Impact of a Longitudinal Lecture Series on Pre-dental Student Recruitment

Jonathan Shapiro, Cameron Lee, Sang E. Park

Abstract


The expanding number of dental schools has not resulted in a rise in dental school applications; therefore, there is a need to identify and retain pre-dental students in the applicant pool. One way to do this is to introduce an outreach program by dental schools. A limited number of studies have been done on the impact of outreach programs on dental school recruitment.

This study was done to examine the effectiveness of an outreach program initiated at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM). Third- and fourth-year dental students provided 12 hours of lectures, two hours of case-based learning, and two hours of hands-on laboratory experience to pre-dental students over 12 weeks in a course called Introduction to Dentistry. The course was given in 2015 and 2016 and the participants were surveyed before and after the course to determine their interest in and knowledge of dentistry, and their attitude toward HSDM. After the course, pre-dental students had better understanding of the dental profession overall, were more comfortable conversing about dentistry, and were more likely to apply to HSDM in the future.

Dental outreach programs can maintain or increase interest in applicants who were previously interested in applying to dental school; however, admissions committees must carefully consider an applicant’s entire academic and personal background. Participation in an outreach program is not an indication of an applicant’s overall suitability for dentistry in general or for a particular dental school’s program.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v5i5.2079

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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