Decisions by some dental state boards on the licensure exam has revived calls by the ADA and partnering organizations for state boards across the country to increase, rather than restrict, the portability of dental professionals, according to ADA News.
The ADA has analyzed the examinations administered by each of the testing agencies — CDCA and CITA administer the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) dental exam, while CRDTS, SRTA and WREB administer their own exams — and found that these examinations “adhere to a common set of core design and content requirements that renders them conceptually comparable.” In other words, they’re “nearly identical,” said Dr. Chris Griffin, South Carolina Dental Association president.
In addition, in South Carolina, student leaders see the debate and discussion over licensure portability as a good opportunity to make their voices heard in how to improve the profession.
A recommendation made by the Clinical Examinations Committee of the South Carolina Board of Dentistry during a Dec. 18, 2015, meeting raised concerns among the school’s administration, faculty and dental students.
“As students, we haven’t been in the profession for an extended period of time, but our voice is an important one,” said third-year dental student Chris Conzett, president of the MUSC chapter of the American Student Dental Association.
He said statistics show his generation is marrying and having children later in life.
“Many of my classmates are not married, and they don’t know where they’ll settle down,” said Mr. Conzett. “With the rise of the cost of dental school, many are opting to join the military.”
Many of his classmates are also interested in practicing in border areas. For example, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, has suburbs that cross over to the South Carolina side of the border. If a graduate joins a group practice with offices in both North Carolina and South Carolina, he or she will need to pass two similar initial licensure examinations to practice if the committee’s recommendation was upheld.
“I understand that change is difficult. But I also believe that professions need to adapt over time,” Mr. Conzett said. “And this issue of licensure portability is a wonderful opportunity for us as a profession to advance and upgrade the licensure process at a time when mobility is as important for young dentists as ever.”
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