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As part of our dental residency accreditation, we have created a list of “competency statements” that you should be able to perform by the time you finish our program. These allow us to assess your development as you progress through the year.

We have a total of 23 competencies, with several subheadings. In each of these areas, we will determine the skill level you have achieved utilizing these descriptors:

  1. Novice: When the resident is completely or recently new to a particular knowledge, skill or value; unable to perform without direct supervision, makes errors, is slow or hesitant, rules driven and relies upon one method to complete the task.
  2. Beginner: The resident can demonstrate knowledge, skill and value sufficiently to complete a task, but still is unable to do so completely independently. Errors are fewer than the novice, but may still be present.
  3. Competent: The resident has achieved a level of knowledge, skill and ability to perform an aspect of dental practice independently after completing the program.
  4. Proficient: The resident can accomplish a particular activity in more complex situations, with repeated quality, and with more efficient utilization of time.
  5. Expert: The resident can execute an activity that is flawless, fast, fluid, easily modified, conformed to context, done with multiple methods and integrated.

Completing the Program

In order to receive a Certificate of Completion from the program, you must demonstrate a level of “Competent” or better in each statement by the time you finish. With reasonable effort and skill, you should meet these criteria with ease. We will continually assess your activity throughout the program and will formally review your progress four times during the year (September, December, March and June). If you are progressing well, we will congratulate you. In areas that you are particularly doing well, you will receive “Proficient” or even “Expert” evaluations. Note that a “Novice” and “Beginner” score may be used as normal interim score as you progress from July to June, and will be appropriately upgraded as your skills improve.

If we detect areas that you are failing to meet our minimum standards, we will provide remediation. At the end of the program, if you still have been unable to achieve a level of “Competent,” we will be unable to award you a Certificate of Completion, and will issue a Certificate of Participation instead. Of course, we hope all residents will complete the program as intended.


Our Competency Statements are available on this website. Note that some competencies (such as anesthesia and cardiology) can only be met on those rotations. It behooves you to revisit this list often to ensure you are on track and have time to obtain remediation. Similarly, our faculty monitor your progress and will attempt to intervene quickly if any difficulties are detected. If you have questions or concerns about your progress, please ask the faculty on your rotation or the program director or assistant director. We will be happy to help!

The Rewards

The benefit of using Competency statements is that you can document what you are capable of doing to future employers or other advanced training programs. Proficient and Expert designations carry quite a bit of weight, and most residents achieve several of these scores by the end of the year. Plus, by only granting a Certificate of Completion to those residents who have truly mastered the entire battery of skills we have set forth, it ensures that our Certificates have worthy meaning behind them.