Opinions, plans, and demographics of orthodontic residents: A follow-up study

Amelia C. Stoker, Eli Schwarz, Larry Doyle, Laura R. Iwasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This study aimed to explore current orthodontic residents' demographics, their opinions on their residency and plans for the future and highlight secular changes since past surveys. Methods: An anonymous 39-item institutional review board–approved survey was implemented at the 2018 Graduate Orthodontic Resident Program using an online survey tool and portable devices. Questions fit 3 categories: program, future goals, and demographics. Responses were analyzed to determine frequencies, means, and cross tabulations. Analyses of variance and chi-square were applied with significance defined as P <0.05. Results: Of the 489 attendees, 76% completed the survey; most were female (51%), white (60%), U.S. citizens (85%), single (63%), and very satisfied with their programs (54%). Tuition costs varied, but 18% of respondents paid >$80,000 annually. Orthodontic and total educational debts were significantly correlated (r = 0.704) and averaged $137,706 ± $127,380 and $323,071 ± $266,510, respectively. These debts were significantly lower (P <0.0001) for respondents with stipends. Debts influenced the decision of where to work in the future for 62% of respondents and were a source of anxiety for 72% of respondents. Educational debts were significantly positively associated with anxiety levels (P <0.0001). Conclusions: This survey provided current information on orthodontic residents' opinions, plans, and demographics. Comparisons with previous surveys showed increases in the number of female respondents, tuition costs, and educational debts and decreases in stipends. Orthodontics may be approaching a “bubble market” where the financial benefits do not outweigh specialty education costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-817
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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