Document Type

Article

Original Publication Date

2001

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Dental Education

Volume

65

Issue

9

First Page

832

Last Page

840

Date of Submission

March 2015

Abstract

To determine the characteristics of new dental faculty and what factors influenced them to choose academic careers, a survey was sent to deans at all U.S. dental schools to be distributed to faculty with length of service of four years or less. Responses were received from 240 individuals. About half of the respondents had been in private practice for an average of eight years, and 20 percent had military experience averaging almost sixteen years. A majority had postgraduate training and 60 percent had specialty training. Nearly 32 percent of new faculty were female and 80 percent were U.S. citizens. Analyses of responses to survey items indicated that correlated factors in the survey fell into the following empirical categories: teaching and scholarship, income and indebtedness, research, work schedule, influence of mentors and role models, and long-term aspirations. In general, the respondents identified factors relating to teaching and scholarship to be the most important influences on their choice of academic careers, while concerns about income and indebtedness were the most important negative considerations in this regard. Other positive factors identified by the survey related to the influence of mentors and role models, long-term aspirations, and research. Age, private practice experience, and military experience were found to particularly influence the new faculty members' responses to items concerning income and indebtedness, and citizenship influenced responses to factors relating to research. The data from this select group of dentists support the current view that inequities in income of dental faculty compared to private practitioners and student debt are important concerns in choosing academic careers. Importantly, the desire to teach and participate in scholarly activities are important attractions in academic careers. Mentoring activities and creation of opportunities for career development are crucial factors in developing interest in academics among graduate dentists.

Rights

Reprinted by permission of Journal of Dental Education, Volume 65, 9 (September 2001). Copyright 2001 by the American Dental Education Association.

Is Part Of

VCU Periodontics Publications

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