Most of you know that dental schools have clinical requirements. For example, there may be a requirement stating that a student needs to complete 10 crowns prior to graduation. As you may imagine, some students work with patients who need and can afford crowns, others may not.
In general there seems to be two lines of thinking among students.
1. We’re all in this boat together, let’s work together and graduate on time.
2. I’m paying for this and want to gain as much experience as I can, even if that means my classmates may struggle to complete what they need to graduate.
In my opinion, once you hit your requirements, you gain more from giving the work to your classmates, colleagues, and friends than getting in â€œa few more repsâ€.
If you need to complete 10 crowns to graduate and you have an opportunity to do 15, you would be better served by giving the extra five to your classmates. Relationships pay dividends, crowns do not.
Some schools are moving towards â€œcompetency basedâ€ requirements rather than numbers based. It comes with its own drawbacks, and it doesnâ€™t necessarily make students more generous, but it feels like a step in the right direction!
Competency based requirements may be a step in the right direction. Iâ€™m not sure how competent one may be after a few procedures though. Never-the-less, the whole numbers game is a bit obsurd in my opinion. I have heard of portfolio based licensure; UOP and USC has had some students obtain a license in CA via this route, and I think this may be an improvement over the current patient-based regional examinations.