Beware of student developed NBDE prep resources!
They could cost you your dental license.
Preparing for your boards is a stressful time. You’ve got to review a lot of content in a short amount of time. So much is riding on this high-stakes exam and it’s not uncommon for students to look for resources to help them study and give them an edge.
Many students have used or are considering using some of the new NBDE prep sources which were developed by former dental students who have graduated and become dentists or have left dental school for whatever reason and have gotten into board prep.Â There are three such companies that we know of and for legal issues, we will not name them in this blog.
Why is it important for us to discuss this? Well, using them could cost you your dental license.
That seems extreme, doesn’t it? Let me explain.
The ADA is VERY protective of their board exams. Any attempt to copy or duplicate their board exam questions or breach their exams in any way, usually results in a lawsuit followed by someone getting their boards voided and/or banned from retaking their boards for 2 or more years.
For example, a student at our school inadvertently breached one of these rules by bringing in a blank sheet of paper and a pencil to a testing facility. She was told that you can use a blank sheet of paper and a pencil during her exam but didn’t realize that the facility provided those resources and that you weren’t allowed to bring anything in yourself.
Her board exam was voided and she was banned from retaking the Part I board exam for two years. Seems harsh, right?
It is because the ADA doesn’t mess around when it comes to cheating or any perception of cheating when it comes to the dental boards.
So, what happens when a student memorizes questions and monetizes them by say… creating a company around it? Very likely, the ADA will eventually get wind of it and sue the individual/company that has breached their copyrighted information.
So what? “How does this affect me?”, you say. Well, at some point, the ADA could also subpoena this company’s customer records and void all board scores for any and all past and current students using these questions.
Imagine you’ve been practicing for five years and find out that you’ve lost your license because the ADA has found that you used stolen board questions in preparing for your boards. This is a real possibility you need to consider!
They don’t even let professors who are current board exam question writers participate in any board review course for this reason.Â No advantage to any student is allowed.
Having full-time professors that teach content areas, such as Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pediatric Dentistry, Orthodontics, etc., is one thing but how does a former dental student know how to write their own board exam questions which seems to be identical or unbelievably close to actual board exam questions? That’s usually a skill that’s cultivated by years of teaching within a dental school. There are dental school professors that have taught for decades that have applied to be dental board test writers but aren’t accepted.
The ADA will certainly find a former student or students starting their own board prep company to be quite suspicious. They’ve done this before with a former student that attempted to create their own “Dental Decks” with memorized questions.
What’s the take from all this? Be careful what you use for your board prep. You’ve invested a lot in your dental education. Just because you know other people that have used it, doesn’t mean that it’s entirely safe. Do your research before making a decision.
Remember, there’s no substitute for good ol’ fashion hard work.Â Put in your time with known resources and you’ll do well.