This time of the year usually signifies great celebration for graduating dental students across the country. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, graduation ceremonies look a lot different this year with virtual walks across the stage and celebrations at home in quarantine. How graduates will become licensed is different as well, and non-patient-based alternatives are now coming to the forefront.
Each year, more than 6,000 dental students across the United States obtain dental licenses through a patient-based clinical licensure exam. As a dental student, I’ve learned all about what the test will entail: performing two fillings and a cleaning on a live patient, and then preparing a crown, bridge and an anterior root canal on plastic teeth. I’ve also learned about the controversies surrounding the exam.
Navigating the licensure landscape can be tricky. It’s hard to know where to start or who to talk to when attempting reform in your state. ASDA wants to help. This video provides six easy steps to help you achieve reform in your state. The first step is to contact your ASDA district trustee. Watch to learn what the other five steps entail.
“I failed my licensure exam because my patient didn’t show up.” “I’m graduating with more than $400,000 in student debt.” “My patient couldn’t afford the treatment they desperately needed.” These are the things dental students say, and it’s likely you will, too, during your dental student career. ASDA’s Advocacy Month aims to bolster the dental student voice by challenging ASDA members to “Find out. Reach out. Speak out” for dental student interests this midterm season and beyond.
As I sit here, I can’t help but notice the decreased emails, the increased silence of my phone, and my shorter “to-do” list. Life post-presidency has not been as exciting as it once was, but it has given me some time to reflect on my experiences. What a year it has been. A year filled with accomplishments, expansions, victories, innovations and, above all, personal growth. I can never be thankful enough for those who put their faith in me as president to help continue to lead the American Student Dental Association forward. This is an experience I guarantee you I will never forget. I am going to miss the countless emails, travel and conference calls, but it is nice to be able to focus back on school and make sure I actually graduate on time.
In 2011, I graduated with my Bachelor of Dental Surgery in India and worked at a military hospital as a dental officer and at a volunteer organization for almost two years. Not long after, my husband and I moved to the United States, and I began my path to become licensed to practice in the US.
When we first moved, I was unsure what the future would hold for me, and the challenges that awaited. I spent the first several months adjusting to my life here before I started to figure out my next step. My mind raced with questions like “what’s next?” and I knew that I couldn’t sit idly and waste my time.
Keep reading for Shruti’s tips on taking the NBDE as a foreign-trained dentist.
In recent years, ASDA, ADEA, and the ADA have publically denounced the use of live patients during licensing exams. ASDA’s L1 policy clearly states that any clinical licensing exam should, “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.” While much progress has been made to create alternate pathways to licensure including: a PGY1 residency, portfolio review in California, and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in Minnesota, there is still much work to be done to eliminate the live patient component.