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The Odontology Victim Identification Skill Assessment System

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Mass fatality identification efforts involving forensic odontology can involve hundreds of dental volunteers. A literature review was conducted and forensic odontologists and dental educators consulted to identify lessons learned from past mass fatality identification efforts. As a result, the authors propose a skill assessment system, the Odontology Victim Identification Skill Assessment System (OVID-SAS), which details qualifications required to participate on the Antemortem, Postmortem, Ante/Postmortem Comparison, Field, and Shift Leader/Initial Response Teams. For each qualification, specific skills have been identified along with suggested educational pedagogy and skill assessment methods. Courses and assessments can be developed by dental schools, professional associations, or forensic organizations to teach and test for the skills required for dental volunteers to participate on each team. By implementing a system, such as OVID-SAS, forensic odontologists responsible for organizing and managing a forensic odontology mass fatality identification effort will be able to optimally utilize individuals presenting with proven skills.

Keywords: competencies; competency assessment; curriculum; forensic dentistry; forensic odontology; forensic science; skill assessment; victim identification

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Office of Chief Medical Examiner, New York City, NY.

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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