“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.
One night, after ordering my books online, I randomly looked up “Extracted teeth” and found several websites based all across the globe selling extracted human teeth. Surprisingly, none of these websites mentioned how the teeth were acquired and whether they were collected for sale ethically upon receiving patient consent.