At Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Arizona, every effort is made to teach our students to be critical thinkers. For this reason we have modified the way we administer our practical examinations in the preclinical simulation clinic in order to achieve this goal. We believe that we can test both hand skills and critical thinking capabilities during the same practical examination. This resource outlines the method and logistics of a progress examination format that incorporates critical thinking into hand skills testing. The target audience for this resource is dental faculty in a preclinical environment. The components of the examination are a written critical thinking examination, a case scenario, and a practical exercise for which the students do not have previous knowledge of the procedures on the examination. They must deduce from a scenario (with photographs and radiographs) which teeth and/or surfaces they will work on, the types of preparations, and what materials to use. The students are aware only that they will be tested on procedures that they have already learned. During this type of examination the students are forced to diagnose and think critically, skills that need to be developed before they transfer to patient care, not just after. We believe that we can test both hand skills and critical thinking capabilities during the same practical examination.
By the end of the module, the learner will be able to understand the design of the two portions of the practical examination to stimulate critical thinking.
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