Perception and willingness toward oral pathology and histology as a subject and profession among Indian dental undergraduates

Pulin Saluja, Charu Khurana, Aparna Dave, Manpreet Arora, Srishti Kumar


Background: Oral pathology, a branch of dentistry which is often termed as a nonclinical branch
deserves a better description as fundamental knowledge of oral pathology is essential to become a
successful dental clinician. This study was conducted to analyze the approach toward Oral Pathology
and Histology as a subject and profession among dental undergraduates.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire‑based, cross‑sectional study was conducted among 200
students which included the 3rd year, 4th year and interns studying in a Dental College in Gurugram,
Haryana. The questionnaire comprised 14 close‑ended questions, divided under three parameters
which included demographic characteristics, students’ perception about the Oral Pathology and
Histology as a subject, and willingness to choose it as a career option. The data recorded was
subjected to statistical analysis using the Chi‑square test. The level of statistical significance was
set at P ≤ 0.05.
Results: Among all the participants, 53 (26.5%) were males and 147 (73.5%) were females. It was
found that 33.5% of the total students find the subject interesting, but 24.5% students reported
their main focus on just passing this subject. Although they reported liking toward the subject,
majority of them (64%) did not express their interest to pursue it as their postgraduation specialty.
Conclusion: The present scenario of Oral Pathology and Histology as a subject is alarming and
in that scenario it should be our prime concern to change the attitude of students toward the
subject who perceive it as a nonclinical subject having a lesser scope for practice with a need to
broaden the scope of the specialty and to make it more practical.
Key Words: Attitude, dental students, oral pathology, scenario

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