Dentistry is recognised as a stressful profession. A number of studies focusing on undergraduate education have shown high levels of stress in dental students. However, despite calls to do so, little has been published on methods to teach future dental professionals about stress and how to manage it on a personal level. Psychological stress which is uncontrolled may have an effect on general health. It is recognised, however, that stress can be beneficial if channelled appropriately. Techniques and ways to teach management of potential stresses of a career in dentistry have still not been widely reported in either dental undergraduate or postgraduate education. An intervention used with final year dental students at the University of Portsmouth for the last four years has highlighted some of the problems raised by students coping with a stressful programme of study. Students' comments indicated the need for an educational intervention on recognising and reducing stress to be introduced earlier on in their curriculum and that it should be universally taught.
- dental education
- stress management