insaiyanpredent

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Hi, I'm currently a second-semester student at Rutgers SMP. From Undergrad not SMP, My cGPA is a 3.2 AMCAS sGPA is a 3.2 and

I have no dental experience, but the main reason for the switch is because I'm considering a job still in the healthcare field that will have good incentives yet will allow me to graduate in a fair amount of time and start working. I haven't taken either MCAT or DAT yet. Would probably have to shadow a dentist.

Now I do like the science classes that are offered in medicine, I don't know what curriculum is offered in Dental school and would like to preferably practice in a diverse city or near city-suburban environment (I.e. North NJ, SoCal etc). For this to happen I have to specialize in Dentistry either way.

Would adcoms interview mention things like; why not a surgical specialty? My thought could be that it involved more life-death situations rather than having a more positive impact on patient? Also Gen surg can take 5+ years after medical school.

Lifestyle-wise there are several ROAD specialties in medicine that can lead to a good lifestyle however most of these are very competitive (Derm, Rads, Optho, Anesthesiology. even though from what I've seen Rads and anesthesiology isn't that bad). An orthodontist specialty comprises the top 10-15% of a graduating class which I think I can manage with proper mindset/motivation.

My dilemma is that I don't really want to do a gap year after the SMP and would like to see if Dentistry is really for me, but shadowing is halted due to covid. I also can take classes that will help prep for the DAT and dental school.

Here are a couple of questions I can think of.

All dentists diagnose and perform surgery on their own, and this is very appealing to me. Additionally, the majority of dentists do not specialize (I believe only 15% do) and I have heard it is extremely competitive to do so (board scores, gpa). Can the specialists speak of their experience?

Did you work for a few years as a general dentist following dental school or did you immediately apply/interview for residencies? How would GPR or AEGDs help prep for real world?

A lot of the dentists that I have spoken to prior to this (my experiences are limited as I have primarily shadowed physicians) have a single regret which is the lack of comprehensive medical knowledge that they think they would have had if they had chosen medicine. I have no doubts that dental is a mentally challenging career but what are your personal thoughts on this? Do you feel any sort of lingering “What ifs…” over your decision?

I am just a tiny bit concerned with private practice which over 90% of dentists engage in. I am still relatively unfamiliar with the professional world so I would like to know if there is really anything to fear from leaving the ‘shelter’ of being a salaried employee and becoming one that runs their own small business. Are these fears unfounded? Will newly-minted dental associates primarily work in an established practice prior to opening their own? If you have opened your own practice, what are your thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of doing so?

Lastly the primary reason for my doubt in career choice has to do with lifestyle as mentioned above. I am plagued with concerns that I am going to put my life on hold for years without a serious grasp on what I will find on the other side. I'm 25 rn and would like to live my 30s well in terms of being able to do other things and be with family/friends.
Many of my friends who are in the same boat as I simply seem to repeat the phrase “I just want to get it over with” with some sort of grand assumption that things will turn up roses after their residency. I personally think this is too much of a risk to take and my parents are far too practical for me to think otherwise. Was lifestyle a primary motivator for your own decision? What if the lifestyle like and what is the “Worst Possible Scenario” of the dental field spectrum?

Apologies for the fake-out but this is actually my last question: Do you anticipate the dental field to grow a lot over the coming years? Additionally, with many of the lifestyle benefits that dentists seem to enjoy, do to anticipate becoming a dentist to eclipse the competitiveness of becoming a physician in the future? Random questions I know, but these are things I personally think of when I consider the career during my research.
 
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oralcare123

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Please, only come into dentistry if you have a REAL passion for it. There are plenty of robots in our profession already and they are ruining our reputation
 

PerioDont

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Please, only come into dentistry if you have a REAL passion for it. There are plenty of robots in our profession already and they are ruining our reputation
C'mon how many people in your d school class had a 'REAL passion' for dentistry? The vast majority are there to have a comfortable lifestyle, hopefully autonomy with PP, and have a positive impact on their patients.

heck how many people have a real passion for anything? most people are just drifting in their lives trying to get through.
 
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PerioDont

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Hi, I'm currently a second-semester student at Rutgers SMP. From Undergrad not SMP, My cGPA is a 3.24 AMCAS sGPA is a 3.2 and AACOMAS sPGA is a 3.17, I'm a super ORM (Asian), NJ resident.
Ended up with a 3.75 as my first semester

These are some Extracurriculars that I've completed for Med school
200 Hours shadowing; 100 in the ER and 100 in Neurology Clinic
Scribing since January, on hold due to COVID
Pharmacy technician for 3 years (lenient job, kept due to management being really chill have no interest in pharmacy)
Clinical EC; 300 hours, Big Hospital
Clinical Research with leadership position; 500 hours, big hospital

I have no dental experience, but the main reason for the switch is because I'm considering a job still in the healthcare field that will have good incentives yet will allow me to graduate in a fair amount of time and start working. I haven't taken either MCAT or DAT yet. Would probably have to shadow a dentist. start here, and see if you could see yourself doing this long term.

Now I do like the science classes that are offered in medicine, I don't know what curriculum is offered in Dental school and would like to preferably practice in a diverse city or near city-suburban environment (I.e. North NJ, SoCal etc). For this to happen I have to specialize in Dentistry either way. Not necessarily, you can practice as a GP as well. It is tough in those areas for specialists as well.

Would adcoms interview mention things like; why not a surgical specialty? If you are referring to a dental school adcom this question will not come up. What they might ask is why did you pick dental school when your ECs are towards medicine.
My thought could be that it involved more life-death situations rather than having a more positive impact on patient? I would say saving someone from a life or death situation is a positive impact on the pt. Also Gen surg can take 5+ years after medical school.

Lifestyle-wise there are several ROAD specialties in medicine that can lead to a good lifestyle however most of these are very competitive (Derm, Rads, Optho, Anesthesiology. even though from what I've seen Rads and anesthesiology isn't that bad). An orthodontist specialty comprises the top 10-15% of a graduating class which I think I can manage with proper mindset/motivation. I would hope that is true, but you may find that not to be the case if you actually start dental or medical school. I would not rely on getting into the most competitive fields in either medicine or dentistry when making your career plans. Assume you will be a general dentist or internal medicine doctor.

My dilemma is that I don't really want to do a gap year after the SMP and would like to see if Dentistry is really for me, but shadowing is halted due to covid. I also can take classes that will help prep for the DAT and dental school.

Here are a couple of questions I can think of.

All dentists diagnose and perform surgery on their own, and this is very appealing to me. Additionally, the majority of dentists do not specialize (I believe only 15% do) and I have heard it is extremely competitive to do so (board scores, gpa). Can the specialists speak of their experience? Yes it is competitive

Did you work for a few years as a general dentist following dental school or did you immediately apply/interview for residencies? How would GPR or AEGDs help prep for real world? I immediately applied. for some residencies like endo, they prefer you to have some work experience or complete an AEGD/GPR prior to starting.

A lot of the dentists that I have spoken to prior to this (my experiences are limited as I have primarily shadowed physicians) have a single regret which is the lack of comprehensive medical knowledge that they think they would have had if they had chosen medicine. I have no doubts that dental is a mentally challenging career but what are your personal thoughts on this? Do you feel any sort of lingering “What ifs…” over your decision? I think everyone has some what-ifs. Personally right now, my regret is mainly that medical residents get paid and not all dental residencies pay you, and you have to pay tuition in some of them. Also you pretty much have to be a practice owner to make $$ in dentistry. In medicine you can pick up additional shifts as a hospitalist. Additionally, I think the one other thing that gets me is I can't help people immediately. I.e. if I see someone in the store or whatever that is having a medical problem, I can chat with them and give them some sense of what is going on. I can do that to a certain degree in dentistry, but majority of the time I need an xray and my tools to really do anything.

I am just a tiny bit concerned with private practice which over 90% of dentists engage in. I am still relatively unfamiliar with the professional world so I would like to know if there is really anything to fear from leaving the ‘shelter’ of being a salaried employee and becoming one that runs their own small business. Are these fears unfounded? Will newly-minted dental associates primarily work in an established practice prior to opening their own? If you have opened your own practice, what are your thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of doing so? Yes there is a lot of fear. However the vast majority of dental offices will be successful, not all of them but most will be. Most work 1-2 years at least before opening or buying their own.

Lastly the primary reason for my doubt in career choice has to do with lifestyle as mentioned above. I am plagued with concerns that I am going to put my life on hold for years without a serious grasp on what I will find on the other side. I'm 25 rn and would like to live my 30s well in terms of being able to do other things and be with family/friends. Have you considered becoming a PA? I think that would fit what you want a little better than either medicine or dentistry.
Many of my friends who are in the same boat as I simply seem to repeat the phrase “I just want to get it over with” with some sort of grand assumption that things will turn up roses after their residency. I personally think this is too much of a risk to take and my parents are far too practical for me to think otherwise. Was lifestyle a primary motivator for your own decision? What if the lifestyle like and what is the “Worst Possible Scenario” of the dental field spectrum? The worst possible scenario is you make 70-80k in a horrible associateship where you are only allowed to see the worst pts.

Apologies for the fake-out but this is actually my last question: Do you anticipate the dental field to grow a lot over the coming years? Additionally, with many of the lifestyle benefits that dentists seem to enjoy, do to anticipate becoming a dentist to eclipse the competitiveness of becoming a physician in the future? With the increasing cost of dental school, I would hope not. I am hoping less people apply as dental education costs are out of control. It can still be a great profession but with many schools now 400k+, I would not advise most to get into these schools. Random questions I know, but these are things I personally think of when I consider the career during my research.
Okay so I think you can still shadow. Idk what city you are in but just go door to door at dental offices and ask if you can come in. you may get some no's due to COVID, but some will say yes.

Why are you doing the SMP? Was it primarily to get into med school?
 
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insaiyanpredent

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Okay so I think you can still shadow. Idk what city you are in but just go door to door at dental offices and ask if you can come in. you may get some no's due to COVID, but some will say yes.

Why are you doing the SMP? Was it primarily to get into med school?

So I'm doing an SMP because yes my primary goal was towards medical school. I don't think my GPA is that good for dental school anyway. I understand with a great DAT I can offset that but I would like to do well in this program and do well in the DAT as well. There are Pre-meds and Pre-dents in this program that take classes together.
 

PerioDont

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So I'm doing an SMP because yes my primary goal was towards medical school. I don't think my GPA is that good for dental school anyway. I understand with a great DAT I can offset that but I would like to do well in this program and do well in the DAT as well. There are Pre-meds and Pre-dents in this program that take classes together.
You may be able to get into a DO school. I would strongly consider PA school though based on the brief info you have given us. You can use all your ECs for that too.
 

insaiyanpredent

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You may be able to get into a DO school. I would strongly consider PA school though based on the brief info you have given us. You can use all your ECs for that too.

I don't want to do PA as the scope of practice is less than physicians. I know I can go DO if I wanted however the reason why I'm looking into dentistry is more than "I can't get into MD so forget medicine" Dentistry's lifestyle and incentives towards a good earning is what attract me to it. Also, the fact that I make my decisions and my word is what finally will count as opposed to PA school where my diagnosis is finalized by an MD/DO. I rather have the knowledge to do my own diagnosis and procedures which is what dentistry will offer.
 
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oralcare123

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C'mon how many people in your d school class had a 'REAL passion' for dentistry? The vast majority are there to have a comfortable lifestyle, hopefully autonomy with PP, and have a positive impact on their patients.

heck how many people have a real passion for anything? most people are just drifting in their lives trying to get through.
My apologies. When I read the post all I could hear is a wining of individuals of the same statistics how they can't stand dentistry but unable to leave, because they are in a financial trap
Dentistry requires liking, otherwise it is a torture. Compensation is simply not enough for the effort
 
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PerioDont

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My apologies. When I read the post all I could hear is a wining of individuals of the same statistics how they can't stand dentistry but unable to leave, because they are in a financial trap
Dentistry requires liking, otherwise it is a torture. Compensation is simply not enough for the effort
Fair. I think its fairly difficult to accurately gauge what it is like to be a dentist as a pre-dent. Even those who work as DAs don't really understand the day to day challenges.

However I agree there are many dentists that hate their life. once you get in with high levels of student debt, and potentially other debt you can't just get out and move to a different field just like you mentioned. I think the most important thing to do while shadowing is trying to get an idea of whether you hate it or not. If not you can work with an interest of some sort.
 

oralcare123

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Fair. I think its fairly difficult to accurately gauge what it is like to be a dentist as a pre-dent. Even those who work as DAs don't really understand the day to day challenges.

However I agree there are many dentists that hate their life. once you get in with high levels of student debt, and potentially other debt you can't just get out and move to a different field just like you mentioned. I think the most important thing to do while shadowing is trying to get an idea of whether you hate it or not. If not you can work with an interest of some sort.
I remember the most terrifying course for me was Law in Dentistry. Who in pre-dents even know the whole extent of responsibilities and possible pitfalls?
 
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PerioDont

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I remember the most terrifying course for me was Law in Dentistry. Who in pre-dents even know the whole extent of responsibilities and possible pitfalls?
totally. I heard a story of a periodontist who got sued by his pt after placing 4 implants for around 15k that ended up not osseo integrating.

The periodontist then responded by sending a personal email to the pt. The pt then added a charge of improper HIPAA disclosure of putting pt info in an non-secure email. The pt lost the charge on the implants and won that charge. anything random could happen and potentially cause you to lose your license as well. any physical injury could put you out of the the game too.
 

Damson

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Agree - you gotta be at least somewhat interested in dentistry to become a decent dentist. That's where the drive to hone your manual skills and theoretical knowledge come from.
 
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