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School of Dentistry to Offer Canadian Licensure Exam

Minnesota first in U.S. to endorse non patient-based licensure exams for dentists
The University of Minnesota (U-M) School of Dentistry will offer the National Dental Examining Board of Canada’s two-part exam, which includes both a written and a non patient-based Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), to graduates next Spring. The announcement followed the unanimous vote on June 26, 2009, by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry to approve the Canadian exam for testing the competence of U-M graduates applying for licensure to practice dentistry in the state. The decision positions Minnesota as the first in the U.S. to move beyond reliance on examinations that require applicants for licensure to perform procedures on live patients.

According to Patrick M. Lloyd, dean of the U-M School of Dentistry, the Canadian examination effectively tests the decision-making ability of dental school graduates in a manner consistent with the ethical principles of the American Dental Association and the profession.

Says Lloyd, “This landmark decision by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry about licensure requirements is in the best interest of the public. The non patient-based OSCE examination is a proven test of decision-making ability that avoids some of the ethical problems associated with a traditional patient-based examination. These include, but are not limited to, the potential for premature treatment; diagnosed treatment needs that are deferred until the date of examination; treatments rendered out of sequence; patients cared for by a provider who is not the provider of record; and follow-up care that will not be offered by the provider of record.”

In addition to successful completion of an approved licensure examination, Minnesota also requires that candidates for licensure graduate from a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, successfully complete Part I and II of the National Board Dental Examination, and pass the Minnesota jurisprudence examination.