Study Published in JDE Finds Gender Differences in Dental Students’ Self-assessments

Male dental students overestimate their performance more significantly than females, and both genders self-assess their skills more positively compared to scores given by faculty, according to a study published in the Journal of Dental Education (JDE).

The study—“The effect of gender on student self-assessment skills in operative preclinical dentistry”—focused on third-year dental students from six class years (Classes of 2016-2021), and its participants included students at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

“Recognizing factors that affect self-assessment ability is important because dentists must learn to accurately evaluate their clinical work in order to improve through self-directed learning,” the authors wrote. “The results of this study illustrate that self-assessment skills differ between males and females, with males on average overestimating their performances to a greater extent than females in operative preclinical dentistry.”

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