European Journal of Dental Education
Patricia Neville, Jez Zahra, Katie Pilch, Dasna Jayawardena, Andrea Waylen
Many dental undergraduates struggle to see the relevance of behavioural and social sciences (BeSS) in their studies, preferring technical training and practical application rather than social science content.1 2 Together with the biomedical model of healthcare that prevails in dental curricula3 the result is a clinical model that considers oral health as pathological, reducing dentistry to instrumental tasks and procedures (‘drill and fill'). This model risks ignoring the role of personal, social, cultural and economic context on the health of individuals at a time when ageing populations are more likely to present with increasing and competing health care needs. 4 5 6 If dental undergraduates do not consider their professional requirements as ‘integrated' and ‘holistic', requiring technical, social and behavioural knowledge in equal measure7 they may negatively impact on their ‘professional life after graduation'(p.281)7 by lacking necessary intra‐personal(reflective and self‐awareness), and inter‐personal (communication and teamwork) skills.