Resident selection criteria for advanced education in prosthodontic programs: program directors' perspective

Judy Chia-Chun Yuan, Damian J Lee, Kent L Knoernschild, Stephen D Campbell, Cortino Sukotjo
Journal of Prosthodontics: Official Journal of the American College of Prosthodontists 2010, 19 (4): 307-14

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to describe the criteria used by advanced education in prosthodontic program (AEPP) directors to select their residents, to rank them by perceived importance, and further assist prospective candidates with the application process for AEPP.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Questionnaires were distributed to all prosthodontic program directors (N = 46). The program directors were requested to respond in five sections: (1) general information, (2) information obtained from applications and letters of recommendation, (3) interview process, (4) decision process, and (5) retrospective view of the selection process. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Data were collected and compiled into mean, standard deviation, and range. Results were tabulated and ranked.

RESULTS: Thirty-eight responses (82.61%) were returned and analyzed. Most of the programs (75.77%) indicated that a combination of the program director, current residents, prosthodontic faculty, and staff members were involved in conducting the interview process. Factors considered very important when choosing applicants to the prosthodontic program were (1) interview process, (2) dental school class rank, (3) dental school grades (prosthodontics), (4) letters of recommendation, (5) dental school grades (clinical). Letters from the prosthodontic post-doc program director and prosthodontic faculty were considered the most important source of recommendation. Honesty, organization, and energy were ranked as the most positive characteristics of the applicants during the interview. Almost all respondents (97%) were satisfied with the current selection process. When asked about the current applicant pool, most program directors (91.67%) were satisfied.

CONCLUSIONS: The most and least important factors in selecting applicants by the program directors were described and ranked. This study was intended to provide the profession with some insight on how advanced Prosthodontic programs select their applicants. It may also serve as a valuable instrument for prospective applicants to AEPPs in the future.

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