The American Dental Association Board of Trustees voted this month to begin the process to create a national (USA) dental licensure exam. In addition to the potential to have a single exam applicable for all states, the proposed exam would no longer include actual patient treatment. Currently, in most cases dental licensure exams require that the applicant dentist recruit patients to be presented with actual treatment.
The ADA-proposed new Objective Structured Clinical Exam (“OSCE”) would be based on current testing and licensure methods used for other medical specialties, and in other parts of the world. For example, an OSCE exam has been used for dental licensure in Canada for many years. In the USA, only the states of Colorado and Minnesota have some limited acceptance of OSCE exams for state licensure. If accepted by all states, the proposed OSCE may eliminate the need for dentists to take differing licensure exams depending on where they plan to practice.
The ADA board is planning to create a committee to oversee the development of the Dental Licensure OSCE. For more details, see the ADA news release at http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2017-archive/march/ada-board-of-trustees-votes-to-create-national-dental-licensure-exam .