DEX week at Midwestern involves multiple clinical competency exams. Monday was the OSCE exam that I talked about previously. Tuesday through Friday we were assessed on multiple clinical procedures in the SIM clinic. Below is a complete list of the procedures we performed during DEX week:
- #3 CCC preparation for 3-unit bridge
- #5 PFM preparation for 3-unit bridge
- #3-5 impression for 3-unit bridge (3 attempts maximum)
- #30 MOD ceramic inlay preparation
- #31 Class I composite preparation and restoration
- #11 ACC preparation
- #11 Provisional crown
- #7 Class III ML composite preparation
- #7 Class III ML composite restoration
- #8 Composite veneer preparation
- #8 Composite veneer restoration
- #9 Composite veneer preparation
- #9 Composite veneer restoration
- #14 MODB composite buildup
- #18 Class II MOD amalgam preparation
- #19 Class II MO amalgam preparation and restoration
- #20 ACC preparation
- #20 Provisional crown
- Perio charting for #26, #27, #29, and #30
- SRP for #26, #27, #29, and #30
- Endodontic access of #8 and #14
- RCT for #8 with radiograph of final obturation
Hurry up, but make it pretty
Throughout DEX, many of us experienced competing motivations. On the one hand, we all wanted to get done as quickly as possible. On the other hand, you want to turn in your best work.
Every procedure is graded pass/fail, but the instructors have a multi-point grading sheet they use to assess your work. Each procedure is graded by two separate bench faculty. In cases where there is a tie, an administrator steps in as a tie-breaker.
It seems most of my classmates had a third-grader at some point. I had one for my provisional restoration on #11.
Planning around travel
I booked a trip to Utah for a friend’s wedding on Friday. Having spoken to upperclassmen, they insisted that finishing on Thursday is totally doable. Happily, I managed to finish my final project at the last second on Wednesday.
As fast as I felt I had gone, one of my classmates smashed the previous record by nearly three hours and completed all of the procedures I listed above in just over one day! It took me two full days to do the same. Most people take three days, and some will take all four.
We aren’t yet dealing with blood, anesthesia, or tongues, but I’d say he is moving along at dentist speeds already as a second year student.
Competency or confidence builder?
The DEX competency exam has three purposes from what I can tell.
- To build our confidence.
- It makes us brush up on all of the procedures we will be doing in clinic.
- Our clinical faculty can see our quality of work before we start treating patients.
Given the high number of us who are expected to pass (all but 1-3), I think this competency is less about the school evaluating or competency and more about making us feel competent.
My next post will feature the work I did during DEX week. Although it isn’t my best work, I felt pretty good about what I achieved and my overall pace.
I feel ready to start in the clinic. The work I’ve done is well beyond clinically acceptable and know where and how I can improve. That matters more than anything else.