Part 1 (Practical Examination - Microscopic):
The practical examination consists of two parts. The first part is a diagnosis and interpretation of supplied history and microscopic tissue sections from an autopsy case; the second, more heavily weighted part, is a microscopic diagnosis of 50 surgical oral pathology tissue sections. Cytology specimens, electron micrographs, immunohistochemical and molecular histobiology tissue sections may be included.
Candidates in Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology, and Oral Pathology, must bring their own microscope in order to complete the practical microscopic examination. Candidates are responsible for the provision and operation of the microscope, must be completely familiar with its operation and comfortable in making routine diagnoses with this equipment. Candidates must bring a spare bulb and be familiar with changing this bulb. Candidates should also bring any and all microscopic tools (e.g., polarizing lenses) that they believe they may need.
Part 2 (Lesions in Common):
Part 2 of the Examination consists of questions from a three-member Examinations Committee, covering the topics common to both Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine listed below.
Part 3 (Oral Medicine Only): Part 3 of the Examination is given by a three-member Examinations Committee and will cover topics in Oral Medicine listed below.
Topics for Review
General Pathology (autopsy)
Candidate Study Guide
The intent of this guide is to provide the candidate with an understanding of the format in which questions may be asked during Component II of the National Dental Specialty Examination. The content used in these sample questions is used for illustrative purposes only, and should not be construed as an example of the level of difficulty of the examination questions.
Try to relax and listen carefully to the questions.
Notepads and pens will be available for note taking. All notes must be left in the Examination room at the end of the Examination.
When asked to describe something, do not skip to the obvious conclusion and ignore other important details. The examiners are interested in observing the process used by the candidate to critically assess the item. Do not stare at an image quietly; candidates should verbalize their thought processes and describe what they see.
The Examination cases have been selected to be representative of the skills and knowledge a qualified specialist with appropriate training should be able to personally manage. Whether candidates treat a particular type of patient in their practice or provide a particular procedure in their office is irrelevant.
Candidates should handle each case as though it were a patient presenting to his/her office, and answer the questions as if he/she was personally treating the patients in his/her practice.
Candidates may ask to have questions repeated and to see images again if needed. Candidates may also ask to see additional images. Once a case is completed and the Examination has progressed to the next case, candidates cannot answer questions on previous cases.
All the case material must be covered during the allotted time period. Answer the questions in a succinct and organized manner. Candidates that stall or ramble will be refocused to the original question by the examiners.
The examiners remain impartial and have been trained not to give candidates any indication whether their responses are correct or incorrect. This behaviour may appear unfriendly to some candidates, but it is essential to ensure that no candidates receive helpful positive reinforcement from examiners.
Do not argue or debate with the examiners in an attempt to elicit information or the correct response. If there are legitimate differences of opinion on how to treat a case within a specialty, select the mainstream option and then mention possible alternative approaches.
Remember that there are never any trick questions.