Jessica Machado, DDS, MSD’17, is the 2017 recipient of the James R. Roche Award of Excellence given by The Foundation of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) to the candidate who achieves the highest score on the Qualifying Examination (QE). The QE is the first examination of a two-part certification process for Diplomate status in the ABPD. 

“It is truly such a rewarding feeling to know that all of the time, hard work and effort that was put in has paid off,” says Machado. “I’m still in disbelief!”

The QE is a four-hour, 200 multiple choice question exam designed to assess the understanding of scientific and biological principles that support the practice of pediatric density. Topics include, microbiology, disease prevention, developing dentition, restorative dentistry, oral pathology, special healthcare needs, child development and oral trauma. 

Machado will receive a plaque and a $1,000 honorarium at the Recognition Reception and New Diplomate Pinning Ceremony of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry on Thursday, May 24, 2018, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Machado also received the Richard C. Pugh Achievement Award presented annually by the ABPD to dentists who score in the top 3 percent of those taking the Qualifying Examination. Dr. Machado’s award will be listed in a future issue of AAPD’s Pediatric Dentistry Today.

“I am so proud that I could represent Loma Linda University and our pediatric dentistry department,” says Machado.

In preparation for the exam, Machado participated in multiple review courses and lectures led by Loma Linda Universityfaculty. She worked closely with her co-residents and studied for hours. Machado says she would not have made it this far without their constant moral support and encouragement, in addition to the support of Jung-Wei Anna Chen, DDS, MS, PhD, MS, program director of the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry. 

“This is one of the highest scores that we’ve ever had from our residents and we’re very proud of her achievements,” says Chen. “Our program has always performed well in the QEs, keeping in the top 20 percent of the nation, but it’s exceptional for Dr. Machado to be the top one.” 

Machado will complete the Oral Clinical Examination in October 2018, with the expectation of obtaining Diplomate status. A Diplomate is a pediatric dentist whose credentials have been verified, who has successfully completed voluntary examinations, and who demonstrates specialized knowledge and skill, says Machado. 

The pediatric dentist plans to continue her work in private practices located in Chino Hills and Newport Beach, in addition to community clinics. 

“I hope to integrate teaching in the future,” says Machado, “as I have always enjoyed working closely with students.”