Dentists and Dentistry: Attitude Changes toward the Chosen Profession

Ilana Eli*, Herbert Judes, Yoram Allerhand-Alexander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do dentists tend to change their attitudes toward dentistry once they graduate from dental school and enter their clinical practices? In this longitudinal study, an analysis of attitude changes among dentists towards their profession is carried out. Apparently, even 8 years after graduation from dental school, dentists maintain their basic attitudes regarding traits important to the performance of the “competent” professional. In spite of the decrease in concensus among the group members, the basic rating of traits keeps the original sequence of importance set during the dental school period: peopleoriented traits ranked the highest, science-oriented traits ranked in the middle, and status-oriented traits ranked the lowest. This fact suggests that even though changes occur in the respondents' lives (from students to professionals), their basic norms and attitudes remain unchanged. When their professional self-image is concerned, the dentists display quite a uniform view, which attests to a relatively high level of satisfaction on the self-assessment of their ability to fulfill the “humane” (people-oriented) traits of their profession. On the other hand, the science-oriented component is considered a source offrustration and the dentists fail to find it satisfactory in their professional activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-937
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1988


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