A: First register for the NERB/ADEX. There are two different versions: CIF and Traditional. I took CIF - Curriculum Integrated Format.
Next, Acquire the ADEX Candidate Manual from your respective dental school or download the most current pdf for your year (Class of 201x).
After reading the manual and taking notes (I placed post-it tabs on important pages), start looking for patients early.
Q: How soon should I start looking for patients? How many backups should I have?
A: My exam was in February. I started looking in October. Why did I start so early? I'm in a class of 350. Imagine the chaos of 300+ students looking for patients all at the same time. This is possibly one of the most stressful portions of the ADEX/NERB. You do not want to add any unnecessary stress on top of the stress you will be experiencing.
Unfortunately I had no backups but have at least one backup. I know several colleagues who's primaries fell through.
Q: How much compensation should we give? How much did you give?
A: Consult with your class and agree on a determined amount. Patients may speak with each other in the waiting area. If they are unhappy with the amount you are compensating, they may ask for more or leave. Remember this is your licensing exam. An extra $100-200 is nothing compared to what you will be earning.
Based off word of mouth, I have heard students compensating patients in the ranges of $30-200 each. Some students even compensated for travel (one hired an SUV for each of his three patients at a rate of $180 each) while others even compensated for meals. It is up to you to decide how important this exam is.
Q: How early should I go setup? What was the timeline of your day?
A: Depending on your efficiency of setting up, you could go in as early as an hour before to right when the exam starts.
8:40am - arrived at cubicle to setup and grab instruments
9:00am - filled out medical history, took blood pressure in presence of CFE and submitted for lesion approval for 1st restorative patient
10:00am - exam start
10:00-12:30pm - I asked for four modifications since my class III was recurrent, prep check and final restoration check (in between I would gather instruments and supplies for my next restorative patient)
12:35p - 2:14pm - filled out medical history, took blood pressure in presence of CFE and submitted for lesion approval for 2nd restorative patient, prep check and final restoration check
2:15-3:15pm - filled out medical history, took blood pressure in presence of CFE and submitted for calculus approval for perio patient, final scaling check 3:16-3:25pm - cleaned up and checked out
Q: Should I hire/find an assistant? How much do they charge?
A: I did not have an assistant. You are allowed to have first and second dental students or first year hygiene students as your assistant. My colleagues paid their assistants between $50-150. From my observation during the exam, the assistants were not as helpful as you may like. I saw my colleagues running around grabbing instruments because the first and second years are not familiar with the clinic floor layout. I ended up finishing quicker without an assistant than my colleagues with an assistant.
A good number of my colleagues hired dental assistants varying from $300-350. They claimed those helped reduce unnecessary stress because the dental assistants work on the clinic floors and are well aware of where all the supplies and instruments are. Essentially you get what you pay for.
Q: How quickly do we find our results?
A: Roughly 2-3 days after the exam
Q: Any other advice or tips?
A: Create a NERB box with supplies (see picture below). This will help you be more efficient and not have to run around for supplies.
Communicate with your patients regularly to ensure they come in early or on time for your exam. Nothing is more stressful than having your patients arrive late for the ADEX/NERB exam.
Though there is no eating or drinking on the clinic floor, I suggest bringing a bag with high energy food and hydration. I brought a protein bar, banana and coconut water.
I walked in with no coupons. Scan my CVS ExtraCare card to get the $4.99 promo coupon for Clear shampoo. I pick up a Clear shampoo that had an instant $3.00 coupon taped on. I also got a $1.50 ExtraCare Bucks from 2012 Winter spending. I pick up two Special K Red Berries cereal since the weekly deal was 2 for $5. I scan the Clear Shampoo for $4.99 followed by the instant $3 coupon. Scan both cereals then applied the $4.99 & $1.50 coupons at the end. My total came to $0.50 luls...
Fourth annual Macaron Day where participating bakeries offer a free macaron. This occasion was perfect as it fell during my spring break. I decided to hit up as many places as I could (six total) to see which of the participating macaron bakeries was the best! Good cause "At many participating locations, a portion of the day’s macaron sales will be donated to CityHarvest. Indulge in macarons while contributingto the efforts of City Harvest." Weather conditions: 41F (5C). Sunny with no clouds in sight Time traveled: 11am to 1:30pm Transportation: L, 6, F Rating System Since each location is different and certain locations only offered one macaron, I went ahead and purchased another macaron to compare and eliminate any 'flukes'. Each macaron was rated on a scale of 1 to 6 1) Appearance: whether or not the cookies were crushed and if the filling extended to the margin. --Rating of 1 (crushed or filling not to the margin) to 6 (perfect cookie with filling to the margin) 2) Texture: whether the cookies were hard or soft. Each cookie was left to thaw at room temperature for approximately 5 minutes --Rating of 1 (hard to bite through the cookie) to 6 (smooth as butter) 3) Taste: whether the cookies tasted like the flavor they were advertised --Rating of 1 (taste like nothing/bland) to 6 (flavor bomb!) Macarons: First Stop:Mille-feuille
Free Macaron Flavor: Salted Caramel Chocolate (only one to choose from)
Selected Flavor: Salted Caramel Chocolate
Appearance: 4/6 (filling almost to the margin, no crushed cookie) Texture: 6/6 (soft like butter!) Taste: 3/6 (too sweet!)
Purchased flavor: Lemon @ $2.25
Appearance:1/6(crushed! and can't even see the filling) Taste: 1/6 (too hard!) Taste: 2/6 (mild mild lemon flavor) Notes: The lemon was smaller than the free macaron in diameter Second Stop:François Payard Bakery
Free Macaron Flavor: You choose any!
Selected Flavor: Raspberry Lychee
Appearance: 6/6 (filling to the margin, no crushed cookie)
Texture: 4/6 (slight firmness though soft like butter!)
Taste: 3/6 (mild in flavor)
Purchased Flavor: Vanilla Bean @ $2.25
Appearance: 2/6 (odd shape, slightly crushed, no consistent margin or filling to the margin)
Texture: 2/6 (like eating a protein bar)
Taste: 2/6 (could barely taste the vanilla bean)
Third Stop:Bosie Tea Parlor Free Macaron Flavor: Salted Caramel, Rose, Jasmine, Pistachio, Dark Chocolate Flavor Selected: Jasmine
Appearance: 5/6 (generous filling almost to the margin, small cookie overall)
Texture: 2/6 (hard as a protein bar)
Taste: 1/6 (I only tasted the cookie, no Jasmine)
Purchased Flavor: Darjeeling @ $2.25
Appearance: 4/6 (inconsistent cookie shape, filling not to the margin)
Texture: 3/6 (slightly softer than the Jasmine)
Taste: 4/6 (herbal tea flavor)
Note: The service was poor Fourth Stop:Bisous Ciao (235 Bleecker St) Free Macaron Flavor: Macaron Day (salted peanut buttercream with a concord grape jelly center) Flavor Selected: Macaron Day
Appearance: 6/6 (perfection! filling to the margins and no crushed cookie!)
Texture: 6/6 (soft like butter!)
Taste: 5/6 (strong peanut butter and jelly flavor, flavor bomb!)
Purchased Flavor: Lemon @ $2.25
Appearance: 6/6 (perfection! filling extended to the margin, no crushed cookie)
Appearance: 5/6 (good shape, no crushed cookie, filling inconsistent/not to the margin)
Texture: 1/6 (like eating a freaking rock!)
Taste: 1/6 (I only tasted the cookie, no matcha...wtf?)
Note: Macarons varied in size
Purchased Flavor: Buttered Popcorn @ $2.50
Appearance: 5/6 (slightly larger, good shape, filling inconsistent/not to the margin)
Texture: 4/6 (decently soft)
Taste: 6/6 (flavor explosion! tastes just like buttered popcorn)
Note: Macarons varied in size
Sixth Stop:Bisous Ciao (101 Stanton St)
Free Macaron Flavor: Macaron Day (salted peanut buttercream with a concord grape jelly center)
Flavor Selected: Macaron Day
Appearance: 6/6 (generous filling to the margins, good shape, perfection!)
Texture: 6/6 (soft like butter!)
Taste: 5/6 (like eating a PB and J sandwich)
Purchased Flavor: Thai Tea @ $2.50
Appearance: 5/6 (filling almost to the margin, good shape)
Texture: 5/6 (soft like butter!)
Taste: 6/6 (tasted just like Thai Tea. Flavor explosion!!)
Caveat: I did not visit all of the participating bakeries because they were too spread apart, therefore I visited six that were closest to each other. Summary: 1) Mille-feuille was a hit or miss 2) Francois Payard Bakery was a hit or miss (also ironic that he started Macaron Day) 3) Bosie Tea Parlor was a hit or miss but slightly better consistency with appearance and texture 4) Bisous Ciao (Bleecker) was near perfect in consistency. 5) Macaron Parlour was a hit and miss especially with size, texture and taste 6) Bisous Ciao (Stanton) came in very close to being perfect as well Verdict: Though slightly costing more ($2.50 vs $2.25) than the other participating bakeries, Bisous Ciao (both locations) were mostly consistent with appearance, texture and taste. Is Bisous Ciao my favorite macaron place? No, La Maison du Macaron still holds the crown as my favorite as the macarons are baked fresh in the back and they have almost two dozen flavors that cycle often.