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“Patient Boxes”: Critical Thinking Activity in the Basic Sciences


The upcoming Integrated National Board Dental Exam, launching on Aug. 1, 2020, will feature a new “patient box” question format. With patient boxes, people taking the exam are presented with both case information and relevant images side-by-side. This format enables students to extrapolate pertinent information while applying this knowledge to answer the question at hand. More importantly, it helps foster critical thinking and the integration of basic sciences with clinical skills.

Join us in this free webinar to examine the basic framework of patient boxes and learn how they can be used to support learning and assessment. We will also explore the contrasting ways that experts and novices approach exam questions with the goal of using this information to guide lower-performing students into more advanced levels of critical thinking.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the basic format and setup of patient boxes.
  2. Construct patient box-based questions for use in dental education and the basic sciences.
  3. Recognize expert level approaches to use patient boxes and facilitate critical thinking competencies.

CE information:

The American Dental Education Association is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.

An evaluation form is available to participants after the conclusion of the webinar. To earn continuing education (CE) credit for participation in the webinar, the online evaluation must be completed in full by Nov. 19, 2022. After completing the evaluation, webinar participants can print and save the CE Verification Form.

ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

The American Dental Education Association designates this activity for 1.0 continuing education credit.

All speakers agree that neither they nor members of their immediate family have any financial relationships with commercial entities that may be relevant to their presentation.


  • Nicole Herring, Ph.D.

    Dr. Herring earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of Cincinnati in 2007 while studying the effects of methamphetamine on adult rats in the laboratory of Michael Williams, Ph.D. She was accepted into the Scientist-Educator program, a three-year dual program in both medical education and basic science research, at Vanderbilt University that same year. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology at University of Louisville.

  • Jennifer Brueckner-Collins, Ph.D.

    Jennifer Brueckner-Collins, Ph.D. focuses her scholarly work on developing and evaluating innovative approaches to teaching the anatomical sciences. She co-directs the Distinction in Medical Education track in the School of Medicine. Her scholarly interests include incorporating humanities and mindfulness into anatomy education.

November 19, 2019
Tue 1:00 PM EST

Duration 1H 0M

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