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Been thinking all summer and still cannot come to a conclusion

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by placebooooo, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. placebooooo

    2+ Year Member

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    I love browsing these forums. Although I feel as though I've mentioned a little of this in previous threads, I wanted to hear some opinions on what my thoughts have come to now, considering the unfortunate fact that I really have no one to talk to at home. This has been bottled up all summer. So here I am.

    I am going to become a sophomore starting in about a week. So time is plenty considering career choice (hopefully). I am an undergrad enrolled in a pre-dental accelerated program which gets me into dental school after successful completion of 3 years of undergrad with necessary requirements. I have a 3.75 gpa and 3.73 science gpa.

    After friends started bringing it up, I never really considered that dentistry may not be for me. I have always said I wanted to be a dentist since I was young, but my friends tell me I don't seem so interested in it and that they see me working in a lab as a chemist or college professor (I tutor people and very well at that). I don't talk about teeth (am I supposed to?) and people say I don't. I seriously think about my career choice when I sit down and talk with a friend of mine on the phone. He always tells me about how cool and interesting his day volunteering/shadowing at the hospital was and I sit there and listen to his enthusiastic voice as he describes the surgery he watched. I don't think I have ever seen myself that enthusiastic about dentistry. I shadowed an oral surgeon and really wasn't that interested in it (I feel like going into ortho, because I have braces now as well and have a liking to it out of other specialties). However, one day at the oral surgeon's, I had the opportunity for a whole day to be part of the team (because an assistant couldn't make it to work so they needed an extra hand). I was able to get some patient contact: I held the patients jaw and head in a proper position to aid the surgeon with extraction, and I also used tools to move the patient's tongue and position some gauze and I really enjoyed that day! Just to be able to do something was a lot more cool that just watching.

    The decision that has been killing me is this: I'm not sure whether to opt out of the program because I'm unsure about what do honestly about my career choice (even though I have nothing else in mind). I'm thinking maybe to take the four years of undergrad normally and take my time building up my application ( for schools like penn, Columbia..), and this all give me time to make a proper decision about my career choice (I only have 20 hours of oral surgeon shadowing and I go back to school soon). In addition, if I take regular 4 years on undergrad, I'll get a bs in chemistry which is a backup plan. Through the accelerated track, I get a ba and go to temple kornberg school of dentistry.

    Sorry if any of this seems redundant. Previously, I mentioned that I didn't want to do the program because it is forcing me to take a ba in chemistry. However, after digging in my heart a bit, the real reason I'm hesitating about the program is because I am having doubts and because I don't have much exposure. I'm really hoping that more exposure to a general dentist will cheer me up and spark some interest.

    Any thoughts guys?
     
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  3. SubAtomicCherry

    2+ Year Member

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    I don't know how much help I'd be (still a high school student) but I can say this: I did question whether or not I wanted to do dentistry during the past year and shadowing kind of locked it in for me. I think it's awesome that your dentist let you do things, and the fact that you enjoyed doing that shows you might make a good dental student. If you only shadowed an oral surgeon, maybe try expanding your horizons a bit? I shadowed my general dentist who I'd been going to since I was 8 and got pretty bored of it even though I loved my dentist. Then I shadowed my orthodontist and a local periodontist. Watching specialists do different things was much more fun than the GP I shadowed. Maybe seeing the same thing over and over again has dulled your interest?

    I am currently applying to Temple's accelerated dental program (they just opened it to high school seniors this year) and I think it's a great program. Of course, you are in the program yourself, so you'd know more. I just think it's an awesome opportunity and you're lucky to have it! My parents are planning to uproot us from the Philadelphia area and move us halfway across the country so I probably won't be able to be in the program, even if I get accepted. Just think of it this way: You have a chance many would kill for, and being in the program is so freaking awesome. If you don't talk about teeth, don't worry about it. I just like the atmosphere of a dental clinic and find it rather enjoyable, and the teeth are just something you have to work with. Plus, it's kind of weird to talk about teeth all day, too, whereas pre-meds can talk about other things that don't seem boring to the common person.

    On the flip side, if you don't want to do dentistry, don't force yourself into it. A chem major can do so much with their degree, and if you like being a student, there's always grad school and you can look into other things with a PhD in chemistry.

    If I were you, I'd look into shadowing other dental specialists and different things to do with the chem degree at the same time over the next year. This way, you'll have both options still open to you and can opt out if need be at a later time.

    Again, I'm still in high school so I'm probably not a lot of help, but I hope you find something that works for you!!
     
    placebooooo likes this.
  4. placebooooo

    2+ Year Member

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    Hey! It's funny, I just got done reading through your thread about the accelerated vs. traditional track!

    I really appreciate the input. The reason why I decided to attend temple was because the accelerated program. It's just, I feel like I can go bigger (Upenn dental, or Columbia) you know? I also have a passion for chemistry but really love the dental atmosphere. I'm hoping that things will sort out soon, hopefully.

    The best of luck to you as well!
     
  5. Typical Average Student

    Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    Not all pre dents are absolutely obsessed with teeth. They are more intrigued with the experience and relationship dentists associate with their patients. Don't worry what your friends say, you are in a wonderful program and you will go far in dentistry if you continue to pursue it. Even if you dont want to practice, you can always teach or do research in the dental field.
     
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    #5 SXCoronado, Aug 14, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2015
    placebooooo likes this.
  7. alumdent

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    Maybe try shadowing or volunteering in a dental research lab. You can go to dental school and do research/teach too. Being in a dental research lab reinforced my decision to pursue the dental profession. Just a thought...
     
  8. placebooooo

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    I'm not good about doing such things. I would LOVE to do research in a dental lab but don't know how to go about getting these opportunities. You make it sound so easy as if It's a call away :(
     
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    #8 SXCoronado, Aug 14, 2015
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  10. BYU4you

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    Shadowing confirmed I'd like to be a dentist.

    That being said shadowing was ALWAYS boring.

    Watching someone do something is never as interesting as doing it yourself.

    If you can do a simulation course somewhere that would help. Our local dental schools let us use hand pieces, that was more interesting for sure!
     
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  11. DentalLonghorn2014

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    Omg so true on the shadowing. I have been shadowing for 4 years and initially, it was awesome to finally see what a dentist truly does and the impact it has on others. Now, I get really bored just standing there and I just want to jump in and do it myself hahaha...
     
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  12. PocketRocket

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    1+ to the wanting to do it yourself... Also, the beautiful thing about dentistry is you will have time for other things in life
     
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  13. tooth knockn

    tooth knockn Treat others how you want to be treated
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    Forget your friend, forget about what sparks others.

    If you don't get a spark of interest while shadowing dentistry or hospital stuff , DONT FORCE IT!

    Look else where, maybe the technology behind the scenes ? Radiology, healthcare programming, or if not that, if you like the way the structure is and the importance of communication towards the consumer/patient, look into the administrative portion....

    Sparks, come out of nowhere, spark is a curiosity, if you are curious of something, look into it further until you get into the groove you like....

    Hey if your into business, look into buying and selling...
    Not stocks, but large quantity and sell individually ....


    Food for thought


    Be good and follow your heart,

    Treat others how you want to be treated.
     
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