Factors influencing under-represented minorities interest into the dental profession
Background: Racial and ethnic diversity in the health professions is a continuing challenge. A diverse and culturally competent workforce is needed to meet the demands of the changing demographics in the US. Objective: This research aims to describe the differences in the influential factors between Under-Represented Minorities (URMs) and non-URMs to pursue dentistry. Methods: The 2011 (n=4,152) ADEA Senior Survey, response rate 85%, was used. Chi-square tests and ANOVA were performed using IBM®SPSS®20.0. Results: The composition of the 2011 dental seniors was 84.2% non-URMs and 13.6% URMs. Statistically significant (p<0.05) differences by race/ethnicity were observed in mother's educational attainment, father's educational attainment and parental income. Forty percent of URMs decided to pursue dentistry before they entered college compared to 35.4% of non-URMs. A higher proportion of URMs found visiting a dental school (17.8% vs. 9.1%), specific recruitment by a dental school (10.2% vs. 4.5%), and participation in a summer or post-baccalaureate enrichment program (17.7% vs. 4.9%), as very important influences in their decision to become a dental professional in comparison to non-URMs. A higher percentage of URMs (43.9% vs. 19.0%) reported the opportunity to serve vulnerable and low income populations and knowledge about the variety of career options in dentistry (39.4% vs. 30.8%) as a very important factor in their decision to become a dental professional in comparison to non-URMs. Conclusions: By exploring the reasons for URMs to pursue dentistry from graduating dental seniors, we gain a better understanding of the significant influences to inform recruitment strategies.
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the differences in the influential factors between Under-Represented Minorities (URMs) and non-URMs to pursue a career in dentistry.
Keyword(s): Students, Oral Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have analyzed and presented on topics related to diversity, student perspectives, and access to care. In particular, I am very familiar with this data set since I used it during my dental public health residency training at the National Institutes of Health on an unrelated topic. My scientific interests include leveraging data to inform educators and policymakers on effective strategies and policies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.