Impact of a prior medical degree on students' dental school performance in Innsbruck, Austria

J Dent Educ. 2012 Mar;76(3):341-7.


The purpose of this study was to identify the performance differences between two groups of Austrian dental students (one with a prior medical degree and one without a medical degree) during their dental school training and final dental licensure examination. A specific aim was to determine if having a medical degree is a predictive factor for dental students' scores on the Austrian Dental Admission Test (Austrian DAT), performance in the dental clinic, and scores on final exam. The study consisted of a retrospective analysis of 122 students (thirty-nine with a medical degree and eighty-three without a medical degree) who were enrolled in the Dental Clinic at Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria, between 2001 and 2006. Three performance categories were considered: Austrian DAT results, clinical performance after the first clinical year in dental school, and performance on the final dental licensure examination. Information on students' age, gender, and previous medical degree was collected from official records. Analyses with student's t-test and Pearson's chi-square test revealed that the students with a medical degree had significantly higher Austrian DAT total test scores, grade point averages after the first clinical year, and scores on the final exam. Additionally, those students had significantly better performance on the final exam in prosthodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery. The linear regression analysis showed that a medical degree had an independent effect on average scores on the final exam, age, and Austrian DAT test scores, while gender showed no statistically significant effect. Overall, the study found that dental students with a prior medical degree had significantly higher Austrian DAT total test scores and performed significantly better in the first clinical year and on the final exam than those without a prior medical degree.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aptitude Tests
  • Austria
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cohort Studies
  • Communication
  • Dental Care
  • Dentistry, Operative / education
  • Diagnosis, Oral / education
  • Education, Dental*
  • Education, Medical*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Endodontics / education
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Licensure, Dental
  • Male
  • Orthodontics / education
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Prosthodontics / education
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Students, Dental*
  • Surgery, Oral / education