The recruitment of qualified employees is a constant and costly organization management challenge, particularly within a rapidly changing economic environment (Arnold, 2005; Mallol, Holtom, & Lee, 2007; Stretton & Bolon, 2009). Organizations concerned about the availability of dental health care have recognized that few new dentists choose community health practice and private practice dentists are, for the most part, not choosing to provide care for the disabled, the chronically ill, those living beneath the federal poverty level, and those residing in geographically isolated or medically underserved areas (Formicola & Bailit, 2006). Fifty-six new dentists completed the Dental Experience and Practice Preference survey to determine if relationships existed between race, gender, the type and length of dental experience prior to and during dental school, perceived self-efficacy, and practice preference. Seven hypotheses were tested utilizing non-parametric statistical analyses. No statistically significant relationships were found between race, gender, type and length of dental experience, perceived self-efficacy, and practice preference. Although the current study failed to find statistical significance, this study does offer suggestions and opportunities for future research. Research in the field of recruitment and retention of the dental healthcare workforce for the purpose of provision of care for the underserved has not been previously been grounded in theory. Future research, grounded in theory, may provide the answers necessary to assist organizations recruit and retain qualified and dedicated healthcare professionals.
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