Localnative

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Jan 4, 2011
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Please only respond/add/suggest/comment etc IF YOU ARE a practicing/SEASONED dentist - oral surgeon, general practitioner, endodontist, academic, etc etc etc. Doesn't matter.

I've been practicing Oral Surgery now for a number of years. Of late I have found myself dreading patient contact. Given the economic state of dentistry and increasing numbers of claims against dentists (especially in the region where I work), I find the relationship of patient/doctor to be adversarial.

Am I just burned out? Should I pursue a job at a hedge fund and drop this gig altogether? Can't afford to take an extended hiatus from the office. Got a litter of kids and one in the cooker. Need a plan of action.

Thoughts are appreciated.

Thx.
 

Tooth

Orthodontist
10+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2005
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Join the military. You pretty much can't be sued. You will still get paid well, obviously not as much as you are getting now but not bad. You get to keep your credentials. Sounds like you need a change in pace/life. This will give you that.
 

vellnueve

10+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2006
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This
 

nealofgrafton

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2008
130
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Dentist
It happens. I'm just a GP but I know the pain your feeling. I have days that I dread coming into the office and dealing with my flock. You might want to look at scaling back number of days a week you work or try to get involved in teaching a little. Something to get a little variety in.
 
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Hedgy

7+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2009
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Montana
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Dentist
Join the military. You pretty much can't be sued. You will still get paid well, obviously not as much as you are getting now but not bad. You get to keep your credentials. Sounds like you need a change in pace/life. This will give you that.
Military is a great option, except you have kids. Do what's best for the family.
 
OP
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Localnative

7+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2011
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thx gents. what are the bennies like in the military? life insurance? health insurance? disability? hows the pension?

hedgy, hows montana? i like bozeman. can't imagine there are a gazillion OS guys there.
 

charlestweed

Gold Donor
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Jul 10, 2007
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Being a specialist, you do not only have to do good work to keep the patients happy but you have to spend time communicating with the referring GPs to keep them happy as well. Patients are not the only people who evaluate your work. Their family dentists look at your work as well. That's the price you have to pay for "making more and working less" as a specialist. Nothing is easy in life.

I've found that low income Hispanic and Asian patients are more pleasant to work with. They respect their doctors and they rarely complain. That's because they didn't have adequate dental/medical care when they were in their home countries. For them, living in America is like being in heaven so they don't expect much....they are not as picky. They are afraid to ask doctors questions because they don't want to bother the doctor. They ask the staff instead. Without fear of getting sued, the doctor is more willing to treat more difficult cases.....cases that many of his specialist colleagues don't want to touch because of fear of getting sued. From treating difficult cases successfully, the doctor does not only gain more clinical experience but also more word-of-mouth referrals from his patients and referrals from general dentists as well. Not having to answer a lot of questions from patients and not having to deal with patients' complaints, the doctor can treat higher volume of patients (and gets paid more) and not feeling stress at the end of the day. It's actually more stressful in dealing with the PITA patients than in performing the dental procedures.
 

vellnueve

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Dec 4, 2006
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thx gents. what are the bennies like in the military? life insurance? health insurance? disability? hows the pension?

hedgy, hows montana? i like bozeman. can't imagine there are a gazillion OS guys there.
400K SGLI
Full health coverage for you and your dependents
VA for disability
50% of your base pay once you hit 20 years, new system will be an option that is more 401Kish but is less backloaded
 

The Anhedonia

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
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Feb 18, 2009
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Resident [Any Field]
400K SGLI
Full health coverage for you and your dependents
VA for disability
50% of your base pay once you hit 20 years, new system will be an option that is more 401Kish but is less backloaded
does military have any sort of loan forgivenss? I have a s**** ton of loans from paying for dental and medical school, and i'm not interested in private practice (planning on academics at the moment). always considered doing the military but never got around to it

and to OP - man i'm a resident and i'm burned out....disheartening to hear when full fledged omfs experiences burnout :/
 

vellnueve

10+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2006
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No immediate loan forgiveness programs for the active component that I'm aware of - but after 10 years of public service you can have your remaining loans forgiven.

They do offer some hefty sign-on bonuses that could eat into your debt a bit. Probably not all of it, but quite a bit.
 

RoseEndo

2+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2015
50
91
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Dentist
does military have any sort of loan forgivenss? I have a s**** ton of loans from paying for dental and medical school, and i'm not interested in private practice (planning on academics at the moment). always considered doing the military but never got around to it

and to OP - man i'm a resident and i'm burned out....disheartening to hear when full fledged omfs experiences burnout :/
It is disheartening to see oral surgeons feel burned out, but you guys are not the only ones. My husband is definitely burned out after years of practicing and I really believe 10 years of his education took a heavy toll on him. I asked him to cut his days off, and he is only working 3 days now. OMFS is a wonderful career but it is physically and mentally demanding, and as a surgeon you are under constant pressure to deliver good results and occasionally fix someone else's mistakes especially in today's market.
 
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Saddleshoes

10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2007
618
387
Status
Dentist
Donate 2 weeks of your life and go on a medical mission to some developing country (Haiti, Honduras, Uganda, etc.) with a religious or humanitarian group.

It will change your perspective.
 
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schmoob

Moderator
2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
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does military have any sort of loan forgivenss? I have a s**** ton of loans from paying for dental and medical school, and i'm not interested in private practice (planning on academics at the moment). always considered doing the military but never got around to it

and to OP - man i'm a resident and i'm burned out....disheartening to hear when full fledged omfs experiences burnout :/
Sorry for breaking OP's rules because I'm not a practicing dentist so I won't comment on that. As far as loan forgiveness though, if you plan on spending over 10 years in the military, you would be better served investing your accession bonus towards your retirement instead of using it to pay down loans that will be forgiven anyway. With that sort of investment, as well as smart investing during your career, you can very easily not need to work after you retire from the military. Your TSP, plus retirement, plus any VA disability if you have a rating would put you in quite a comfortable position.