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Committee members overseeing the development of national dental licensure exam appointed

April 24, 2017

By Kimber Solana

The Association announced April 7 the eight members of a new steering committee tasked with overseeing the development and implementation of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination for dental licensure purposes.
    
The DLOSCE is intended to be a national exam that may be used by state boards of dentistry to assess a dental licensure candidate's entry-level knowledge, skills and competency, while averting the potential ethical issues involved in the use of patients for dental licensure examinations. It will become another clinical examination option for state dental boards to choose for their state.
    
Per the directive of the ADA Board of Trustees, which approved the creation of the exam in February, the DLOSCE Steering Committee includes two members of the Board; two general practitioner members of the Council on Dental Education and Licensure, both of whom are general practitioners; two dentist educators with experience teaching comprehensive clinical dentistry; and two current state dental board members.
    
"The steering committee will be providing valuable volunteer oversight as the administrative aspects of the OSCE are developed," said Dr. Richard Black, committee chair and ADA Fifteenth District Trustee.
    

Dr. Black
Joining Dr. Black in the steering committee are Dr. Roy Thompson, Sixth District Trustee; Dr. Eddie Hebert, Council on Dental Education member; Dr. Prabu Raman, CDEL member; Dr. Frank Licari, dean of the Roseman University of Health Sciences; Dr. Michael Kanellis, associate dean for patient care at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry; Dr. David Carsten, state dental board member in Washington; and Dr. Mark R. Stetzel, state dental board president in Indiana.

ADA staff from the Division of Education and Professional Affairs and the Department of Testing Services will support the steering committee members.
    
The Board had directed that a pilot of the DLOSCE be available in 2019 with an exam deployment in 2020. The ADA Board of Trustees sought the creation of the exam to help address issues of portability.
    
The development of the DLOSCE supports current ADA policy calling for the elimination of patients from the dental licensure examination process. It addresses potential ethical concerns stemming from the use of patients in traditional exams. This type of high-stakes exam that evaluates clinical and critical thinking skills, widely used in health sciences, including optometry, medicine, nursing and physical therapy.
    
Details of the exam — from content and structure to policies and staffing resources — remain a work in progress. The DLOSCE Steering Committee, which is set to hold its first meeting July 24, is tasked to:
    
  • Identify and establish content areas and test specifications for the examination.
  • Conduct a practice analysis.
  • Establish general structure for examination (number of stations) and permissible item formats (manikin, haptic feedback device, etc.).
  • Identify and contract with key vendors, including technology and administration, in support of the exam.
  • Identify and establish test construction committee structure.
  • Develop the candidate guide.
  • Call for test constructor applications.
  • Identify appropriate governance structure for DLOSCE administration.
  • Identify first state(s)/region(s) for the DLOSCE field test.
"There are many decisions on how the test is administered and test policies and procedures that the committee will need to determine," he added. "Based on the expertise that each member of the steering committee brings to the table, along with the significant expertise that the Department of Testing Services staff has in developing and implementing high-stakes examinations, I am confident that this work will be accomplished."
 
The DLOSCE will be based on an analysis of U.S. dental practice. It will remain the same regardless of the region of the country where it is administered and will become a third-party assessment of competencies regularly evaluated at accredited dental schools.

Both the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure and the ADA/American Dental Education Association Joint Licensure Task Force endorsed the initiative, which has been working closely on licensure issues since 2015.