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  March 31, 2003

Dental School Is #1 - Again

For the second time in three years, the UConn School of Dental Medicine is ranked the Number 1 dental school in the country.

The ranking is based on students' test scores on part II on the National Board Dental Examinations, which were recently released by the American Dental Association.

"The Class of 2003 is ranked first on Part II and second on Part I of the Boards, which combined with their outstanding match for residency programs makes them the top class in the country," says Dr. Peter J. Robinson, dean of the School of Dental Medicine.

"This is a phenomenal achievement for this hard working, bright group of students who, most importantly, are one of the most caring groups of students to ever come through our program," adds Robinson, who was recently reappointed to a further five-year term as dental school dean. "To achieve this ranking twice in three years - the class of 2001 had exactly the same ranking - is a great tribute to our faculty, who take great pride in providing these students the education and mentoring that enabled them to achieve this level of greatness."

Dr. Monty MacNeil, associate dean for academic affairs for the School of Dental Medicine, says the accomplishment is a tribute to both the students and the program: "It starts right from the admissions process. The reputation of the school attracts a certain kind of student; our Admissions Committee does a stellar job recruiting top-notch students; and then we deliver a very strong four-year program," he says.

"There is no question that this is an outstanding curriculum, one that emphasizes a solid medical and dental science knowledge base, student ability to synthesize and apply contemporary information, and excellence in patient care," MacNeil adds, noting that the school constantly analyzes and adjusts the curriculum to maintain "the strongest educational product possible."

Part I of the examination focuses on basic medical sciences; Part II covers applied dental science and clinical judgment and decision-making.

"Over the past 20 years," MacNeil notes, "we have had very strong scores on Part I and above-average scores in Part II."

The national boards are administered by the American Dental Association and used by states to determine qualifications of dentists who seek to practice dentistry. The tests are valid nationwide and are an accepted assessment of the ability of practitioners to recall important basic biomedical and dental sciences information and to apply that information in a problem-solving context.

The UConn dental school has consistently ranked in the top four on the National Boards.

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