Oral health education for medical students: Malaysian and australian students' perceptions of educational experience and needs

Mas S. Ahmad, Menaka A. Abuzar, Ishak A. Razak, Sabariah A. Rahman, Gelsomina L. Borromeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Education in oral health is important to prepare future medical professionals for collaborative roles in maintaining patients' oral health, an important component of general health and well-being. The aims of this study were to determine the perceptions of medical students in Malaysia and Australia of the quality of their training in oral health care and their perceptions of their professional role in maintaining the oral health of their patients. A survey was administered in the classroom with final-year Malaysian (n=527; response rate=79.3%) and Australian (n=455; response rate: 60%) medical students at selected institutions in those countries. In the results, most of these medical students reported encountering patients with oral health conditions including ulcers, halitosis, and edentulism. A majority in both countries reported believing they should advise patients to obtain regular dental check-ups and eat a healthy diet, although they reported feeling less than comfortable in managing emergency dental cases. A high percentage reported they received a good education in smoking cessation but not in managing dental trauma, detecting cancerous lesions, or providing dietary advice in oral disease prevention. They expressed support for inclusion of oral health education in medical curricula. These students' experience with and perceptions of oral health care provide valuable information for medical curriculum development in these two countries as well as increasing understanding of this aspect of interprofessional education and practice now in development around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1076
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Volume81
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Curriculum development
  • Interprofessional education
  • Medical education
  • Medical students
  • Oral health education

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