Debt experience and sources of funding in OMFS training: A survey of current and aspirant OMFS trainees

Published:November 16, 2021DOI:


      Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is unique specialty requiring dual qualification in medicine and dentistry. Since the inception of national recruitment a decade ago, only 70% of available posts have been filled. In a 2019 round, this was a worrying 30%. Questionnaires were sent to trainees at various levels via the Facebook JTG and Registrar groups. Data were collected on debt experience, and awareness of and access to financial assistance. We received 66 responses. The most important sources of funding were NHS work (46%), followed by student finance (25%). Of those surveyed, 79% were ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about debt. Respondents were interested in receiving more information on a range of sources of funding, such as non-NHS bursaries (81%), NHS bursaries (59%) and NHS work in OMFS (56%). Respondents identified the financial impact (44%), and the effect of personal and family life (41%) as the two biggest drawbacks to second-degree studies. In view of the persistent recruitment issues at the ST3 level in OMFS, it is important to address concerns surrounding second-degree study. Awareness of available support must be raised in order to safeguard the future of our specialty in its current format.


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