Perceptions of Senior Dental Students Regarding Cultural Diversity before and after Community Service-Learning Rotations



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Cultural perspectives vary from one individual to another. The world is diverse; therefore, it is the intent to live as an inclusive community despite varied human characteristics, ideas, or philosophies of life. This study explored how a dental curriculum included training in multiculturalism in order to provide students with opportunities to treat patients from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. A pre-survey and post-survey consisting of eight behavioral attitude questions was given to senior dental students prior to community service-learning rotations and after graduation. Results from this study explored changes in cultural perspective through community service-learning rotations before and after the dental students’ senior year. Through community service-learning, dental students witnessed social and cultural differences and might have gained insight into their approach to treating patients of economic, racial, or cultural backgrounds. The results of this research study also demonstrated whether a student experienced growth in his or her cultural perspective during the senior year through community service-learning that would foster competent and ethical behavior as a practicing oral healthcare provider. The evidence in this study suggested slight significant change in behavioral attitude towards perception in discrimination.



Cultural awareness, Service learning, Diversity, Inclusion, Multicultural education