A Survey of Endodontic Residents' Attitudes About a Career in Dental Education

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There is an increasing demand for qualified educators throughout American dental schools. A survey designed to identify reasons for interest or lack of interest in education as a career was sent to all first and second year endodontic residents enrolled in the United States in 1999. Seventy-four percent of the 392 students responded (224 men and 65 women). The survey results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests. Ninety-three percent of the respondents reported an interest in teaching on a part time basis, and of those, 51% were willing to teach 1.5 days/week, but only 16% were willing to teach more than 1.5 days/week. The survey included a list of eight potential reasons for not being interested in a career in education and respondents were asked to mark their top three. Low salaries for teachers was the most frequently chosen reason (70%), 51% listed educational debt, and 31% listed desire to be their own boss or lack of interest in research. Students were also asked to choose the top three reasons for interest in dental education from a list of seven reasons. Enjoyment of clinical teaching was the most frequently selected reason (41%): 32% included enjoying working with others in the field and 24% listed enjoyment of the university atmosphere.

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