Table 1.

Description and distribution of independent and dependent variables

Domain and IndicatorDefinitionGeographic Unit of Observation% or Mean (Standard Deviation)Range*
*For individual level measures, the range reflects the variation among the schools.
1National Conference of State Legislatures, 2003. At: www.ncsl.org. Accessed: April 2004.
2Schneider D, Schneider K. Medicaid dental care for adults: a vanishing act? National Oral Health Conference, April 28, 2003.
3United States Census Bureau. Summary data file for the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000.
4American Dental Association Survey Center. Distribution of dentists in the U.S. by region and state, 2001. Chicago: American Dental Association, 2001.
5Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care’s Uniform Data System, 2003.
6American Dental Education Association. Survey of dental school seniors. Washington, DC: American Dental Education Association, 2003.
7American Dental Association. Survey of predoctoral dental education, 2002–03. Chicago: American Dental Association, 2003.
8 The School of Dentistry’s websites were visited in July 2004 for the 56 U.S. accredited dental schools to obtain mission statements. When necessary, a phone call was made to the admissions office requesting a copy of the mission statement if it was not available on the website.
9American Dental Education Association. Survey of dental school seniors, 2003. Washington, DC: American Dental Education Association, 2003.
Contextual Environment
Policy
% URM in State Legislature1This state level variable reflects the percent of African American and Latino senate and house members in the legislature. The numerator is the number of African American and Latino persons and the denominator is the total number of legislative seats.State16.8 (18.2)0–100
Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits2States were categorized according to Medicaid dental coverage provided to adults, 21+ years in 2002. The constructed variable reflects the level of dental benefits provided: 0 for no benefits, 1 for emergency-only, 2 for partial/limited coverage to adults, and 3 for full coverage.StateNo benefits=15.1%
 Emergency only= 18.2%
 Partial coverage= 39.4%
 Full coverage=27.3%
Population Characteristics
% URM population3Census data were used to construct a variable reflecting the percent of the total population in the dental school’s county that was URM (AA, Hispanic, AI/AN). The numerator is the total number of URM persons in the county. The denominator is the total population in the same county.County33.1 (20.0)4.6–98.3
% Federal Poverty Level <200%3The numerator includes those with low-income (less than 200% federal poverty level, FPL) in the county. The denominator includes the total county population.County31.6 (8.5)15.8–63.6
Delivery System
Dentists to Population Ratio4The variable measures the supply of professionally active dentists per 10,000 population in 2001. The numerator includes dentists who indicated or were assigned an active occupation code as either primary or secondary occupation. These occupation categories include: active practitioners, dental school faculty or staff, armed forces, government employed dentists at the federal, state, or local levels, interns and residents, and other health or dental organizational staff members. The denominator reflects the estimated 2001 U.S. population (thousands) for the states and outlying areas from Census Bureau.County6.0 (1.5)3.9–12.6
# of FQHCs5The variable represents a simple count of the number of FQHCs in the county providing dental care.County2.4 (2.4)0–10
FQHCs/100kFPL <200%5The numerator is the number of FQHCs in the county. The denominator is the number of low-income persons per 100,000 with income less than 200% of the federal poverty level.County2.8 (11.9)0–81.7
Dental School
Pipeline Status6A categorical variable was constructed to reflect school status related to the dental Pipeline program. This school level intervention variable reflects three dental school categories: National (n=10), California (n=5), and non-Pipeline (n=40).SchoolNational=19.2%
 California=9.6%
 Non-Pipeline=71.2%
Ownership7The variable was constructed from the ADA 2002/03 Survey of Predoctoral Dental Education, Group 1, Question #9: “What type of support does your dental school receive: (a) public-dental school is state supported, (b) private-dental school is privately supported and receives no state aid, (c) private-state related-privately supported dental school receives a per capita enrollment subsidy from the state.” The categorical variable was coded to reflect school status as (1) public or (2) private institution.SchoolPublic=65.4%
 Private=34.6%
Mission Statement: Commitment to recruit URM8The School of Dentistry’s (SOD) mission statement indicates a commitment to recruiting diverse students. This school level variable is coded 0 if the SOD does not state a specific commitment to recruiting diverse students. The variable is coded 1 if the SOD directly states a commitment to recruiting diverse students.SchoolCommitment=21.6%---
Mission Statement: Commitment to provide care to URM8The School of Dentistry’s (SOD) mission statement indicates a commitment to providing oral health care to underserved populations. This school level variable is coded 0 if the SOD does not state a specific commitment to provide care to the underserved. The variable is coded 1 if the SOD directly states a commitment to provide care to the underserved.SchoolCommitment=19.6%---
% URM in dental school7ADA 2002/03 Survey of Predoctoral Dental Education, Group 2, Question #2: Schools were asked to report enrollment figures by race/ethnicity, gender, and academic year. The numerator represents the total number of URM students (AA, Hispanic, AI/AN). The denominator is the total number of dental students.School12.8 (18.5)0–99.4
Total educational cost for first year7ADA 2002/03 Survey of Predoctoral Dental Education, Group 2, Question #10a: “What is the average cost of the following to the undergraduate dental student for the current academic year?” The cost includes tuition, mandatory general fees, and other educational costs reported by the schools.School$26,666 (12,292)$9597–$67,034
School cultural and social environment9The variable was constructed by averaging responses of students completing the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors (Q44c): “Please indicate if you agree or disagree with each of the following statements: The cultural and social environment of your school promotes the acceptance and respect of students and patients of different races, ethnicities, and cultures” [4-point scale, strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (4)].School3.2 (0.2)2.9–3.6
Community-Based Dental Education
Recruitment
Importance of high school or college counselor in decision to pursue dentistry as a career9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 11a [5-point scale, low (1) to high (5)].Student1.6 (1.1)1–5
Importance of recruitment by a dental school in decision to pursue dentistry as a career9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 11e [5-point scale, low (1) to high (5)].Student1.7 (1.1)1–5
Importance of pre- or post-bac dental career program in decision to pursue dentistry as a career9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 11f [5-point scale, low (1) to high (5)].Student2.0 (1.3)1–5
Importance of workforce supply and demand trends in dentistry in decision to pursue dentistry as a career9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 11j [5-point scale, low (1) to high (5)].Student2.9 (1.4)1–5
Time devoted to cultural competency9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 32u: “Do you believe time devoted to instruction in cultural competency was excessive, appropriate, or inadequate?” [3-point scale, excessive (3), appropriate (2),inadequate (1)].StudentInadequate=25.1%
 Appropriate=68.5%
 Excessive=6.4%1–3
Preparedness to provide oral health care for racial, ethnic and culturally diverse groups9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 33w: “Please indicate your personal assessment of preparedness for oral health care for racial, ethnic, and culturally diverse groups.” [5-point scale, not well enough prepared (1) to well prepared (5)].Student3.4 (0.96)1–5
Extramural clinical experiences influence practice location plans9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 42: “Did your extramural clinical experiences influence your practice location plans?” [5-point scale, not at all (1) to very much (5)].Student2.2 (1.1)1–5
Extramural clinical rotation positive or negative experience9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 43: “Were your extramural clinical rotations positive or negative experiences in your dental education?” [5-point scale, very positive l (1) to very negative(5)].Student3.8 (1.0)1–5
Weeks of extramural clinical rotation9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 34: “Enter . . . the number of required weeks you expect to spend over your last year in dental school providing (not just observing) dental care at extramural clinics/practice settings.”Student6.6 (10.1)0–54
Primary activity upon graduation9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 24: “Immediately upon graduation from dental school do you intend your primary activity to be.” The constructed variable reflects 3 categories, private practice, community clinic/govt services, and dental school/academic/postdoc.StudentPrivate practice= 49.9%
 Comm clin/govt services=9.9%
 Academic/postdoc=40.2%---
STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS
Gender9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 1 (male and female)StudentFemale=40.7%
 Male =59.3%---
Age9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 3: “Age at time of graduation from dental school.”Student28.1 (3.5)23–53
Race/Ethnicity9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 2. African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans were combined into the URM group and Asian/Pacific Islanders and whites were kept separate.StudentURM =10.0%
 Asian/PI =26.3%
 White =63.7%---
Marital Status9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 4 (married and not married).Studentmarried =43.4%
 not married =56.6%---
Parents’ annual household income9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 6: “Estimate your parents’ combined annual income before taxes.” The constructed variable reflects 3 categories, <$30,000; $30,000–$50,000; and >$50,000.Student<=$30,000=14.7%
 $30,001–$50,000= 13.2%
 $50,001+= 72.1%---
Debt upon graduation9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 20: “Estimate your total educational debt upon graduation from dental school.”Student$118,748 ($73,004)0–$350,000
Participation in loan repayment program9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 13: “To what extent did you participate in your dental school’s retention programs such as receiving tutoring or counselling?”StudentYes=9.3%
 No=90.7%---
Father’s educational attainment9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 7: “Select the highest level of education for your father.” The constructed variable reflects 2 categories, “less than college” and “at least some college.”StudentLess than college =21.8%
 At least some college=78.2%---
Cultural sensitivity scale9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Questions 44a, 44b, 44c: “You are prepared to accept and respect patients of different races, ethnicities, and cultures”; “You are prepared to integrate knowledge regarding cultural differences into treatment planning and care delivery”; “The cultural and social environment of your school promotes acceptance and respect of students and patients of different races, ethnicities, and cultures.” [4-point scale, strongly agree (1) to strongly disagree (4)].Student9.8 (2.0)3–12
Service orientation scale9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 10: “For each of the following reasons indicate its importance to you in selecting dentistry as a career.” Three of the nine reasons for selecting dentistry as a career were used: service to others, service to my own race or ethnic group, and opportunity to serve vulnerable and low-income populations.Student9.9 (2.7)2–15
Entrepreneurial scale9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Question 10: “For each of the following reasons indicate its importance to you in selecting dentistry as a career.” Two of the nine reasons for selecting dentistry as a career were used: opportunity for self-employment and high income potential.Student8.5 (1.6)2–10
Socially conscious scale9This variable was constructed from the ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, Questions 44f, 44g, 44h, 44i: access to care is a societal good and right, access to oral health care is a major problem in the United States, assuring and providing care to all segments of society is an ethical and professional obligation, and everyone is entitled to receive basic oral health care regardless of his or her ability to pay [4-point scale, strongly agree (1) to strongly disagree (4)].Student11.8 (2.4)1–16