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Jamaica breaking new grounds; Local dentist now able to get dental license in Jamaica

Published:Sunday | January 25, 2015 | 11:03 PM
Dr Irving McKenzie, dean of the UTech College of Oral Health Sciences

Ja breaking new grounds; Local dentist now able to get dental license in Jamaica

Andrew Harris

Gleaner Writer

Jamaica is now a member of the Commission of Dental Competency Assessment (CDCA) after impressing the United States-based examination body in last November at the trial phase of implementing the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) examination here in Jamaica.

Twenty-four students from the University of Technology last year sat the mock exam of ADEX to determine whether Jamaica would be accepted as part of the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners (NERB), which is now the CDCA.

"It was a resounding success. The examination was implemented with full effect," said Irving McKenzie, dean of the College of Oral Health Science at the University of Technology.

"This is good new for us because this may attract our neighbours from the Caribbean to take the examination here in Jamaica," McKenzie added.

Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson, who is also a dental surgeon, said this is a good day for Jamaica as nationals won't have to go overseas to do this examination in order to acquire their dental license.

"We have broken new grounds here because Jamaica is the first country out of the US to be sitting on the board of the CDCA and that is an achievement for us," said Ferguson.

CDCA administered clinical examinations are accepted in 46 different US states and now Jamaica.

The CDCA develops, administers, scores, and reports the results of its examinations in dentistry and dental hygiene, and Jamaica being apart of that body would mean that a Jamaican representative will be involved in the process of setting the examination.

"Instead of our Jamaicans leaving Jamaica to go overseas and get a dental license to practise, the examination is now done out here," Ferguson explained.

The first staging of the examination in Jamaica will be done on May 18 of this year.