Table 2

Frequently cited themes and subthemes in guided reflection papers regarding students’ assumptions about their community-based clinical education rotations (N=218 papers)

Themes and SubthemesNumber of Papers (%)
Theme 1: feelings of apprehension109 (50%)
 Treating various patient populations, e.g., elderly, special needs patients, children, non-English-speaking patients
 Lack of experience
 Treating multiple patients per day/slow clinician
 Other
Theme 2: feelings of anticipated enjoyment and looking forward to experiences101 (46%)
 Treating various patient populations, e.g., elderly, children, underserved patients, patients in pain
 Working with a dental assistant
Theme 3: patient management challenges100 (46%)
 For example, treating difficult patients such as low-income, combative, and uncooperative patients
Theme 4: site details126 (58%)
 Outdated facilities and equipment
 Busy clinics
 Similar to dental school
 More independence
Theme 5: self-improvement88 (40%)
 For example, gain knowledge, improve clinical skills, increase speed, and improve patient management skills