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Is there anyway to slow the opening of new dental schools

Discussion in 'Dental' started by koobpheej, Feb 9, 2012.

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  1. koobpheej

    koobpheej Member

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    Does anybody else see the flood of new dental schools as a threat to the profession. It seems like every other year a new school is announced. I know the theory is that flooding the market with dentists will solve the access to care issue but I think most people would agree that is a load of crap. Especially with a number of these schools charging $75K per year for four years and putting out 75-100 new dentists each year.

    Many of these schools are envisioning dental programs as a profit center and don't necessarily have the best interests of the students or the profession. Burdening a bunch of new dentists with a few hundred thousand in student loans will ultimately do little to address the problems with access to care. Any ideas? Is there any way to slow this trend?
  2. mike3kgt

    mike3kgt Hopefully scuba diving

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    Don't worry, by the time that most of the new grads graduate, we will have mid-level providers who will do all the dentistry for us. The new grads won't be able to find work to service their 500k in student loans and eventually people will stop going into dentistry and instead will all go into mid-level provider programs. Then these mid-levels will start making real money, practice in a suburban shopping mall providing "fillings and whitening booths". Then those dental schools will shut down because they won't be able to fund their clinics because midlevels will set the price of dental services so cheap that they won't be able to compete.Those who are left over in other schools will all specialize in orthodontics and oral surgery.

    But midlevels can't do hygiene right? Not sure how an extraction is safer than a prophylaxis but oh well. So hygiene is always a great option.

    Man, sounds like a great path our profession is on.
  3. Saddleshoes

    Saddleshoes

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    Arson?
  4. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member Moderator

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    So lets see then. Making a profit as a dentist is OK, but making a profit as a business isn't?? :confused:

    If a business (in this case a dental school), prices itself out of the market, then it won't be in business very long and you,ll see a decrease in the number of schools and graduates each year. Look, education is a business. The faculty and staff that work there don't do it for free. The building wasn't free, the power company doesn't give the building free electricty, the dental supplies used aren't free. This applies for most systems out there. The problem is that there is this pipedream, that some things actualy are "free" and plain and simple that just isn't the case 99% of the time.

    If you graduate d-school with a massive amount of debt, what that means is that you have to live within your means from day 1, which probably isn't a bad idea at all, but unfortunately for many is a foriegn concept. That means that yes, even as a "rich" dentist, you might be living in that small, older house/apartment that isn't located in the exclusive address for a number of years (if ever). That means that you very well might need to continue to drive that 10 yr old car that you currently are instead of going out and buying that brand new BMW or Mercedes for a number of years. Look, dentistry is a very solid profession that for the majority of dentists will allow you to provide a good living for your family. But for many, both today and in years past, the reality is that you do incur a bunch of debt (education, business, even personal living) along the way that very well can take years to fully gain control of, and that's fine. In the end, there aren't too many dentists out there who don't have the financial ability to say take their family to Disney for a week without having to worry about what the costs are, and that's great. There aren't also too many dentists that are driving around in a brand new Bentley and/or are taking delivery on a brand new Gulstream jet. And that's fine too.

    If you're getting into dentistry solely for a perceived lifestyle that it *could* afford you, then you're more than likely not getting into dentistry for the right reasons and will end up dissappointed
  5. Kobe08

    Kobe08

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    I'm not sure why the ADA isn't protecting its profession from these borderline for-profit schools.
  6. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    Same thing is happening across the board for many professions, optometry (5 new schools), pharmacy glut of new pharmds, DO schools opening up like wildfire. However, the MDs have it best (as usual) because the government isn't increasing residency slots.
  7. wired202808

    wired202808 Removed

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    Its not a flood of new schools please stop this bs paranoia right now. The amount of schools opening up won't ruin the industry for anyone else. I hate these annoying sky is falling threads. Grow up and do the research by analzying numbers instead of gut paranoia feelings.

    the end. :thumbup:
  8. mike3kgt

    mike3kgt Hopefully scuba diving

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    While I normally do not like sky is falling threads either because the information is often stupid and based upon emotion and not fact. This topic, however, is fact. There are quite a few schools right now and the ratio of dental students graduating : dentist needed is slowing. Not to mention the economy just isn't coming back yet so these new grads have a tough time finding good dental "jobs."

    For example: Florida currently has 2 dental schools, one additional new one will open this year (take new class), there are two more in the plans, one serious, one on the "plan." There are more dental schools opening up or in the plans. Not to mention the new or potential new schools in Utah, Maine, NC, CA etc.

    Funny thing is that politicians think there is still an access to care problem, but most dentists know that patients really mean they "think there is an "access to free care" problem. Any grads want to go set up in Anytown USA next to the blacksmith and apothecary shop? Rural dentistry can be awesome, but not everybody wants this life. Given that either 1) new grads want to pursue the American dream and work hard and succeed or 2) simply want to pay their student loans off and buy a nice car.

    So the issue comes up that some really do believe there is an access to care problem and speak very loudly. Combine that with the average intelligence of the masses and their [poor] view of the dental profession, dental "insurance" companies and corporate dentistry would love a midlevel to save money, and politicians love a quick and easy fix... all these ultimately lead us with the midlevel provider getting rammed down our throats.

    Now, bring it all together. 1. New grads don't want to practice in rural areas or the inner cities, 2. the economy is in a dump-hole, 3. More and more new grads, 4. Add in midlevel providers, 5. Dentistry as a whole, is elective, 6. Dental "insurance" companies are enrolling more and more dentists in PPOs, HMOs, and medicaid HMOs due to #2 and 3. Add all of these factors up and the profession has some serious concerns.

    Not an easy dilemma but what we do know is that while not perfect, the ADA is not great but the best we've got right now to help keep the profession strong ... and to keep the best interests of the members in the major decisions that happen in DC.
  9. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE

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    All of the focus seems to be on dentistry in the macro economic sense. How do things change when looking from the micro economic perspective? Are new grads and/or practicing dentists going to be driven to "undesirable" locations to make ends meet, or will they still crowd around the same popular places? Will your success or failure as a dentist hinge more on the number of new grads or the quality your work, reputation and business acumen?

    These questions pertain specifically to the original question and not to changes in care providers (mid-levels, etc). I guess the ultimate question is to what degree dentists control their own destiny?
  10. GTFOOMICT

    GTFOOMICT

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    I had a very brief convo with a dentist who is higher up in the ADA ADEA and deals with accreditation.

    It feels at first that they are backstabbing us, it really does.

    But the opening of dental schools is a solution to the perceived problem of access to care. Reality is irrelevant, it's all about perception.

    The perceived problem: Poor people and even the middle class can't afford dental care or they live too far away from a dentist
    Solution 1: Increase the supply of providers/with a fairy tale lowering of cost by having midlevels
    Solution 2: Increase the supply of providers/with a fairy tale lowering of cost by graduating more dentists

    The ADA/ADEA has ammo to fight laws that aim for midlevels when we are pumping out more dentists.

    It sucks to have more competition, but the numbers of dentists are not our enemy. It is the high cost of education. That is my thought.

    I'd rather fight 10 dentists in my area than 1 midlevel.
  11. Kobe08

    Kobe08

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    How many more schools must open before we finally undermine this ignorant (and mostly liberal-driven) perception?
  12. tingting

    tingting

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    Anyone that thinks that a natural cycle of student debt and poor employment prospects will close down schools is misinformed. There are what, 14,000 applications for 5,000 seats? These rejects will GLADLY take the new seats. Look at law school where the degree has essentially turned useless; dumb undergrads still happily sign up for the useless $200k degree.

    Some dental schools did close in the 80's, but those schools ran on the traditional dental school model of a large, inefficient dental school clinic with research facilities. These new dental schools are outsourcing 80% of the clinic facilities and making taxpayers pay for it under the guise of "community health clinics" while still charging exorbitant tuition. They have no research, and hire traveling "lecturers" instead of faculty. Therefore it is the new dental school model that is the real threat and unfortunately if any schools ever close they will be the traditional research based ones that actually contribute to our profession.

    These folks will not hesitate to sell out our profession. For example the new Dean of SUNY Buffalo came from one of these new schools and what's the first thing he does? Increase the class size by 30 students with the new international program (IDP) so he can get more money. The IDP program charges an enormous amount of money to basically sell a dental license to foreign grads, and the graduates of India's 200 dental schools will happily shell out the money for a DDS and future green card.

    The only chance we have is to bottleneck the licensure process with something like mandatory residencies or to make dental school unprofitable again.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  13. DavesNotHere

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    How does a mandatory gpr bottleneck anything?
  14. tingting

    tingting

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    The ADA becomes a more powerful organization if there are more dentists to represent and collect dues from. Think. They do not care.
  15. wired202808

    wired202808 Removed

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    And at the end of the day.... you can't do a damn thing about it so why even worry about it? :) The only think you can do as a pre-dent is not to enter the profession. Knowing all these "risks" allows you to make a conscious choice. But once the choice is made you can't cry about it. That's talking out of both sides of your mouth. I intend on pursuing dentistry because I think its a long term viable business model. I understand that certain things will occur that might hinder my performance and yes dentists might take 10 to 20% in pay cuts or other issues may occur but what can I do about it? Why should I waste my time thinking about it and getting nervous and stressed out?

    I know that dentistry is a great field and I know there are other options. But I also know that smart people who work hard make a ton of money in any field. Dentistry has a lot of flexibility and room to grow your business. I intend on working hard and doing all that I can. Whether or not the "golden" years of dentistry are behind us or in front of us, I want to focus on myself and what I can contribute to the field rather than try to speculate the dental market for ups/downs.
  16. SoulPower

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    All of this stuff would be irrelevent if the federal government would stop backing any CoA for any grad program. Schools won't be able to charge 80k tuition if no one can get the loan for it. Applicant numbers will drop dramatically for a few years until private institutions build up individual loan programs (probably like a year after fed loans are dropped). Tuition itself would HAVE to drop across the board. Think about it.

    Federal loans are literally screwing professional education by giving schools a blank check to attain a degree people perceive as a great profession with high earning potential.

    Edit: Fed loans don't even need to be dropped completely. If they capped them at like 50K a year. Most of these problems would be eliminated.

    Tying in all this to the original question. Most people don't care that schools are opening up. They care that these schools charge outrageous amounts for tuition and a degree for a profession that will not earn them enough to pay that back quickly.
  17. doc toothache

    doc toothache

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    It is interesting that it is only after graduation that there is a growing hysteria/perception that there are too many dentists and the calls to close schools and throw away the keys either in the Pacific or the Atlantic Oceans.
    Quitting dentistry/changing professions would alleviate the problem one dentist at a time. In the 80s the number of graduates exceeded 6300/year; almost 30 years later, we have yet to reach the 5K mark. In the intervening year, unless the Census Bureau has a serious glitch in their ability to gather data, there has a dramatic increase in the population.
  18. gryffindor

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    I saw an article about this in the alumni magazine and couldn't figure out why they opened up 30 seats for a two year program when there was always only 0 - 4 IDP students that had to do a full 3 years. It's obviously a money grab, but it didn't make sense why the drastic change all of a sudden. I didn't realize there was a new dean from a sell-out school behind all of this.
  19. DavesNotHere

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    Stinks
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  20. Timpson

    Timpson

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    This is what particularly infuriates me. I don't mind the fact that we are educating our own citizens but why do we have to take in foreigners to educate them in our dental schools when there is no need? Although they might deny it, the only reason they come here is to get a job in the US where they can make more money and live the good life.
  21. mike3kgt

    mike3kgt Hopefully scuba diving

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    Remember, it's perceived need. By bringing in more foreign grads, they rationalize by saying that they will be motivated to practice in underserved areas (which a lot do). But really it's a money making operation for most universities.

    But isn't this the American dream? I have no problem with them wanting to do that... it is how this country was started, became great, and still is the land of opportunity (even though we have seen some hard times lately).

    The problem I have is when FTDs come to this country and sneak around the right & fair way to get dental licensure... go to dental school for at least 2-3 years. Instead, they sue the boards to let them sit for their boards. Or what they also do is apply to grad school only with the intention of getting their 2 years of experience so they can apply for state board exams. So what happens, is that these FTDs get a free education in their countries, come to USA and get a free education (some Prosth/many GPRs) with no additional structured learning (most GPRs) and then get to practice and unfairly compete against US grads (who most now have 300k+ in student loans).

    The American dream cannot be denied from anyone but it just needs to be fair and balanced so that our own sons & daughters don't get shut out of their American dreams too.
  22. Timpson

    Timpson

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    I think things have changed in the US. We are reaching a point where our population is large enough to strain our resources and the amount of jobs that are available. Meanwhile, the third world is suffering from overpopulation and depleted resources. I am sure many would like to move here but our interests are paramount.
  23. tinman831

    tinman831 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    qft
  24. yappy

    yappy

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    Are you dissapointed with your decision Tin man?
  25. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    From my understanding, any accrediting body recognized by the DOE cannot arbitrarily limit the # of schools in its purview per federal antitrust laws. The accrediting body must limit itself to matters of accreditation and not market dynamics. Also, any requirements on new schools would equally apply to existing schools, so requirements cannot simply tighten as it would catch every single school.

    If the ADA (this is your accrediting body, correct? i'm not 100% familiar with how dental ed. works) were to do this, the school in question has the right to sue in federal court and/or the accrediting body may be stripped of its status with the DOE (not likely).
  26. Tooth Trek

    Tooth Trek

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    Between the early retirement of many dentists and growing elderly population I think the profession will be fine.
  27. yappy

    yappy

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    early retirement?

  28. persenmi

    persenmi

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    It was my understanding that mid-level providers won't be able to practice w/o the supervision of a liscensed dentist. I say, bring it on. I'll hire a bunch of mid-level providers for 12 bucks an hour and charge the same for a restoration while I do crowns and RCT all day. Also, if they do turn mid-level providers loose on the public, all their botch jobs will probably increase patient flow to DMDs. In five years, the public will start to figure out that dentists actually are doctors and start to seek out real trained professionals.
  29. DavesNotHere

    DavesNotHere

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    First you say you're gonna hire them, then you say they're gonna botch the jobs...confusing plan

    The problem is that ppl don't know the difference. They think a filling is simple and that it can't be botched... So they'll go to the cheapest available
  30. yappy

    yappy

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    Aye. Look at how CRNA's are employed in place of MD's. The cheap option starts looking pretty good when you cannot measure the different. I would never let a noctor touch me much less induce me for surgery.

  31. SoulPower

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    I think he meant if mid level providers started doing fillings w/o supervision they would start botching jobs. Under supervision the dentist can obviously approve or disapprove if a prep will fail or not.
  32. Saddleshoes

    Saddleshoes

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    Don't count on early retirement of TOO many dentists.

    1. Most of these baby boomers from the "Me Generation" spent it as fast as they made it and can not retire because they have no retirement fund.
    2. Those that did sock away some cash took a big hit in the old 401K in the last decade and their retirement fund is too small to retire anytime soon.
    3. Many of the older dentist I know LIKE dentistry and have no intention of quitting. Slowing down maybe. Quitting no!
  33. yappy

    yappy

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    Agreed. The baby boomers are the worst generation ever. They had it so freakin' easy and blew it.

  34. mike3kgt

    mike3kgt Hopefully scuba diving

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    I don't know if they blew it, I would definitely say that they are in denial regarding their future and end-of-life issues/aging.
  35. MentalFloss2012

    MentalFloss2012

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    Good point. Thanks for putting things in perspective.
  36. DavesNotHere

    DavesNotHere

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    That is a good point. But based only on speculation, I wonder if the burgeoning corporate dentistry has made the climate worse regardless of amount of dentists being released into the wild. Also the grad:retiree rate had to be a lot less back then.
  37. hifive

    hifive

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    The situation is very real dental schools are opening up left, right and center. By 2013 missouri's will open, new england will have a site visit this april for their school, and many more. This profession is being guarded by a bunch of pylons.

    I was reading this journal article which was written in 09. It says the following:

    -The increase in dentists will not noticeably improve access to care for low-income and rural populations

    Given approximately ten new schools, by 2022, an additional 8,233 graduates will have joined the workforce.

    I think it underestimated the number of schools that are going to open by 2012, still 10 is enough to effect the entire profession, as there are about 60 schools open right now.

    I highly, highly doubt that 3 dentists are retiring for every 2 coming in. I dont know what else to say...
  38. wired202808

    wired202808 Removed

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    Ugh another great SDN paranoia thread. Last time I checked an additional 10K graduates won't make or break the profession since there is an inherent loss of dentists over the the next 20 years. I dont know why you dont believe the 3 for 2 argument but I see it as a being real. I also understand that 10K new dentists wont move into my backyard and attempt to practice.

    If you actually look at a map the new schools that opened up such as East Carolina, LECOM and Roseman are located in smaller states. Majority of dentists practice on the West and East coast so schools in states like Florida, Utah and NC aren't gonna "ruin it for everyone else" and yes there might be another school in Maine! OMG! Those Maine dentists will come and take all our jobs.

    Regional effects are the only thing that can be a problem. Unless the insurance companies change their policies and start to lower the $$$ that are paid out to dentists, everything else won't affect you. A new school in Missouri won't affect majority of dentists since they don't live there.

    Relax, count to 10 and know that you'll be OK :)
  39. bikedoc

    bikedoc www.wiggleyourtooth.com

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    Well said.
  40. hifive

    hifive

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    I wasn't really addressing the anyone stealing jobs or anything like, secondly the article I was talking about talks about distribution of dentists and basically says none of them work in smaller states or rural areas, and this is true even if the school opens up in a smaller state. More new grads in concentrated areas where most people like to live will lower the average pay of a dentist (simple economics). It lowers the competition of getting it dental school, thereby the best and the brightest are not representing the expertise required by the profession. It is 17% increase in the number new dental schools which is a significant portion. Assuming you are predent, than you will practicing for the next 40 years do you think there is no accumulation effect of opening new school? The statement that basically says that for every 3 dentists retiring 2 enter, is very superficial, you dont have to go far to check it out but the article I was talking about, which is in a peer-reviewed journal, shows that the number of dentists has been increasing for a long time now, if you have seen the Adea guide on schools than you know that thing has lots of statistical errors, even in the number interviewees and what not, these organizations are not peer-reviewed (atleast not without bias). The number of foreign dental grads will also increase, that will cause ripples too. But all this stuff I'am talking about is all on paper, its theoretical, I know a lot of dentists in a lot of states, my entire family is involved in dental field, I know the reality that a lot of dentists are facing. The problem is beyond just jobs...

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20007489
  41. wired202808

    wired202808 Removed

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    so why did you pursue dentistry in spite of all the doom and gloom? Also you didn't really address my statement in a logical way. Majority of students who go to schools like Maine, Roseman, LECOM aren't going to back up their bags and move to cities like Chicago, LA, NYC, Boston therefore they're not a thread to you at all. Increasing the number of dentists in the profession does absolutely nothing unless increase companies cut down the payouts.

    Using the BLS data (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos072.htm) The net change in dentists from 2008 to 2018 is around 18,000. Since the population is growing it only makes sense that the # of dentists would grow. Even when you think about it the amount of dentists in 2018 will be less than the amount of dentists that used to be around in the 1980s. Even if the 3 for 2 thing is wrong, I expect it to be 1:1 at max. There's no way that more dentists will enter the field than dentists who leave it. So stop with the paranoia and hysteria and realize that everyone will be OK!

    Trust me :)
  42. yappy

    yappy

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    I dont disagree that people get a little crazy on this forum but after reading your post I thought "I bet this guy is an idiot in real life" lol.

  43. TheClutch

    TheClutch

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    I agree with you in a way and disagree with you in a different way.
    Yes, you're right. Nothing to worry about. We are all committed to this profession. There's no backing out. at least to me.

    However, statistically we need more dentists in this nation, but I'm sure many dentists can tell you that private practices have no shortage of dentists.
    I had a chance to attend Dental MBA CE course in Phx. And many dentists told me hard to find a good job. too much debt, less production etc.
    Any decent cities are filled with dentists. Some may find rural and nature is appealing for them. Others may not. ECU, LECOM, Roseman are all located in a small state, but students from those state are free to move when they are graduate. I won't talk about regional board exams/licenses assuming you know about it. As long as their license allow them, they can move to right next to you. especially they think that your location is golden.

    And, insurances did lowered reimbursement rates lately. in WA for a fact. I think reimbursement went lower in AZ as well, but I could be wrong.

    I'd like to think that dentistry nowadays is quite different from 80's. Yes it was all bad. but you are competing against other dentists. You didn't fight against titans-corporations. But I won't talk about it here.

    The bottom line is that dentistry is looking pretty bad, but nothing to worry about. Be aware of how it is going, study it, and find solutions. I believe that if you play your cards right, you as a dentist still can be successful as you were in late 1990s and early 2000s.

    I like all these sky is falling theories because they remind me of what could happen to this profession. I can be proactive and embrace myself for the worst scenario.

    Be alerted and be ready. We are gonna kick some ass when we are out. :thumbup:
  44. averagejoedds

    averagejoedds

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    "Majority of students who go to schools like Maine, Roseman, LECOM aren't going to back up their bags and move to cities like Chicago, LA, NYC, Boston"

    LOL yes they are.
  45. wired202808

    wired202808 Removed

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    Wow thanks for the insult and good luck you to too. You seem like the most professional guy on this site :rolleyes:
  46. wired202808

    wired202808 Removed

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    oh really all of them moving it right next to you? get real buddy.
  47. hifive

    hifive

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    - I chose dentistry when I was a predent because I thought I would enjoy it (and I do), and I thought my fine motor skills sharp due to my various activities (and they are). No other reasons.

    - Again numbers do not show reality, there is a practical difference between looking at the numbers on the sheet and being in the field, I can't address this in any logical way for obvious reasons.

    - I trust you, it's my availability heuristic that doesn't ;)
  48. hifive

    hifive

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    yeeeahh boiiii haha.
  49. wired202808

    wired202808 Removed

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    haha yes we should all ignore basic facts like numerical interpretations and trust our 6th sense since we obv know better than any numbers.

    Read this book to learn about how "good" you really are at interpreting facts.

    http://www.amazon.com/Stumbling-Happiness-Daniel-Gilbert/dp/1400042666
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  50. hifive

    hifive

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    You don't give up with this numbers thing now do you, I could give countless examples of where numbers failed in practice, ie. numbers didnt predict the 08 recession, if it did we wouldnt be in this slump. I am just going to end it here, we are both persistent with our views, I dont think you will be able to change my mind, and I dont think I will be able to change yours. If it does ever come time to defend our profession, we will be on the same team either way. Agree to disagree, goodbye, and good luck.

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