From Didactic Knowledge to Clinical Competence: Identifying At-Risk Students Before They Enter Clinics
Halpin, Richard Mark
MetadataShow full item record
In a typical dental curriculum of two years of didactic classes and two years of clinical practice it would be extremely useful to be able to identify students who are not as competent in clinical procedures prior to them practicing on live patients. This study examined correlations between the didactic and clinical grades of three cohorts of dental students from a dental school in the southwestern United States. It aimed to determine if there were certain didactic classes where student performance strongly correlated with performance in clinical classes. The use of this correlation could make it possible to identify students who may be at-risk of poor clinical performance by examining their performance in earlier didactic classes. This could lead to individualized support being offered for these students or general changes being made to the dental curriculum. The correlational statistics undertaken in the study showed that there was a slight positive correlation between didactic grades and clinical grades. Specific classes were identified that correlated the most readily and possible explanations are presented. The study also provided a baseline for future curriculum changes.