Last month the state of California signed into law the nation’s first portfolio based licensure examination. The Dental Board of California along with the California Dental Association and all six California dental schools sponsored the bill, which was signed into law September 29th by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once adopted, scheduled to take place in one to two years, dental students in California will have the option to build a portfolio of completed clinical procedures and competency exams for licensure.
In a statement by the CDA, the portfolio exam process will work like this: “The portfolio licensure exam model…will allow students at the six California dental schools to complete the licensure process over the course of their final year in dental school instead of waiting until after graduation. If they choose this option, students will be required to complete specific clinical experience benchmarks in seven categories and pass a final assessment in each area whenever they and the dental school faculty feel they are ready…The students will submit their finished portfolio to the Dental Board for final approval and licensure”
The new law will become effective Jan. 1, 2011. However, the dental board and dental school faculty will need time to adopt and implement the new law in their respective schools. This implementation phase is expected to take one to two years. The Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) and other board exams across the country will still be available for those students interested in practicing in a state other than California.
California is now just one of several other states, including Minnesota, New York, Connecticut and Washington, to consider and implement new licensure initiatives. In 2009 the University of Minnesota became the first state to implement a non-patient based clinical exam, mirroring a similar licensure exam performed in Canada. This two-part exam became effective for the graduates of the University of Minnesota in May 2010.
For more information on this, please visit the ADA News website.
What is your opinion of this bold move California and other states are making in regard to licensure? Are we headed in the right or wrong direction? We’d love to hear from you.
Jason Scott, Los Angeles ’13, Contributing Editor