. This ensures that patient care is accomplished within an appropriate treatment plan and allows candidates to remediate and retake any portions of the assessment, which were not successfully completed.  There must also be a defined mechanism within the dental education program curricula for remediation of students who fail any section of the assessment.

L-4 National Board Dental Examinations (2009, revised 2009, 2010)

In regards to National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE), the American Student Dental Association supports a secure examination process. In regards to an examination for advanced post graduate education in dentistry and International Dentist Programs (IDP),  the American Student Dental Association supports a single exam that is secure and valid for quantitative scoring.

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