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Exposure and awareness of oral and maxillofacial surgery for first degree medical undergraduates in the United Kingdom

Published:January 06, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjoms.2022.12.005

      Abstract

      Most of the current oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) specialty trainees in the United Kingdom (UK) remain as those who first undertook a degree in dentistry. However, OMFS is an increasingly popular career choice amongst ‘first degree’ medical school graduates. The UK medical school curriculum should reflect this trend by ensuring that there is sufficient teaching and exposure to allow medical students to make informed career choices. The purpose of this study was to evaluate levels of awareness of, exposure to, and teaching on, oral and maxillofacial surgery amongst undergraduate medical students in the UK. An online survey was distributed via university representatives and responded to by 76 final year medical students from 15 medical schools across the United Kingdom. No OMFS-related clinical exposure was reported by 69 respondents throughout their time at medical school. Of the seven who did report exposure, the mean length of that exposure was four days. Sixty-three respondents believed that medical students would benefit from more guidance and information on OMFS. Clinical exposure to OMFS by medical undergraduates is low therefore awareness of the specialty is limited. With many dissatisfied with the OMFS exposure and teaching provided by their medical school it shows that there is no lack of interest in OMFS amongst medical undergraduates, rather a lack of opportunity for them.

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