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ASDA's efforts related to COVID-19

We want to reassure you that we continue to track the developments around COVID-19. We understand your concerns and are monitoring the updates issued by the Federal Government and the CDC. The American Student Dental Association's (ASDA) first priority is the health, safety and well-being of everyone.

While the risks and long-term impacts of the coronavirus are hard to quantify and change day-to-day, we are taking the appropriate steps and continue to actively monitor the impact the virus may have on the communities we serve. 

ASDA will continue to work with the dental community during these uncertain times to resolve the impact of COVID-19. Please refer to ASDA official statements, chapter communications and resources below.


ASDA Official Statements
4.3.2020 - Message from the President: Licensure Reform Victories

ASDA is pleased to report that after years of advocating for the removal of human subjects in live clinical testing scenarios, external agencies are releasing non-patient based alternatives. 

In 2015, ASDA Past President Christian Piers submitted a request for the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure (CDEL) to develop a business plan to create an OSCE exam. Five years later and the ADA announced expedited plans to release the Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Exam (DLOSCE) in light of this national crisis. This is a huge win for dental students and the dental community. 

Additionally, the Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS) announced their release of an all-manikin exam that can be administered for licensure. ASDA is also in communication with all other testing agencies that have plans to fast-track the development of their own manikin exam. 

However, there is still work to be done. Each state dental board needs to accept these as pathways to licensure. That’s why ASDA is working on a state by state strategy with chapter advocates to advance reform. 

ASDA believes that an ideal exam should include a manikin assessment, an objective structured clinical exam and a portfolio. However, we see these recent developments as critical in paving the way to achieve our ideal. 

We will be holding a COVID-19 Licensure Update Town Hall on Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 pm CT to answer all questions and look forward to you joining. In the meantime, stay safe and celebrate these advancements in licensure reform. 

Sincerely, 


Sydney Shapiro

2020-21 ASDA President

3.21.2020 - Statements to Congress, ADA, ADEA, AADB, Dental School Deans, Regional Testing Agencies and State Dental Boards

ASDA is aware of the issues you face as a dental student during these difficult times. We continue to monitor the developments around COVID-19 and are respecting the guidelines and mandates from the federal government and the CDC. Our first priority is the health, safety and well-being of everyone.

ASDA remains focused on COVID-19 ramifications that are affecting dental students. We have been in contact with the American Dental Association (ADA), American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and American Association of Dental Boards (AADB) about the following issues:

  • The postponement of graduation and clinical examinations aimed at protecting the health and safety of everyone
  • Concern about loans and losing the loan deferment period due to the postponement of several licensure exams

ASDA is advocating for regional testing agencies and state dental boards to endorse a licensure process involving a manikin-based assessment along with a diagnostic skills assessment, available for fourth year dental students when schools re-open.

ASDA is also recommending testing agencies and state boards consider providing 2020 graduates of CODA-accredited programs with preliminary licensure, allowing graduates adequate time to prepare for a clinical examination. Please review the correspondence that has been distributed to the ADA, ADEA, AADB, Dental School Deans, Regional Testing Agencies and State Dental Boards. 

ASDA sent a letter to House and Senate leaders, encouraging them to consider deferring interest on federal student loans for dental students while in dental school, or a residency and deferring all monthly payments on federal student loans for all health care professionals, including dentists, without penalty. Please review the letters

Regarding future national meetings, the ASDA April 3-5, 2020 Spring Council and Board meeting has been postponed until a later date. ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day has been cancelled. We will refund registrations that we received for this meeting. 

Please check our website for updates on these issues.  ASDA continues to advocate on your behalf.  

Regards,


Sydney Shapiro
President
American Student Dental Association

3.17.2020 - ASDA's COVID-19 Statement

We want to reassure you that we continue to track the developments around COVID-19. We understand your concerns and are monitoring the updates issued by the Federal Government and the CDC. The American Student Dental Association's (ASDA) first priority is the health, safety and well-being of everyone.

The situation continues to evolve at a rapid pace. We are taking the appropriate steps to lessen the impact the virus may have on the communities we serve. Our intent is to gather factual information that we can share to help you navigate through these most difficult times.

ASDA is aware of some of the challenges that dental students are experiencing in this crisis, including the following:

  • The postponement of school-based examinations aimed at protecting the health and safety of not only candidates and patients, but also the schools, staff, and general population.
  • Concern about loans and losing the loan deferment period due to the postponement of several licensure exams.

We have connected with ADEA and the ADA for further information and resources to share with our members. Please review the following:

  • In regards to the regional testing agencies, we will continue to keep informed on new developments. Please refer to the agency websites as they will have the most updated information on this situation.
  • Check this link for information on the examination programs implemented by the ADA's Department of Testing Services. 
  • President Trump announced at a press conference on Friday, March 13th that he will waive interest on all federal student loans held by federal agencies. We have no information yet about deferment and how the waived interest will be implemented. 
ASDA continues to communicate with ADEA, the ADA, regional testing agencies and others. We will keep you informed of any news we receive. Here are some other resources you can refer to during this time:

ADA Coronavirus Updates

State Dental Board List

CDC Coronavirus Website

Nancy R. Honeycutt, CAE, executive director
American Student Dental Association


ASDA COVID-19 Updates
4.6.2020 - ASDA COVID-19 Update

Student Loan Update

  • President Trump signed the CARES Act into law. The CARES Act includes the following provisions for federally held student loans:
    • Student loan repayments and interest accrual are suspended through Sept. 30. This period will be treated as if on-time payments were made for purposes of federal loan forgiveness programs.

ASDA Licensure Survey

  • ASDA sent an email to dental school deans and ASDA chapter presidents. The information collected in this survey will help ASDA make recommendations to the ADA, ADEA, AADB, Regional Testing Agencies and State Dental Boards to address member licensure concerns.

Regional Testing Agencies

  • ASDA participated in conference calls with the AADB, ADEA, SRTA, CRDTS, WREB, CDCA.  The objective was to discuss solutions to the COVID-19 licensure issues affecting dental students.  It was noted that it is important for the states to be flexible in their approach to solving these issues.
  • All testing agencies are working on a manikin-based exam but are at different stages of releasing this exam. A manikin-based exam must be accepted by state dental boards before being used as a pathway to licensure.
  • ASDA received a letter from CRDTS which announces their manikin exam being ready for use and an option for states to administer for licensure. (See COVID-19 Licensure Statements from Regional Testing Agencies and JCNDE for letter.)

DLOSCE Update

  • On March 31, the JCNDE announced that the Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Exam (DLOSCE) will be available for use in 2020. The JCNDE is targeting Monday, June 15, 2020 as the official date of release, pending test center availability.
  • The DLOSCE is a high-stakes licensure examination consisting of multiple, standardized stations, each of which will require candidates to use their clinical skills to successfully complete one or more dental problem solving tasks without using a human subject in a live clinical testing scenario. The DLOSCE was projected to be released for piloting this year and available for testing in 2021. The exam was released early because of COVID-19 with the hope that state boards will accept it as an alternative to live patient-based exams as a pathway to licensure.
  • ASDA received a letter from JCNDE announcing the release date change to June 15, 2020. (See COVID-19 Licensure Statements from Regional Testing Agencies and JCNDE for letter.)

Dental Organizations Staff Group

  • A team has been formed of staff from the ADA, ADEA and ASDA to meet and share information on COVID-19 issues that impact dental education and licensure. The ADA is in the process of developing an interactive map that will have information on COVID-19 cases, office closure mandates and licensure updates by state.

COVID-19 Chapter Survey

  • ASDA sent a survey to chapter presidents, vice presidents and president-elects. The survey focused on chapter management during COVID-19 including elections and member communications. ASDA’s board will review the results to inform next steps in supporting ASDA’s 66 predoctoral chapters during these challenging times.

CODA

  • CODA met on April 2 to address the COVID-19 issues. Please refer to the CODA website for updated information.

ASDA WEBSITE

  • COVID-19 Webpage includes information on ASDA efforts to resolve student issues.  We are exploring ways to expand this page as the volume of information to share continues to increase.

ASDA Communications to Chapters
3.23.2020 - ASDA COVID-19 Chapter Survey
ASDA continues to monitor the developments around COVID-19. Our priority is the safety and well-being of everyone.

We have taken actions to assist dental students with the COVID-19 ramifications around student debt and licensing. We are also focusing on chapter management during this challenging time. Our intent is to gather information so we can support you in working with your chapter during these extenuating circumstances.

An email was sent to ASDA’s 66 predoctoral chapter Presidents and Vice Presidents/President-Elects. The email included a survey for each chapter to complete by 11:59 pm central March 26, 2020.

Lilliane Smothers, CAE, director of membership
American Student Dental Association

COVID-19 Licensure Statements from Regional Testing Agencies and JCNDE
4.3.2020 - Regional Testing Agency Licensure Official Statements (Updated 4.6.20)
ASDA has been in communication with testing agencies encouraging the endorsement of a manikin-based assessment. Press releases from regional testing agencies describe the progress they have made in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on licensing exams. The manikin exams mentioned in these statements would need to be accepted by many state dental boards to be an alternate pathway to licensure.
4.3.2020 - JCNDE Letter
On April 2, JCNDE announced the Dental Licensure Objective Structured Clinical Exam (DLOSCE) will be available for use in 2020. The DLOSCE was projected to be released for piloting this year and available for testing in 2021. The exam was released early because of COVID-19 with the hope that some state dental boards will accept it as an alternative to live patient-based exams as a pathway to licensure. More information regarding the DLOSCE can be found here.