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can anyone give me some sensible advice?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by iflossdaily, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. iflossdaily

    iflossdaily Banned
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    Hey guys,
    I've been accepted to 2 dental schools so far. Because of the expense, I'm seriously considering (with reluctance) a military scholarship.
    To tell you the truth, a private loan really makes me nervous- I can't imagine paying over $2000.00 for student loans every month for 20-25 years! Here are my concerns:

    1. Can you share more of your good/bad experiences in the military?

    2. Do you (meaning dentists in private practice) feel pressure to recommend procedures to your patients that aren't 100% necessary in order to make your payments every month? (I'm not asking whether you feel the need to rip people off....but rather do you feel pressure to 'sell' and does the busines of running a practice force certain decisions?

    3. Is it feasable to pay off over $250,000 + interest in the real world in 10 years, vs. 4 years in the military? As an associate in private practice? Can you work 80-90 hours/week as a dentist in private practice right away after graduation?

    4. Is there something the armed forces not telling you? If you've taken the health professions scholarship, I'd really appreciate if you'd tell me your experiences- both good and bad. So far on this site, I've heard a lot of the bad.

    5. 2 students take military scholarships. One attends NYU, the other attends a state school. How can they both owe the same amount of time? Will they be treated differently in the military because one obviously has an incredible $ amount to pay back? Will this affect the other's choices in terms of advancement/ specialty training?

    I appreciate any responses. Thanks a lot.
     
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  3. Toothfairy

    Toothfairy Member

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    I can see you are really concerned about how much you take out in loans. Just curious... will you really be paying $250,000 + for your education? I received a finacial information boklet from the ADA, and according to them, your total cost of loans should max out around $200,000. That is if you are attending a private school; less if you would be attending a public school. Did you also attend a private undergrad univ.?
     
  4. iflossdaily

    iflossdaily Banned
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    Hi Toothfairy,
    I went to a state school for undergrad..I found a good job after graduation and was able to pay off undergrad loans in 1 year.

    My education won't cost over $200,000 if I attend the most expensive private school. But I'm financially independent from my parents and I will have to take out a private loan for living expenses if I don't go military. It adds up to slightly over 250,000. even if I live like a bum.
     
  5. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    First off, it can be done in the allocated 10 years with working much less than 80-90 hours per week(generally most folks won't even work 1/2 of that). What many folks will do to minimize the monthly payments at the beginning is consolidate the loans to a plan that spreads them over 15, 20, or 30 years. Most of these plans will give a very competitive interest rates and if you do your homework you'll find plans that will drop the rate further after 2 to 3 years of payments. What you can do then(and what I've done)is make the payments each month on the 10 year level, and if you have a month where collections weren't what you were expecting, or if the cars die, the hot water heater goes, and the washing machine kicks the bucket all at once, you can make the lesser payment and be all set. Since I consolidated I haven't made 1 payment at the set 30 year level, all have been at the 10 year or above level, and at the current rate I'll have the 30 year scheduled loan repayed in another 5 years (9 and 1/2 years after I graduated dental school and 7 years after I started paying back my loans after the 6 month grace period after my residency).
    Question 2, do I as a practicing dentist feel compelled to push optional treatment on my patients to make extra $$ to pay back my loans. No. Even at the beginning when I was skeptical and frankly almost scared about the loan coupon book sitting on my desk I never thought about pushing the crown or the onlay when a direct restoration was a perfectly acceptable option. Many patients will be a bit skeptical of the price tag associated with high end items especially if its their first time needing a crown or an endo, post core and crown. If you take the time and honestly explain to the patients THEIR problem with THEIR tooth and what YOU can do to fix it(remember the problem is the patient's and not yours, but you have the knowledge and skills to fix their problem, getting the patients to own their problem and realize that your hands have the skills to fix thier problem is the only real concept that you need to sell treatment), all things will take care of themselves.
     
  6. iflossdaily

    iflossdaily Banned
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    Thanks for the detailed reply DrJeff. The amount of debt+interest seems daunting right now...it's comforting to know that it's possible with careful financial planning. After calculating loan repayment over a 25-30 year period at 8%, it seemed like a heck of a lot of money to pay every month....just for interest alone. It's good to know there are options--doesn't sound so dreadful anymore. Thanks again.
     

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