• licensing boards as replacements for state or regional clinical examinations and as complements to current National Dental Board Examinations;
  • accelerate steps to eliminate examinations using live patients and replace them with other assessment methods, such as the use of ''standardized patients" for evaluating diagnosis and treatment planning skills and simulations for evaluating technical proficiency;
  • strengthen and extend efforts by state boards and specialty organizations to maintain and periodically evaluate the competency of dentists and dental hygienists through recertification and other methods;
  • remove barriers to the movement of dental personnel among states by developing uniform criteria for state licensure except in areas where variation is legitimate (e.g., dental jurisprudence); and
  • eliminate statutes and regulations that restrict dentists from working with allied dental personnel in ways that are productive and consistent with their education and training.

Summary

Debates about accreditation and licensure are among the most divisive in dentistry. Greater agreement on reliable and valid methods for assessing clinical competency in all settings would reduce tensions as would greater agreement on the clinical skills that need assessment. Both would pave the way for state acceptance of uniform clinical examinations and for less procedurally oriented accreditation standards.



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