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Type: Journal article
Title: Characteristics and practice profiles of migrant dentist groups in Australia: Implications for dental workforce policy and planning
Author: Balasubramanian, M.
Spencer, A.
Short, S.
Watkins, K.
Chrisopoulos, S.
Brennan, D.
Citation: International Dental Journal, 2015; 65(3):146-155
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0020-6539
Statement of
Madhan Balasubramanian, A John Spencer, Stephanie D Short, Keith Watkins, Sergio Chrisopoulos and David S Brennan
Abstract: Introduction: Migrants comprise a growing proportion of the dental workforce in Australia. To date, research on migrant dentists is limited, raising policy questions regarding the motivations for migration, demographic profiles and work patterns. The purpose of this paper was to present findings from the first national survey of migrant dentists in Australia. Methods: All dentists with a primary dental qualification from an overseas institution and registered with the Australian Dental Association (n = 1,872) or enrolled as a graduate student in any of the nine dental schools in Australia (n = 105) were surveyed between January and May 2013. Results: A total of 1,022 participants (response rate = 54.5%) were classifiable into three migrant dentist groups: direct recognition (n = 491); Australian Dental Council (ADC) (n = 411); and alternative pathway (n = 120). Overall, 41.8% of migrant dentists were female. More than half of the ADC group (54.1%) were from lower middle income countries. The most frequent motivation for migration according to the direct recognition group (21.1%) was ‘adventure’, whereas other groups migrated for ‘better opportunity’. The majority of ADC respondents (65%) were under 45 years of age, and a larger proportion worked in the most disadvantaged areas (12.4%), compared with other groups. Gender, marital status, years since arrival in Australia and having children varied between the groups (chi square; P < 0.05). Conclusion: Dentist groups migrate to Australia for different reasons. The large proportion of the migrant dentist workforce sourced from lower middle income countries points towards deficiencies in oral health systems both for these countries and for Australia. The feminisation of the migrant dentist profile could in future affect dentist-practice activity patterns in Australia. Further research, especially on the settlement experiences of these dentists, can provide better insights into issues faced by these dentists, the nature of support that migrant dentists receive in Australia, the probable future patterns of work and potential impact on the dental work- force and dental service provision.
Keywords: Dental workforce; migrants; national survey; policy; practice profiles
Rights: © 2015 FDI World Dental Federation
RMID: 0030022634
DOI: 10.1111/idj.12154
Appears in Collections:Dentistry publications

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