Annual ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors: 2017 Graduating Class 

The last issue of the Journal of Dental Education (May 2018) has published an interesting article titled Annual ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors: 2017 Graduating Class. Tanya Wanchek, Bryan J. Cook, and Richard W. Valachovic. Journal of Dental Education May 2018, 82 (5) 524-539. This survey is conducted by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) each year and is applied to dental school seniors from the USA.

The current report condenses reactions to the study for the 2017 graduating class. The overview gathers data on attributes of respondents, their apparent quality of readiness in different areas, financing of their instruction, and their post-graduation designs. Together, the reactions give an extraordinary perspective of how dental students see their dental school involvement, and the report offers a preparatory take a gander at the future dental workforce, including the two qualities and expected profession designs of graduating seniors. Catching dental students perspectives of the qualities and shortcomings of their dental school encounter give school managers knowledge into what dental students see is successful or ineffectual about their training and how schools may shift intending to dental students needs.

On the same topic, and as a result from my involvement in the ADEA Summer Program for Emerging Academic Leaders last year, I am participating in a study called Factors affecting dental students’ career plans and postgraduate aspirations: a preliminary report from eight US dental schools”. This investigation is based on a questionnaire that was administered to all four dental classes, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and second-year advanced standing/international dental students. The eight dental schools are: 1) University of Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, San Francisco, CA, 2) Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, 3) The University of Texas School of Dentistry, Houston, TX, 4) The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Dentistry, Memphis, TN, 5) University of Louisville School of Dentistry, KY, 6) Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, 7) University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD, 8) University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, Buffalo, NY.

Overall, it is of crucial importance for dental educators to establish a baseline of the impressions dental students have of the different dental careers and to develop a more in-depth understanding of the factors that play a significant role in the students’ career choices. With this information in hands, educators will be better prepared to develop predoctoral curriculum and increase mentoring efforts to prepare students to make well-informed decisions regarding their professional future. This study will be published in the next months.

Dr. Juan Bugueno, DDS, MS, DABOM

Return to 2018 Spring AAOM News