Self-Perceived Dental Public Health Competencies of Dental Graduates: A Comparison of Traditional and Modified Curricula in Karachi

  • Shaur Sarfaraz Assistant Professor and Director, Department of Medical Education, Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Kashif Nisar Professor and Head, Department of Biochemistry, Liaquat National Hospital Medical College. Karachi, Pakistan
  • Zohaib Khurshid Department of Prosthodontics and Dental Implantology, College of Dentistry, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
  • Batool Sajjad Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Surgery, Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Shahid Shamim Director, Graduate Studies and Professor of Surgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
Keywords: Competencies, Curriculum, Dental Graduates, Dental Public Health, Self-perception


Objective: To compare self-perceived dental public health competence in fresh dental graduates, learning through traditional and modified dental curricula in private dental colleges of Karachi.

Materials and Methods: Across-sectional study with a self-administered questionnaire (21 items) on a 3-point Likert scale was conducted with dental graduates of four private dental colleges in Karachi. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 23. Mean and SD were reported for age and self-perceived competency scale items were analyzed by applying an independent t-test.

Results: 255 participants completed the survey (response rate=88.5%) with a mean age of 24.02±0.832 (male 24% & female 76%) ranging from 22 to 26 years. The graduates were of almost equal number from both the groups (T=51%, M=49%). Graduates who learnt public health from a traditional curriculum had a higher perception of their competence compared to the modified curriculum group with a significant p-value=0.04.

Conclusion: This study identified that overall fresh dental graduates perceived themselves competent enough to deal with dental public health issues. Moreover, dental graduates who studied from the traditional curriculum perceived themselves as more competent in most aspects of dental public health competency than those who learned from the modified curriculum.