Career Satisfaction among Dental Public Health Specialists in India – A Cross-sectional Survey
Dr. Chandrashekar Janakiram,
Professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Amrita School of Dentistry, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Edapally,
Cochin-682041, Kerala, India.
Introduction: The satisfaction in career is an important indicator for the growth of the discipline and the profession. An empirical investigation of satisfaction in career and amendments needed in course and profession may help in growth of discipline.
Aim: To assess career satisfaction among Dental Public Health (DPH) specialists working in India and analyze their perspective on changes required in the profession.
Materials and Methods: Questionnaire for this cross-sectional survey was adapted from Minnesota Job Satisfaction Survey which included 40 enquiries to understand the reasons for choosing public health dentistry as career, competencies of public health dentists, satisfaction as a public health dentist and changes required in the profession. The questions were both open and closed end type. Updated electronic mail details of all registered public health dentists were collected from the head office of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry. Each participant was contacted by electronic mail and consent to participate were sought. Reminders were e-mailed thrice during three months. A total of 580 participants were contacted. A total of 183 responses were received, among which 179 consented.
Results: Nearly half of the respondents felt they are yet to achieve the accomplishment from the present career as public health dentist. Only 46.9% felt that there is advancement in the profession as career. Nearly three-fourth of respondents could not attain recognition as a public health dentist. A 45.8% of respondents were of the opinion that career in public health dentistry would provide them a steady employment and 53.1% of public health dentists would envision as satisfied in their career in next 10 years. Nearly 85% felt public health dentistry training needs a major course correction.
Conclusion: There has been some reservation or skepticism about the future of the specialty as the jobs are in declining stage. This information provides insight about success and failures of public health dentistry as profession which would be needed for planning the dental manpower.