This paper reports the results of a survey to determine the consequences of budget reductions on the status of dental public health postdoctoral training in the United States, and opinions of experts in education and practice regarding career opportunities in dental public health.
A survey was mailed to 154 dental and public health education and service institutions.
Most respondents (74 of 103; 72%) agreed that training opportunities depend on funding, and 73 percent (n = 75) expressed the view that more dental public health specialists are needed. Respondents reported that funding for current dental public health master's degree and residency programs is less than satisfactory. Respondents involved in training of dental public health professionals held marginally statistically significant different opinions regarding career opportunities than those who were not involved. No significant differences in opinions of respondents existed by type of institution.
With decreased numbers of dental graduates, improved funding for dental public health programs will be critical, particularly at the specialty entry level, to ensure that adequate numbers of specialists are trained and available to meet the oral health needs of all the US population.
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