MOTIVATIONS AND CAREER PLANS OF SENIOR DENTAL STUDENTS AT KING SAUD UNIVERSITY, RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
The aim of this study was to investigate senior dental students’ motivation for studying dentistry and their future plans following graduation. This descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted using a structured questionnaire administered to dental students during their final (senior) year at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire consisted of sections on demographic details, motivational factors, and selection for career choice. Data were analyzed using quantitative totals and percentages. Ranking of motivating factors was based on calculation of mean and standard deviation. The most popular reasons for choosing dentistry were altruism, career independence, and both financial and job security. The majority of the students planned to work in a government dental clinic or hospital (67.9%) and continue postgraduate education abroad (45.9%). Preferred areas of specialization included endodontics, which was chosen primarily by male students, and operative dentistry, chosen by more female respondents. It can be concluded that the ability to help others was the underlying factor behind students’ motives for studying and pursuing a career in dentistry. The majority of students’ future plans involved pursuing a postgraduate degree abroad or working at government dental clinic or hospital.
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