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J Dent Educ. 2011 Jun;75(6):719-25.

Evaluating postdoctoral dental candidates: assessing the need and recommendations for a national qualifying examination.

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Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328, USA.


Increasingly, U.S. dental schools report pass/fail grades and do not rank students. In addition, the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations will report National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) scores as pass/fail after January 1, 2012. This article discusses how these changes will force postdoctoral dental program directors to modify how they assess candidates and how noncognitive evaluations might enhance those assessments. The authors propose developing a national qualifying examination for postdoctoral dental programs that will measure knowledge, decision making, and noncognitive traits including empathy, self-confidence, integrity, and emotional intelligence. Without NBDE scores, class rank, and GPA as a basis for decision making, a single national qualifying examination would assist postdoctoral programs in selecting high-quality candidates based on knowledge, critical thinking skills, and noncognitive traits.

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