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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 28, 2006

UI Dentistry Class Of 2006 Achieves Top Score On National Exam

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry's class of 2006 has achieved the nation's highest score on the National Board Part II test.

The 74 UI dentistry students who took the test also boasted a zero fail rate on the rigorous one-and-a-half day test. The test is one of several requirements students must meet in order to graduate from the college and also obtain their licensure to practice. For the past several years, UI College of Dentistry students have consistently achieved scores in the top one-fifth of test-takers.

The students' level of commitment coupled with the college's recent emphasis on critical thinking skills have had an impact on the scores, said Michael Finkelstein, D.D.S., professor of oral pathology, radiology and medicine in the UI College of Dentistry and chair of the college's curriculum committee.

"It's a great achievement for the class of 2006 to have the highest score on the National Board Part II test," Finkelstein said. "In recent years we have focused on teaching students how to think critically and find information and answers for themselves, and I think these test scores prove that this strategy is successful."

Yvonne Chalkley, D.D.S., Ph.D., the UI College of Dentistry's associate dean for student affairs, curriculum, administration and financial aid, said the scores also speak to the high quality of students the college attracts to its program.

"Our students have very good academic qualifications when they enter the College of Dentistry," Chalkley said. "When you add to that the updated curriculum and our truly outstanding faculty, we end up with dental graduates who did very well in school and will go on to do very well professionally. We're very proud of them."

All 53 licensing jurisdictions in the United States recognize the National Board Part II test. Specific dental licensure requirements vary among jurisdictions, but all have an educational requirement, a written examination requirement and a clinical examination requirement. The National Board Dental Examination, Parts I and II, are intended to fulfill or partially fulfill the written examination requirements.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5125 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT: Susan L. Green, 319-335-9465, susan-l-green@uiowa.edu