Final year dental students’ assessment of their profile, competencies and skills in a public university
Aim: To investigate final-year dental students’ assessment of their achievement of professional profile, competencies and skills as set out in the National Curriculum Guidelines (NCG) and its association with demographic characteristics. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at the dental school of the Federal University of Goiás, Brazil. The study population (N= 205) was composed of all undergraduate students finishing their courses under the new curricula over a five-year period. They were asked to score their achievement of the professional profile, competencies and skills proposed by the NCG using a 3-point scale. Frequency distribution of the data was described and scores for competencies and skills were calculated. The total score was the sum of those obtained in each single item. For group comparisons regarding to the students’ demographic characteristics, Mann-Whitney test was performed with statistical significance of 5%. Results: The sample was composed by 204 final year students (response rate= 99.5%). Only one student considered that she did not have the profile proposed in the NCG. 52% of them reported they had fully achieved the professional profile, while the remaining reported they had partially achieved it. High percentages of responses indicating partial or total achievement of general and specific competencies and skills were also found. The total score ranged from 36 to 72 (mean= 60.2; SD= 7.68; median= 62.0). Women reported higher levels of competencies and skills relating teamwork and the social context of the profession. Men reported higher levels of skills related to decision-making and activities aimed at disease diagnosis and interventions. Younger students, compared to older ones, had higher scores on five items of specific competencies and skills. Conclusion: Most of the students considered to have achieved the professional profile, competencies and skills proposed in the NCG, and their perceptions were associated with demographic characteristics (age and sex).
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