alexa Continuing professional development amongst dental practitioners in the United Kingdom: how far are we from lifelong learning targets?
Psychiatry

Psychiatry

Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior

Author(s): Buck D, Newton T

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Abstract This study was conducted to identify the extent to which qualified dental practitioners in the UK currently undertake three distinct activities of Continuing Professional Development (CPD): reading professional journals; attending courses; and undertaking retraining courses. Also, to determine the impact of gender, age, length of time since qualification, current working hours and career breaks upon the extent to which dental practitioners engage in CPD. Data were analysed from a questionnaire survey of a systematic sample of one in 10 dentists taken from the Dentists Register of the UK General Dental Council. The response rate was 66.6\%. Only dentists practising at the time of the survey were included in the analysis (N = 1550). A high proportion of the sample reported regularly undertaking activities related to CPD. Approximately 87\% read professional journals at least once per month; just over half had attended five or more days at professional meetings and courses in the last year. Only a small proportion of dentists (12\%) had undertaken a retraining course in the past three years. Those dentists who had been qualified for between 21 and 30 years, those who had gained additional qualifications after qualifying as a dentist, and those who had taken a career break at some point in their life were more likely to read professional journals. Attendance at postgraduate dental courses was related to being male, not having taken a career break, possessing an additional qualification, longer working hours, and not being a General Dental Practitioners (GDP). Attendance at a retraining course was less likely for those who had taken a career break, those who had attended fewer courses in the last year and for those who worked 30--40 h per week. A large proportion of dental practitioners are currently undertaking sufficient CPD to meet the UK requirements of recertification. Greater attention should be directed towards identifying the barriers to CPD among female dentists and those who have been qualified for longer periods. More research is needed in assessing the long-term CPD consequences of those who have returned to dentistry following a career break.
This article was published in Eur J Dent Educ and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior

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