Update on dental graduates entering medicine 1986–1991
ABSTRACT In a previous publication we reviewed the future career plans of 169 dental graduates who entered medical school from 1986 to 1991 inclusive. The aim of the present study was to find out what happened to this group after qualification from medical school.The 169 individuals were traced and a questionnaire was sent to them by mail. A reminder was sent and some data for non-respondents were obtained from public sources such as registers and directories.In the original study, 120 of the 154 respondents (78%) intended to become oral and maxillofacial surgeons. We found in this follow up survey that the overall return rate to oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) had dropped to 66%. For those not returning to the speciality, a wide range of alternative specialities had been chosen, with general medical practice (n=9) and oral medicine (n=8) being the most popular.Amongst those returning to OMFS, most undertook basic surgical training in general surgery and trauma. Two thirds of those eligible possessed the FRCS, with 43 (83%) holding the FRCS (Clinical Surgery in General) and six (12%) having the FRCS Ed (oral and maxillofacial surgery).Within the group, opinions were mixed about the changes caused by ‘Hospital doctors: training for the future’ (Calman Report) [Working Group on Specialist Medical Training. Hospital doctors: training for the future. London: Department of Health, 1993]. Concerns were voiced about the potential reduction in clinical experience, comparatively longer training for OMFS, and particularly the abrupt end of training with no protection whilst seeking a consultant appointment. Half thought that OMFS will become concentrated in supraregional centres, or head and neck units with related specialities.