Methods: A twenty-five question survey was distributed to 57 dental schools across the nation. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained prior to conducting this study. The survey was sent via e-mail using Qualtrics Survey Software. The survey was designed in order to retrieve information - both quantitative and discrete variables and followed a strategic sequential order. The first batch of questions examined type of board preparatory/mock exam each dental school offered. The next batch of questions determined which licensure exam each school formally offered. The final questions were qualitative in nature and aimed to survey dental schools on their opinions about the Curriculum-Integrated Format versus Traditional Format.
Results: A total of 37 schools participated in the study. Fourteen schools administered the Traditional Format, 12 used the Curriculum-Integrated Format, and 11 offered both options. Close to 87% offered mock board exams. Close to 91% of respondents mentioned that there is no difference in didactic time, preclinical time, or clinical time between Traditional Format and Curriculum-Integrated Format. About 52% mentioned that the Traditional Format is more economical/efficient than the Curriculum-Integrated Format. Positive aspects of Curriculum-Integrated Format compared to Traditional Format include less stress for students, freedom to compartmentalize sections, and ability to remediate deficiencies/failures while in school. Negative aspects of Curriculum-Integrated Format include additional “down-time” for clinic, increased time away from curriculum, and stretched board preparation time.
Conclusions: This study provides an overview of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two examination formats used for the dental licensure process in the United States.
Keywords: Education research
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