An overview of current evaluation methods of postgraduate dental specialty residents

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Journal of Dental Education


Purpose: A lack of contemporary dental literature exists on evaluating dental residents in postgraduate education, with no standardized criteria or information on technology adoption. This study aims to understand current evaluation methods in dental residency programs and compare them to existing literature. Methods: A survey with 22 questions was sent to program directors of 749 ADA/CODA (American Dental Association/Commission on Dental Accreditation)-accredited postgraduate dental residencies. The questions focused on evaluation frequency, faculty involvement, submission methods, and electronic software usage. Results: The survey response rate was 30.2% (226 responses). Results show that 98% of program directors are involved in evaluations, but require more support from auxiliary faculty. Evaluations are typically submitted twice or four times a year, with 12% of programs wanting increased frequency. Face-to-face delivery of feedback is considered crucial. While desktop computers are widely used for evaluation submission, 55% of programs utilize mobile devices, which correlates with higher program director satisfaction. The most popular evaluation software includes New Innovations, MEd Hub, and Qualtrics. Overall, 86.96% of program directors are satisfied with current evaluation practices. Areas needing improvement are non-program director faculty involvement, resident response/feedback, and software navigation. Conclusion: This study found that a majority of program directors of the postgraduate dental education system are using electronic technology for their resident evaluation systems and are satisfied with their current mechanism of evaluation.

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