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Oral radiology specialty training in Finland

Essi Happo


University of Oulu


Specialty Training in Dentistry in Finland is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and organized by selected universities and hospitals in co-operation. Only a licensed dentist who has been working at least two years as a dentist can apply to specialist training. Work experience in oral radiology and research in the field is considered as applicant’s advantage during application process.
Specialty training in oral radiology takes at least three years and consists of theoretical studies and clinical service. Clinical service consists of working in public health care and hospital. At least 18 months of three-year lasting clinical service have to be carried out in hospital, from which minimum service in University Hospital is 12 months. Required clinical service in public health care is 9 months. The last 9 months of the clinical service can be carried out either hospital or public health care optionally. The clinical service is salaried employment for the specialist trainee.

The specialty training in Finland is nowadays skill-based. A specialist trainee’s skills are evaluated with several tasks, which are called entrustable professional activities (EPA). For example as an EPA specialist trainee must consult colleagues from other specialties or lead the meeting with radiology colleagues. Specialty training instructor evaluates EPAs with nationally structured criteria.

Specialist trainee takes part in theoretical courses throughout the specialization. Theoretical studies
includes for example courses of radiology, ear, nose and throat diseases and management. Radiology
specialist trainees must also carry out compulsory course of radiological physics and radiation protection. After the course, specialist trainees/radiologist are justified to serve as radiation protection officer.

To accomplish the specialty training program, each candidate have to pass the final exam of oral radiology. After two years of specialist trainee, the candidate can take part into the final exam. The final exam includes radiographs and theoretical questions from the literature of oral radiology. Each candidate have three attempts to pass the exam.

In Finland the secondary subject for oral radiology trainee is oral pathology. Secondary subject studies includes both theoretical studies and clinical service, but nowadays there is no final exam regarding the secondary subject.