It is difficult to think about becoming what you have never seen”: Black students perceptions around a career in academic dentistry
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This opinion piece considers the national representation of the Black population in the United Kingdom in an academic career in dentistry and draws on engagement with Black dental students to see what their perceptions of this are. Black people are under-represented in dentistry as a whole and the number of Black academics who teach dentistry to an increasing number of aspiring young Black dental students is exceedingly low. Black dental students do not see themselves represented by their teachers and therefore 'it is difficult to think about [them] becoming what [they] have never seen'. Black dental students themselves have started initiatives to establish a strong support network of aspiring and qualified Black dentists. Dialogue with them showcases that while there are pathways into an academic career in dentistry, these appear unclear to them. This piece is intended to raise awareness of these issues, in the knowledge that with mentoring, role modelling and dialogue, pathways may become clearer, opportunities may arise that were previously not considered and the national picture may one day change.
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