Views of academic dentists about careers in academic dentistry in the United Kingdom.
Goldacre M., Lee P., Stear S., Sidebottom E., Richards R.
The aim of this paper is to report the views of academic dentists about careers in academic dentistry assessed by method of a postal questionnaire survey. The subjects of the survey were dentists in academic posts in the United Kingdom. The incentives in pursuing an academic career which respondents rated most highly were the opportunity to teach and the variety of work in an academic career. The greatest disincentives were competing pressures from service work, teaching and research, and the difficulty of getting research grants. Many would like to spend more time on research and less on service work and teaching. The length of time required for training, and the quality of training, was a concern, particularly for junior academics. Most respondents rated the enjoyment of their job highly but scored much lower on satisfaction with the time their job left for domestic and leisure activities. By contrast with academic medicine, in academic dentistry there is typically greater emphasis on teaching and less on research. In conclusion, the balance of activities in academic posts, particularly between service work, teaching and research, needs to be regularly reviewed. The development of a more structured training programme for junior academics, which does not disadvantage academic dentists when compared with their NHS colleagues, may be required.