Congratulations on the final stretch of your dental education. Although different from what you expected, your accomplishment is no less amazing.
When I graduated in 2012, my biggest concerns were how to navigate dental procedures and patient communications on my own — and oh yeah, will I pass boards? I was fairly confident I would, but the stories from early-career dentists did make me anxious. My husband had been in practice for two years at that point, and I was planning to join him and my family group practice in rural north Missouri. These are similar concerns for most graduating dental students, but many of you are also faced with when, where and how you will complete graduation requirements or get licensed. And if things are delayed, when will you start your grad program or your job you have lined up?
We know your dental schools are working with the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) regarding this unprecedented interruption in your dental education. You can find the most up-to-date information on CODA’s website.
In response to COVID-19 and licensure, the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations fast-tracked the DLOSCE to launch this summer. The ADA supports this solution, as it complements the ADA’s long-standing policy and goal to eliminate the use of patients as part of the licensure process. We are hopeful that many states will recognize the strengths of the DLOSCE and choose to permit it as a path to licensure. The JCNDE is working closely with Prometric test centers to make sure seats are available for testing, and will host a webinar for students in May after the DLOSCE Candidate Guide and sample questions are available. The latest licensure information reported to the ADA can be found here.
There are so many unknowns, but one known you can count on is that the ADA stands with you. It’s more important than ever to stay informed and connected. After you graduate, you can take advantage of $0 national dues for 18 months of ADA membership and $0 national dues for graduate student membership for the duration of your program. Complete an application at ADA.org/SigningDay.
I encourage you to get involved. Reach out to me or any of the New Dentist Committee members.
Congratulations on your extraordinary accomplishment! I, along with 163,000 of your fellow dentists, are excited to welcome you as a colleague.
~Dr. Emily Mattingly, Chair, ADA New Dentist Committee
This blog post was sponsored by the American Dental Association.