Perceptions of dental students, dental faculty, practicing dentists and industry dental professionals on the acquisition of dental competencies and clinical skills in the Dominican Republic

Eur J Dent Educ. 2023 Nov;27(4):974-984. doi: 10.1111/eje.12889. Epub 2023 Jan 25.


Introduction: This study gathered perceptions from four stakeholder groups in the Dominican Republic (DR) regarding acquiring professional dental competencies and clinical skills.

Materials and methods: Researcher-created surveys covering core dental competencies and clinical skills were distributed to stakeholder groups associated with nine different DR dental programs. Respondents included 153 undergraduate dental students, 153 dental faculty members, 108 practicing dentists (who had graduated in the past 5 years) and 42 industry professionals (who hire and supervise dentists). Data were examined using descriptive statistics, univariate ANOVA and multiple linear regressions.

Results: Dental school students and recent graduates now practicing dentists in the DR reflected moderate to solid confidence that they had learned most of the dental skills and competencies covered in the survey. Industry professionals were a bit less confident overall, while dental faculty offered the lowest scores, although those were often still in the moderately confident range. ANOVAs revealed significant differences when broken down by individual university dental programs. Regressions also revealed that individual university dental programs significantly predict confidence that dental skills and competencies were achieved.

Conclusion: Data show that DR's dental stakeholder groups generally felt optimistic about the learning occurring. However, the lower mean scores and higher standard deviations from faculty responses raise concern, as do the significant differences between individual dental programs and the dental program itself a significant predictor. Further review of programs is needed, and a national set of dental competencies should be considered in this country.

Keywords: clinical skills; competency-based education; dental competencies; dental curriculum; dental students; university.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum
  • Dentists
  • Dominican Republic
  • Education, Dental
  • Faculty
  • Humans
  • Students, Dental*