"Objectives: To investigate the study motives and career choices of Iranian senior dental students in relation to their background factors. Subjects and Methods: During the spring term 2005, a questionnaire survey was administered to 327 senior dental students in seven randomly selected state dental schools in Iran. The questionnaire requested information on age, gender, parents' employment in dentistry, previous education and employment in dental hygiene, study motives, and career choices. Statistical analyses were made using independent sample t test, factor analysis, and binary logistic regression model. Results: Based on the factor analysis, which explained 73% of the total variance, five motive dimensions were identified: altruism and intellectual challenges, characteristics of the profession, social status and security, other person's recommendation, and failure to be admitted to other study programmes. The mean for the 'characteristics of the profession' dimension was lower among the students with at least one parent employed in dentistry (p = 0.03). The 'altruism and intellectual challenges' dimension was reported to be more influential by the students with background in dental hygiene (32 students) compared to the others (p < 0.001). Engaging in postgraduate studies was the first career preference of 189 (70%) of the respondents. Those with a background in dental hygiene were less inclined to enter postgraduate courses (p < 0.001), but more eager to be employed in either the public or the private sector (p < 0.001), and to enter the community oral health and research field (p < 0.001) than the others. Conclusion: Personal characteristics and motives of the students play a major role in shaping their career preferences. Copyright (C) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel."
Fields of Science
- 313 Dentistry