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University of Basel

Self-Assessment for Dental Medicine: Skillful Hands Wanted

Prospective students interested in pursuing a degree in dental medicine should not only show interest for the medical matters but also need to possess superior manual dexterity skills. A new online self-assessment offers prospective students the opportunity to test and analyze their manual skills.

23 January 2014

Dentistry is a precision craft: Performing dental procedures in the human mouth requires a high level of concentration and skillful hands. Students lacking fine motor skills experience serious problems by the third year of their studies the latest; often this even leads to students dropping out.

To prevent this, the University Clinics for Dental Medicine (UZM) at the University of Basel in cooperation with the Center Test Development and Diagnostics (ZTD) at the University of Fribourg and the Center for Dentistry at the University of Zurich have developed a self-assessment called SAZAMED. The program is available to prospective students online and aims to assist them in the right choice of study.

Pliers and wires

SAZAMED contains four tasks that prospective students can exercise and evaluate at home. The tasks are testing important aspects of dentistry work, such as spatial sense and the ability to work with mirror images. For example a wire bending exercise is used to analyze the skills in handling instruments and materials.

The different exercises were developed together with students of the first and third semester of UZM at the University of Basel. At the end of the self-assessment participants can evaluate their performance themselves based on a simple point system. For the future it is planned to integrate this assessment into the official admission process.


Further information

Nicola Zitzmann, Head of course program Dental Medicine, Department of Dental Medicine University of Basel, email: N.Zitzmann@unibas.ch, phone: +41 61 267 26 13.

Further information
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