gms | German Medical Science

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

16.11. - 18.11.2007, Hannover

Freshmen’s Motivation to Study Dentistry: A Seven Year Survey

Die Motivation Zahnmedizin zu studieren: eine Siebenjahre-Erhebung


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  • corresponding author Jerome Rotgans - RWTH Aachen, Klinik für ZPP, Aachen, Deutschland
  • Friedrich Lampert - RWTH Aachen, Klinik für ZPP, Aachen, Deutschland

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung - GMA. Hannover, 16.-18.11.2007. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2007. Doc07gma94

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: November 14, 2007

© 2007 Rotgans et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objectives: Within the German National Health System cuts had been decided on since 1989 continuously. There are also reports of malpractice and fraud among dentists resulting in an increasing negative image. Nevertheless, interest of young people to study medicine and dentistry is uninterrupted high, which is demonstrated by the need to maintain both numerus clauses.

Methods: Freshmen of seven cohorts, from 2000/2001 on, had been administered in the first half of their first semester a questionnaire on a voluntary basis. The questionnaire has nine sections:

personal information (birthday and sex);
information about parents’ profession (father/mother a dentist or working in a paradental profession?);
information about one’s own profession (having a profession already before, how long, still working within it while studying, is it a hand craft, in relation to dentistry?);
information about the decision to study dentistry (was father’s/mother’s profession of importance, the mark of your ‘Abitur’, the fact of numerus clausus, the idea of a societal respected profession, of a ‘fellowmen helping” medical profession, its pecuniary associations?);
student’s associations with the dental profession (dexterity, stereovision, patience, power of observation, attitude);
dexterity (dexterous, by talent, hobby, profession, two ‘left hands’, convinced to correct this during study?);
information about the extent of information about the dental curriculum (where information got from, aware about the fact that ‘real dentistry’ starts not until the 6th semester, previous dental experience available?)
future (concrete vision of how to practise dentistry, doing a doctoral thesis, expectations?);
‘final question’ (are you interested in communication with senior students?).

Results: From the seven cohorts more as most questionnaires were collected. A survey of all responses and their analysis will be presented. In general it may be concluded.

Conclusion: The information gathered will influence content and format of training modern dentists.