Characteristics and study motivation of Danish dental students in a longitudinal perspective

Merete Vigild, Eli Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


This survey encompasses 3 comparable datasets of newly admitted dental students in 1972 (n=236), 1982 (n=197), and 1994 (n=108). The objectives of the survey were to describe selected socio-demographic characteristics of dental students and to analyze possible changes over time as well as possible changes in the reasons reported by the students for choosing dentistry as a career, their motivations and their expectations concerning the study and the profession of dentistry. The results showed that the ratio of women to men remained unchanged at 6:4 in all 3 cohorts of students and that the students were increasingly recruited from the 2 upper social classes. The motives for choosing dentistry mainly included altruistic motives, the desire for varied work with the opportunity to put theory into practice, economic rewards, and the implicit social status. Compared to the 1972 students, those in 1994 placed greater emphasis on social status as a motive, on the opportunity to work in the biological and scientific field, and on the ready availability of work outside Denmark. The students in all 3 years had strong altruistic motives for choosing dentistry, and it would seem that this stable continuity in the cohort of dental students would ensure the continuous controlled development of dentistry in the new millennium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Dental education
  • Dental profession
  • Dental students
  • Motives.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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