WhyMD

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Do you have any one in your school who made the switch? What I want to know is whether I have to start all over from year 1. Of course I will have to take DAT and apply and wait a year. I'm also thinking of just getting the MD degree and then switch.

I'm an old non-traditional student to whom life obligation to my family is more important than anything else. Work is work to me. I can enjoy both medicine and dentistry greatly. Right now, however, free time and quicker access to income is my priority.

Not only your facts but opinions and anecdotes are welcomed.
 

jackbauer!

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Do you have any one in your school who made the switch? What I want to know is whether I have to start all over from year 1. Of course I will have to take DAT and apply and wait a year. I'm also thinking of just getting the MD degree and then switch.

I'm an old non-traditional student to whom life obligation to my family is more important than anything else. Work is work to me. I can enjoy both medicine and dentistry greatly. Right now, however, free time and quicker access to income is my priority.

Not only your facts but opinions and anecdotes are welcomed.
We have a girl in our class that was in med school and decided she wanted to do dental instead. I'm not sure how much med school she finished, but she had to start over from year 1.

We also have an older (think 40's) non-traditional student in our class that has a PhD and was involved in research/academics for a number of years.

I don't really have any opinions.. you know better than anyone what is best for you. I am pretty sure, however, that both of the non-traditionals mentioned above have no regrets.

Best of luck to you !

jb!:)

jb!:)
 

m-dmd

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When I was just a D1 dental school,we had 2 med students switch over (M3). Since they had already taken al the normal general medical classes they did not have to retake them, ie histo, gross anatomy, etc. They did have to go back to year 1, but their 1st 2 years of dental school were easier for them since they didn't have the course load all of us did.
 
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That makes more sense since many courses are the same, there is no point in repeating them.

It appears your school is friendly to former med students. Do you mind telling me (privately or here) which school this is? I will appreciate it.

And I understand ranking of dental schools doesn't matter in practicing especially since I am not interested in specializing.
 

aggie-master

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If you apply now, you'll probably start as a DS1 a little over a year from now and graduate from dental school in 5 years. If you stay on your current plan, you'll be through 2 years of residency by then and probably in much less debt.

If you want to be a dentist, then definitely go that route, but if its about quicker access to income I don't see how going to dental school is a much better route when you factor in the extra debt you'll be taking on.
 
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WhyMD

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You have a point. But this is another reality. The income we make as a resident is less than minimum wage (80hr+/wk for only $43k). That's not really an "income" enough to support my family for 4yrs of life right after med school. Going to dental school may means more debt in short term but much larger income right after finishing school that keeps on growing every year with so much less working hours and hassles.

Look at it this way. The most competitive residency is dermatology. They make about $270k working 5days a wk after about 4yrs of residency. This is what's considered to be a dream job in medicine. People quietly or openly aim for such "lifestyle" specialties by fighting to be at the top of the class. Is dermatology so difficult and demanding intellectually that only the very top students have a chance to apply? Not at all. The only reason why it's the most competitive is because of lifestyle. I learned about this specialty and how it's the #1 residency after I started med school and I had to laugh at this pathetic reality.

Now what's possible for the top of the crop among all med students is possible for all dental students graduating after just 4yrs of schooling. But the reality is dentists do far far better than a dermatologist in terms of working hours and income. You see the irony? So many med students fight for such lifestyle residencies when if lifestyle was what they wanted they should have gone to other paths. Some can say other things about medicine and that's fine. But just look at the reality: what should not be hard to get into is the hardest to get into simply because of lifestyle (9-5, Mon-Fri, no calls, and $200k+ income) that so many med students end up wanting before finishing med school. No one can't deny this sad fact.

And I hear that lifestyle (9-5, Mon-Fri, no calls, and $200k+ income) is something many recent dental graduates can do or do better after just finishing 4yrs of school. My cousin is a dentist and after working for a year as an associate just bought a $1mil practice in Conn with a partner. Right after school he made $170k, something a neurologist or an internist make after 8yrs of grueling training working well over 60+hrs/wk.
 

ProZackMI

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Do you have any one in your school who made the switch? What I want to know is whether I have to start all over from year 1. Of course I will have to take DAT and apply and wait a year. I'm also thinking of just getting the MD degree and then switch.

I'm an old non-traditional student to whom life obligation to my family is more important than anything else. Work is work to me. I can enjoy both medicine and dentistry greatly. Right now, however, free time and quicker access to income is my priority.

Not only your facts but opinions and anecdotes are welcomed.
You should have considered all of this BEFORE you got into medical school and took a spot from someone who wanted to be a physician. If you get into dental school, it will take you at least 3 years to complete your DDS. How much will that cost you? Add on your 2 years of medical school. If you have any debt from undergrad, how much is that? And to make it worse, you have a family who depends on you for income? Pretty selfish of you to follow your dreams, without giving it much thought prior to matriculation, and then subject them to your student lifestyle for many years until you have a viable income.

Your best bet is to stay in medical school, do a GP or FP residency, and tell your wife to get a damn job.
 
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Thanks for your honest opinion. It's never too late to change. It's dumb to stick with something that turned out to be not the best for you. I have little debt thanks to all the grants and scholarships. Besides I'm not married yet, but I want to help my family financially. Also I know several med students who wish they could get out but they don't because they are afraid to change and the shame and the losing the prestige of being a physician. I don't care about such things. I am in professional school so that I can work to support my current family and future family of my own. The prospect of medicine as work appears getting worse and worse. So I'm changing to a better work. Debts and 2more years of schooling is not a big deal considering how much I will gain as a dentist. I work to live, not live to work. I have different values in life.
 

ProZackMI

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Thanks for your honest opinion. It's never too late to change. It's dumb to stick with something that turned out to be not the best for you. I have little debt thanks to all the grants and scholarships. Besides I'm not married yet, but I want to help my family financially. Also I know several med students who wish they could get out but they don't because they are afraid to change and the shame and the losing the prestige of being a physician. I don't care about such things. I am in professional school so that I can work to support my current family and future family of my own. The prospect of medicine as work appears getting worse and worse. So I'm changing to a better work. Debts and 2more years of schooling is not a big deal considering how much I will gain as a dentist. I work to live, not live to work. I have different values in life.
Well, that's a completely different story than what you portrayed in earlier posts, don't you think? I think there are two separate issues here based on what you're saying. Let's divide them accordingly:

1) Doing what you REALLY want to do
2) Supporting your family in the near future

Based on your recent post, you have one or more children, but you're not married yet. Correct? If that's the case, then I understand why you'd want to make as much money as you can now, while your kids are ostensibly young. Question is, why did you chose school over work if you have kids? That's your business, but surely you knew medical school would be 4 years, plus residency, plus no money for many years, right?

Nevertheless, let's start with issue one, doing what you want. If you, as an M2, realize the poor state of affairs organized medicine is in, and really don't think medicine is for you, then stop now and ask yourself what you really want to do with your life. I went to medical school and hated it. I finished an IM/Psych residency, practiced for a while, and hated it, although there were good times, I really felt as though I was in medicine for the wrong reasons and did not find fulfillment in my chosen profession. I went back to school and earned my JD, passed the bar exam, and now practice law full-time.

If you feel that you're not meant for medicine, now is the time to make your move. Dentistry is a great profession. Like you said, you can make great money right out of dental school without all of that residency crap. If you really want this, then it's worth it to make the move now. It's May, so you have only a few months, maybe 3, to see about getting into dental school. My guess is that it's too late for 2008-2009, but maybe not for next year. So this means you have a choice: stay in medical school one more year, racking up more debt, or dropping out and taking some time off before you matriculate into D school.

See if you can find dental schools that do an advanced standing admission for medical/pharmacy/vet students who have completed 1-2 years of professional school.

The University of the Pacific (http://dental.pacific.edu/admissions1/DDS/default.htm) has a three-year DDS program (http://dental.pacific.edu/docs/catalog/dds/OverviewOfInstruction.pdf) that might appeal to you and meet your needs. Other schools have an advanced standing program for people in your situation. Check out some dental schools, call the admissions office, and see what they say.

Dentistry is very rewarding financially and professionally. If this is what you want, in a few years, you'll be making good money and you won't have the hassle of residency, etc.
 

atlantis

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Thanks for your honest opinion. It's never too late to change. It's dumb to stick with something that turned out to be not the best for you. I have little debt thanks to all the grants and scholarships. Besides I'm not married yet, but I want to help my family financially. Also I know several med students who wish they could get out but they don't because they are afraid to change and the shame and the losing the prestige of being a physician. I don't care about such things. I am in professional school so that I can work to support my current family and future family of my own. The prospect of medicine as work appears getting worse and worse. So I'm changing to a better work. Debts and 2more years of schooling is not a big deal considering how much I will gain as a dentist. I work to live, not live to work. I have different values in life.
I tip my hat to you my friend. You are doing the right thing and you are not the only one.

I stepped out of a Family Practice Residency Program, after only 6 months of training. I learned the hard way that that path in life was not for me (for many reasons I can not even begin to bring up in this forum).

Medicine, as a profession is dead. It is a position one can occupy as an employee of the almighty state. Becoming a physician in the USA is indirectly admitting that you, Mr. Physician, no longer belong to yourself but rather are owned and operated by "Uncle Sam Public Services".

I always wanted to be my own boss, and truly believed that medicine was the profession of yester year, where such professionals were in firm control of their futures. That a doctor could place behind him, once having been trained, the years of uncertainty, sweat, blood and tears..... and look forward thereafter to helping individuals that would help him back. Yet this is no longer the case.....particularly, ever since the government invaded health care.

Because of government intervention, todays primary care doctor is a hypocrite. The very act of practicing in todays mandatory insurance environment is a silent admission of practicing unethically.

This is because only in the medical businesses do we see that the patient is not the client(i.e. the payer for services). In every industry, it is legally interpreted that only the payer has the right to make demands on how the services will be rendered. This fact communicates the reality that the patient is helpless caught in a game of "monkey in the middle" getting slapped from either the health care practitioner servicing him or from the politician/unethical businessman (on the other end) who shamelessly takes his money by force and tells him what he can do for healthcare with his money.

This disgusting socialist medical game will go on indefinitely so long as there are people willing to practice medicine in this industry under these unadmirable societal rules.

Dentistry, luckily, has not fallen .......yet. Some might ask "Why hasn't Dentistry fallen under the control of the government?". There I do not have a clear answer......

All I can do is agree with all the points you brought up as to why you are leaving medicine and that dentistry would be a more moral and humane way of making a living.

That is why I am switching too........I want my life back and its nice to know one more person wants his life back too.

So, once again, I tip my hat to you.........I tip my hat to an individual who knows the value fo self-respect.

The Rising Phoenix
 

Dukie

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Simple answer- you are most likely going to have to start from the beginning. If dentistry is what you really want, then by all means, go for it. However, I would not go in believing you'll be able to apply credits because very few schools will let you use your medical school courses to get out of dental classes. All that being said, if you still feel that dentistry is right for you, welcome and good luck!
 

mustang99

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Dude,

You are totally dead on.

You have no idea how smart of a decision you are making.

Get out of med school now ASAP and apply to dental schools. It doesn't matter if you have to do the full 4 years --- just do it.

So many of my friends who have dads who are physicians, strongly recommend that their OWN CHILDREN go to dental school.

A dentist makes more money in america than pediatricians, general internists, psychiatrists, and family physicians, while having a better life too.
Plus you get to be your own boss.

The avg dentist in america (GP) makes between 200-300K. (this is after working for some time). Some make much more. Some also open up more than 1 office.

But why stop here?

Think about specializing in dentistry. The difference between medicine and dentistry during residency is that dental residents can moon light and pull in 6 figures (I wouldn't say that all of them pull in 6 figures), when you consider there extracurricular income and stipend.

Good luck buddy.

I may not have a lot of posts, but I do know what I'm talking about.
 

Taurus

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Knowing what I know today, I would have gone the dental route instead of medical school. Medicine is no longer the dream job it once was. I think dentistry has overtaken it.

You're right on with your derm analogy. I've pointed this out to many people too. Why are medical students fighting so hard to get into derm for the lifestyle and income when they can get pretty much the same or better lifestyle in dentistry? 9-5, no call, no rounding, done in 4 years, start at $150-200K. I'm realize now that I value my free time, enjoying life, and earning an income sooner than later more than becoming a medical "scholar" and spending every waking minute learning about some disease.

Dentistry is under pressure now with midlevels at the gate waiting to charge through. Even if laws are passed for them, it will be decades before you will see a big effect on the profession.

Alas for me, it's too late. I'll finish my medical training since I'm basically at the end now. I'll probably go into radiology and hopefully that will give me some contentment.
 

b333b

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Dude,

You are totally dead on.

You have no idea how smart of a decision you are making.

Get out of med school now ASAP and apply to dental schools. It doesn't matter if you have to do the full 4 years --- just do it.

So many of my friends who have dads who are physicians, strongly recommend that their OWN CHILDREN go to dental school.

A dentist makes more money in america than pediatricians, general internists, psychiatrists, and family physicians, while having a better life too.
Plus you get to be your own boss.

The avg dentist in america (GP) makes between 200-300K. (this is after working for some time). Some make much more. Some also open up more than 1 office.

But why stop here?

Think about specializing in dentistry. The difference between medicine and dentistry during residency is that dental residents can moon light and pull in 6 figures (I wouldn't say that all of them pull in 6 figures), when you consider there extracurricular income and stipend.

Good luck buddy.

I may not have a lot of posts, but I do know what I'm talking about.
1) specializing in dentistry is as competitive as getting into derm/radiology/etc. you will have to be top10%. your endo residency will be 2 1/2 yrs, so it doesnt make sense if lifestyle is what you're after. if prestige is what you're after then M.D. is still better.

2) medical residents can moonlight also. read up on the radiology forum about a resident who makes $5k/weekend moonlighting. and they do have 4wks vacation.

3) i guess dermatology is more competitive than radiology because people want to see patients. on the other hand some people with super high stats want to be able to take long vacations and work from a laptop from a beach if they choose. but they get to decide this during ms3. if you find out during dental school that you dont like patients(though thats unlikely because they're mostly healthy) or more importantly that you're not good at drilling and giving shots, you dont have an option like radiology or even fp. you'll become one of those bad dentists.
 

aggie-master

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if you find out during dental school that you dont like patients(though thats unlikely because they're mostly healthy) or more importantly that you're not good at drilling and giving shots, you dont have an option like radiology or even fp. you'll become one of those bad dentists.
Technically you have an option similar to radiology.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology: Oral and maxillofacial radiology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of radiology concerned with the production and interpretation of images and data produced by all modalities of radiant energy that are used for the diagnosis and management of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral and maxillofacial region.
Don't ask me what that job is like or what they make, but I know it is a specialty.
 

DIRTIE

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[QUOTE=

Look at it this way. The most competitive residency is dermatology. They make about $270k working 5days a wk after about 4yrs of residency. This is what's considered to be a dream job in medicine. People quietly or openly aim for such "lifestyle" specialties by fighting to be at the top of the class. Is dermatology so difficult and demanding intellectually that only the very top students have a chance to apply? Not at all. The only reason why it's the most competitive is because of lifestyle. I learned about this specialty and how it's the #1 residency after I started med school and I had to laugh at this pathetic reality. [QUOTE



Look, my bro in law is a Derm, he finished his residency 5 yrs ago, let me tell you he makes way over 270K, most do. Are you serious, do you really believe those numbers that they tell for income. Not only that, he didn't have to buy some existing practice and spend hundreds of thousands, a large clinic brought him in almost immediately as a full partner. Money can't be the issue, you have it all backwards.
 

blissdental

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Look at it this way. The most competitive residency is dermatology. They make about $270k working 5days a wk after about 4yrs of residency. This is what's considered to be a dream job in medicine. People quietly or openly aim for such "lifestyle" specialties by fighting to be at the top of the class. Is dermatology so difficult and demanding intellectually that only the very top students have a chance to apply? Not at all. The only reason why it's the most competitive is because of lifestyle. I learned about this specialty and how it's the #1 residency after I started med school and I had to laugh at this pathetic reality. [QUOTE Look said:
Same with my current derm and also my past. I'm sure my current derm makes alot, lot more than 270K. Most patients that come for cosmetic procedures are able to pay with cash or check and I've seen many willing to pay through this method for the discount. I think this works out because the costs of cosmetical procedures in derm are high enough for the doc to make a good profit, but then again not too high enough that the patients can't afford it. I doubt the derm would report everything. Dentists make good money but most derms probably make more and more easily due to less competition. Compare the long list of dental office in the yellow book compared to the handful of derms around the area.
 

JamieMac

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Hmmm...interesting how the topic drifts from the original.

Besides, a comparison between dermatology and general dentistry seems kind of silly.
 

TempleDMDKrazd

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speaking of a dermatologist. i just went to see one a few weeks back. which i paid all cash. the doctor spent 30 seconds looking at my skin which cost me $90 consultation and sold me on a cream for $50 bucks and recommended a really good lotion (that cost an arm and a leg though). all in all ,i spent roughly 5 mins at his office. would i go again? hell yea, my skin never looked so good (its improving so much)
 

MarkND

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You should absolutely do what you feel like....I also had a chance to go to medical school, but I chose dentistry. I agree, you have a better chance to make money as a dentist than a physician. Best of luck to you buddy.:thumbup:
 

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Technically you have an option similar to radiology.



Don't ask me what that job is like or what they make, but I know it is a specialty.
They make a killing. I know of an Oral Maxillofacial Radiology practice in the Bahamas. Four guys working through the internet and taking lunch breaks on the beach. Rediculous that it isn't a fairy tale. I'd strongly consider this or Dental Anesthesia if I weren't so lazy. :oops:
 

armorshell

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They make a killing. I know of an Oral Maxillofacial Radiology practice in the Bahamas. Four guys working through the internet and taking lunch breaks on the beach. Rediculous that it isn't a fairy tale. I'd strongly consider this or Dental Anesthesia if I weren't so lazy. :oops:
I'd sure love to see a link to their website, because I can't find it anywhere on the nets, and I can't see what kind of service they could actually provide.
 

sarah_bellum

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I'd sure love to see a link to their website, because I can't find it anywhere on the nets, and I can't see what kind of service they could actually provide.
My understanding is that most OMFR's are in academia. When I interviewed at UNC, one of my interviewers was the head of OMFR. He mentioned that there were a few in private practice in the Raleigh area.
 

MONKEYBOY

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I also quit a very highly ranking medical school and am starting dental school this fall.

Steve Jobs quote, "wouldn't it be great if," you could have a 9-5 job AND have a life outside of work?

After seeing how the physician will always be an employee of a hospital (or inevitably the insurance company that is run by f*ckhead business majors), I quit medical school once I was accepted to dental school.

This seems somewhat common.

Imagine if dentistry was an outcome of medical school, with a 'dentistry residency' that medical school graduates would choose from. If it paid the same and was 4 years, they would be killing each other for it as they do for radiology, derm, ENT.

In medical school, the phrase, "work as hard as you can now, so you don't have to work later," was the mantra.

Dentistry is a great profession, and I am thankful for those before me who have kept dental practicing rights more in the hands of dentists.

A friend of mine is a General Dentist and she makes $170k, got a $10k sign on bonus, and full benefits. Average family medicine phyisican makes about $112,000. Unfair to the FP, but last I checked I couldn't find a guarantee that says life is fair.
 

gryffindor

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A friend of mine is a General Dentist and she makes $170k, got a $10k sign on bonus, and full benefits. Average family medicine phyisican makes about $112,000. Unfair to the FP, but last I checked I couldn't find a guarantee that says life is fair.
This type of job for a new grad is not typical, and it is definitely dependent on where you practice.
 

ItsGavinC

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As a general note, oral radiologists shouldn't be compared to medical radiologist in terms of hours worked or income potential. As it currently stands the services of oral radiologists are not used in the same manner as medical radiologists. The previous poster was correct in stating that the majority of oral radiologists are in academics. In terms of income, there is reason for that.
 

La Miraflorina

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Medicine, as a profession is dead. It is a position one can occupy as an employee of the almighty state. Becoming a physician in the USA is indirectly admitting that you, Mr. Physician, no longer belong to yourself but rather are owned and operated by "Uncle Sam Public Services".

I always wanted to be my own boss, and truly believed that medicine was the profession of yester year, where such professionals were in firm control of their futures. That a doctor could place behind him, once having been trained, the years of uncertainty, sweat, blood and tears..... and look forward thereafter to helping individuals that would help him back. Yet this is no longer the case.....particularly, ever since the government invaded health care.

Because of government intervention, todays primary care doctor is a hypocrite. The very act of practicing in todays mandatory insurance environment is a silent admission of practicing unethically.

This is because only in the medical businesses do we see that the patient is not the client(i.e. the payer for services). In every industry, it is legally interpreted that only the payer has the right to make demands on how the services will be rendered. This fact communicates the reality that the patient is helpless caught in a game of "monkey in the middle" getting slapped from either the health care practitioner servicing him or from the politician/unethical businessman (on the other end) who shamelessly takes his money by force and tells him what he can do for healthcare with his money.

This disgusting socialist medical game will go on indefinitely so long as there are people willing to practice medicine in this industry under these unadmirable societal rules.

Dentistry, luckily, has not fallen .......yet. Some might ask "Why hasn't Dentistry fallen under the control of the government?". There I do not have a clear answer......

All I can do is agree with all the points you brought up as to why you are leaving medicine and that dentistry would be a more moral and humane way of making a living.

The Rising Phoenix
I almost made the same *mistake* you made: Three years ago, I was at the Kaplan Center doing their intensive MCAT class and researching which medical schools I'd like to apply to. My mother had always (gently but firmly) pushed me towards medicine... as if she'd know... she was a musician! I guess it was the prestige of medicine that was the shiny hook with a big fat worm on it. Quite frankly, I don't give a d*mn about prestige, especially if I have no life outside of work.

So the closer I came to actually having to lay some money down to apply to these schools and make a real decision about medicine, the more nauseas I became... quite literally. I couldn't sleep or eat and there was this nagging uneasiness lurking somewhat beneath my conscious thoughts.

And then, one day, while I was supposed to be studying some innane subject for the MCAT, I was surfing the Internet instead. I came across an essay written by a woman who had gone through the same turmoil I was going through at that very moment. At the very last minute, she decided against medicine and instead applied to dental school. At the moment of writing her essay, I believe she was a D3(?)

Anyhow, I was fascinated by her essay and found myself frantically researching what dental school and dentistry was all about. Before I knew it, hours had gone by and within 24 hours, I found myself telling my family I would be applying to dental school instead.

By the way, I'm now finishing up my 2nd year in dental school and couldn't be happier with my decision!

Reading this thread brings me both relief and dread: Relief because I know I wasn't mistaken - that in fact, medicine is no longer the noble profession it once was. And dread because medicine is no longer drawing the most intelligent, caring people - it's merely drawing the type-As who, for the most part, care more about prestige than they do about actually helping improve others' lives. And what's even more frightening is that the top students (presumably the smartest) are going into dermatology and radiology - specialties that don't necessarily deal with the most injured or sickest people - while those at the bottom of the class get "stuck" in oncology, family medicine etc...

Isn't it comforting to know that your ER doc was at the bottom of his class? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

There clearly is a problem in medicine that needs to be addressed immediately. Studies have shown time and time again that residents running on 2 hours of sleep over the last 48 hours make more critical mistakes in patient care than those who have slept properly. I understand the vast number of issues concerning the government / insurance companies stepping in and placing choke chains on doctors - Don't even get me started on that one - But my question for current medical students and doctors is this: Why do medical schools and hospitals continue to over-work students and residents to death? Do they truly believe that produces a more competent doctor?

And how hard is it for people, the government, insurance companies to see that if you don't provide a job which is attractive to the intellectually elite, both in lifestyle and financial compensation, you will essentially have a "brain drain" in the profession? After all, government officials and insurance CEOs get sick too - Aren't they concerned for their own well-being as we all are? Doctors spend years of their youth and vast amounts of money preparing to save our lives. They deserve autonomy, respect and a life outside of work. I just don't understand where we started to go wrong...

I guess I'm starting to ramble so I'll cut this short for now.

To the OP: You've made a very wise decision and I wouldn't worry about being in dental school for 4 years vs. 2 or 3. Just do it. The rest of your life will thank you :)
 

briansle

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To the OP:

MAKE SURE YOU WOULD ACTUALLY ENJOY PRACTICING DENTISTRY.

Waking up every morning and going to a job you love is what determines a good "lifestyle". If you're not a neat freak, control freak, and a handy-man type of guy, I wouldn't recommend this field. Medicine has more variety to find what suits your personality the best.

All you need is 2 things to be a dentist:

1) You can play nintendo Wii pretty good.
2) You don't have the interpersonal skills of a Wolverine.
 

Calidental

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Same with my current derm and also my past. I'm sure my current derm makes alot, lot more than 270K. Most patients that come for cosmetic procedures are able to pay with cash or check and I've seen many willing to pay through this method for the discount. I think this works out because the costs of cosmetical procedures in derm are high enough for the doc to make a good profit, but then again not too high enough that the patients can't afford it. I doubt the derm would report everything. Dentists make good money but most derms probably make more and more easily due to less competition. Compare the long list of dental office in the yellow book compared to the handful of derms around the area.
It's a good point you raise about numbers of a certain medical specialty vs gps but then again how many times has the average person been to a derm by the time theyre say 40? However, most average ppl have had fillings, cleanings, extraction, ortho even a couple of endos or crowns.
 

Aceofspades

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A lot of the numbers posted here are pretty inflated. The whole "I know a guy who makes..." usually does not realistically compare to the average, or more important MEDIAN salary. For Hoboken, NJ (just a city I picked) here are the median numbers

Dermatologist
$272,527 - Base salary
$367,640 - Salary + bonuses, social security, 401k, pension, disability, etc.

General Dentist
$156,762 - Base salary
$211,580 - Salary + bonuses, SS, etc.

Family Physician
$184,516 - Base
$250,537 - Base + extras

Certified Nurse Anesthetist
$167,641 - Base (WOW, more than a dentist)
$223,825 - Base + extras


EDIT:
Changes in medicine have probably decreased the median salary of Family Physicians, especially new grads.
 

armorshell

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It's not really fair to compare one of the most competitive specialties of medicine with the "primary care" specialty of dentistry. If you want a more realistic comparison, look at ortho next to derm.

As far as family physicians vs. general dentists, the salary for Hoboken looks a little nicer for the physician, but where are hours per week worked factored in? Last time I checked, the average dentist works something like 20 hours per week less than the average physician. There's also a great thread somewhere on the forums where someone did a breakdown of hourly salary by profession, and general dentist make only slightly less per hour, ON AVERAGE, then derms, and endo, pedo, OMFS and ortho make more per hour than any other medical/dental specialties hourly.
 

JamieMac

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Following is a link for an article that puts some of this into perspective. Sure it may not be the 'norm' for all dentists, BUT I'd bet this is a common scenario for many family medicine docs. I also agree that it would be more appropriate to compare ortho and dermatology.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB110531516417121170.html?mod=googlewsj

Or perform a google search on: Tale of two docs
 

Taurus

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Let's be careful about being overconfident.

Salaries are based on supply and demand.

If midlevels infiltrate dentistry, then you can kiss those dental numbers goodbye.
 

JamieMac

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Let's be careful about being overconfident.

Salaries are based on supply and demand.

If midlevels infiltrate dentistry, then you can kiss those dental numbers goodbye.
I'm not sure anyone is being "overconfident". Every single product and service in a capitalistic society is based on supply and demand, which in turn, effects price (or amount you can charge).

Also, I believe that most individuals in the profession (or going into the profession) are paying close attention to the developments of "mid-levels" in dentistry primarily because of the impact they have had on medicine.

If this happens nationwide, it is likely that many d-schools would close because they couldn't justify the $200,K tuition bill.
 

Taurus

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Certified Nurse Anesthetist
$167,641 - Base (WOW, more than a dentist)
$223,825 - Base + extras
Researchers develop automated anesthesia system

I believe we're in the golden era of CRNA's too. If automated anesthesia systems become popular, that golden era will come crashing down fast. CRNA's are paid way too much for babysitting cases.

The only constant is change. As cliche as it sounds, it's so true.
 

LeoDDS

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Let's be careful about being overconfident.

Salaries are based on supply and demand.

If midlevels infiltrate dentistry, then you can kiss those dental numbers goodbye.
There are only 50 dental schools in the US, and the number of dentists retiring will exceed the number of new dentists entering.

And, the population is still increasing.

Win-win for the dentist in the next few decades. Sure, the mid-levels can try to infiltrate, but numbers are numbers and the demand will only exceed the demand.


To the OP, I would highly encourage you to talk to professionals at your school about this issue (ie, the oral surgeons who have done both dental and medical school). It's great that you are thinking of this issue before already completing medical school, so that way at least you can save some time and effort. However, before throwing the towel in completely, talk to lots and lots of people, hear the story from all sides. Shadow private dental offices to make sure that it is indeed what you want to do. In my class at Columbia, there are actually 2 students (out of 75) who ALREADY have their MDs. They just didn't love medicine enough to stay with it, so now they're doing dental :rolleyes: Good for them for doing what makes them happy, but it is a lot of years&tears wasted.
 

Pikeyman

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To give you an idea of what dentistry entails, a lot of times, what you do in dentistry is blind. With DO, MO, MOD restorations you do in the molars like 2,31, you can't see 50% of what you're doing no matter what you do so you would move around, twisting in ways you are not supposed to just get a better view even with which you can't see clearly. Dentistry in general is not a very ergonomically friendly profession. You can hurt your back or wrist from scaling and root planing.

When I did a crown prep on a lower molar, I just couldn't see the distal lingual no matter what I did. Granted, the patient couldn't open her mouth wide enough and didn't have an assistant to suction and retract the tongue. Still, that appointment was just brutal. If you have type A personality like a lot of dental students, doing a crappy prep will frustrate the hell out of you and get you thinking about your dental career.

If you don't have manual dexterity, think hard about doing dentistry. It will frustrate the hell out of you but if you stick it out long enough and work hard, you will find ways but getting there sometimes can break you.

Dentistry should not be looked as just another alternative to medicine with a better lifestyle. If you want that, you should look into other healthcare professions that don't treat people so you can save yourself a headache.
 
OP
W

WhyMD

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Thank you all for your honest opinions and sharing.
I am researching for suitable dental school for me. It appears I will have to wait till next fall to start during which time I will have to work. Instead of studying for Step 1, I will be studying for DAT to be taken in a month.

To the above poster, I am an painter and used to manual labors. I enjoy all kinds of work when the hours are humane and the return is reasonable. Can I look into people's mouths all day? It's not as hard as climbing up and down a 20ft high ladder with a brush in one hand and a gallon of paint in the other trying to paint the gutter under the 90degree sun rays.

I have talked with relatives and friends who are dentists. Everybody sees the common sense reality yet have certain attachment to that ghostly prestige of "MD" title. It means nothing to me if it's making my life increasingly difficult and draining with so little in return. The government is cutting physicians income further (40% in 10 years) and not allowing residents to defer loan payments. This means we are left with around $1300 a month to live and support a family while working over 80hrs/wk for 3-4 yrs! My situation does not allow me to do that. Better get out now. I just don't understand why the system is perpetuating such hostile conditions unnecessarily.
 

griller

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All you need is 2 things to be a dentist:

1) You can play nintendo Wii pretty good.
2) You don't have the interpersonal skills of a Wolverine.[/B][/QUOTE]


AHHAHA, Awesome
 

griller

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Knowing what I know today, I would have gone the dental route instead of medical school. Medicine is no longer the dream job it once was. I think dentistry has overtaken it.

You're right on with your derm analogy. I've pointed this out to many people too. Why are medical students fighting so hard to get into derm for the lifestyle and income when they can get pretty much the same or better lifestyle in dentistry? 9-5, no call, no rounding, done in 4 years, start at $150-200K. I'm realize now that I value my free time, enjoying life, and earning an income sooner than later more than becoming a medical "scholar" and spending every waking minute learning about some disease.

Dentistry is under pressure now with midlevels at the gate waiting to charge through. Even if laws are passed for them, it will be decades before you will see a big effect on the profession.

Alas for me, it's too late. I'll finish my medical training since I'm basically at the end now. I'll probably go into radiology and hopefully that will give me some contentment.
First of all, dentistry and medicine are WORLDS apart. If you really think, "oh, i should have just gone to dental school, or vice versa, then you are very confused on what each job entails." Also, the reason why derm and other similar type of specialties are competitive is b/c of the COMBINED lifestyle and income...not just the lifestyle.

Yes, dentistry is viewed to have a great life style and a nice income to follow it, but in order to enjoy the fruits of your labor you really need to bust your ***. You dont just sleep through 4 yrs of dent school, pop out of graduation and start at 150K...NO WAY. You definitely have the POTENTIAL to make that kind of money but you really need to work hard, start your own practice, or be in a situation where its realistic. You have you realize that both medicine and dentistry have great potential to live both wonderful lifestyles and earn a lot of money. You just have to know how to run your own practice and use your knowledge and skills wisely.

If you just want to switch to dentistry just for the "lifestyle," i recommend you drop out and start a food cart. Honestly, some of these food carts in the city are making BANK and they only work from 11-2. All cash income with minimal overhead...=....MONEY.

But, if you love dentistry then by all means make sure you really know you love it. You can still go very far and do very well using your hands as a surgeon in medicine.

And i have no clue where you heard that you make 150-200K as a fresh graduate from dent school. That is completely absurd. If that was the case...no one would be trying to specialize in dent school. I would say the average grad probably makes around 80-115K starting out...and thats working hard. Remember, when you graduate you still dont know squat and your skills are extremely sluggish compared to dentists that have been practicing for 20+ yrs.
 
OP
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WhyMD

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You are right in some cases.
Plus, it's not just money, it's also how quickly I can start making money. It's not fair to my family to make them suffer for the next 6yrs or more living on the verge of being kicked out of apt just so that I can do what I knew I am capable of doing. Time for ego trip for me is over. It's time to take a real responsibility as a man. This would all be very different if I or my family had some money. First two years of med school was enjoyable and I loved working with patient. But I don't feel different at all in terms of working with people in medical clinic or in dental clinic. That's why the switch. Plus, all my relatives and friends who are dentists practicing 3-8yrs have given me solid realistic view of dental world. It fulfills what I need. It seems you have somewhat nice picture of medical world as do many who are looking from outside.
 

Taurus

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First of all, dentistry and medicine are WORLDS apart. If you really think, "oh, i should have just gone to dental school, or vice versa, then you are very confused on what each job entails." Also, the reason why derm and other similar type of specialties are competitive is b/c of the COMBINED lifestyle and income...not just the lifestyle.

Yes, dentistry is viewed to have a great life style and a nice income to follow it, but in order to enjoy the fruits of your labor you really need to bust your ***. You dont just sleep through 4 yrs of dent school, pop out of graduation and start at 150K...NO WAY. You definitely have the POTENTIAL to make that kind of money but you really need to work hard, start your own practice, or be in a situation where its realistic. You have you realize that both medicine and dentistry have great potential to live both wonderful lifestyles and earn a lot of money. You just have to know how to run your own practice and use your knowledge and skills wisely.

If you just want to switch to dentistry just for the "lifestyle," i recommend you drop out and start a food cart. Honestly, some of these food carts in the city are making BANK and they only work from 11-2. All cash income with minimal overhead...=....MONEY.

But, if you love dentistry then by all means make sure you really know you love it. You can still go very far and do very well using your hands as a surgeon in medicine.

And i have no clue where you heard that you make 150-200K as a fresh graduate from dent school. That is completely absurd. If that was the case...no one would be trying to specialize in dent school. I would say the average grad probably makes around 80-115K starting out...and thats working hard. Remember, when you graduate you still dont know squat and your skills are extremely sluggish compared to dentists that have been practicing for 20+ yrs.
My gf is a 4th year dental student. She gets her facts straight from the people who were offered these positions and salaries. Her sister is a dentist and former president of dental alumni association in this mid-sized city. Her aunt is also a dentist. My future sister-in-law graduated from dental school last year. Good enough for you? :cool:
 

Taurus

Paul Revere of Medicine
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Thank you all for your honest opinions and sharing.
I am researching for suitable dental school for me. It appears I will have to wait till next fall to start during which time I will have to work. Instead of studying for Step 1, I will be studying for DAT to be taken in a month.

To the above poster, I am an painter and used to manual labors. I enjoy all kinds of work when the hours are humane and the return is reasonable. Can I look into people's mouths all day? It's not as hard as climbing up and down a 20ft high ladder with a brush in one hand and a gallon of paint in the other trying to paint the gutter under the 90degree sun rays.

I have talked with relatives and friends who are dentists. Everybody sees the common sense reality yet have certain attachment to that ghostly prestige of "MD" title. It means nothing to me if it's making my life increasingly difficult and draining with so little in return. The government is cutting physicians income further (40% in 10 years) and not allowing residents to defer loan payments. This means we are left with around $1300 a month to live and support a family while working over 80hrs/wk for 3-4 yrs! My situation does not allow me to do that. Better get out now. I just don't understand why the system is perpetuating such hostile conditions unnecessarily.
Smart move. Medicine is not a bad field, but the government interference make it not worth it anymore.
 

JamieMac

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And i have no clue where you heard that you make 150-200K as a fresh graduate from dent school. That is completely absurd. If that was the case...no one would be trying to specialize in dent school. I would say the average grad probably makes around 80-115K starting out...and thats working hard. Remember, when you graduate you still dont know squat and your skills are extremely sluggish compared to dentists that have been practicing for 20+ yrs.
Griller,
There is a lot of legitimacy to your post, but I have to disagree when it comes to that amount being absurd. Sure, 80-115,K may be the average after graduation, but it doesn't represent ALL positions. I'll bet there are some who only make 60,K. I know two people personally who worked for smaller level corporate dental cos. that each made $250,K their first year out (thought it was BS until I was able to verify it). AND I know another who took a position as an associate that grossed over $240,K her first year. The first two in corporate "busted their a##" 6 days/week to do it. As you know this is primarily based on demand, which is very strongly related to location...and you also mentioned speed.

Considering the 'speed' factor...some schools are known for the didactic approach, while others are more clinically based, which can have major impact on initial speed. I've been told by several in the profession that school A and school B are great schools, but they tend to produce two different types of grads.

Taking this into consideration...if the demand is there, and a new grad possesses solid clinical skills (with speed)...it can be done.
 

griller

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Griller,
There is a lot of legitimacy to your post, but I have to disagree when it comes to that amount being absurd. Sure, 80-115,K may be the average after graduation, but it doesn't represent ALL positions. I'll bet there are some who only make 60,K. I know two people personally who worked for smaller level corporate dental cos. that each made $250,K their first year out (thought it was BS until I was able to verify it). AND I know another who took a position as an associate that grossed over $240,K her first year. The first two in corporate "busted their a##" 6 days/week to do it. As you know this is primarily based on demand, which is very strongly related to location...and you also mentioned speed.

Considering the 'speed' factor...some schools are known for the didactic approach, while others are more clinically based, which can have major impact on initial speed. I've been told by several in the profession that school A and school B are great schools, but they tend to produce two different types of grads.

Taking this into consideration...if the demand is there, and a new grad possesses solid clinical skills (with speed)...it can be done.
oh, i definitely agree with you. I just get annoyed when people throw around these really high numbers and make it seem like you can bank 250K average your first year....now that is definitely absurd. its definitely possible, like i said, but you have to be in the right situation and bust your ***...just like any other profession out there. but i surely doubt the median income for a graduating class is anywhere over 200K.

I just dont want predents scanning these posts and thinking that you can be an average joe shmoe dentists and roll out of bed and swim through your pot of gold. it just doesnt work that way. that being said, you have to go into dentistry knowing you like it or at least knowing you wont kill yourself drilling and looking through loops all day. if you apply yourself the same way in medicine you can make just as much or even more money.

and you cant forget those who inherit their parent's practice...im sure those people are doing very well once they graduate.:smuggrin:
 

griller

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My gf is a 4th year dental student. She gets her facts straight from the people who were offered these positions and salaries. Her sister is a dentist and former president of dental alumni association in this mid-sized city. Her aunt is also a dentist. My future sister-in-law graduated from dental school last year. Good enough for you? :cool:
thats good enough for anyone skimming this site...i just want to emphasize that i dont think 150-200 is what everyone is going to make once they graduate. I just remember being a naive predent thinking i can just pass...get my dds...and fall into a job paying that much.

all im doing is trying to deflate all these numbers floating around and try to provide a realistic average for those who are curious...sooner or later we'll see someone post that everyone is banking 500K as fresh grads and that medicine is pure crap.
 

servitup

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Looking at this thread is making me very upset-basically what I have gotten from this post is that the only reason you are switching to dentistry is for the money. I think this is really unfair to a lot of pre-dents/dental students that would love to be a dentist regardless of how much money they get. I know I would just be happy to do what I love, even if it didn't pay that much.

You already took the spot of someone who wanted to go to medical school and if you switch to dentistry, you are going to possibly take the spot of someone who wants to become a dentist for the right reasons (not reasons of lifestyle or money). I think you should maybe figure out what you want to do before you steal the dreams of others.

All you are talking about is money and there is more to life than money. You don't need a 6 figure income to support your family-a lot of families make do without being a dentist or a physician. You should re-think your reasoning on why you want to be a dentist because patients aren't going to really benefit from you being a dentist if your only motive for the field is money!
Posts like this one are goofy. Most dental students do it because of the lifestyle/income, to work with people, etc. There is no way to LOVE dentistry before you start unless you are a total goober. Give me a break. I chose dentistry over medicine for the money/hours, sue me. Otherwise, they have a lot in common so to me a smart person chooses dentistry.
 

ucla2134

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Thanks for your honest opinion. It's never too late to change. It's dumb to stick with something that turned out to be not the best for you. I have little debt thanks to all the grants and scholarships. Besides I'm not married yet, but I want to help my family financially. Also I know several med students who wish they could get out but they don't because they are afraid to change and the shame and the losing the prestige of being a physician. I don't care about such things. I am in professional school so that I can work to support my current family and future family of my own. The prospect of medicine as work appears getting worse and worse. So I'm changing to a better work. Debts and 2more years of schooling is not a big deal considering how much I will gain as a dentist. I work to live, not live to work. I have different values in life.
Why people mad at him? It is OK for him to change since his family is priority. I respect that