Social representation of Dentistry: a qualitative study with dental students of Unimontes

  • Simone Melo Costa Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros - Unimontes
  • Paulo Rogério Ferreti Bonan Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros - Unimontes
  • Mauro Henrique Nogueira Guimarães de Abreu Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Sarah Jane Alves Durães Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros - Unimontes
Keywords: Students, Dentistry, qualitative research

Abstract

Purpose: This work aimed to identify and analyze the social representation of Dentistry by dental students of the State University of Montes Claros, Unimontes. Methods: Qualitative study design. A probabilistic, randomized, and stratified sample included 20 students: 10 female and 10 male students (two per school year). Data were collected using a semi-structured interview from March to July 2006. The key questions were: “What is the society view of Dentistry? What is your opinion on Dentistry?” Narrative data were transcribed and analyzed by content analysis. Results: Thee categories were identified: Dentistry – high value, Dentistry – low value, and Dentistry - problems. In this sample, 55% students raised problems in Dentistry: devaluation of the dental profession, reductionist view to teeth, trivialized profession and high costs, ethical problems such as disloyal competition. Conclusions: The relationship between Dentistry and the present society requires understanding of the social and health care structure and the dental professional role in this context. In education, the university should discuss the social commitment of Dentistry and educate health professionals to meet the real population needs and increase the dental profession impact. Key words: Students; Dentistry; qualitative research

Author Biographies

Simone Melo Costa, Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros - Unimontes
Professora do Curso de Odontologia da Unimontes, Departamento de Odontologia
Paulo Rogério Ferreti Bonan, Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros - Unimontes
Professor do Departamento de Odontologia e do Programa de Pós-Graduação Stricto Sensu em Ciências da Saúde da Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros, Unimontes
Mauro Henrique Nogueira Guimarães de Abreu, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Departamento de Odontologia Social e Preventiva da Faculdade de Odontologia da UFMG
Sarah Jane Alves Durães, Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros - Unimontes
Professora Titular do Departamento de Educação e do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Desenvolvimento Social da Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros – Unimontes
Published
2008-06-22
Section
Original Article