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J Dent. 2008 Jul;36(7):472-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2008.04.003. Epub 2008 May 13.

Academic dentistry.

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  • 1The School of Dentistry, The University of Manchester, Higher Cambridge Street, Manchester M15 6FH, United Kingdom. vivian.e.rushton@manchester.ac.uk

Abstract

Since 1988, thirteen dental schools have provided dental undergraduate programmes within the United Kingdom (UK). In 2006, two new dental schools were created supporting dental education in the community. A further new dental school in Scotland will be accepting students in autumn 2008. In the past 25 years, extensive reorganisation of the NHS has resulted in long-term implications for the training of medical and dental academic staff. The number of academic clinicians is below the minimum viable level and external constraints, combined with a lack of suitable applicants, have led to a moratorium on academic recruitment within some Dental Schools. A detailed review of the historical and associated factors which have led to the problems presently besetting academic dentistry are discussed along with the initiatives introduced in the last 10 years to revitalise the speciality. Also, the present and future outlook for academic dentistry in other countries are discussed. Opinion is divided as to the appropriate setting for the training of undergraduate students between those who support community-based dental education and those who believe dental education should remain within research led dental establishments. External factors are moulding an unsatisfactory situation that is proving increasingly unattractive to the potential dental academic and the case for reform is obvious.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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