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A global probe into dental student perceptions about philanthropy, global dentistry and international student exchanges.

Ivanoff, Chris S; Yaneva, Krassimira; Luan, Diana; Andonov, Bogomil; Kumar, Reena R; Agnihotry, Anirudha; Ivanoff, Athena E; Emmanouil, Dimitrios; Volpato, Luiz Evaristo Ricci; Koneski, Filip; Muratovska, Ilijana; Al-Shehri, Huda A; Al-Taweel, Sara M; Daly, Michele.
Int Dent J; 67(2): 107-116, 2017 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27753064


Training culturally competent graduates who can practice effectively in a multicultural environment is a goal of contemporary dental education. The Global Oral Health Initiative is a network of dental schools seeking to promote global dentistry as a component of cultural competency training.


Before initiating international student exchanges, a survey was conducted to assess students' awareness of global dentistry and interest in cross-national clerkships.


A 22-question, YES/NO survey was distributed to 3,487 dental students at eight schools in seven countries. The questions probed students about their school's commitment to enhance their education by promoting global dentistry, volunteerism and philanthropy. The data were analysed using Vassarstats statistical software.


In total, 2,371 students (67.9%) completed the survey. Cultural diversity was seen as an important component of dental education by 72.8% of the students, with two-thirds (66.9%) acknowledging that their training provided preparation for understanding the oral health care needs of disparate peoples. A high proportion (87.9%) agreed that volunteerism and philanthropy are important qualities of a well-rounded dentist, but only about one-third felt that their school supported these behaviours (36.2%) or demonstrated a commitment to promote global dentistry (35.5%). In addition, 87.4% felt that dental schools are morally bound to improve oral health care in marginalised global communities and should provide students with international exchange missions (91%), which would enhance their cultural competency (88.9%) and encourage their participation in charitable missions after graduation (67.6%).


The study suggests that dental students would value international exchanges, which may enhance students' knowledge and self-awareness related to cultural competence.