Various factors will influence a dental graduate’s decision to undertake postgraduate education and training, including encouragement from family, partners and staff at individual dental schools, although there is currently little information available regarding the number and distribution (by dental school) of recent dental graduates undertaking postgraduate studies. The aim of this study was to analyse data on postgraduate qualifications achieved by dentists who graduated from UK dental schools between 2000 and 2009 and relate this to graduate gender. Data were collected from the General Dental Council (GDC) in an anonymous electronic format, analysed and ordered by year of graduation, dental school, gender and type of postgraduate qualification. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of the dentists that graduated between 2000 and 2004 completed postgraduate studies, with more females (26%) than males (23%) obtaining further postgraduate qualifications. Overall, Bristol produced the largest proportion of graduates completing postgraduate study (39%) and of these the largest proportion of female graduates (45%). Glasgow produced the largest proportion of male graduates completing postgraduate study (37%). Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS), one of the Royal Colleges, was the most popular postgraduate qualification obtained followed by Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners UK (MFGDP). This study provides insight into postgraduate studies undertaken by UK dental graduates. An increasing proportion of females are gaining Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) qualifications and therefore the number of female dental graduates obtaining postgraduate qualifications is likely to increase further. This also suggests the male domination of the dental profession is likely to decrease.
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