Rural Dentists of the Future: Dental School Enrollment Strategies
Journal of Dental Education
Volume 74, Number 8
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship, if any, of a dental student’s 1) state of residency and 2) gender to his or her practice location in a rural Nebraska community after graduation. Previous research has demonstrated that dental students generally locate their practices near their place of rearing and that male graduates are more likely than female graduates to locate in rural areas. Dental student data for all University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry graduates from 1989 to 2008 (n=879) were analyzed. Descriptive and quantitative analyses were performed utilizing SPSS software (version 17.0). Chi-square and odds ratio analyses were also conducted. In contrast to previous research, women dentists whoremained in the state after graduation were more likely to locate their practice in a rural community than were male dentists: 59 percent and 48.5 percent, respectively. Nonresidents who remained in the state after graduation were also more likely to locate in a rural community than were residents: 69 percent and 51 percent, respectively. Dental schools may find this information useful as state officials and policymakers look to dental schools for leadership in addressing dental workforce needs, especially in rural/underserved areas.