News and Events

How is Life After Dental School? New Survey of Dugoni School Alumni Tells All

April  06, 2012

A survey coordinated by the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry has collected insights about the school's alumni base and what paths graduates have taken in their careers. The survey, completed in the fall of 2011 with 638 responses, offers details about post-graduate education, types of patients served by graduates, practice ownership rates, professional development activities and other areas related to academic offerings. The results suggest that the Dugoni School has yielded a well-rounded and accomplished group of graduates.

Most notably, 92 percent of alumni indicated that they are satisfied with their dental school experience, with 75.9 percent of alumni saying they were extremely well prepared to work with their patient pool, including a variety of ages and racially, ethnically or culturally diverse groups.

The overwhelming majority (79.8 percent) of graduates indicated that they are currently in private practice. Of those in private practices, 74.3 percent said they were the practice owners, and 71 percent disclosed that they provide some type of need-based assistance to their patients including reduced fees and free care.

Teaching or other forms of involvement with dental education has drawn in 14.3 percent of Dugoni School graduates, with the majority of those respondents indicating that they teach on a part-time basis. Alumni are continuing to educate themselves too: 98 percent of graduates indicated that they read at least one dental publication per week, including the Journal of the American Dental Association; California (or other state) Dental Association Journal; and various dental society newsletters.

Slightly more than 40 percent of Dugoni School alumni reported that they pursued post-graduate education, a rate significantly exceeding the national average of 29.8 percent reported by the American Dental Education Association. Eighty percent of those alumni believed that the Dugoni School prepared them well for their post-graduate studies. The most popular dental specialty reported was Orthodontics, followed by General Practice Residency programs and Advanced Education in General Dentistry programs.

Graduates also were asked questions about workplace technology, including electronic health records. The majority of graduates said they are using (46.3 percent) or are transitioning to (23.2 percent) computer-based patient record systems. 

"These survey results give us valuable insights about our alumni base, and provide another way for us to understand how alumni feel about their dental education and profession," said Dr. Nader Nadershahi, executive associate dean and associate dean for Academic Affairs, and an officer of the school's Alumni Association. "This information will help us as we continually review our program outcomes to ensure we are preparing dental professionals to meet the evolving needs of our great profession."  

Category Type: General, Alumni

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