Tutor-supported comprehensive care training at the University of Bern School of Dental Medicine (SDM) has been used for many years. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate dental students' opinions on tutor-supported training to identify key aspects of future course organisation that are important for students to achieve the minimum requirements for their graduation. A digital survey was developed and distributed among all fourth- and fifth-year dental students enrolled in the SDM in 2014 and 2016. A total of 28 (41.2%) and 21 (36.2%) students participated in the survey in 2014 and 2016, respectively. The average age of all respondents was 25.8 (±4.0) years. The proportion of females was 75% with no differences between groups, neither among classes nor years of the survey. The students felt well prepared following the bachelor's degree pre-clinical programme and a two-week introduction immediately preceding the clinical course. During clinical training, the students' experiences with their assigned tutors were positive even though waiting times for tutors during patient care as well as organisational efforts to manage attestations and logbooks were mentioned. For each discipline, patient assignment (ρ=0.54, p<0.0001) and frequently meeting with their tutors (ρ=0.56, p<0.0001) revealed the highest correlation with 1) achieving minimum requirements and 2) improving treatment planning skills in both fourth- and fifth-year dental students. In conclusion, tutor-supported comprehensive care training is well accepted by dental students while focusing on both patient assignment and frequent discussions with tutors may help students to better achieve minimum requirements in clinical dental education.
Keywords: comprehensive care; dental education; patient-centred care; tutor-supported training.