Thank you, Roger Rupp, for an excellent essay on our profession`s archaic licensing mechanisms. We need to discard practical board exams and adopt national licensure upon graduation from an accredited school and passing national qualifying exams.
Three things were left unsaid. First, you have served on the Kansas Dental Board. The second concerns the unofficial, but very real function of many dental state boards: turf protection. Third is the argument that boards have to require practical exams to ensure only competent dentists are licensed, which falls flat as long as continued competency exams are non-existent.
Once licensed, a dentist needs only to turn in a little C.E. (maybe), pay the annual renewal fee on time and not seriously injure anyone. Way to go, Roger, for tackling an issue that can generate a lot of controversy, given the conservative nature of many dentists and often out-of-touch views of our dental politicians.
F. Robert Burns, DDS
Editors Note: We reserve the right to edit letters to fit available space. Send letters to: Dental Economics, P.O. Box 3408, Tulsa, OK 74101.