Dental Student Perceptions of Social Sciences in the Curriculum: What can the Faculty Learn?

22 February 2018, 12.00 PM - 22 February 2018, 2.00 PM

Dr Andrea Waylen & Dr Patricia Neville

Room 2.17 35 Berkeley Square Bristol BS8 1JA

Open to all staff in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Bristol.

Eventbrite booking is required but free to attend.

What’s known about this subject?

The behavioural and social sciences are an integral part of medical and dental curricula. Research has confirmed that teaching social and behavioural sciences can help students foster skills needed to understand and manage patient behaviours and improve patient adherence, enabling them to become more holistic and patient-centred practitioners. However, many of our dental students remark that they find the social and behavioural sciences element of their curriculum ‘different’ to the rest of their studies and difficult to learn and pass assessments. These anecdotal remarks echo earlier studies which documented that dental undergraduates can struggle to see the relevance of behavioural and social sciences components to their training as dentists. Similar issues have been found with medical undergraduates regarding the social and behavioural sciences element of their professional training.

What this study adds to the subject?

The project offers a much-needed update in our knowledge of dental students’ perception of the social and behavioural sciences. Qualitative research was conducted with dental students across all 5 five years of their BDS to record and explore their learning experiences with the social and behavioural sciences elements of their curriculum. We also adopted a ‘student as co-researcher’ model approach to the research design to increase student engagement with this research.

What can the faculty learn from this study?

The project describes the perceptions of and attitudes of dental students towards the social and behavioural sciences. Some of the benefits and challenges that the teaching, learning and assessment of the social and behavioural sciences experienced will be identified. Overall, we aim to use this information to highlight and create opportunities to support and aid dental student learning of the social and behavioural sciences. Its findings and recommendations will also be directly relevant to medical educators.

It will also demonstrate how a ‘student as co-researcher’ method can be used in medical and dental education, highlighting its advantages and disadvantages.

This session wil be run by Dr Andrea Waylen & Dr Patricia Neville, Senior Lecturers in Social Science, Bristol Dental School.

Part of a series of sessions organised by the Centre for Health Sciences Education.

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