Pre-admission credentials and dental school performance of dental hygienists.J Dent Educ. 1993 Apr; 57(4):306-11.JD
This study examined the effect of dental hygiene preparation prior to entering dental school on dental school performance. Study participants included 203 female students who entered a public dental school from 1980-1989. Groups 1 and 2 had completed dental school prerequisites and a dental hygiene curriculum in a community college setting (n = 19) or university setting (n = 22) respectively, and Group 3 (n = 162) were traditional students with no dental hygiene education. Preadmission variables were predental science and non-science grade point averages (GPA) and Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores. Performance variables were GPA of years one and two of dental school and National Board scores (Part 1). Results showed that Group 2 hygienists had significantly lower predental science GPAs than Group 1 or 3 and significantly lower non-science GPAs than Group 3 (p < 0). Both groups of hygienists had significantly lower DAT scores than Group 3 (p < 0). No difference was seen in first and second year GPAs or the National Board average. Adjusting performance scores to compensate for deficiencies in preadmission variables showed that Group 2 hygienists had significantly higher adjusted first-year GPAs and National Board averages than Group 3 (p < 0). Thus, hygienists performed as well as non-hygienists in spite of weaker admission credentials.