Emerging trends in dental specialty choice in Nigeria

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Nwhator, S.O
Olatosi, O.O
Ashiwaju, M.O
Isiekwe, G.I
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International Dental Journal
Asymmetry in the distribution of dental specialists in Nigeria has the potential to negatively affect dental education at all levels. There is a dearth in Nigerian studies on the trends of influencing factors on the choice of dental specialty in Nigeria. Past efforts have not resulted in policy change thus necessitating the current study. One hundred and twelve (51 male, 61 female) Nigerian dental graduates aged 23–55 years with a mean age of 35.21 8.21 years completed selfadministered questionnaires to assess the impact of 16 influencing factors on their choice of dental specialty. The graduation period of respondents, which ranged between 0 and 30 years was recoded into three decades and cross-tabulated against 16 influencing factors to assess their relative impact on specialty choice. Diagnostic challenge, predictable work hours and patient type appeared to have maintained a consistent popularity while affluence and income, although less popular influences three decades ago are becoming increasingly relevant while length of programme, prestige and level of crowding exerted less influence on choice of specialty than other factors. The potential influence of incentives such as career counselling and grants for overseas training to encourage enrolment in less popular programmes was assessed based on recommendations from previous studies. However, these measures appeared to be unpopular among Nigerian dental graduates. Diagnostic challenges and predictable work hours remain popular as influencing factors on choice of dental specialty among Nigerian dental graduates. Affluence and income, although previously unpopular are now gaining popularity among Nigerian dental graduates.
Dental specialty training, choice, Nigeria, trends
Nwhator SO, Olatosi O, Ashiwaju MO, Isiekwe GI. (2013) Emerging trends in dental specialty choice in Nigeria. Int Dent J. 63: 91-96.