Contemporary issues in dental education in Australia

Freer, T. J. (2010) Contemporary issues in dental education in Australia. Australian Dental Journal, 55 1: 20-27. doi:10.1111/j.1834-7819.2009.01184.x

Author Freer, T. J.
Title Contemporary issues in dental education in Australia
Journal name Australian Dental Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-0421
Publication date 2010-03-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2009.01184.x
Volume 55
Issue 1
Start page 20
End page 27
Total pages 8
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Abstract Australia has witnessed a proliferation of dental workforce training opportunities over the last 15 years, including dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and prosthetists. The reasons for this have not been examined critically. Universities have welcomed the opportunities to increase the student base but do not seem to have examined the advisability of continued expansion or its impact on the delivery and costs of health services. Nor have they enquired expressly whether they have any responsibility in these matters. Public health benefits should constitute a significant element of curriculum design. There seems to have been a general acceptance of the premise that more is necessarily better. Ironically, these developments have occurred in the face of significant recurrent cost increments and serious academic staff shortages. The schools have responded with alterations to curriculum content. Student cohort composition, course structures, educational focus, postgraduate training and research have been affected. The primary purpose of this review is to highlight the issues which currently drive workforce training and curriculum content and to suggest that some current practices should be re-examined as a starting point for setting defined common objectives within the Australian dental educational spectrum. Salient issues which require examination include course standards and accreditation, workforce mix, dental health demands, public service obligations and staffing profiles.
Keyword Academic staff
Dental workforce
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: School of Dentistry Publications
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