Should the pre-doctoral oral and maxillofacial surgery curriculum include an operating room rotation? A survey of third year dental students
Authors: Dean M. DeLuke, Samuel Tack, Luke Antonos, Caroline Carrico, Daniel M. Laskin.
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Introduction and Objectives: An operating room rotation for predoctoral dental students can have many potential benefits, both for the students and for the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS). The purpose of this study was to determine the relevance and value of such a rotation for a group of 3rd year dental students.
Subjects and Methods: In this prospective study, third year dental students completed a voluntary, anonymous questionnaire prior to and after a 2 day operating room rotation. Data collection included the student’s perception of the scope of practice for OMS, their level of satisfaction with the rotation and its perceived value, and whether the rotation-specific educational objectives were met.
Results: Fifty-seven of 98 eligible students answered both questionnaires. More than 80% of students were already familiar with the scope of OMS prior to the rotation. Following the rotation, greater than 90% indicated that they had a better understanding of procedures, were better equipped to refer patients for advanced procedures, and that the rotation was valuable to their dental school experience. A similar number also reported favorable interactions with the residents and attending staff. The rotation-specific objectives and student expectations were generally met, except that nearly 24% would have preferred more hands-on experience. A majority of students also preferred more time in the operating room (OR).
Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that students perceive a rotation through the operating room as valuable, giving them a better understanding of OR protocol and procedures, improving their knowledge of various surgical operations, and making them feel better prepared to refer patients for advanced OMS procedures.