259610 Financial Debt and Dental Career Choices

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Amit Chattopadhyay, PhD, FFPH-RCPUK, MPH, CPH, MDS, BDS, PGDHHM, PGDMLS, DipGlobalEthics, GCertID, GCertPHO, DipJourn, MACE , Office of the Director, Office of Science Policy and Analysis, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Evelyn Lucas-Perry, DDS, MPH , Office of Science Policy and Analysis, NIDCR-NIH, Bethesda, MD
AIM: To assess the role of financial debt on dental career choices of final year dental students using American Dental Education Association's 2011 Senior Dental Student Survey Data.

METHOD: Only persons providing all financial debt figures were included. Data were analyzed using t-tests, ANOVA and multiple linear regression in SASŪV9.2 after data optimization. Debt and differences between groups were assessed for socio-economic-demographic factors, dental school type, and students' career choice in terms of type and location of expected work.

RESULTS: Of 4152 participants, 960 reported debt including: consumer debt, credit card debt, car loans, educational debt prior to dental school, dental education related loans, and other loans. Overall 23.1% of the 4152 dental students reported any kind of debt (0.5% of the students did not have any debt). Mean+SD debt was: $ 228,356 +112,597 (dental debt was 84.86% of the total debt: $193,787 + $98,400). Public dental school students had significantly lower debt than private school students (Av.Diff=$51,574;p<0.0001). Those wanting practice ($247,832) or unsure about it ($297,625) had significantly higher debt compared to those contemplating Government ($132,083)/faculty/other positions ($195,572;P<0.0001). Though observed mean debt did not differ significantly between race/ethnic groups, race/ethnicity was independently associated with debt in linear regression models as were school type and self-reported influence of debt on career after adjusting for sex.

CONCLUSIONS: Dental education related debt is the greatest contributor to dental students' financial debt. Total financial debt is strongly associated with dental students' anticipated career choice; those with higher debt favored private practice options.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe dental students' debt burdenDiscuss & desceibe trends in disparities of perceived health status Discuss & describe students dental career choices Evaluate role of debt in impacting dental students' career choices Assess other factors that impact the association between debt and dental students' career choices

Keywords: Economic Analysis, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted this research
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.