anyone have/had a tough decision deciding or medical or dental school?

bipolardoc

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Anyone have/had a tough decision deciding or medical or dental school? Anyone consider both careers and had a hard time deciding. Given your stats allow you to chose either career, which one did you chose, why and did you regret it? I appreciate HONEST responses...


Thanks
 

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somethinpositive once wrote this excellent piece::bow:

Dentistry vs Medicine

Dentistry: Own your own business.
Medicine: Slave to the system & bureaucracy.

Dentistry: Get to know your patients.
Medicine: Assembly line of patients.

Dentistry: Make your own hours.
Medicine: You have no control of hours. Always on call.

Dentistry: Have time to spend with family.
Medicine: Struggle for time to spend with family.

Dentistry: Work with your hands.
Medicine: Work with your hands (if Osteopathic).

Dentistry: Perform surgery.
Medicine: Prescribe pills (maybe do surgery).

Dentistry: Optional 1-year Residency.
Medicine: Required 3-year Residency (which sucks).

Dentistry: Make as much as a Physician.
Medicine: Make as much as a Dentist.

Dentistry: Top of the class to Specialize.
Medicine: Top of the class to Specialize.

Dentistry: ~$300K Tuition and Expenses.
Medicine: ~$200K Tuition and Expenses.

Dentistry: Prestige.
Medicine: Prestige (more than a Dentist?).
 

Andrea368

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I can tell you my reasons, I'm sure it'll be different for everyone. I feel like the only thing the two professions have in common, is helping/healing people. Having a family life is very important to me, which restricts the medical fields opportunities for me. I don't want to be diagnosing the flu 8 times a day or writing prescriptions for people who really don't need them. I love the immediate gratification dentistry has to it, I can fix it right there and then, or within a few visits. I get to work with my hands, its cliché i know, but I love working with fiddly things, so I know its not something that will bore me. Every case will be different. I like molding and shaping, and I'm a functional perfectionist. And you get to talk to your patients, that time is thiers rather than trying to fit in 10 patients in an hour and getting right down to business like doctors tend to do (well my doctors). I think I knew when I first shadowed a dentist, and it just felt right, like i had found my niche. Shadow both, it will really give you a better understanding of what goes along with each profession. I dont factor in prestige, its highly overrated and it won't make me happy.
 
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I was originally thinking med when I was younger because my dad was a doctor, but eventually I saw the downsides. My dad loved working with his patients (long term stroke / major rehabilitation cases) but because he worked at an HMO, which you more or less have to as an MD, he got treated like crap from Administrators who acted like they were in High School. He ended up retiring early because he couldn't stand it anymore. Not to say all HMO administrators are bad, but from what I hear it's very common. In the HMO's the doctors can often be thought of as just company resources, and you might not be treated very well, or at least not with the respect doctors got 50-60 years ago.

Also, as a dentist, you're really hands on and you can easily see the results of your work because its right there in front of you.

Also, I'm not quite sure I'd like the stress of being an MD. I work best under stress, and I hear that's how many surgeons strive at their jobs, but I think it would really get to me eventually, and I wouldn't enjoy my work - which is really my ultimate goal. I've worked as an assistant for a while, and I really enjoy the team environment that dentists can have, that you don't quite get as an MD, and I really want to be my own Boss.

Another major point for me, though possible, you really can't kill someone as a dentist (minus oral surgery or some of the more major specialty operations), but if you make a small mistake as an MD, say, writing an extra zero on a prescription, you could easily get someone killed. And in all honesty, I'm not sure how well I'd cope with that.

The money really isn't an issue for me (though a nice plus!), it's really just the enjoying what I do, and I can see myself enjoying being a dentist more than being an MD, but it's not that way for everyone. Hope that helps!
 

Andrew324

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There are a million things to do as an MD, it depends on what you would want to do. There are some specialties that are extremely interesting and dont have all that junk everyone keeps talking about. Pretty stress free, work 8-5, very constant, dont deal with angry people ever, dont get called in at night. I could go on and on. It all depends on what you want to do with your degree.

As a side note, I would not let your stats decide what degree you want to get. If you let that happen it does not seem like you would be happy in the long run. You choose something that was easy because it was there, not because it was what you wanted to do.
 

DROCKINDAHOUSE

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Yeah man, I know what you mean. I couldn't decide either so I just got drunk and went to a strip club. Once I was there I let this stripper named Candy sit on my lap, gave her a quarter, and said "Heads for dentistry, tails for medicine." The rest is history. Hope that helps!
 

needa20

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my father is a physician so I started pre-med. finally realized that it was not my dream (after a few years) and actually considered dentistry. Once I looked into Dentisty, I was upset at myself that I had not even considered dentistry earlier. I enjoy it so much more and I'm happy I finally decided which field is correct for me
 

dr bojangles

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somethinpositive once wrote this excellent piece::bow:

Dentistry vs Medicine

Dentistry: Own your own business.
Medicine: Slave to the system & bureaucracy.

Dentistry: Get to know your patients.
Medicine: Assembly line of patients.

Dentistry: Make your own hours.
Medicine: You have no control of hours. Always on call.

Dentistry: Have time to spend with family.
Medicine: Struggle for time to spend with family.

Dentistry: Work with your hands.
Medicine: Work with your hands (if Osteopathic).

Dentistry: Perform surgery.
Medicine: Prescribe pills (maybe do surgery).

Dentistry: Optional 1-year Residency.
Medicine: Required 3-year Residency (which sucks).

Dentistry: Make as much as a Physician.
Medicine: Make as much as a Dentist.

Dentistry: Top of the class to Specialize.
Medicine: Top of the class to Specialize.

Dentistry: ~$300K Tuition and Expenses.
Medicine: ~$200K Tuition and Expenses.

Dentistry: Prestige.
Medicine: Prestige (more than a Dentist?).

excellent synopsis:thumbup:
 

doc toothache

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Yeah man, I know what you mean. I couldn't decide either so I just got drunk and went to a strip club. Once I was there I let this stripper named Candy sit on my lap, gave her a quarter, and said "Heads for dentistry, tails for medicine." The rest is history. Hope that helps!

A unique approach to decision making.
 

Sublimation

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Yeah man, I know what you mean. I couldn't decide either so I just got drunk and went to a strip club. Once I was there I let this stripper named Candy sit on my lap, gave her a quarter, and said "Heads for dentistry, tails for medicine." The rest is history. Hope that helps!

LMAO:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
 

bigstix808

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i have shadowed many health care professions, and have even worked in nursing homes and hospitals so i have seen just about all of them (nursing, CRNA, pharm, resp therapist, MD, PT, etc)

anyway, i thought medicine seemed pretty cool. i never saw the doc's work all those crazy hours that everyone keeps talking about..work a lot, yes...work on call 300 days of the year or something crazy like that, no. anyway, what turned me off from MD came from a convo i had with a 9 year old...

i was coaching one day and she was telling me about her 2 month vacation she was going on (a cruise around the mediteranian!) anyway, her dad was a pretty well known ortho (that i had shadowed a good bit) around my area. well, long story short, he was busting his ass making pretty good money to pay for this nice little vacation, yet he wasn't going!!! kind of a shame to me. that is just one of many stories similar to that that i have had with other families of MD's.

another reason for not choosing medicine...go shadow an oncologist...'nough said. :( ...although i will say it takes a special person to do that field of medicine. the one i shadowed was prob one of the most genuine folks i have ever met.

good day! :D
 

cobalt31

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so I started pre-med. finally realized that it was not my dream (after a few years) and actually considered dentistry. Once I looked into Dentisty, I was upset at myself that I had not even considered dentistry earlier. I enjoy it so much more and I'm happy I finally decided which field is correct for me

exactly the same for me.

I also think i could be quite happy in some fields of medicine, such as some surgical subspecialties, but i'd still have to do terrible rotations in med school through all the fields of medicine i'm pretty sure i would hate. how am i supposed to get top grades on rotations where i want to kill myself?

on the other hand, i loved all the specialties of dentistry i shadowed and would happily rotate through those in dental school.
 
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somethinpositive once wrote this excellent piece::bow:

Dentistry vs Medicine

Dentistry: Own your own business.
Medicine: Slave to the system & bureaucracy.

Dentistry: Get to know your patients.
Medicine: Assembly line of patients.

Dentistry: Make your own hours.
Medicine: You have no control of hours. Always on call.

Dentistry: Have time to spend with family.
Medicine: Struggle for time to spend with family.

Dentistry: Work with your hands.
Medicine: Work with your hands (if Osteopathic).

Dentistry: Perform surgery.
Medicine: Prescribe pills (maybe do surgery).

Dentistry: Optional 1-year Residency.
Medicine: Required 3-year Residency (which sucks).

Dentistry: Make as much as a Physician.
Medicine: Make as much as a Dentist.

Dentistry: Top of the class to Specialize.
Medicine: Top of the class to Specialize.

Dentistry: ~$300K Tuition and Expenses.
Medicine: ~$200K Tuition and Expenses.

Dentistry: Prestige.
Medicine: Prestige (more than a Dentist?).


wow......probably the worst comparison you could have possibly made.

1. You can own your own business in medicine. Its called private practice.

2.When you own your practice, you can see as many or as few patients as you want. You can spend 10 minutes or 45 minutes seeingn a patient.

3. Always on call? Is that a joke?

4. Doctors have families all the time. The roughest times are during residency, but even now there are restrictions on how many hours you can work. After that, like i said, you can go in to private practice and you have control over what you do and when you work.

5. YOU CAN GO TO MED SCHOOL AND BECOME A SURGEON (ie, work with your hands)

6. You can actually be a general practicitioner and not have to go through a 3 year residency. But for the most part, people do go through a residency.

7. I dunno about dentists, but while a 200K debt can happen, it won't if you are a competitive applicant and you know where to apply (ie in state schools) and you get in state tuition.

8. Im not gonna start an argument regarding the prestige of the two fields b/c that really doenst even matter.


To answer the question, the two fields are EXTREMELY different in terms of what you will be doing for the rest of your life. You've really gotta think about what it is you like learning about/what it is you like doing.
 

bipolardoc

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exactly the same for me.

I also think i could be quite happy in some fields of medicine, such as some surgical subspecialties, but i'd still have to do terrible rotations in med school through all the fields of medicine i'm pretty sure i would hate. how am i supposed to get top grades on rotations where i want to kill myself?

on the other hand, i loved all the specialties of dentistry i shadowed and would happily rotate through those in dental school.
Thanks for the honesty everyone, I put the similar yet different type of post on the pre-med forum asking if anyone considered any other major/profession before med school, I thought I was going to get flammed for asking that, instead in less than a few hours after I posted it, I got over 20+ replies. I dont know what it is, could scientific minds be linked to us being indecessive.

Anyhow, my good friend is a dentist. I drop in at times during his work, and sometimes I cringe like when that drill goes on, and I always cringe and it hurts my teeth when I see/hear someone chewing ice, or ice-cream. Is this normal? Will it go away?
Everyone seems to mention lifestyle of a dentist etc... But no one ever focuses on what you will be doing day in and day out. I seriously cringe when I watched my friend do extractions, I dont know if I could do it. I also was disturbed by some people's mouth and at times it was gross, almost if not grosses than doing a rectal exam as an MD (by the way, funny story, I shadowed MDs before and one time I was shadowing an internist, he was cool as heck and let me follow him everywhere, anyhow this lady 72 years old was asked to pull down her pants and lay on her side and he put his finger up her rectum, during the procedure with his finger inside her butt she turns her head towards me and says "so do you still want to me a doctor" , lol, I still have that image in my head and will for life, thank god their are sub specialties, fellowships and mutiple types of fields in medicine. lol
 

AggieDDS

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Im a predent and considering applying to MD programs as a backup in case I don't get into Harvard/Columbia/UCLA dental.

Does that count?
 

sajjy

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Im a predent and considering applying to MD programs as a backup in case I don't get into Harvard/Columbia/UCLA dental.

Does that count?

Yeap, perfect example. I think OP should do the same.
 

DrReo

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somethinpositive once wrote this excellent piece::bow:

Dentistry vs Medicine

Dentistry: Own your own business.
Medicine: Slave to the system & bureaucracy.

Dentistry: Get to know your patients.
Medicine: Assembly line of patients.

Dentistry: Make your own hours.
Medicine: You have no control of hours. Always on call.

Dentistry: Have time to spend with family.
Medicine: Struggle for time to spend with family.

Dentistry: Work with your hands.
Medicine: Work with your hands (if Osteopathic).

Dentistry: Perform surgery.
Medicine: Prescribe pills (maybe do surgery).

Dentistry: Optional 1-year Residency.
Medicine: Required 3-year Residency (which sucks).

Dentistry: Make as much as a Physician.
Medicine: Make as much as a Dentist.

Dentistry: Top of the class to Specialize.
Medicine: Top of the class to Specialize.

Dentistry: ~$300K Tuition and Expenses.
Medicine: ~$200K Tuition and Expenses.

Dentistry: Prestige.
Medicine: Prestige (more than a Dentist?).

He should do a little reading. Do you even know what Osteopathic means? The difference between M.D. and D.O.

A pretty uneducated post, IMO.

The only real way to decide is to shadow both. And understand what one better fits your life style,interests and so forth. I've shadow many dentists, specialist, physicians and the time was an investment for me.
 

Mazmel

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I was originally thinking med when I was younger because my dad was a doctor, but eventually I saw the downsides. My dad loved working with his patients (long term stroke / major rehabilitation cases) but because he worked at an HMO, which you more or less have to as an MD, he got treated like crap from Administrators who acted like they were in High School. He ended up retiring early because he couldn't stand it anymore. Not to say all HMO administrators are bad, but from what I hear it's very common. In the HMO's the doctors can often be thought of as just company resources, and you might not be treated very well, or at least not with the respect doctors got 50-60 years ago.

Also, as a dentist, you're really hands on and you can easily see the results of your work because its right there in front of you.

Also, I'm not quite sure I'd like the stress of being an MD. I work best under stress, and I hear that's how many surgeons strive at their jobs, but I think it would really get to me eventually, and I wouldn't enjoy my work - which is really my ultimate goal. I've worked as an assistant for a while, and I really enjoy the team environment that dentists can have, that you don't quite get as an MD, and I really want to be my own Boss.

Another major point for me, though possible, you really can't kill someone as a dentist (minus oral surgery or some of the more major specialty operations), but if you make a small mistake as an MD, say, writing an extra zero on a prescription, you could easily get someone killed. And in all honesty, I'm not sure how well I'd cope with that.

The money really isn't an issue for me (though a nice plus!), it's really just the enjoying what I do, and I can see myself enjoying being a dentist more than being an MD, but it's not that way for everyone. Hope that helps!


Wow, you said it all. this is EXACTLY how I feel. the only difference is that my dad is not retired yet lol.
 

somethinpositiv

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thanks for the props ;)

somethinpositive once wrote this excellent piece::bow:

Dentistry vs Medicine

Dentistry: Own your own business.
Medicine: Slave to the system & bureaucracy.

Dentistry: Get to know your patients.
Medicine: Assembly line of patients.

Dentistry: Make your own hours.
Medicine: You have no control of hours. Always on call.

Dentistry: Have time to spend with family.
Medicine: Struggle for time to spend with family.

Dentistry: Work with your hands.
Medicine: Work with your hands (if Osteopathic).

Dentistry: Perform surgery.
Medicine: Prescribe pills (maybe do surgery).

Dentistry: Optional 1-year Residency.
Medicine: Required 3-year Residency (which sucks).

Dentistry: Make as much as a Physician.
Medicine: Make as much as a Dentist.

Dentistry: Top of the class to Specialize.
Medicine: Top of the class to Specialize.

Dentistry: ~$300K Tuition and Expenses.
Medicine: ~$200K Tuition and Expenses.

Dentistry: Prestige.
Medicine: Prestige (more than a Dentist?).
 

somethinpositiv

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I shadowed a doctor in the ER. Then I shadowed a family dentist. The decision was easy at that point.
 

DrReo

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I shadowed a doctor in the ER. Then I shadowed a family dentist. The decision was easy at that point.

Emergency medicine is one of the interesting fields of medicine! I shadowed a cardiology in the ER for a while... it was extremely intense and interesting.

And I agree, shadowing the general dentist made an easier decision for me...
 

Andrew324

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You two should go shadow radiology or pathology or one of the many different MD specialties that are nothing like the ER
 

LatPterygoid

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The comparison has largely been one-sided. Askewed towards dentistry for obvious reasons. Medicine's slowly evolving, as doctors are now wanting an easier life too. In recent years, 98% of doctors specialize eventually, either directly out of school or sometime after primary care residency. This number is not made up. It's the cause of concern for many. And more and more doctors are working 3 days/wk now.

Medicine seems to require much more from you. There are more things involved in diagnosing a systemic problem than an oral one. It sometimes takes more tests and more visits to the clinic. This also means more information to know and keep in mind, as well as more training in residency. In the end, doctors get to save lives. We don't. Oral surgeons can come close, but that's more medicine than dentistry.

It's more taxing on the body and mind, because it requires more work from the doctor, himself. Both in school and in practice. School is more difficult, because you learn more information. From comparing lecture notes with the M1 and M2's, they appear to have about twice as much information to learn while in school. The practice of medicine is also more complicated, because it requires more effort/different kind of thinking. The principles of dentistry are incredibly easy to grasp, and there are only so many things that can go wrong.
 

somethinpositiv

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If I was to become a doctor, I'd want to do dermatology or ENT or radiology, and there's no way I could be top of my class to get into those specialties. If I didn't get the med specialty I wanted, and become a family doctor, I would be so dissapointed in myself (not to mention hate my job). For Dentistry, I aspire to be a Family Dentist, I have no reason to specialize in Dentistry. Also, being able to start a business after 4 years, rather than slave away for 7 years because of a 3-year required medical residency, is a huge reason as well.
 

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I think it is funny when people ask others what they should choose! First of all, if you are smart enough to get into either program, you would think you would would be perfectly capable of figuring it out for yourself. Secondly, if you don't have a passion for either one, maybe neither is a good choice.

Personally, I have always wanted to do dentistry and have never even considered doing medicine. I think they are way different professions in so many ways! The lifestyle of each should be something to consider, but what a waste of effort for 4 long years if you don't have passion for what you would be doing!
 

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When I was in college I took a senior seminar class where we had different specialists (medical) come in each week and do a presentation to teach us about what they do and give us insight into their personal lives.

Basically they all said the same thing-- they love their job but being in medicine has to be your "calling". You have to be certain you want to give up a huge part of your life to your career and to others and sacrifice your family life.

I actually had a Dr. break down and cry about how she hasn't seen her kids grow up. She even brought in a poem in that she wrote herself about how she felt about her career and her personal life. yea..It was really wierd/depressing/miserable to watch someone cry in front of 30 eager pre-med faces. Very strange. Needless to say, a few people in that class decided on PA school instead of medicine.
 
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