Do rural universities produce rural dentists? An exploratory study examining Australian dental graduates of 2015

Lim, Lisa, Parikh, Shaiel, See, Nadia, Tchia, Kaejenn, Croker, Felicity, and Woolley, Torres (2018) Do rural universities produce rural dentists? An exploratory study examining Australian dental graduates of 2015. In: [Presented at the CRANAplus Annual Conference]. 1780. From: CRANAPlus 36th Annual Conference: Think Global Act Local, 20-22 September 2018, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Rural and remote areas experience ongoing challenges with recruiting and retaining dentists, which results in workforce shortages where the need for oral health services is greatest. The dental workforce maldistribution is evident nation-wide, with a proportion of 56.2 dentists per 100 000 in metropolitan areas compared to 22.9 dentists per 100 000 in remote areas. Underlying this maldistribution of dentists is the difficulty facing rural communities when attracting and retaining dental graduates.

The aim of this presentation is to share the results of a study that explored the intentions and destinations of dental graduates from six Australian universities who completed their degrees in 2015.

Data was collected via an online survey. GIS mapping methods were used to show the practice locations of participants according to the Modified Monash Model (MMM). GIS mapping revealed that more rural university graduates practiced in MMM zones 3-7 while metropolitan graduates remained in cities.

While previous studies have provided insights into the motivational factors that persuade and dissuade dentists from practising in rural and remote locations, our study reveals that the university that graduates’ attended also effects their choice of practice location. Regional universities, such as James Cook and Charles Sturt, were more likely to have graduates who transitioned into the outer regional, rural and remote workforce. Factors that influenced and enabled dental graduate’s decisions will be discussed. As dentists play an important role in the multi-disciplinary healthcare teams servicing rural and remote Australia, the outcomes of this study provide insights into why dental graduates ‘go where they go’.

This study enriches the understanding of dental graduate movements upon entry to the workforce. Findings contribute to discussion about the current trends of graduate movement and provide insights into how the dental curriculum and location of a university program can successfully increase motivation to work rurally.

Item ID: 55227
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: dentistry, graduate outcomes, rural and remote, oral health workforce,
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Also presented at AYRI 2018: 9th Biennial Remote Health Conference, Mount Isa, QLD, Australia, 24-24 July 2018

Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2018 03:56
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1105 Dentistry > 110599 Dentistry not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930399 Curriculum not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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