Maintaining a strong rural dental workforce

John W. Reinhardt, Kathryn Q. Moncrief, Jade E.J. Koch, Kaeli K. Samson, Fang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: This study was designed to examine demographics of University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry graduates over a recent 10-year period and factors related to their choice of rural or urban practice. Findings were compared to similar previous studies to analyze trends. Methods: Using data from the annual Health Professions Tracking Service 2019 Dentistry Profile survey, we examined the demographic information of 169 graduates from 2009 to 2018 practicing in Nebraska at the end of 2018. We analyzed factors such as rural or urban high school graduation, gender, and other background information to explore associations with their 2018 practice location (urban vs. rural) using chi-square tests and logistic regression. Results: This study found that some demographic variables were associated with future practice location. Specifically, a higher proportion of graduates of rural high schools chose to work in a rural location (60%) relative to those who graduated from an urban high school (18%) (p < 0.0001). A higher proportion of men (50%) selected rural practice compared to women (33%) (p = 0.02). Only 17 graduates who attended high school outside of Nebraska stayed to practice in Nebraska, and there was a lower proportion of these graduates working in rural locations (18%) relative to in-state high school graduates (45%) (p = 0.03). Conclusion: We found significant positive associations between dentists who chose rural practice and demographic factors such as being rural high school graduates, male, and in-state predental residents. Our findings differ from descriptive results of similar previous studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of dental education
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • demography
  • dental
  • dentistry
  • health occupations
  • rural population
  • students
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

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