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ADA policy on patient use in board examinations

February 15, 2016 The ADA supports eliminating use of patients in board examinations, with the exception of the curriculum integrated format-type exam, as defined by the ADA.

The ADA policy statement recognizes that ethical considerations, including those identified in the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs statement entitled Ethical Considerations When Using Patients in the Examination Process (Annual Reports and Resolutions 2008:103), may arise from the use of patients in the clinical licensure examination process, even though the clinical examination process is itself ethical.

The Association encourages all states to adopt methodologies for licensure that are consistent with this policy.

For more information on ADA online licensure resources, visit and search for “Licensure Information for Dental Students.” To read more on ADA’s current policies, including licensure policy statements, go to, search for “Historical Publications and Policies” and click on “ADA Current Policies, 1954-2014.”