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Annali di stomatologia

Factors influencing consideration of dental specialisation: a survey of current dental students at the University of Western Australia

Original Article, 27 - 34
doi: 10.11138/ads/2018.9.1.027
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Abstract
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Aim. At present, little research exists regarding factors that influence dental students and recent graduates to pursue specialist training. Through the provision of a questionnaire, the study investigated student’s perceptions of dental specialities and factors impacting specialisation.
Methods. Questionnaires (n=65) were undertaken by Doctor of Dental Medicine students in year three (n=34) and four (n=31) through paper means. An analysis was undertaken of the knowledge of speciality courses, speciality preferences and the main motivating and deterring factors influencing specialisation.
Results. A response rate of 70% was observed, revealing that 13% of all participants correctly identified the speciality courses available in Western Australia, with 6% of students wanting to specialise in the long term. Altruistic factors were most motivating and financial most deterring when considering specialisation. Speciality preferences also varied between cohorts.
Conclusions. Findings highlight that a small proportion of students want to pursue specialisation and the majority of students are unaware of the speciality courses available in Western Australia.
This emphasises the need for greater exposure and education in dental specialties. Further research is advised in this field to better understand factors involved in the pathway to dental specialisation and how to encourage specialisation.

Vol. 9 (No. 2) 2018 May-August

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