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A speciality later on in life?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by harkkam, May 15, 2007.

  1. harkkam

    harkkam 7+ Year Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    If I make it thorough dental school and I finish and I am able to be licensed. Are there individuals who maybe later on in life come back to specialize in something they like. So after graduating dental school, ten years later they decide to come back and do a ortho speciality. Would that be possible?
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  3. mkogz5

    mkogz5 Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2005
  4. Lesley

    Lesley Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2006

    Yes, it's very possible. I was accepted into a pros program 7 years after I graduated, but I didn't take it for these reasons:

    1) Money. I was still paying back my dental school debt and was reluctant to borrow for another two years of schooling and shoulder additional debt.

    2) Time. I had discussed my cost concerns with the program director. He suggested I take the GRE's to be considered for an MS/speciality program. It's much less expensive. I did okay on the GRE's and was approved for that program as well. However, the trade off for the MS/speciality program's reduced costs was a greater burden on my time. I would have to do research and write a thesis of some sort in addition to the pros program requirements. This would make for more work during the two year program and possibly lengthen it too. I had two young children and was not willing to devote, potentially, that much time to a program.

    3) Money. My husband and I had an existing general practice together. If I completed a speciality program, I would have been unable to return to our practice. It would be hard to gain referrals working out of a GP office, yet I did not want to incur the expense of an additional office.

    So, If you are contemplating specializing in the future, it's very possible you will get accepted. If you have the itch to specialize, look at your situation and weigh your options. If your dental school grades are good, with some dental practice experience, you may be an even better candidate a few years out. Good Luck!
  5. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2000
    Brooklyn, ct
    As Lesley said, 100% yes. I know of 3 colleagues who have done this.

    The first one was a GP in the town where I practice who after almost 20 years in the same location with a very successful high end strict fee for service heavy crown and bridge practice, gave it up and went back to school for endo(his first year of endo residency was his eldest child first year of college to boot). he had been a carefull planner and had all of his families finances inline prior to this, so his family could continue there regular lifestyle during his 2 years of endo residency. He's now been out practicing as an endodontist for almost a year now

    The second was one of my d-school and GPR classmates, who after finishing her GPR, went off to a successful general practice in North-central Maine, realized after 3 years that endo was her calling, sold her practice, and finished her endo residency now almost 2 years ago and is part of a successful endo group near Hartford, CT

    The last one was also one of my d-school classmates, who after graduation went directly into a general practice for a few years, though dentistry wasn't for her, gave it up to do interior design for a few years, got divorced, started back as a GP, got re-married, then realized that ortho was her calling, and is finishing up her ortho residency next month.

    It can be done!
  6. Jone

    Jone Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2003
    i know of someone who was an oral surgeon for several years, then went back for a 2nd residency in ortho. if programs are willing to consider candidates with a background almost totally unrelated, it probably shows that they're fairly open minded to late bloomers.
  7. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2000
    Brooklyn, ct
    Actually many programs prefer a "seasoned" candidate. Those candidates tend to have seen more and also tend to be alot more focused on their studies with less extra-curricular distractions(i.e. the older candidates tend to already be married, with older kids). I won't necessarily say that an older candidate tends to be more mature, since personally I know my maturity level tends to regress as my age increases!:D

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