Optimizing the Fit Between Pediatric Dentistry Training Programs and Applicants

Author/s: Kevin Ricker, MA
Availability: Open Access
Type: Thesis
Year: 2015
Category: Medicine

Abstract: The dental postdoctoral application and matching process is a high-stakes and resource-intensive process but little is known regarding its underlying subjective and objective decision-driving influences. This study sought to offer a qualitative insight into the stakeholders' experiences and views on the matching process. METHODS: Interviews with 10 program directors (PD) and 10 recent applicants (RAs) to pediatric dentistry programs in the U.S. were recorded and transcribed verbatim. ATLAS.ti 7.0 software was used for coding and thematic analysis. RESULTS: Both parties appreciated the current process' uniformity; however, they raised issues related to "veracity" and "need for more information". PDs valued "teachability" and "self-motivation" as desirable applicant characteristics. RAs relied on subjective information sources for programs, and prioritized location and financial factors for their rankings. CONCLUSIONS: These results shed light on the postdoctoral matching process in pediatric dentistry and can serve as basis for improving and refining the matching process.

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