The career intentions, work-life balance and retirement plans of UK dental undergraduates

J. Puryer*, G. Sidhu, R. Sritharan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
237 Downloads (Pure)


The views of undergraduates should be considered when planning the future UK dental workforce, especially as the impact of the UK withdrawing from the EU (Brexit) is still unknown.

To investigate the career intentions, work-life balance and retirement plans of UK dental undergraduates.

Cross-sectional survey of all UK dental undergraduates using an anonymous online self-report questionnaire.

There were 422 responses from 13 dental schools. Response rate 8.9%. Of the respondents, 71.3% were female. Overall, most (89.1%) respondents reported that they were either 'satisfied' or 'extremely satisfied' with their career choice. Almost all (97.4%) participants indicated they would undertake dental foundation training. Seventy percent of participants would like to specialise. The majority (82.7%) intend to carry out both NHS and private treatment, with only 6.2% indicating that they would carry out NHS-only work. Five years after qualifying, the majority (83.2%) intend to work full time and after fifteen years, only 54.3% intend to work full time. There are significant gender differences between full- and part-time work patterns. Over one third of respondents (40%) intend to retire between the ages of 61–66 and 19.9% intend to retire after age 66. Over a half (54.9%) would like to start a family and 93.6% believe that childcare is a shared responsibility. Over one third (38.6%) believe having a child would 'considerably affect their careers', with more females indicating that they would take more time to raise children.

The low response rate questions the generalisability of the results. Further widespread research is needed to explore the career intentions of current undergraduates and dental care professionals as their plans will impact on the future UK dental workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536–540
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2018


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