RESEARCH ARTICLE


A University-based Survey of Career Choices and Perspectives on Higher Education among Dental Students in United Arab Emirates.



Shishir Shetty1, *, Raghavendra Shetty2, Sangeetha Narasimhan3, Sura Al-Bayati4, Hossam Abdelmagyd5, Walid El-Sayed6, Jayadevan Sreedharan7
1 Department of Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of Pedodontics, College of Dentistry, Ajman University, United Arab Emirates
3 Department of Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
4 Department of Oral Medicine, College of Dentistry, Gulf Medical University, United Arab Emirates
5 Department of Periodontics, College of Dentistry, Gulf Medical University, United Arab Emirates
6 Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, Gulf Medical University, United Arab Emirates
7 Department of Community Medicine, Gulf Medical University, College of Medicine, United Arab Emirates


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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Shetty. et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; E-mail: shishirshettyomr@gmail.com


Abstract

Background:

Over the past decade, higher education has made significant progress in the Gulf Corporation Council Region (GCC) due to the promotion and investments made by the local governments. Medical and dental higher education has undergone massive transformation across all the universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the implementation of innovative educational policies.

Objectives:

The objective of the survey was to determine the career choices and assess the perspectives on higher education among dental students of a medical university in the UAE.

Methodology:

Structured closed-ended survey questionnaire was provided to 377 respondents at a dental school of a private medical university in UAE.

Results:

The results of the survey revealed that 51% of the respondents wanted to pursue specialization in dentistry. Orthodontics (33%), endodontics (28%) and oral surgery (16%) were the most preferred branches for specialization. UAE was the most preferred destination for pursuing specialization. Quality of education and proximity to the family were the most common reasons for selecting UAE as the destination for specialization. 36% of the survey respondents wanted more dental post-graduate seats to be available in the UAE. 57% of the survey respondents felt that the cost of post-graduation is comparable to other countries. 64% of the survey respondents felt that Doctor of Philosophy(PhD) program should be offered by medical universities in the UAE.

Conclusion:

To conclude it can be stated that dental undergraduate students in the UAE prefer to pursue specialization in clinical branches like orthodontics, endodontics and oral surgery. Majority of the respondents prefer to pursue their specialization in the UAE due to the quality of education. Survey respondents felt that there was a need to offer more dental post-graduation and dental PhD programs by UAE universities.

Keywords: Career choice, Middle East, University, Dental education, Specialization, Perspective.