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Objective: To identify the preferences of dental graduates in the field of post-graduate specialty, factors that may influence their decision to select a particular specialty, and the effect of counselling on specialty preferences.
Methods: A pre-counselling and post-counselling questionnaire based study was carried out among final year students and House surgeons of Khyber College of Dentistry, Peshawar, between May to June 2020. A self-administered questionnaire, inquiring about the preference of specialty program, specialty subject and the reason for the preference, was given to the students. After filling the questionnaire, the participants were given a session on dental career counselling. After the session, they were again asked about their preference for a specialty for their future career. Both results were then compared.
Results: The most prevalent specialty before counselling was Endodontics (36.2%). The second one was Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (21.3%) and then Periodontics (16.3%). After counselling, preference for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery remained the same, however, Endodontics and Periodontics were reduced to 33.8% and 13.8%, respectively. Among post-graduation specialty programs, FCPS was the most prevalent program (77.5%).
Conclusion: Endodontics is the most preferred specialty among graduates followed by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The most preferred program was FCPS. A single counselling session did not change the preference significantly. The reason most likely behind the preference was possession of unique set of skills for the specialty.
Key words: Dental graduates preferences, Specialties, Counselling.
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