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Using discussion groups as a strategy for postgraduate implant dentistry students to reflect

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Introduction: More than undergraduates, postgraduate students have the day-to-day clinical experience to reflect upon. Nevertheless, reflection in postgraduate dental education is less well studied. Hence, the purpose was to investigate the attitude towards reflection and the content of reflections in postgraduate implant dentistry education in the UK and Belgium.Materials and Methods: To investigate the attitude towards reflection, a questionnaire was administered to the 10 postgraduates at UCL Eastman Dental Institute (EDI) and 6 postgraduates at Ghent University (UGent). Additionally, students were invited to attend two reflective sessions (60-90 minutes). The sessionsU+2019 audio recordings were transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach.Results: In total, 16 postgraduate implant dentistry students participated. Although the majority reported prior experience with reflection, there was variation in the provided definitions of reflection. EDI students agreed with reflection being beneficial for professional development/clinical reasoning and were positive about discussing clinical experiences in groups, but were divided about individual/group reflections. Their UGent counterparts were more indecisive (=neutral), but were positive about discussing clinical experiences. Thematic analysis identified recurring themes as individual learning process, learning and clinical experiences, attitude towards implant dentistry and course programme. EDI postgraduatesU+2019 reflections focussed on specific clinical situations, while UGent postgraduatesU+2019 reflections described general considerations.Conclusion: Although students/professionals often report to reflect, it is not clear whether/how they actually reflect, due to the all-purpose word reflection has become. A strategy, using group discussions along with supervision/guidance in how to reflect, demonstrated to expand clinical reasoning into reflections about postgraduate studentsU+2019 clinical actions and professional growth.
ISSN: 1396-5883
Issue: 1
Volume: 20
Pages: 59 - 64
Publication year:2016
BOF-publication weight:0.1
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education