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Advice - Should I Go For It?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Tooth Fairy 24, May 16, 2007.

  1. Tooth Fairy 24

    Tooth Fairy 24

    May 2, 2007
    I am new to this website. I am not yet a pre-dental student but I am a pre-dental wanna be.

    I am trying to decide if dentistry is something I should pursue or if I should just stop obsessing about it and move on. I just turned 40 and I would have to start with my bachelor's first ( I have a few college credits - like 2 classes) so I have 4 years for that, plus 4 more years of Dental school. I would like to quit my job of 23 years in an office setting and go to school full-time. I am married and have 2 children (ages 14 & almost 7).

    My problem is - How do I quit my job - our household relies on 2 incomes - and still be able to pay the bills? My husband is worried about how it would all work out. I have not made a decision yet but I am running out of time - as I am getting older and don't want to put it off any longer.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about how to quit your full-time job, go to school full-time while raising a family? Student loan ideas, any other loan ideas, any advice anyone has would be greatly appreciated. I would also be giving up my family insurance benefit and would need to figure out the best way to insure my family.

    Also - If I did do this and graduated and started practicing, let's say I am 48 - 49 years old, is it feasible to think that I would be able to pay off the debt before retirement and also still be able to enjoy life. I plan on working past retirement age so that is not a problem.
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  3. CANGirl

    CANGirl 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    Hi Tooth Fairy,

    8 years seems very long and honestly im 22 turning 23 in June and still feel like doing extra schooling is putting my life on hold in terms of marriage and kids and being set.

    So if you are 40, it honestly WILL NOT BE easy. I personally would not.
    If you can, try to do something 4 years? In england they take you straight outta HS into dentistry, optometry and things like that. (so thats 4 years in total not 8)

    Have u considered pharm school? It is a lot shorter in time but I don't know if you are aware of the competiveness.. it means giving up your family time and to study for most of your days.

    If you want to do dentistry.. why not become a hygenist? It is two years of your life and it's not a shabby paying job. You have a family to think about. I know you want to do what YOU want to do in life.. but I think you have bigger responsibilities in your life right now and your family should come first.
  4. GoDucks69

    GoDucks69 some dude 5+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    No one can make this decision for you. It COULD be done but it is up to you to make that commitment. Sure you will be older when you get out but if it is something you really want to do then go for it. You know the timeframe and the difficulty so the decision is up to you...good luck.
  5. pre-dentalguy

    pre-dentalguy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    Pardon the forwardness, but I'm going to shoot you straight here: Unlike many of the SDNers on here averaging 22 years of age, you're 40 and really don't have the luxury of being uncertain about a serious career move such as dentistry. Considering you're in a job with tenure of 23 years, you're married with two kids, and, in addition, in a household dependent upon two incomes… this must be "unequivocally" something that you have to be set on before you step into it. This is a major sacrifice that you have to consider all downfalls and setbacks before you enter into this. For example, if you are to quit your job, you must tackle school hard keeping a +3.5 gpa. You have to also consider the time for shadowing a doctor and extracurricular activities that you must commit to in order to make yourself a strong applicant. With all of this being said, you can make it if you commit to it fully.

    Also, you don't have to complete 4 years of undergrad in order to get into dental school. Some schools require it, while others allow only a completion of 90 credit hours. Futhermore, you can always go into an accelerated degree plan and complete your 4 years in 2.5-3 years like I did. However, I wouldn't recommend it if you've been out of school for a over 5 years. It's pretty intense!! In addition, you can also go to a school such as UoP that has a 3 years dental program. Now you've knocked your 8-9 years of school into 6-7yrs. So, as you can see, there are many different avenues that you can take in your life to accommodate your position.

    Now, quitting your fulltime job is another story. If you're going to do that, I would recommend registering for some type of government assistance (medical insurance, food, etc) in order to help out. There are going to be a lot of people that disagree with me in this because they're SDN rich kids and never had to work for a thing in there life, but you do what you have to do to foster your dream. If this is something that you truly want, then nothing should stop you. If you don't want to take that route you can always apply for financial aid, state grants, and students loans. This should cover some of your expenses, but they are only allotted at the beginning of your semesters, so which how you apply that to your budget. And yes, you will still have time for retirement and depleting your debt before your 65.

    I hope this helps… Good luck to you and if you have any questions, just pm me like everyone else does! 

    Marion (aka Dr Castle)
  6. pre-dentalguy

    pre-dentalguy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    You'll be alright!!! Keep me posted!!

  7. Kami

    Kami Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2003
    Its definitely possible. My Cell biology professor was 46 when she went back for her Ph.D. I hope that makes you feel better. Anything is possible but you just have to be totally focussed. Did you know that Issac Newton the famous physicist who made Newtons Laws of motion said that "give me a rod big enough and I will be able to lift the world". Sounds impossible but according to Newtons laws its possible.
  8. Duysal

    Duysal Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    You should absolutely follow your dream, but only if it is your dream. If you feel unsure, start by observing and shadowing at times that don't threaten your work hours. Take a science class part time while working. The stresses you encounter will probably foreshadow your future stresses while you pursue your undergrad then dental degrees. There is no doubt that sacrifices will have to be made. You may have to retire later, or, you may be halfway thru undergrad when you realize that there are other aspects of dentistry or healthcare that inspire you more. Ie. certified dental lab technician; hygienist; manager. Just put yourself out there before you take the plunge, to at least gather an idea of what feels reasonable work-wise and sacrifice-wise. You may surprised at what's out there for a person with your interests and lifestyle. Then, do it! Age shouldn't really be a factor, as long as your health is OK. My friend's mother went to school full time at night at age 50 and became a lawyer at age 55. Good luck! Keep us all updated.
  9. onamission

    onamission 2+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    ... and applying to dental school for the second round now. I can't help you with your situation regarding 2 incomes, but that can be worked out with you & your family if you really want to do this. People keep telling me I'm nuts for pursuing dentistry this late in life. You know what I tell them? Bite Me! Actually I don't, but that's what I want to say.

    My question to you is this ...... By the time you do your pre-reqs and enter dental school, you'll be roughly 48 years old when you earn your DDS or DMD, how old will you be in 8 years if you don't go to dental school?

    Or let's say you go back for your pre-reqs &/or BS degree and find out dentistry isn't for you, who knows what passion you may stumble upon? And think of the example you'll be setting for the kids. I know, I have 4 of them myself, ages 11, 10 and 4 year old twins.

    Nothing against the young pups trying to help, but they're not where you are in life. Do a search for the "Old fogeys" thread, you'll get lots of support there.

    Bottom line is listen to your desires and decide if this is what you want to do, not whether or not you have enough time left in life to do it. Then, whatever you decide, enjoy the ride because time flies!
  10. Tooth Fairy 24

    Tooth Fairy 24

    May 2, 2007
    I appreciate all of the feedback I have received from everyone. Wow, it's so amazing to be able to voice my opinion and have someone listen, actually respond and not criticize my dreams and aspirations.

    I know it would be a long, hard journey. But I am finally to a point that I believe it would be worth taking. I don't want to wait another 10 years when I am 50 and still be sitting here doing this office work, regretting, thinking what if...and not contributed to society in a better more meaningful way.
  11. ChitownDDS

    ChitownDDS 5+ Year Member

    Oct 26, 2006
    Los Angeles
    You should absolutely go for your dream! You will be cheating yourself if you dont. Dont let anybody tell you otherwise. If you want it bad enough, you can find a way to make it work. Good Luck!
  12. BirkChick

    BirkChick 5+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2006
    I think you need to take a step back from your emotions and look at this logically. Currently, you're approx. 25 years away from retirement. Are your retirement accounts a healthy size? Do an online search for retirement calculator and evaluate your current savings.

    If your retirement accounts are in exceptional shape, then perhaps this is doable IF you don't have credit card debt and have enough saved for your kids' education (or are planning to have them pay their own way).

    Quiting you job, financing an undergraduate degree and dental school comes with a HUGE price tag. Including lost salary, it could be over $500,000 if you end up at a private dental school. Take a look at it logically, run the numbers and determine if it truly is the best move for you and your family.
  13. diane07

    diane07 2+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Since you do not have a BA degree and have not had exposure to the sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, upper level division sciences)

    My recommendation is to enroll in a few sciences classes - see how well you do and if you enjoy it.

    Dental school requires science pre-requisites and there will be plenty of hard core sciences in dental school as well.

    You will want to find out NOW if you're able to handle the sciences. Example: plenty of freshman in college start out pre-dent/pre-med and then they can't even hack the basic sciences. They end up changing their major because they either don't have what it takes or decide it's not worth all that work.

    Pursuing dentistry involves risk. It's a competitive field and not everyone who applies is accepted. As with any life changing decision, you need to do your research and evaluate your own capabilities. If you decide to go for it, then do so full heartedly.

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