Predental Students' Attitudes Toward and Perceptions of the Dental Profession
The purpose of this study was to assess reasons students seek a career in dentistry, their perceptions of the dental school admissions process, and their expectations of the profession. Of 155 predental students participating in a dental School simulation course offered at a Nevada dental school, 152 participated in this study (68.4 percent [n=104] male, and 31.6 percent [n=48] female). When asked when they made the decision to pursue a career in dentistry. 52 percent (n=79) said they decided in college, while 33.6 percent (n=51) made the decision in high school. A slight majority of the respondents (52.6 percent: n=80) identified their family dentist as having the greatest influence in their decision. Nearly half (47.8 percent: n=64) expected to pursue a career in general dentistry, while the next largest subgroup expected to pursue orthodontics (16.4 percent; n=22). A significant majority of the respondents (72.8 percent; n=10) perceived the dental school admissions process to be fair. Males were significantly more likely to identify themselves as competitive applicants than did females (chi(2)=9.644: p <.01). Approximately half (47.4 percent: n=72) anticipate earning between $100 000 and $ 199,999 within five years after graduation, with 50.7 percent (n=77) anticipating working, between thirty-five and forty hours a week. By understanding the applicant pool and their perceptions, admissions committees call better prepare to attract the applicants they desire.
Hawley, N. J.,
Ditmyer, M. M.,
Sandoval, V. A.
Predental Students' Attitudes Toward and Perceptions of the Dental Profession.
Journal of Dental Education, 72(12),