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dds/dmd vs md

Discussion in 'Dental' started by anxietypeaker, Dec 10, 2005.

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  1. anxietypeaker

    anxietypeaker Senior Member
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    this is for my own sake...so anyone with advice let me know :)

    How does a person decide on dentistry vs medicine. I've shadowed both and they both seem really great. I've *heard* that the median salary is less for dentists but i REALLY dont care since both seem to make enough for me to be happy. PLus, the hours for an MD really sucks (i want to have time with my family).

    But beyond time and money, both have an equal amount of space in my *heart* haha. Seriously though, how do you decide if you have a passion for both professions?
     
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  3. jpollei

    jpollei Senior Member
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    Sounds like you've already made your decision...if you don't care about your income amount (which is plenty either way), and if you don't like the hours of an MD (though I wouldn't generalize that to all MD's), and if you truly like both equally, sounds like dentistry is what you'd like.
     
  4. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    There are a PLETHORA of threads on this same topic, just do a search. People get tired of answering this question each and every week.
     
  5. ARguy

    ARguy Member
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    El Guapo: Jefe, would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?
    Jefe: Yes, El Guapo. You have a plethora.
    El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?
     
  6. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    I would double check this again, my friend! It's better to "see" than "hear"!
     
  7. 12YearOldKid

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    1. MDs make more. It is much easier to match into a high-paying medical specialty that it is to get into a high-paying dental specialty. And all the people who like to show that dentists make more will show you the ADA averages of private dental practice owners compared to averages of MDs who are employees only. This is not a fair comparison. Even lowly family practice guys can make serious bank if they take the initiative to set up a private practice.

    2. Not all MDs work crazy hours. I have a good friend who is a family practitioner. He works 40 hours a week. He works one long 10 hour day on Tuesdays but he is off at 1 on Fridays. All other days are regular 8-4. Occasionally he will work a weekend temp shift at one of the rural ERs or clinics. Not because he has to but because they pay him so frickin much he can't pass it up.

    I am happy with my decision to do dentistry and wouldn't go back and change it even if I could. But don't put too much stock into the overworked underpaid physician myth.
     
  8. anxietypeaker

    anxietypeaker Senior Member
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    1) the average/median hours worked for primary care physicians is higher than dentists. This is an indisputable fact (granted there are norms, and also there is a trend that older physicians work less hours than newer ones [regardless of the reason])

    2) median salary for a primary care physician vs. a general dentist (yes, i realize the ramifications of choosing to compare these two specialties) is fairly comprable (as well as the 75th percentiles)
    Medians:
    Optometrists/pharmacists ~100k
    dentists/podiatrists ~130k
    pcps ~160k

    my family are immigrants and we havent really lived very comfortably (financially). Regardless, ALL of the above professions make enough money for me to pursue them.

    3) so 12yroldkid, how did you decide on dentistry? just thinking maybe it might help me decide which to pursue :) thanks

    ANY disagreements in the hours worked/income, please post. It would really help me out if people tell me whether im correct or not. (the #s are from surveys/stats/etc etc)
     
  9. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    Yet, its not really a myth. The situation you described is more of an exception than the rule.
     
  10. superchris147

    superchris147 Senior Member
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    that's was absolutely hilarious, maybe i'm drunk, i don't know, but i found that to be funny

    whoa too many commas


    in all seriousness, if you havn't been able to figure it out yet then you havn't shadowed for enough hours

    all the doctors i shadowed "well i hate being on call all the time"

    all the dentists i've shadowed "i can't believe i shot above an 80 last wednesday"

    all the med students i've talked to "god medical school is sooooooooooo tough we have 4 finals!!!!!!!!!"

    all the dental students i've talked to "dental school makes me want kill myself, we have 8 finals"

    maybe i'm just pissed about my finals i don't know :thumbdown:
     
  11. toofache32

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    Where do you get your numbers. The ones from the ADA say you should reverse your PCPs number with your dental numbers. And I'm not sure if it's accurate to arbitrarily group podiatry with dentists with salary.
     
  12. anxietypeaker

    anxietypeaker Senior Member
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    salary.com is the website.

    and they say that podiatrists have higher medians as well as higher 75th percentiles.

    ADA's numbers are averages, not the median.

    These are just stats (which obviously can be misleading) so if people know better let me know for my own sake. thanks. I'm just being the devils advocate.
     
  13. superchris147

    superchris147 Senior Member
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    if i remember correctly the ada's website states that the 2002 average for GPs was around 170k/year and 270k/year for specialists
     
  14. ARguy

    ARguy Member
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    I was wondering if anybody appreciated that. Kinda dated ourselves though huh?
     
  15. jdude

    jdude Member
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    You might want to check out this article from the Wall Street Journal.
     
  16. toofache32

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    That's exactly what I remember. Those "salary" websites are notoriously inaccurate, at least for dental stuff.

    Statistics are like a bikini....what they reveal isn't nearly as interesting as what they hide.
     
  17. speter33

    speter33 S.D.N.'s Captain
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    Man, podiatrists make like 40k. A good one maybe 75k. One who's been practicing for 20 years might actually get into the six figure range.
     
  18. anxietypeaker

    anxietypeaker Senior Member
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    wow thats very wrong. Maybe youre getting confused b/t an orthotist and a podiatrist. Pods during residency make about 40k. Moreover, EVERY single statistic refutes what you say, average or median. Regardless, pods make a good amount of money (the surgical ones, but even the nonsurgicals make more than what youre saying). moreover, surgical pod isnt a difficult residency to get into at all. anyways, hope that clears a few things up.

    Also, i wasnt arbitrarily grouping pods with dentists. Salary.com had them with similar median salaries (in fact pods with slightly higher medians but much higher 75%iles). This is comparing however, surgical pods with general dentists. Whether its right or wrong, it wasnt arbitrary.
     
  19. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Ha. That's a keeper.
     
  20. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Oh man, you've got to be kidding me. The old pods, part of the old guys' network, make money. Trouble is, they won't let new grads make money.
     
  21. anxietypeaker

    anxietypeaker Senior Member
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    GavinC, where did you hear this?? the older pods went thru a surgical OR a nonsurgical residency. THe newer pods ALL are surgeons (all residencies for pods are surgical residencies since a few years ago). And it always has been taht the surgical specialists in pod make more money. So my question is how is it that older pods make more money?? In fact, taking into consideration the moderating variable of age it is obvious that the newer pods are getting higher income faster. The same results occur but even more profound when treating surgical specialty (vs nonsurgical) as a moderating variable. Even the military is paying more than 40k for completely new podiatrists currently.

    GavinC, Where did you get this information of old people getting more money? Its fine if you can cite your info even if your just asking if the reference is true (which ive done in this thread, thats what is great about the forums), but if you are saying this out of pure observation on youre part or from talking with a few pods in your area (which inevitably leads to obvious nonrandomization) you should say that in your post. all the info i get is from salary.com/ada/apma/bls/ama/the professional colleges (ie acs).
     
  22. jonwill

    jonwill Podiatrist
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    The average podiatric physician with a three year surgical residency starts out around 120k-150k. We make around 40k in residency though:)
     
  23. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Take a look at the summary here for more complete information. Quite a few residencies (particularly in New York) pay over $50,000. New York Methodist tops out above $62,000 for a 3rd year resident. Compare that to a 3rd year MD resident at Johns Hopkins making $44,163.00 or a 3rd year MD resident at Duke making $44,280.00. Doesn't seem that bad to me.
     
  24. jays2cool4u

    jays2cool4u Senior Member
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  25. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    yeah well, salary.com also says orthodontists make less than general dentists.
     
  26. jays2cool4u

    jays2cool4u Senior Member
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    Maybe the area is saturated with this speciality.

    Jays2cool4u :cool:
     
  27. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Yes, but the U.S. Department of Labor statistics are all eithin a couple of thousand dollars of Salary.com. The government also predicts that "Employment of dentists is expected to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2012."
     
  28. IlizaRob

    IlizaRob IlizaRob-erator
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    Gotta love the ignorance you find on SDN
     
  29. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    Thats a good thing for dentists.

    Regarding salary.com, thats taking into account the salaries of dentists who are under "salary", fixed compensation paid regularly for services. Take a look at the incomes of dentists who are paid on production or who are in private practice, and you will see a much different income figure.
     
  30. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Yes, but the US Government figures on Dentists are about the same. While they acknowledge that "Self-employed dentists in private practice tend to earn more than salaried dentists," they also note that only 2 in 5 Dentists are self-employed (80% of those in solo practice), AND "these dentists must provide their own health insurance, life insurance, and retirement benefits."
     
  31. ajmacgregor

    ajmacgregor Senior Member
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    Fair enough...However, you should evaluate the quality of the data. If you look at the government's data page for Physicians and Surgeons, you'll see that the salary data come from a management consulting firm. However, there is no reference provided for the numbers for dentists. Where exactly did they get their data regarding dentists incomes?

    If you say that the ADA's numbers are upwardly biased, you must concede the possibility that the MGMA may also have upwardly biased numbers. In fact, both organizations utilize similar survey methodology to arrive at their estimates for mean incomes.
     
  32. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    There are many, many dentists who are not in solo practice, but get paid based on production. The number of salaried dentists is minimal compared to associates paid on production and private practioners. Just because you dont own your own practice doenst mean that you are "salaried".
     
  33. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Or maybe your source is just wrong. ;)
     
  34. drhobie7

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    randersen, your avatar is disgusting :barf:

    I can give you the link to some nice pics of bearded middle age men in banana hammocks.
     
  35. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Enough of the drama.
     
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