Letters: Clinical exam

I am writing to wholeheartedly agree with the My View by Jonathan Nash, D.D.S., “Dental Licensure Reform: The Case for Eliminating the Clinical Exam,” article in the Sept. 13 ADA News. These antiquated exams serve no real purpose in my opinion. As an example, a fellow dentist and I took the Nevada state exam many years ago when the dentist shortage there was evident. It was a humiliating experience. We are from the East coast and it was obvious at the time that the examiners did not want us to pass the exam. I had to take a week off from my practice, fly to San Francisco, search for patients to treat and spend much money on hotel and meals costs. At the time, we were both clinical instructors at the University of Pennsylvania and I was a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. There were other dentists we met there that were taking the exam for the second, third and even fourth time. (Not sure why they would put themselves through that.) Needless to say, we both failed the exam. I actually got a letter from a dentist in Reno begging me to take the exam again because she could not get any associate dentists to hire. Does this make sense? My experience and clean record should have been enough.

David E. Stall, D.M.D.
West Chester, Pennsylvania