Willingness and Perception of Dental Interns towards Working in Rural Areas in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia- A Cross-sectional StudyCorrespondence Address :
Sanjeev Balappa Khanagar,
Lecturer, Dental Public Health, Department of Preventive Dental Science, College of Dentistry, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Introduction: The shortage of dental workforces in rural areas is a major concern in Saudi Arabia, which affects the delivery of oral health care services. Although there is an improvement in the dentist to population ratio, there still a wide disparity in dentist to population ratio in rural and urban areas.
Aim: To assess the perception of dental interns to work in rural areas in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and to know their willingness to serve rural population and factors associated with their decision.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 400 dental interns from 6 dental colleges located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia over a period of October to December 2019. Data was collected using a self-administered structured close ended questionnaire. Chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis were applied to measure the association of age, gender and marital status on their responses. A p-value <0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
Results: Out of 400 participants, 58% were willing to work in rural areas. Close proximity to hometown, in need for a job, rural placement program, fees and loan forgiveness and having rural background were the most favouring factors for working in rural area, whereas unfavourable working condition, lack of transportation facilities, poor accommodation, less scope for professional development and lack of necessary infrastructure were the main factors for reluctance. The male participants, Saudi nationals, rural residents, and the one whose fathers are less educated, were more likely to work in rural areas.
Conclusion: Based on the findings of the study a comprehensive human resource strategy be designed by health or medical educators in order to encourage dental students to take up jobs in rural areas.
Interns career preference, Rural areas, Rural placement, Rural saudi arabia, Rural service
Date of Submission: Apr 16, 2020
Date of Peer Review: May 19, 2020
Date of Acceptance: Jun 05, 2020
Date of Publishing: Aug 01, 2020
• Financial or Other Competing Interests: None
• Was Ethics Committee Approval obtained for this study? Yes
• Was informed consent obtained from the subjects involved in the study? Yes
• For any images presented appropriate consent has been obtained from the subjects. NA
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