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Dental students show mastery in National Boards
October 13, 1998

Students attending the School of Dental Medicine have placed second in a national test of all dental students.

The exam, known as Part I, National Board Dental Examinations, comes at the end of the students' second year and tests their basic scientific knowledge.

During the past 10 years, the UConn School of Dental Medicine students' scores have consistently averaged in the top three nationally.

The UConn School of Dental Medicine differs from many other schools in that both medical and dental students take the same basic science courses in the first two years. The curriculum concentrates on subjects such as anatomy, physiology, cell biology and pathology, and lays the scientific foundation upon which further education and dental clinical skills are built.

Clinical skills are tested in December of the fourth year, when students take Part II of their national boards.

"We take new students and subject them to our rigorous curriculum and by the time they're finished, they are ideal graduates," says Peter J. Robinson, dean of the dental school. "I take great comfort in the fact that they are our future."

The School of Dental Medicine's academic prowess is recognized in professional circles and is reflected in the fact that graduates consistently are awarded the best residencies..

Completing the four-year program at the dental school often is not the end to the young dentists' education, however. After graduating, a large majority - 85 percent - pursue advanced education in either general dentistry or a dental specialty.

Other schools consistently scoring in the top three include the School of Dental and Oral Surgery at Columbia University in New York, and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Cambridge, Mass.

Patrick Keef.