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Dentistry3399

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Apr 25, 2012
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  1. Pre-Dental
Hi everyone! I need a lot of advice and help as to my future career as either a dentist (which I would most want to do), Pharmacist, or Physician Assistant. I am about to finish my 3rd year of UCLA as a psychology major. I have taken a lot of psychology classes, but have always come up short with my science classes (some semesters I was late, others didn't quite fit into my schedule). Now I have essentially "woken up" and realized that I am pretty behind on my science classes.

For Dental School, you need:

General biology and lab (1 year‡)
General physics and lab (1 year)
Inorganic/general chemistry and lab (1 year)
Organic chemistry and lab (1 year)
English composition (1 year**)
Philosophy, history or fine arts (1 year**)

This is the problem: I still need to take ALL of my General Biology's, physic's, General Chem and Organic Chem. I estimated that this will take another year or TWO (I would have to take one year off for dentistry, possibly 2).

My question is: considering the load I have to take on, including the DAT and shadowing, etc. WHAT SHOULD I DO?! What do you recommend is the best route for me considering I am behind on mostly ALL of my science classses and I now want to pursue dentistry. Should I pursue Pharmacy or PA instead? I really want to ideally take only 1 year off to finish my classes, so is this a realistic solution?

I really appreciate all the help and advice I can get. Thank you so much for your time!
 

cdbebeau

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Jan 12, 2012
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  1. Pre-Dental
Ask yourself how badly you want it. If the answer is yes, which from what you wrote appears likely, then bite the bullet and start your science courses. The average age of entering students in d school is 24-25 so you're not behind. I'll be 26 when I start next year, and I don't regret taking time off after undergrad.
 

MrSummerlin

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Dec 1, 2010
121
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  1. Pre-Dental
Ask yourself how badly you want it. If the answer is yes, which from what you wrote appears likely, then bite the bullet and start your science courses. The average age of entering students in d school is 24-25 so you're not behind. I'll be 26 when I start next year, and I don't regret taking time off after undergrad.

:thumbup: Ill be 27 when i apply
 
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Parklife

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Mar 25, 2012
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The first thing I saw: pharmacist, dentist, or PA. Those are very different professions. Take it from a pre-pharm turned pre-dent who is a working pharm tech who's shadowed all three. I hope you're not going into healthcare for money. If so, you're in the wrong place. Take your psych degree and enter a masters program or do a double degree in economics. Your psych degree will really come in handy with anything. You will go far especially coming from UCLA.

If you really want to pursue a health profession then you need to shadow. Shadow shadow shadow. Shadow a PA, Pharmacist, dentist, psychologist and see what you could see yourself doing.

I advise you sit in a science lecture and see if you like it. It's not easy, but it's worth it if you enjoy it!

The average age of D-school is estimated to be 25. You won't be all that behind.

Do some soul searching! You'll end up doing the right thing. :thumbup:
 

Mr. Thirsty

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May 28, 2011
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  1. Dentist
Hi everyone! I need a lot of advice and help as to my future career as either a dentist (which I would most want to do), Pharmacist, or Physician Assistant. I am about to finish my 3rd year of UCLA as a psychology major. I have taken a lot of psychology classes, but have always come up short with my science classes (some semesters I was late, others didn't quite fit into my schedule). Now I have essentially "woken up" and realized that I am pretty behind on my science classes.

For Dental School, you need:

General biology and lab (1 year‡)
General physics and lab (1 year)
Inorganic/general chemistry and lab (1 year)
Organic chemistry and lab (1 year)
English composition (1 year**)
Philosophy, history or fine arts (1 year**)

This is the problem: I still need to take ALL of my General Biology's, physic's, General Chem and Organic Chem. I estimated that this will take another year or TWO (I would have to take one year off for dentistry, possibly 2).

My question is: considering the load I have to take on, including the DAT and shadowing, etc. WHAT SHOULD I DO?! What do you recommend is the best route for me considering I am behind on mostly ALL of my science classses and I now want to pursue dentistry. Should I pursue Pharmacy or PA instead? I really want to ideally take only 1 year off to finish my classes, so is this a realistic solution?

I really appreciate all the help and advice I can get. Thank you so much for your time!

I had a similar situation at the end of my sophomore year I had only take Chem 110 and Bio110, a little bit ahead of where you are but it has still been tight. I didn't know that I wanted to pursue science until after a year and a half of college. I am a finishing junior now and will be taking my DAT this summer and not applying until the summer after my senior year - matriculating at age 24 with one gap year between undergrad and D-school.
It looks like if you start your pre-req's now you will only be able to get through your general Bio's and Chemistry courses during your senior year, leaving Ochem until after your senior year.
With that said you could take one extra year (2 semesters) of college to get the ochem prereq's and whatever else is left, like maybe physics, and apply that June (before taking the DAT) and then take the DAT that summer while your application is under review (this is allowed).
Or, if you really want to have the DAT done on time you could take Ochem 1 the summer after senior year, and ochem 2 the first semester of your "extra college year" so that you could have the prerequisites for the DAT done and take the exam before June. (This would make you a stronger applicant only if you think you could handle it. It think that is the path that I would take because you will be taking all science courses that are DAT prereq's around this time, making the DAT a little bit less daunting / easier to study for.

When it comes down to it though, take your time and just make sure that you can handle which ever path you take. If you think you are doing really well in your science courses and can handle the Ochem summer course then I would do that! (Everyone on here advises against ochem as a summer course, however it didn't bother me and I had no problem with the lecture version of Ochem 2 - but everyone is different.)

Also I would shadow at least 50 hours over this summer to help you make your decision on dentistry. Shadowing is the only way to tell if you will like the field. If you decide you do like it, maybe find some volunteer work too before senior year comes around too.
Good luck!
 

AwesomeTeeth

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Feb 21, 2011
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The first thing I saw: pharmacist, dentist, or PA. Those are very different professions. Take it from a pre-pharm turned pre-dent who is a working pharm tech who's shadowed all three. I hope you're not going into healthcare for money. If so, you're in the wrong place. Take your psych degree and enter a masters program or do a double degree in economics. Your psych degree will really come in handy with anything. You will go far especially coming from UCLA.

Strongly disagree with going into a masters program for psych or doubling up with econ. A bachelors in psych is pretty useless honestly, it's just another degree. Pouring more money in it to get a masters won't really get you anywhere. Econ is a better degree to have but you would still just have two bachelor's.

Having a degree from UCLA also doesn't mean you're going to go far. If all you did was the bare minumim to get the diploma, you're just another grad on the street with a degree. It's becoming less relevant where you got your degree from and more about what you know/what you did with your time there.

People choose healthcare mainly for the job security and the potential for income. You're not going to become a millionaire by going to med school/dental school unless you're really lucky. But you are somewhat guaranteed to have a steady career where you don't have to worry about getting laid off tomorrow.
 

Wakaaa

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5+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2011
144
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  1. Pre-Dental
Don't base your future off the classes you've taken or yet to take... Those three jobs are different. Figure out what you want and take the classes.

In 10 years, you'll be saying I picked this job over this and this because it was going to take me a longer time to finish pre-reqs. That's not smart.

Good luck.
 

Parklife

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Mar 25, 2012
644
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Strongly disagree with going into a masters program for psych or doubling up with econ. A bachelors in psych is pretty useless honestly, it's just another degree. Pouring more money in it to get a masters won't really get you anywhere. Econ is a better degree to have but you would still just have two bachelor's.

Having a degree from UCLA also doesn't mean you're going to go far. If all you did was the bare minumim to get the diploma, you're just another grad on the street with a degree. It's becoming less relevant where you got your degree from and more about what you know/what you did with your time there.

People choose healthcare mainly for the job security and the potential for income. You're not going to become a millionaire by going to med school/dental school unless you're really lucky. But you are somewhat guaranteed to have a steady career where you don't have to worry about getting laid off tomorrow.

OP's psych degree is not useless at all. I didn't mean a masters degree in psychology, but a masters degree of another kind at UCLA. I'm not sure what the requirements are for various programs but something in business or economics will do OP great if he/she is interested in money.

You're thinking too literally. A degree is a piece of parchment. What you learn while you're in school is what counts. OP's psych knowledge can be useful when in the workforce assuming the knowledge is used. For example, public speaking. A BA in communication probably isn't the most "valuable" degree but communication is very important for all professions.

I don't think anyone who can get into UCLA will settle for the bare minimum Teeth. I don't think OP will either since he/she is posting on SDN as a 3rd year. The interest is clearly there.

OP, I think you should just shadow and see if you would really be interested in dentistry, or pharmacy, or PA.
 

AwesomeTeeth

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Feb 21, 2011
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OP's psych degree is not useless at all. I didn't mean a masters degree in psychology, but a masters degree of another kind at UCLA. I'm not sure what the requirements are for various programs but something in business or economics will do OP great if he/she is interested in money.

You're thinking too literally. A degree is a piece of parchment. What you learn while you're in school is what counts. OP's psych knowledge can be useful when in the workforce assuming the knowledge is used. For example, public speaking. A BA in communication probably isn't the most "valuable" degree but communication is very important for all professions.

http://www.workopolis.com/content/advice/article/1587-what-not-to-study-the-20-university-degrees-with-the-highest-unemployment-rates

I'll just leave this here. And I'm not sure how you're going to get into a masters program in a field completely different then your undergrad degree. I'm sure it's possible but I've never seen it happen.

I don't think anyone who can get into UCLA will settle for the bare minimum Teeth. I don't think OP will either since he/she is posting on SDN as a 3rd year. The interest is clearly there.

I think you're giving UCLA a little too much credit there. You make it sound like every student there is an overzealous world conqueror. It's a good school but not everyone is amazing.

This completely off topic though. I agree with your point about shadowing. Go find what you like and try for that.
 

Parklife

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Mar 25, 2012
644
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Lol. No, no teeth. You're not giving UCLA or the OP enough credit. UCLA is THE psychology school. I don't know if you know, but UCLA is ranked 25th in the nation. I highly doubt the 19% of psych majors(smaller than I expected) that are unemployed come from UCLA.

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandr...alifornia-los-angeles-110662/overall-rankings

http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/Prospect/Adm_fr/Frosh_Prof11.htm

Number 3 psych program in the nation for psychology and number 1 for clinical psychology. OP has a valuable degree from a respected institution. It's not easy to get into! Most people who worked hard enough to get into UCLA can find motivation-including athletes who work just as hard but in a different way. All the UCLA students I know are very hard working.

But again, you're missing the point. A degree is a piece of parchment. What you learn from school is what counts. OP can use his psychology knowledge.

Anyways, I still stand by what I said. Don't go into medicine for money. Shadow everybody you can. Consider a masters program if you don't want two BSs.

Good luck :xf:
 

BrutalViking

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2011
125
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  1. Pre-Dental
my 2 cents: make sure you want to do it! If you haven't shadowed a dentist, do it now. How about this, if general bio or general chem fits (or any class that is required) fits into your psych degree, take it during the summer. At the same time, shadow a dentist this summer. If you realize that you are committed to dentistry, then, starting this coming fall, start taking the requirements.

In short: know what you want to commit to, it'll save you a lot of time and money
 

BobLoblawDDS

Lost and confused
10+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2010
564
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  1. Dental Student
The question of whether you should pursue dentistry, pharmacy or a PA career is not a question of how easy each pathway is, but rather a question of which one you see yourself happiest in.

And presumably, if you've gone through 3 years of a psych programme, there's some vested interest there as well.

Shadow each profession and see if it's truly for you. If it is, it shouldn't matter how long you take to get there, because you eventually will. Keep a positive mindset.

Best of luck!
 

GobBluth

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Apr 8, 2012
59
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I really want to ideally take only 1 year off to finish my classes, so is this a realistic solution?

You mean all your pre-reqs? Sure, it's doable. It'll be like doing the first year of a life sciences programme all over. Tons of labs. It'll require a conscientious effort (first year is often the year where people struggle or have difficulty adapting), but it's doable. Don't expect to be able to pursue that much else though (ie. a part time job, etc... scheduling shadowing will be tough).

Either way, choose what you feel is right, not what's simplest/easiest.
 

UCLAzy

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5+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2009
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洛杉矶
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Hi everyone! I need a lot of advice and help as to my future career as either a dentist (which I would most want to do), Pharmacist, or Physician Assistant. I am about to finish my 3rd year of UCLA as a psychology major. I have taken a lot of psychology classes, but have always come up short with my science classes (some semesters I was late, others didn't quite fit into my schedule). Now I have essentially "woken up" and realized that I am pretty behind on my science classes.

For Dental School, you need:

General biology and lab (1 year‡)
General physics and lab (1 year)
Inorganic/general chemistry and lab (1 year)
Organic chemistry and lab (1 year)
English composition (1 year**)
Philosophy, history or fine arts (1 year**)

This is the problem: I still need to take ALL of my General Biology's, physic's, General Chem and Organic Chem. I estimated that this will take another year or TWO (I would have to take one year off for dentistry, possibly 2).

My question is: considering the load I have to take on, including the DAT and shadowing, etc. WHAT SHOULD I DO?! What do you recommend is the best route for me considering I am behind on mostly ALL of my science classses and I now want to pursue dentistry. Should I pursue Pharmacy or PA instead? I really want to ideally take only 1 year off to finish my classes, so is this a realistic solution?

I really appreciate all the help and advice I can get. Thank you so much for your time!

here are the courses you need to take units in parenthesis (units may be off by 1 or so, its been a few years):
LS1 (5)
LS2 (4)
LS3 (4)
LS4 (4)
Physics 6A (5)
Physics 6B (5)
Physics 6C (5)
Chem 14A (4)
Chem 14B (4)
Chem 14BL (3)
Chem14C (4)
Chem14CL (4)
Chem14D (4)

one year is very unlikely coming from somebody who actually went to UCLA. you and I know better than anybody else that you only get 2 classes for your first pass and all of the pre-med classes usually fill by the time second pass comes around.

two is how many years it takes for every biology major to complete these courses, though you do have the unit advantage for having an early pass. also the lower level courses are no joke. i cant think of one that was even remotely an easy A
 

LaughingGas

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10+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
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  1. Dentist
I haven't read all the posts, but this is what I would advice you in terms of course preparation:
Start taking Chem series :14A~D ASAP, specially the labs(I believe is 14BL and 14CL). The rest of the courses, you can take it at UCLA extension, but the lab portions for the chem 14 series, I heard they are really hard to get into if you are not the regular UCLA student. If you start taking 14 series after you graduate, you can only take the lab portion during summer, and you will be competing with regular students for the spot and you will have the last priority to add the course.
 

Dentistry3399

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Apr 25, 2012
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Thanks for your advice everyone! I forgot to mention that I have been shadowing a very well-known dentist for about 5 months now, and so far its been going great (thus, my recent change of heart). I really always loved dentistry, and don't think I can be as passionate and enthusiastic as I am in anything else. But I didn't have the confidence to think I can actually do it. The commitment, tuition, and the overall competition lead me to look at other alternatives (hence the Pharmacy or PA option). Now that I have the hands-on experience and a sudden "awakening" that I know I can't do anything else that would make me as happy as I feel in the dental office, I would really LOVE to pursue it, but now I don't think I will have that chance (too late in the game with classes).

If its not SUCH a disadvantage, I can start taking the Chem series at a junior college (Santa Monica College) if that is the ONLY alternative (since I know it's frowned upon if you take the prereqs at a JC), but if its what I need to do, I'll need to do it. I don't really think its possible for me to finish all of the Chems and the Chem Labs at UCLA because I won't be finished on time, and it IS nearly impossible to enroll in a lab course after you graduate. My question is does it really look AS bad as everyone says, and would I still have a chance of getting into my dream schools USC or UCLA dental? I think those would be my only 2 choices because I need to stay in LA for my family.

Maybe if I end up taking the Chem series at Santa Monica College (even though I REALLY don't want too), I can compensate it with other things, maybe extracurriculars or demonstrate my leadership in different clubs, programs, etc?

Your thoughts would really help me out and would be greatly appreciated!
 

AwesomeTeeth

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Feb 21, 2011
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would I still have a chance of getting into my dream schools USC or UCLA dental? I think those would be my only 2 choices because I need to stay in LA for my family.

If you're putting all your eggs into just USC and UCLA, you're taking a huge risk. UCLA dental is hard to get into for anyone. USC is not as tough but still a challenge nonetheless. You have to ask yourself, how much do I really want to be a dentist? You might have to make some hard choices along the way.

Maybe if I end up taking the Chem series at Santa Monica College (even though I REALLY don't want too), I can compensate it with other things, maybe extracurriculars or demonstrate my leadership in different clubs, programs, etc?

Honestly, this is a big endeavor. You have to REALLY think about if you want do this and spend the next year working towards it. I really don't think you can take all these prereq classes in one year unless you're some kind of super genius or studying machine. Some of these courses are still tough even if it's at junior college. I think it's going to take two years at least since you have to take the DAT and work on extracurricular/volunteering as well.
 

GobBluth

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Apr 8, 2012
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Applying to only two schools is a bad, bad, bad idea, even if you have a homerun application. You're taking a disproportionate risk for no reason.

If you believe there's no way you could leave LA, then perhaps you should still try, but keep those PA and pharmacy options open then (hopefully that would expand the programmes you're applying to to at least 6-7?). What I'm saying is, professional education is no joke; it is a life commitment, just as much as your family is.
 
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