The Examination Committee (EC) was formed to ensure the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry’s (ABPD) examinations test the Candidates’ in-depth knowledge of the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Subcommittee member appointments are based on expertise, needs of the Examination Committee and individual preference. Depending on the assignment, members develop items for the Qualifying or Renewal of Certification Examinations, assist in the development of vignettes for the Oral Clinical Examination, or the Continuous Quality Improvement modules for the Renewal of Certification Process. Subcommittee members are eligible to serve as examiners for the Oral Clinical Examination, if needed and invited.

EC members must be a Diplomate in good standing and board certified for a minimum of five years. Members must be actively involved in direct patient care or clinical teaching of pediatric dentistry on a weekly basis and must be a member of AAPD. Appointments are 1-year terms and may be extended annually to a maximum of five years. 

We asked our current EC members about the benefits of serving on the committee and here’s what they had to say!

What was the driving factor in applying to be an EC member? When asked, EC members reasons vary from a desire to give back to the profession, a sense of camaraderie, staying current with advancements in Pediatric Dentistry and the ability to play a positive role in the process when interacting with Candidates during the Oral Clinical Exam and designing the exam. Many EC members in clinical practice enjoy the ability to be more academically involved, while EC members in the academic field often feel it makes them a better educator. 

How has serving on the EC influenced you as a Pediatric Dentist? Members stay up-to-date on the latest research and scientific findings while developing relationships and discussing ideas with other colleagues at the top of their field. One member stated, “My involvement in the Examination Committee has greatly influenced me as both a Pediatric Dentist and an educator. The thoughtfulness involved in asking the right question of an OCE Candidate has greatly changed my approach to patient care and education. I have learned to really think about the information I am trying to elucidate from both patients, parents and Candidates and reforming my questions so they are very clear on that information.” 

What is your biggest accomplishment as an EC member? EC members work hard to maintain and improve the high standards expected of each examination while ensuring each question is based on the latest advances and evidence-based scientific outcome. EC members state pride in the examination process, seeing Candidates become Board Certified and taking an active role toward lifelong learning in the specialty of Pediatric Dentistry as just a few of the major accomplishments.

What is the most difficult part of being an EC member? Although rewarding, being an Examination Committee member is not easy. Members give hours of their time away from family and careers to ensure the examination process is effective and questions are accurate. EC members who serve as examiners for the Oral Clinical Examination care about the Candidates they interview. Concern for Candidates can weigh on hearts and minds long after the exam has ended . One examiner explains “when Candidates are not performing well during the exam, this part is hard for me because they are truly our colleagues and you want everyone to do well. When a Candidate struggles it breaks my heart.”

Do you have any advice for fellow Diplomates who want to be a part of the EC? The 2018 Examination Committee application is open. To fellow Diplomates interested in becoming a part of the committee, current EC members recommend staying up-to-date on the latest literature and best clinical practices. Build relationships with your fellow colleagues as they are some of your best assets and remember when you were sitting on the other side of the examination table. As one member stated, “it has been one of the most professionally rewarding activities of my career. It is hard work, but fun, enjoyable and gratifying.”

ABPD would like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to the 2017 Examination Committee for your time, support and dedication to the field of Pediatric Dentistry!