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J Dent Educ. 2012 Apr;76(4):487-94.

The dental school learning milieu: students' perceptions at five academic dental institutions in Pakistan.

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Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK.


The significance of the educational environment in health professions academic institutions, increasingly recognized on a global scale, is fundamental to effective student learning. This study was carried out to evaluate students' perceptions of the educational environment in five undergraduate dental institutions in Pakistan. This non-interventional study used a postal questionnaire based on the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM). The subjects were dental students taking the final professional B.D.S. examination at five dental institutions affiliated with the University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. A total of 197 students participated in the study (response rate of 83.82 percent). The overall DREEM score was 115.06 (Cronbach's alpha 0.87). Nine items recorded scores <2 and were flagged for remediation. Significant differences were observed between students' perceptions of learning and of teachers (p<0.05). Many issues challenge the quality and delivery of dental education in Pakistan, and dental institutions need to develop robust mechanisms to incorporate contemporary international trends in dental education in order to improve the educational environment.

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