This chapter presents a review of related literature and studies which helped the researchers pursue the study.
Sources of Stress
In the article entitled “Sources of Stress and Coping Strategies among Undergraduate Medical Students Enrolled in a Problem-Based Learning Curriculum” by Samira S. Bamuhair
“Medical education is rated as one of the most difficult trainings to endure. Throughout their undergraduate years, medical students face numerous stressors. Coping with these stressors requires access to a variety of resources, varying from personal strengths to social support. ”
Most of students especially college students that are taking medical course experiences high level of stress. Stress is a matter of personal perception. personality traits of medical students include being highly motivated and action oriented achievers, which helps them get high scores; yet same students cannot tolerate feelings of helplessness and dependency and therefore are more prone to stress or less capable of handling it.
Being a Dentistry was never easy. Every year or semester passed it become harder and harder. Most of Dentistry students is prone to experience stress. Many sources of stress the researchers encountered such as academics, overloaded schedules, not enough of having sleep failing in an exam or quizzes. Even though its hard most of the students overcome stress.
According to the article “Common Causes of Stress among Students” by Flora Richards-Gustafson (2017) ‘Stress is the body’s natural response to challenges.” Stress happens when we faced with a tense or threatening situation that requires us to change or adapt our behavior. In Dentistry students stress became a part of everyday life but eventually we tried to cope up and get over it. There are many sources of stress such as poor sleeping habits, academic pressure, full schedules, poor eating habits etc. In the course of Dentistry mainly the source of stress is academic pressure because of difficulties on some subjects that challenge us and letting us experiences stress and lead to poor physical, emotional and mental health.
The article talks about “Why stress happens and how to manage it? By Christian Nordqvist (2017) “Stress, in everyday terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands.” Anything causes stress. For some people, just thinking about something or several small things can cause stress. Stress comes from various sources of a different nature, such as physical, psychological, emotional, social, etc. A stressful event can either be a happy one (wedding, birth, travel, etc.) or an upsetting one (getting fired, going through a divorce, the loss of a loved one, etc.). The stimulus can be either minor or very significant, and either temporary or chronic. The researchers don’t all react the same way to sources of stress, so it is important to identify what your stress triggers are to better face them.
Stress in Dentistry
Stress in any academic institution can both have a positive impact and negative impact. Positive impact is due to a healthy competition between other students, and enthusiasm in learning new things. But when the demands exceed the personal and social resources of an individual who is not able to adapt to the situation then there is a transition from eustress to distress. Dentistry has long been viewed as a high stress profession, and dental school is often where stress begins (Sedky, 2012). According to a 2008 report of the Global Congress in Dental Education, “Dental Education is regarded as a complex demanding and often stressful pedagogical exposure.” (Harikiran, 2012). Dental Education has been known as one of the most challenging, demanding, and stressful fields of study, as dental students are expected to acquire diverse competencies such as academic and clinical competencies for so long. These include late or failed patient appointments, clinical requirement deadlines, dealing with uncooperative patients, academic lecture classes class-standing and financial factors, etc.
These lead dental students to sometimes feel overwhelmed by their experience in dental school to the extent that their physical and mental health, as well as their social life, was negatively affected. Research found that dental students had on average higher levels of anxiety than the general population and they also had higher levels of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and interpersonal sensitivity than age-matched students studying other subjects (Uraz, 2013). Moreover, reports indicate that alarmingly high proportions of the student population may exhibit signs of burnout. Dental students’ response to and coping with the demands and issues encountered in dental school are not always optimal (Divaris, 2014). An ideal educational environment should be made to accommodate different personalities and other individual characteristics of a dental students. Dental programs should adopt a curriculum that is reactive to and accommodates dental students’ concerns. It is also a must that they develop the agility to be proactive and prevent burnout by fostering a positive academic environment.
While stress in dentistry is vast and cannot be generalized, researches about it proves that it greatly exists. The sources of stress may be interpersonal, intrapersonal, academic and personal (Harikiran, 2012). It is important to identify the potential sources of stress for each of the undergraduate year level in a dental school to enhance the stress coping skills of the students in that institution. This current study assesses the perceived sources of stress of preclinical students with the same aim.
To become a dentist means hard work but what exactly do you have to go through to get that DMD title in the Philippines? According to the college guide of Find University (2017) “Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) is a degree program designed to prepare students for becoming a Registered Dentist in the Philippines. It aims to develop skills and technical principles of different dental procedures as well as in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases.” The first two years being a pre-dent student consists of Language/Humanities like English, Filipino. Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technology, like Basic Statistics with Epidemiology Science, Technology and Society, Computer, Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics. Social Sciences like Health Ethics, Psychology, Philippines Government and Constitution, Philippines History. And Human Health Sciences Genetics, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Primary Health Care.
After passing pre-dent you will get through a four year dentistry curriculum. In Centro Escolar University the curriculum that is posted on their official website the first year consists of thirteen subjects which consists of General Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Dental Materials etc. with a total of 41 units. The second year consists of thirteen subjects also, with a total of 45 units being that the major subjects like Restorative dentistry, Prosthodontics and Orthodontics etc. are added more than minor subjects. In third year the students gets to have clinical experiences and patient experience while being supervised from their clinical instructor. It consists of 17 subjects like Oral Surgery, Endodontic and Periodontology etc. with a total of 44 units with all of the subject being major. The fourth year or the last year consists of 15 subjects with a total of 31 units such as Hospital dentistry, Clinical Dentistry and is filled with seminars.
After you spend your 6 years in school, you can decide to pick your specialization. According to Oral Answers (2010) there are 9 dental specialties. Which is Dental Public health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology or Surgery, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics and Prosthodontics. “Dental Public Health, public health dentists focus on achieving optimal dental health for their communities. The concept of public health dentistry is that they are treating communities as a whole, rather than individuals as their patients. Public health dentists persuade communities to adopt better oral health policies, such as water fluoridation. Endodontics, many patients are referred to endodontists when they need a root canal. However, endodontists don’t just perform root canal treatments. They are concerened with the overall health of the dental pulp as well as the tissues that surround the tooth. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, oral pathologists deal with all types of disease found in and around the oral cavity. If your dentist suspects that you have a disease, he or she might send out your radiographs and a biopsy of the suspected tissue to an oral pathologist. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, this is the newest specialty and was adopted in 2003. Oral radiologists deal with the technique associated with taking radiographs and then diagnosing the radiographs that are made. They are experts in viewing radiographs and interpreting them. Their eyes are trained to find the slightest discrepancies from normal and diagnose abnormalities in the facial structures. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, you might know oral and maxillofacial surgeons as the dentists that normally remove wisdom teeth. However, oral and maxillofacial surgeons do so much more. They can place dental implants, surgically remove tumors in the facial area, perform reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the face after you’ve been in a traumatic accident, as well as TMJ surgery. Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Orthodontists help their patients obtain optimal occlusion. Occlusions is defined as the relationship of the teeth to one another. Orthodontists can correct crooked, misaligned teeth to give you an aesthetically pleasing smile. Pediatric Dentistry, this specialty was formerly called pedodontics. Pediatric dentists provide specialized care for children through adolescence. Periodontics, periodontists deal with the health of the structures around the tooth: the gingiva (gums) and bone. If you start developing gum disease, a periodontist can help you get back to having healthy gums. They can also perform gum surgery and gum grafts as well as place dental implants. Prosthodontics, prosthodontists make prosthetic (fake) teeth. They are specialists in making crowns, bridges, partial dentures, and dentures. Many general dentists do all of these procedures and refer the more difficult cases out to prosthodontists.”