Introduction: Academic dental educators play a major role in training future dentists. They help students to develop medical knowledge and behavioural skills that improve the quality and rigor of their future practice. Therefore, their experience and knowledge are critical to ensure effective learning. However, a French national workshop revealed that most junior assistant professors lack educational skills at the beginning of their career. The aim of this study was to assess educational training needs of junior assistant professors in the Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics.
Materials and methods: An electronic survey was sent to junior assistant professors belonging to Departments of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics within the 16 French dental schools in 2016. This survey was designed to collect data regarding their motivations, teaching expertise and interest in pedagogy.
Results: Sixty of the 69 junior educators turned in their answers, which represents a response rate of 87%. About 86.7% of respondents cited their attraction to teaching as one of the main reasons behind their application. The major difficulty encountered by junior faculty was related to course preparation. Only 15% had received educational training despite the fact that 98.3% were convinced of the usefulness of such a training for junior teachers.
Conclusion: This study identified the motivations and difficulties encountered by junior assistant professors. This collection of educational needs should be considered when planning a national programme for educational training of dental faculty that will promote the acquisition of teaching skills and improve the education of dental students.
Keywords: dental education; health educators; needs assessment; pedagogy; teaching.
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