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J Dent Educ. 2019 Feb;83(2):151-160. doi: 10.21815/JDE.019.018.

Should the U.S. Adopt a National Dental Clinical Licensure Examination? Two Viewpoints: Viewpoint 1: National Licensure Would Provide Multiple Advantages for Practitioners and the Profession and Viewpoint 2: Licensing Authority Should Remain Under State Dental Boards' Jurisdiction.

Author information

1
Joseph E. Gambacorta is Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs, School of Dental Medicine, University at Buffalo; Natalie Jeong is Assistant Professor of Periodontology, School of Dental Medicine, Tufts University; Mary MacDougall is Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia; Riki Gottlieb is Clinical Professor and Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia; Jeffery B. Price is Director of Oral Radiology, School of Dentistry, University of Maryland; and Robin Reinke is Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
2
Joseph E. Gambacorta is Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs, School of Dental Medicine, University at Buffalo; Natalie Jeong is Assistant Professor of Periodontology, School of Dental Medicine, Tufts University; Mary MacDougall is Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia; Riki Gottlieb is Clinical Professor and Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia; Jeffery B. Price is Director of Oral Radiology, School of Dentistry, University of Maryland; and Robin Reinke is Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. riki_gottlieb@dentistry.ubc.ca.

Abstract

This Point/Counterpoint article examines the need for and potential impact of implementing a national clinical examination for initial licensure in dentistry. Viewpoint 1 supports a national licensure exam that meets the clinical exam's credentialing requirement for licensure in every state. According to this viewpoint, a national exam will reduce costs, enhance portability of graduates, simplify the transition from dental school to practice or specialty training programs, and standardize requirements for licensure between states. Viewpoint 2 opposes a national licensure exam. This viewpoint supports individual states' dental board decision making process, which is based on identifiable state-specific criteria. The ability to prioritize needs at the state level allows for higher exam standards, easier modifications, more focused requirements, and better calibration in specific exam areas. Viewpoint 2 argues that the delicate balance between licensure agencies and organized dentistry in each state, as well as the involvement of dental schools in the licensure process, must be preserved. This Point/Counterpoint concludes with a joint statement about the prospects for adoption of a national licensure exam.

KEYWORDS:

assessment; clinical exam; dental education; dental licensure; licensure and certification; licensure examination; national examination; state dental board

PMID:
30709990
DOI:
10.21815/JDE.019.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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