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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24

Ranking the soft skills of the dental profession based on the importance in job performance: A mixed method study in Isfahan and Mazandaran Universities of Medical Sciences

1 Department of Education, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Medical Education, Medical School, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammad Javad Liaghatdar
Department of Education, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan 81746-73441
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1735-3327.313119

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Background: Soft skills are the key indicators of success and quality of performance in various professions, including the dental profession. The skills are the main tools for enhancing the quality of technical work in Dentistry. Hence, the aim of this study was to identify and prioritize the soft skills in dental profession. Materials and Methods: The study employed a mixed methods research. In the qualitative phase, the dental skills were identified using a semi-structured interview with faculty members and dental students. In the quantitative phase, the soft skills were prioritized with Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP). The data analysis was using Expert Choice software. Results: The results showed that the dental profession to improve the quality of performance needs to 29 soft skills in six categories. In professional ethics, work ethics (with weight of 0.212) and responsibility (0.188); in artistic skills, handicrafts (0.616); in cognitive skills, decision-making ability (0.290) and spatial thinking (0.249); in communication skills, verbal/nonverbal communication and listening (0.266), and patience (0.240); in individual characteristics, stress management (0.381) and self-esteem (0.260); and finally, in management skills, time management (0.481) are among the most important soft skills in dental profession. Conclusion: Identify and prioritize the soft skills can help to improve the quality of performance the dental profession. Therefore, it is recommended to integrate these skills into the dentistry curriculum. Moreover, by increasing the number of studies the essential backgrounds for developing soft skills in dentistry education will be provided.

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