41% of WVU dental school grads staying in state

More than double the number of graduates of Morgantown-based West Virginia University School of Dentistry are starting their career in West Virginia compared to last year's graduating class. 

Forty-one percent of the class of 2023 is staying in the state to practice dentistry, up from 19% of the 2022 class, according to an Oct. 9 news release from the university. 

In addition, 40% of the school's graduates that are continuing education decided to complete their residency program at West Virginia University. 

The increase in graduates opting to practice in the state is much needed, as there are only 49 dentists for every 100,000 individuals in West Virginia, compared to the U.S. average of 61 dentists per 100,000 residents, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Oral Health Program.

Graduates that stay in West Virginia also have the opportunity to participate in federal and state incentive programs which provide financial assistance to graduates that practice in rural and underserved areas, the release said.

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