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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-34

Evaluation of level of professional satisfaction among final year students and interns of dental colleges in India


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, VSPM's Dental College and Research Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, VSPM's Dental College and Research Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication25-Jan-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vandana R Gadve
125, Jai Hind Society, Shyam Nagar, Somalwada, Nagpur - 440 023, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.174789

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  Abstract 

Aim: Due to the fewer number of postgraduate seats available, it is found that many Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) undergraduate students are dissatisfied, and thus this study was carried out to ascertain the level of professional satisfaction and various factors contributing to dissatisfaction about BDS career among undergraduate students of dental colleges of Nagpur region (Maharashtra–India). Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based study was conducted in July–September, 2013 at Vidya Shikshan Prasarak Mandal's (VSPM's) Dental College and Research Centre, Nagpur. A questionnaire was prepared consisting of 10 questions related to various facets of the level of satisfaction about the dental profession. Ethical approval for conducting the survey was obtained from the ethical committee of VSPM's Dental College and Research Centre, Nagpur. The questionnaire was validated and was distributed to final year students and interns of 3 dental colleges in this region. Two hundred and five final year students and interns out of 400 (51%) were responded to the questionnaire, and the results were tabulated and analyzed. Result: Thirty-eight percentage (77) would recommend BDS course as a career option to others. Over 75% opined that postgraduation education is must in the profession. A significant number of students (38%) opined that they will opt for short term courses like esthetic dentistry, implant etc., other than postgraduation. Conclusions: This concluded that many of them would like to pursue postgraduation degree in various specialties, as well as short term courses such as esthetic dentistry and implants for better career prospects.

Keywords: Dental Colleges in Nagpur region, final year students and interns, postgraduation, professional satisfactionAddress for Correspondence:


How to cite this article:
Gadve VR, Shenoi S R, Shenoi P, Budharaja N, Gupta S. Evaluation of level of professional satisfaction among final year students and interns of dental colleges in India. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2016;2:31-4

How to cite this URL:
Gadve VR, Shenoi S R, Shenoi P, Budharaja N, Gupta S. Evaluation of level of professional satisfaction among final year students and interns of dental colleges in India. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Oct 15];2:31-4. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2016/2/1/31/174789


  Introduction Top


Professional satisfaction is a complex issue dependent on so many variables, which at times and in different circumstances may be difficult to define and measure. Professional satisfaction can be defined as the fulfillment of a person's expectations from a particular profession. Dentistry has undergone many changes imposed by successive governments, developments within dentistry and changes in patient's expectations; it is important to monitor what effects these changes have had on dental career satisfaction.[1] Assessing the level of satisfaction among final year dental students provides a key indicator of the future of dental education in any country. Measures of satisfaction with the career, a student has chosen can be used to identify problems or issues that can be targeted by dental schools and the profession in order to enhance the level of dental education.[2] Subsequently, this can lead to improvements in student's performance and indirectly produce better dentists. Assessment is vital in education to assess progress and direct future learning. It is also an essential part of the good professional regulation, which depends upon high-quality assessment to maintain credibility.[3]

This study has been conducted at the Vidya Shikshan Prasarak Mandal's (VSPM's) Dental College and Research Center, Nagpur, to assess student's professional satisfaction and the desire to continue further in the profession by pursuing postgraduate studies.


  Materials and Methods Top


A questionnaire-based study was carried out to assess the level of professional satisfaction among final year students and interns of dental colleges. A questionnaire was prepared consisting of 10 questions related to various facets of the level of professional satisfaction. Ethical approval for conducting the survey was obtained from the ethical committee of VSPM's Dental College and Research Center, Nagpur. The questionnaire was validated and distributed to final year students and interns of three Dental Colleges in Nagpur region of Maharashtra State of India. Two hundred and five final year students and interns out of 400 (51%) were responded to the questionnaire, and the results were tabulated and analyzed. Epi info software (United States of America Centers for Disease Control) was utilized to calculate the variables.


  Result Top


Thirty-eight percent would recommend Bachelor of Dental Surgery course as a career option to others [Figure 1]. Over 75% opined that postgraduation education is must in the profession [Figure 2]. A significant number of students (38%) opined that they will opt for short-term courses such as esthetic dentistry, implant, and endodontic courses other than postgraduation [Figure 3]. The maximum number of students opined that there are excellent professional career and immense professional satisfaction in specialty such as Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (33%) followed by Conservative Dentistry and Endodontic (23%) [Figure 4]. Sixty-three percentage expressed satisfaction with the course content [Figure 5]. Over 57% feel that changes should be made in the current curriculum [Figure 6].
Figure 1: Percentage of students recommends course to other students

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Figure 2: Percentage of career options opt after graduation

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Figure 3: Percentage of vocational courses opt after graduation

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Figure 4: Specialty like to choose after graduation

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Figure 5: Percentage of students satisfied with the content of the course

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Figure 6: Percentage of students wanted changes needed in the course content

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  Discussion Top


The study reported here was undertaken to measure final year dental student's and intern's attitude toward their profession. Dentistry has frequently been described as a stressful occupation. Stress and job satisfaction have a complex inter-relation. There has been abundant research on the stressors of a dental career.[1] In this study, only 38% subjects said that they would advise a close friend to opt for dentistry as a professional educational course. The reason could be related to the stress during their course of studies and training and lack of job opportunities after completion of graduation, as they are not satisfied with the profession they have chosen.

Satisfaction is an indicator of a person's attitude toward his profession and for the latter affects behavior assessment of career satisfaction. Dental student's assessments of the career they have chosen provide valuable insights about issues in the dental curriculum needing attention.[2] Brown et al. entreated dental educators to both teach and assess professional attitudes in the curriculum, as an essential component of professional life.[4] Health professionals have an inherent risk of stress and job dissatisfaction further aggravates levels of stress among doctors. Studies among physicians have concluded that physicians tend to work more efficiently when they are satisfied with their profession. Moreover, professional satisfaction among doctors has been found associated with a higher degree of patient satisfaction and care, other factors for professional satisfaction are working environment, support from colleagues.[5] Various factors that affect the professional satisfaction among students and interns are prospects of the career, inadequate training, and lack of senior support and burden of work.[5]

Over the last 25 years, there has also been an increase in public expectations of the quality of patient care and service delivery. Professional standards are increasingly being questioned.[4] Today dentistry is an attractive, very interesting, but not an easy profession. Dentists are subject to a wide variety of occupational factors; that greatly affects their wellbeing.[6] Dental educators are required to understand precisely what is meant by “professionalism” in relation to dentistry in order to both teach and assess it. Professionalism is a broad competency needed by a dentist, which is, therefore, central to the education and assessment of dental students. Assessment should help students focus their learning, identify individual strengths and weaknesses, provide an opportunity for improvement, highlight deficiencies in the content or delivery of the course, and in the case of health sciences education, protect the public against incompetent graduates.[4] To enhance dental education through the assessment of students' professionalism, the first step is to define professionalism in dentistry and develop a validated operationalized construct. Then educational programs can be developed which teach professionalism and students can be assessed on the domains within the construct.[4] The educational framework states that the curriculum should provide students with education in all dimensions of dental care.[7] This study assessed professional satisfaction among final year dental students and interns who are nearing the stage when they have to leave the school to start their dental career.[4] The strongest single finding from the present data concerns the ambition of the vast majority of final year dental students and interns to continue their postgraduate studies.[2] A study by Roth et al. shows postgraduate education, advanced dental courses improve and develop your skill, it gives pleasure, joy, and motivation to work. This job motivation helps to improve patient care same findings are seen in the present study.[8] More than 75% of respondents of the present study would like to pursue their higher education and significant number of final year students and interns will opt for short-term courses such as esthetic dentistry, implant, laser, and endodontic courses; other than postgraduation, reason behind pursuing for short-term advanced dental courses may be lack of job opportunities in public sector, more fees structure and duration for postgraduate study. Other reasons behind opting these short-term courses are they would learn these specialized treatments in little time and with less expenses and would be able to give specialized treatment to the patients in their private practice. Work satisfaction gives professional satisfaction. Similar findings are seen in the study by Pratima Singh which shows dental therapist in South Africa shows job dissatisfaction as compared to the dentist as a dental therapist are not allowed to do advanced specialized treatment.[9] A study by Sudhakar Kaipa et al. in Srikakulam, India shows dentists having postgraduate qualification were found to have higher levels of overall professional satisfaction when compared to those who did not have the same. This low level of satisfaction in undergraduate dentists may be attributed to their fear about career aspirations and their feeling of being trapped in dentistry. Similar findings are seen in the present study.[10]

Dentistry has frequently been described as a stressful occupation. Severe stress can lead to the phenomenon of burnout and the probable premature end to a career in which the individual and society has invested considerable time and money.[1] A study by Jeong et al. reported that patient relations, income, staff, and specialty training are positively associated with job satisfaction among dentists.[11]

According to the study conducted by Gilmour et al. in 2005.,[1] many dental health care professionals selected law/financial related profession as an alternative career. This might be because these alternatives are seen as more financially rewarding with less associated stress. By discovering what personal and job factors are associated with career satisfaction, it may be possible to provide guidance to dissatisfied undergraduates, and suggest ways in which dental training may better prepare future dentists for their chosen vocation.[1] A study of job satisfaction among dentists in the US state of California by Shugars et al. suggests that possible determinants of job satisfaction among dentists such as dentist attributes and physical and emotional well-being, need to be studied.[12]

In dentistry, clinical practice is a significant component.[7] In this study, undergraduates prefer optional short-term clinical courses such as implant, laser, and esthetic dentistry; if they will not opt the postgraduate course. It would strongly suggest that to improve career satisfaction, undergraduates should identify their preferred areas of dentistry and endeavor to gain more expertise and training while avoiding those areas in which they have less interest or ability. Today dentistry is an attractive, very interesting, but not an easy profession.[6] The most popular fields selected for specialization were Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics. The reason behind the popularity of these fields could be more financially rewarding, need skillful work and get work satisfaction and having an interest in the subject. It is also seen that most of the undergraduate students have entered dentistry because they did not achieve the grades for medicine, but they have an interest in specialties like medicine, surgery. Hence, after dental graduation, most of the students prefer Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as a faculty for postgraduation to get professional satisfaction. Satisfaction with income and professional evaluation and appreciation had a very significant positive impact on dentist's job satisfaction.[6]

Although the majority of those included in the study were satisfied with the course content (63%), and 57% feel that changes should be made in the current curriculum.

Literature reviews are covering both professionalism and its assessment generally concludes that more research is needed.[3] The reflection about the teaching and learning process in dentistry should focus not only on information acquired during the undergraduate course, but also on the process through which knowledge is acquired.[7]


  Conclusions Top


Career satisfaction of dental students is an essential part of ensuring high-quality care in the profession. The study has inferred that the majority of the students were satisfied with the curriculum. Many of them would like to pursue postgraduation degree in various specialties, as well as short term courses, such as esthetic dentistry, implants, laser, and endodontic courses for better career prospects.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Gilmour J, Stewardson DA, Shugars DA, Burke FJ. An assessment of career satisfaction among a group of general dental practitioners in Staffordshire. Br Dent J 2005;198:701-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Haidar Z. Professional satisfaction among Saudi dental students. Saudi Dent J 1999;11:60-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Zijlstra-Shaw S, Robinson PG, Roberts T. Assessing professionalism within dental education; the need for a definition. Eur J Dent Educ 2012;16:e128-36.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Brown G, Manogue M, Rohlin M. Assessing attitudes in dental education: is it worthwhile? Br Dent J 2002;193:703-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shaikh N, Balochi A, Siddiqui AS. Professional satisfaction amongst postgraduate trainees of civil hospital, Karachi. Med Channel 2010;16:497, 501.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Puriene A, Petrauskiene J, Janulyte V, Balciuniene I. Factors related to job satisfaction among Lithuanian dentists. Stomatologija 2007;9:109-13.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Priya H, Bharathi MP, Acharya S, Bhat M, Kumar M. Factors affecting dental satisfaction among Indian undergraduate dental students. Int J Dent Clin 2011;3:8-13.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Roth SF, Heo G, Varnhagen C, Glover KE, Major PW. Job satisfaction among Canadian orthodontists. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2003;123:695-700.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Singh PK. Job satisfaction among dental therapists in South Africa. J Public Health Dent 2014;74:28-33.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Kaipa S, Pydi SK, Krishna Kumar RV, Srinivasulu G, Darsi VR, Sode M. Career satisfaction among dental practitioners in Srikakulam, India. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2015;5:40-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Jeong SH, Chung JK, Choi YH, Sohn W, Song KB. Factors related to job satisfaction among South Korean dentists. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2006;34:460-6.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Shugars DA, DiMatteo MR, Hays RD, Cretin S, Johnson JD. Professional satisfaction among California general dentists. J Dent Educ 1990;54:661-9.  Back to cited text no. 12
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]



 

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