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ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 19  |  Page : 19-28

Reasons for choosing dentistry as a career: A cross sectional study among the first year students of a dental institution in Bangalore


1 Professor and Head of Department, Department of Public Health Dentistry, D. A. P. M. R. V Dental College, Bangalore, India
2 Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Health Dentistry, D. A. P. M. R. V Dental College, Bangalore, India
3 Final year undergraduate student, Department of Public Health Dentistry, D. A. P. M. R. V Dental College, Bangalore, India
4 Principal, D. A. P. M. R. V Dental College, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
A G Harikiran
Prof. and Head of Department, Department o f Public Health Dentistry, D. A. P. M. R. V. Dental College, Bangalore, # CA 37, 24th Main, J. P. Nagar 1st Phase, Bangalore: 560078
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Aim: This study aimed to assess the self-reported reasons for the choice of a career in dentistry among undergraduate first year students in a dental teaching institution in Bangalore. Method: A cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire study was carried out in a dental college in Bangalore, and included all first year dental students. The questionnaire collected information on the participants' socio-demographic background; respondents were asked to identify and prioritize 3 most important factors, influencing their choice of dentistry as a career. Results: Forty eight respondents participated in the study. The response rate was 80%. The majority of respondents were female (71%) than male (29%). First most common reason for joining dentistry reported by majority of the students (59%) was that there were no more MBBS seats available. Second most important reason was they wanted to be addressed as a doctor and third most common reason was their parents wanted them to be a dentist. Gender differences were noted in the responses. Most of the students' expectation from a career in dentistry was money, respect and that it would not be hectic. Conclusions: The most common reasons forjoining dentistry have to a great extent remained the same over time and across countries. The dental profession in India today faces unique challenges like attrition from the dental workforce. There is a need to explore the link between the reasons for joining dentistry and the challenges dentistry faces as a profession, over a larger cohort. This direction is crucial towards optimal utilization of trained dental manpower in our country, retaining the status of the profession and to get the best out of those who join the course of dentistry.


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