Dental students, do you actually enjoy dental school?

zammyd

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How has dental school been so far, and how much have you enjoyed it?
 

Incis0r

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Does anyone enjoy "sipping water from a fire hydrant?"
This has to be an exaggeration...

In high school, they said that I had to pull all-nighters to survive the honors/AP classes. I never did and I graduated in the top 20% of my class (would have been top 10% but I slacked off major during my first year of high school...got a 3.0 GPA that first year....rough times).

In college, they said that the intro science courses, and especially OChem, would weed you out and make you cry. I slept 8 hrs a night, never felt overwhelmed, and did very well.

Now, they say that in dental school, you will drink water from a fire hydrant and be OMG super-stressed out/THE WORLD IS ENDING/DENTAL SCHOOL IS THE ONLY THING IN YOUR LIFE.

For some reason, I'm not inclined to believe this. You see, people like to inflate the difficulty of things they've done because saying that you've done difficult things earns respect. But the problem is- if you have your priorities straight (which it seems like everyone on SDN does since they care about their future enough to be a part of a pre-professional forum), you can get through dental school without having to sacrifice basic enjoyment.

OP, I'm not a dental student (yet) but I know plenty on a personal level. They are just like you and I. They're not stuck in the library 24/7. Yes dental school has more class-time. They tell me that it's like high school. Go in morning, come out in evening. Low to Medium level of homework (depending on your specialization dreams). Overall, they say not to sweat it.

In fact, I would argue that, on some metrics, COLLEGE is a harder adjustment than dental school. People who are accepted to college....only 55% of them will finish a degree in 6 years (http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/11/19/u_s_college_dropouts_rates_explained_in_4_charts.html). People who are accepted to dental school however....over 99% of them will finish the degree in the allotted time. Only 1% on average withdrew according to this study that Doc Toothache did (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/ranking-of-ds-repeating-1st-year-withdrawls.657375/). So if 99% of people who matriculate are able to "DRINK FROM A FIRE HYDRANT"...my guess is the water pressure is pretty low :p...or we have some strong/large sophisticated esophaguses and bladders!

The point of my post is....there will be a lot of people telling you that dental school is extremely difficult, but based on my firsthand observations and conversations with dental students, and based on my previous experience with people saying things are hard when they're not, I think everyone experiences the difficulty in different levels, and if you're self-disciplined, you can do well and enjoy your four years there.

Cue the "OMG Incisor you're not even a dental student you shouldn't be posting omgomgomg you know nothing dental school isn't even high school or intro sciences it's so much science and hand skills all at the same time!!!" responses :p
 
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Dental2000

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Honestly, D-School is more about time-management rather than classes. There are quizzes almost every week. Very little time in the day after you get out (you need to sleep and eat as well lol)

And yes the material is challenging. The whole point is to NOT FALL BEHIND. Keep up with classes and keep studying as much as you can. But don't overdo it. Don't Burn yourself out. Take out Fridays as your 'Chill days' where you don't touch your books (assuming you've kept up in the week).

Both the 1st and 2nd replies are right. The 1st year of D-school is like sipping water of a Fire Hydrant cause you are bombarded with a bunch of classes with alot of new material the first week and quizzes+ HWs the week after. This doesn't include your time spent in Simulation Lab practicing your hand skills.

But it is also about Self-Discipline. If you can manage your time well and study everything in short bursts rather than putting it off to the night or 2 before the test, then you will be more at ease during your 1st year (or first term at least lol)
 

yappy

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Professional school is just like a J-O-B. It's not like undergrad where you approach learning from a purely educational perspective; asking complex questions, getting to the bottom of issues, questioning the basic premises of information being presented or critiquing it. No, in professional school you perform. The professors are more like bosses than educators. I wouldn't say that I hate dental school but it is less intellectually rewarding because I'm trying to perform and acquire all the information being presented. I think it will be well worth it in the end.
 

CanaDMD

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It's a lot of information but I can't bring myself to study everyday, yet, because I never did that before in undergrad. Still trying to work on my study habits. Gah. Fire hose is right. Most of us are not used to being in class from 9-5 and then studying before and after.... But I guess I should learn to get used to it.
+1. I'm so drained by the end of the day, idk how to manage it right now. If you have any tips that have been recently acquired, let me know.
 
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its not too bad. Some weeks worse than others. Gotta get used to being in class for 8-10 hours everyday (like double what i did in Undergrad) and then having to study even more afterwards. That said, im still getting 6-8 hrs of sleep, making time for the gym, cook once in a while, go out once on weekends, etc. Its an adjustment but it can be done.
 
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If you're disinterested in grades, moderately intelligent, and like fiddling with projects in lab, you'll get through without much of an issue. The real struggle comes in when you're hustling for an A in every class, or if you find lab work and preclinical skills unintuitive, tedious, or uninteresting.

The notion that dental school is anything like undergrad, in my opinion, is ludicrous. I had enough free time in undergrad to comfortably work a half time job and still have fun every weekend. In dental school, I'm in twice as many credits (30 this semester), and have to work all day, basically every day, to get the results I want.

So the long and short of it is that dental school isn't terribly enjoyable. Like yappy said, it feels like a long, grueling job. Having some good friends in your class to help get you through day to day makes it a lot more bearable.

As for the low attrition that incis0r mentioned in dental school, I don't think that suggests dental school is easy - rather, that people who come to dental school are highly motivated (by the massive debt, the prospect of a good job, etc) to complete the program. Nearly everyone who comes to school, gets through, but I'd argue very few find it particularly "enjoyable."
 

Incis0r

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As for the low attrition that incis0r mentioned in dental school, I don't think that suggests dental school is easy - rather, that people who come to dental school are highly motivated (by the massive debt, the prospect of a good job, etc) to complete the program. Nearly everyone who comes to school, gets through, but I'd argue very few find it particularly "enjoyable."
I think you need to review my post carefully (I quote it below for you) - I never said that dental school is easy. I said that it is not as hard of an adjustment as college is. Dental School IS harder than college because of the increased credits, but you need to understand that the jump from college level to dental school is much more manageable (due to motivation, work ethic, etc.) than the jump from high school to college. Again speaking from my firsthand conversations with dental students, dental school isn't intellectually more demanding than college- sciences are taught at the same difficulty level as college. The difference is there are way more classes than college. Whereas when you went from high school to college, you had to learn to self study, manage time, learn new skills for writing, develop logical thinking for papers, etc etc, in dental school you need to hone time management skills. That's the jump.

Also, I'm not sure if massive debt is always a motivating factor; one of the Predental days I went to; the students always talk about how much the debt stresses them out and can distract from studies.


In fact, I would argue that, on some metrics, COLLEGE is a harder adjustment than dental school. People who are accepted to college....only 55% of them will finish a degree in 6 years (http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/11/19/u_s_college_dropouts_rates_explained_in_4_charts.html). People who are accepted to dental school however....over 99% of them will finish the degree in the allotted time. Only 1% on average withdrew according to this study that Doc Toothache did (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/ranking-of-ds-repeating-1st-year-withdrawls.657375/). So if 99% of people who matriculate are able to "DRINK FROM A FIRE HYDRANT"...my guess is the water pressure is pretty low :p...or we have some strong/large sophisticated esophaguses and bladders!
 
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I did read your post carefully, albeit at 6 am. You didn't outright say dental school is easy, but you did insinuate it's easier than people make it out to be, and then supported that claim with anecdotes and low attrition rates. My points are:

1. Dental school can be as challenging as you want, depending on what your future goals are and what you want out of your education. There will be people in school who spend nearly all of their free time in the library, without exaggeration. There will also be people who study the night before exams and choose to spend their free time enjoying themselves. The former are more likely to be the people who say things like "dental school is like drinking water from a fire hydrant," and for them, it's true.

2. Attrition rates are low in dental school for many reasons. Dental students are older, more mature, and have invested lots of time and money towards getting into school, and thus they are less likely to drop out. I agree with you that the transition from college --> dental school is easier than HS --> college, and that is a contributing factor to low attrition. Furthermore, dropping out of dental school, especially with the enormous debt that many carry, would leave most students with few career prospects and unable to service that debt, and therefore they are motivated to finish the program. Also, the dental school wants to keep you as a student, high attrition looks bad, so they offer lots of services to help students get through successfully.

If you're not aiming to be in the top of your class, I think you'll find dental school is very manageable, much like the examples you mentioned (orgo, high school honors, etc). If you want to be top of your class, however, I'd reserve judgement on the difficulty until you've experienced it firsthand.

Now, they say that in dental school, you will drink water from a fire hydrant and be OMG super-stressed out/THE WORLD IS ENDING/DENTAL SCHOOL IS THE ONLY THING IN YOUR LIFE.

For some reason, I'm not inclined to believe this. You see, people like to inflate the difficulty of things they've done because saying that you've done difficult things earns respect. But the problem is- if you have your priorities straight (which it seems like everyone on SDN does since they care about their future enough to be a part of a pre-professional forum), you can get through dental school without having to sacrifice basic enjoyment.

OP, I'm not a dental student (yet) but I know plenty on a personal level. They are just like you and I. They're not stuck in the library 24/7. Yes dental school has more class-time. They tell me that it's like high school. Go in morning, come out in evening. Low to Medium level of homework (depending on your specialization dreams). Overall, they say not to sweat it.

The point of my post is....there will be a lot of people telling you that dental school is extremely difficult, but based on my firsthand observations and conversations with dental students, and based on my previous experience with people saying things are hard when they're not, I think everyone experiences the difficulty in different levels, and if you're self-disciplined, you can do well and enjoy your four years there.
 
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Incis0r

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I did read your post carefully, albeit at 6 am. You didn't outright say dental school is easy, but you did insinuate it's easier than people make it out to be, and then supported that claim with anecdotes and low attrition rates.
*slaps hand on table and leans in, grinning*
Of course I insinuated that DS is easier than people make it out to be. In fact, I'll just come right out and say it. DENTAL SCHOOL IS EASIER THAN DRINKING FROM A FIRE HYDRANT/HOW MANY PEOPLE MAKE IT OUT TO BE. And your statement (again quoted below) just proved my case that it is not necessarily like drinking from a fire hydrant:

There will also be people who study the night before exams and choose to spend their free time enjoying themselves.

If you're not aiming to be in the top of your class, I think you'll find dental school is very manageable, much like the examples you mentioned (orgo, high school honors, etc).
 
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*slaps hand on table and leans in, grinning*
Of course I insinuated that DS is easier than people make it out to be. In fact, I'll just come right out and say it. DENTAL SCHOOL IS EASIER THAN DRINKING FROM A FIRE HYDRANT/HOW MANY PEOPLE MAKE IT OUT TO BE. And your statement (again quoted below) just proved my case that it is not necessarily like drinking from a fire hydrant:
No one is comparing dental school to literally drinking water from a hydrant - the metaphor is meant to be hyperbolic, like "so hungry I could eat a horse," "as hot as hell." I don't think you're getting me: I'm saying that the people who are likely to say dental school is like "drinking water from a fire hydrant" are those who are trying to memorize every tiny detail on every slide, to get that extra fraction of a point, that might bump them up to the next letter grade. Those are the people who are at the top of the class. The unrelenting determination, focus, and drive required to get to the top of the class and stay there is unlike any examples you've brought up. It's not like orgo, its certainly not like AP classes in high school, and until you've expended that kind of effort to get there and experienced that firsthand, I think it's a misstep to suggest it's easier than people make it out to be.

Anyway, based your previous posts, you've got a good head on your shoulders and will do fine, I'm sure. I agree with the overall gist of your post - don't fret it, we all get through it without too many battle wounds.
 
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The hardest part about dental school is trying to stay awake during histo lecture/lab. Be sure to workout at least three days a week, take Friday afternoons and Saturdays off and buckle down and study all day Sunday and after class until midnight Monday- Thursday.
 
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studentdent00

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I think whether dental school will be like "sipping water from a fire hydrant," which by the way is a well justified simile, depends largely on how rigorous your undergrad was. If you were consistently nailing close to 20 credit hours of hard sciences for most of the semesters, then dental school probably won't be that challenging even if you are aiming for straight A's. However, if you are used to standard 15-18 credit hour schedule with some science courses sprinkled in between, then yeah, dental school will be akin to living hell on earth even if you are aiming for straight C's. :)

One variable that comes into play is your hand skill in pre-clinical labs. Some people seem to be naturals, only putting in a couple of hours and pulling an A on the practical, while others struggle to get a B even with days of practice.

So all in all, there are three types of people in dental school. You have those that are good at both academics and operative procedures/wax ups (aka born to specialize). Then you have typical book smarts that can't, for the love of God, get an A on a practical no matter how hard they try, or vice versa (good hand skills, but no brain). Lastly, you have the hopeless who make you wonder why they are even in dental school.
 
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Incis0r

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The hardest part about dental school is trying to stay awake during histo lecture/lab. Be sure to workout at least three days a week, take Friday afternoons and Saturdays off and buckle down and study all day Sunday and after class until midnight Monday- Thursday.
This seems reasonable.

One variable that comes into play is your hand skill in pre-clinical labs. Some people seem to be naturals, only putting in a couple of hours and pulling an A on the practical, while others struggle to get a B even with days of practice.
Very interesting: thanks for sharing.
 

allantois

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No one is comparing dental school to literally drinking water from a hydrant - the metaphor is meant to be hyperbolic, like "so hungry I could eat a horse," "as hot as hell." I don't think you're getting me: I'm saying that the people who are likely to say dental school is like "drinking water from a fire hydrant" are those who are trying to memorize every tiny detail on every slide, to get that extra fraction of a point, that might bump them up to the next letter grade. Those are the people who are at the top of the class. The unrelenting determination, focus, and drive required to get to the top of the class and stay there is unlike any examples you've brought up. It's not like orgo, its certainly not like AP classes in high school, and until you've expended that kind of effort to get there and experienced that firsthand, I think it's a misstep to suggest it's easier than people make it out to be.

Anyway, based your previous posts, you've got a good head on your shoulders and will do fine, I'm sure. I agree with the overall gist of your post - don't fret it, we all get through it without too many battle wounds.
The hydrant simile has been used to describe med school in pre-allo for decades now; apparently someone caught up to it and brought it here. Dental school is not like AP classes or Orgo, but guess what? It's also not like med school, where everyone is trying to be on the top. Now, are even half of the dental class gunning to be in top 10%? Really, all most students need to do is pass their classes, PASS NBDEs and spend a lot of time doing dentistry (which hopefully, they should enjoy if they are in the right field). The amount of information never goes into the abnormal pathology of every organ system, followed by learning how to diagnose and manage diseases anywhere in the body. All students have to do, is learn normal functioning of the body and then everything about a specific part of the body that they should be passionate about anyway. And don't tell me that being in clinic 8-5 is harder than running around the hospital for 80 hours/week; week after week.
 
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Bernie Sanders

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I hate dental school actually. NO time to pursue my outside interests. My school is really weak on didactics. Lab is difficult and I don't find it interesting. The professors act like 5 year olds and we have lots of profs who try to overplay toughness. My classmates sux and so it makes it more unbearable. I think I lost a lot of motivation and don't have as much motivation as I did in undergrad (my undergrad was super competitive and was probably more difficult than D-school) so that might make it worse. But if you have good classmates, that can be a huge asset. Mine sux. My class has a reputation for being cutthroat, gunnerish, and boring
 

Dental2000

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The take home question is: What do you want out of Dental School? Do you want to be a gunner and specialize or to just pass and graduate?

Remember: Out of 100 students in a class: No. 1 gets his degree at the end of 4 years and No. 100 gets the same degree.

My upperclassmen tell me this all the time (if you aren't specializing) : C's GET DEGREES. Honestly if you aren't really keen on specializing. Just pass your Didactics (understand them of course) and keep practicing your hand skills in Sim lab. I'm going to be going to tomorrow to Sim Lab to practicing waxing Tooth#9 b/c I want to be good at my hand skills for the next wax up and when the competency comes around.
 
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Incis0r

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The take home question is: What do you want out of Dental School? Do you want to be a gunner and specialize or to just pass and graduate?

Remember: Out of 100 students in a class: No. 1 gets his degree at the end of 4 years and No. 100 gets the same degree.

My upperclassmen tell me this all the time (if you aren't specializing) : C's GET DEGREES. Honestly if you aren't really keen on specializing. Just pass your Didactics (understand them of course) and keep practicing your hand skills in Sim lab. I'm going to be going to tomorrow to Sim Lab to practicing waxing Tooth#9 b/c I want to be good at my hand skills for the next wax up and when the competency comes around.
*Slow clap*
Someone get this guy a six-pack of whatever beverage he wants. He speaks the truth.

I've heard the same thing in a different variation: "You know what they call the guy who graduates last in his dental class? A dentist."
 

LaughingGas

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So all in all, there are three types of people in dental school. You have those that are good at both academics and operative procedures/wax ups (aka born to specialize). Then you have typical book smarts that can't, for the love of God, get an A on a practical no matter how hard they try, or vice versa (good hand skills, but no brain). Lastly, you have the hopeless who make you wonder why they are even in dental school.
So true lol.

*Slow clap*
Someone get this guy a six-pack of whatever beverage he wants. He speaks the truth.

I've heard the same thing in a different variation: "You know what they call the guy who graduates last in his dental class? A dentist."
Would you want to get treated by him/her?
 
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The hydrant simile has been used to describe med school in pre-allo for decades now; apparently someone caught up to it and brought it here. Dental school is not like AP classes or Orgo, but guess what? It's also not like med school, where everyone is trying to be on the top. Now, are even half of the dental class gunning to be in top 10%? Really, all most students need to do is pass their classes, PASS NBDEs and spend a lot of time doing dentistry (which hopefully, they should enjoy if they are in the right field). The amount of information never goes into the abnormal pathology of every organ system, followed by learning how to diagnose and manage diseases anywhere in the body. All students have to do, is learn normal functioning of the body and then everything about a specific part of the body that they should be passionate about anyway. And don't tell me that being in clinic 8-5 is harder than running around the hospital for 80 hours/week; week after week.
I'm not sure what you're talking about because my entire class attempts to do very well and we take classes with the med students.. With the same exams.
 

allantois

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I'm not sure what you're talking about because my entire class attempts to do very well and we take classes with the med students.. With the same exams.
You take 3rd and 4th year with them along with USMLE after year 2?

Your goal as a dental student is primarily to prepare for the practice of dentistry.
The goal of a med student is to get into a residency program.
It's a different kind of stress, but the type you would describe as "drinking from a water hydrant", I would associate more with the medical students.

Let me tell you what merely passing your classes and barely passing USMLE will land you as a medical student: a family residency in the middle of nowhere; However you spin it, most dental students don't have to worry about these things.
 
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CanaDMD

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How much do I enjoy dental school?

From my first three weeks, I can tell you my school and classmates are all top notch. We all know how to party, have an awesome time, and are extremely friendly towards each other. I guess it does help that we are quite a small class, but anyways.

Faculty here is great. Haven't yet met a teacher that wants to give you a hard time for no reason.

All in all, I'm enjoying dental school but I'm already fully consumed by it. It becomes your life extremely quickly.
 

Incis0r

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Would you want to get treated by him/her?
Do you look up or ask every single dentist you go to about his/her class ranking in dental school, and then you make a judgement whether or not to be treated based on that?

Average everyday patient doesn't care a) where their dentist went to school and b) what their dentist's class rank is as long as they are friendly, personable/a good listener, and have a legitimate dental license.

So to answer your question about whether or not I would want to be treated by the last ranked person in a dental class, my answer is I don't know because I don't choose my dentists based on class rank: I choose them based on how well they educate patients, how friendly their office seems, and how well they resolve any anxiety I have about pain from the procedures.

You can graduate last in your class due to didactics but have amazing dexterity and be an awesome dentist.

Grades and class rank aren't everything.
 
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You can graduate last in your class due to didactics but have amazing dexterity and be an awesome dentist.
So you're basically saying the only required skill to be a great dentist is dexterity and hand skills? That classes like pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, etc. are just useless, fluff classes that we take to try to look like doctors? If you're pulling C's in these classes, don't you think you might be missing something that may help you diagnose disease, educate your patients, and be a well rounded health care professional? Thinking like this perpetuates the notion that dentists are merely "tooth technicians," and the "doctor" title is all for show, and it's a shame this attitude still exists in soon-to-be dental students.

I'm not going to get dragged into the "which is harder, med vs. dent" argument that allantois is clearly trying to bait someone into, but I think the suggestion that "all dental students have to do is pass" is uninformed. To get your license to practice, sure, all you have to do is pass - the same can be said for medicine. To be an educated, informed, analytical health care professional, I'd argue that paying attention and excelling in the didactic courses is just as important as honing your skills with the drill.

Lastly - you're paying over $200k and four years of your life toward a career goal, why would you come to school with the intention of doing the bare minimum and just scraping by, like allantois is suggesting many do? I don't know what dental students you know, but like a few other members mentioned above, the majority of my class is highly invested in our work & grades.
 

Incis0r

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So you're basically saying the only required skill to be a great dentist is dexterity and hand skills? That classes like pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, etc. are just useless, fluff classes that we take to try to look like doctors? If you're pulling C's in these classes, don't you think you might be missing something that may help you diagnose disease, educate your patients, and be a well rounded health care professional? Thinking like this perpetuates the notion that dentists are merely "tooth technicians," and the "doctor" title is all for show, and it's a shame this attitude still exists in soon-to-be dental students.
I don't even know how to deal with you and your tendency to exaggerate everything I say to the point of ridiculousness anymore....you need to get some more sleep because clearly waking up and reading SDN at 6am in the morning is not doing you any favors.

Just...wow I'm reading and re-reading your response, and then going back to my post and reviewing it, thinking to myself "Did I say something that gives off the impression that 'classes like pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, etc. are just useless, fluff classes that we take to try to look like doctors?'" I'm wondering: "Where did I say that this stuff isn't important? Why does Free99 think that I said that?"

I'm convinced you're trolling me because I do believe that you have good critical reading skills. Still, out of courtesy, I shall summarize:

LaughingGas asked if I would go to a dentist who graduated last in his class. I responded I don't know because I don't ask my dentists for copies of their transcripts (and honestly, what patient does or even cares?). I care about the dentist's friendliness, pain-free approach to procedures, how quickly they get me in and out, and how much they educate the patient. That's all that any patient expects. So yes, in that regard, dexterity and hand skills are more important than didactics.

I mean seriously, Free99, what is going on here....
 
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allantois

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So you're basically saying the only required skill to be a great dentist is dexterity and hand skills? That classes like pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, etc. are just useless, fluff classes that we take to try to look like doctors? If you're pulling C's in these classes, don't you think you might be missing something that may help you diagnose disease, educate your patients, and be a well rounded health care professional? Thinking like this perpetuates the notion that dentists are merely "tooth technicians," and the "doctor" title is all for show, and it's a shame this attitude still exists in soon-to-be dental students.

I'm not going to get dragged into the "which is harder, med vs. dent" argument that allantois is clearly trying to bait someone into, but I think the suggestion that "all dental students have to do is pass" is uninformed. To get your license to practice, sure, all you have to do is pass - the same can be said for medicine. To be an educated, informed, analytical health care professional, I'd argue that paying attention and excelling in the didactic courses is just as important as honing your skills with the drill.

Lastly - you're paying over $200k and four years of your life toward a career goal, why would you come to school with the intention of doing the bare minimum and just scraping by, like allantois is suggesting many do? I don't know what dental students you know, but like a few other members mentioned above, the majority of my class is highly invested in our work & grades.
Honestly, there are fields in medicine where physicians don't have to remember everything from med school either. I just hate when people like to scare others away as I heard it over and over again about AP classes and certain college classes. Not once, have the comments of that nature were helpful to me. I don't think one needs to constantly tell everyone around them how hard they work in order to boost people's perceptions about them. This sort of pretentiousness is what really turns me off about many pre-meds; it really does not make students look any more smarter nor is it helping those intersted in the field. As for comments about med school, I think it's important to keep things in perspective and not behave like we have it worse than anyone else.
 
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@Incis0r - This will be my last post responding to you, as it seems you're trying to reduce this to personal attacks. I apologize if you found my comments to confrontational, that was not my intent. You mentioned various attributes that you (from a patient's perspective) would look for in a dentist, and I agree that all of those things are essential to being a good clinician. Are hand skills important? Obviously. Didactics? Of course. You seemed to imply you could have one without the other - if that wasn't your intent, I must have misunderstood.

@allantois - Thanks for the response, I couldn't agree more.
 

Dental2000

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So true lol.


Would you want to get treated by him/her?
How would you (or any other patient) know that the specific dentist you are going to, graduated last?
 

LaughingGas

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@Incis0r @Dental2000 My question was not to whether you would literally know which dentists would have graduated last. I am just questioning some that have the lazy attitude and settle for minimal effort without trying their best. Of course not everyone can get the grades that they would want, but I would expect my colleages to try their best in both clinical and didactic courses to give best treatment possible. I understand grades and ranking are not everything. I agree with you Incis0r how you would pick your dentist. But I would expect them to know what they are doing in terms of knowledge and hand skills.
 

CanaDMD

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@Incis0r @Dental2000 My question was not to whether you would literally know which dentists would have graduated last. I am just questioning some that have the lazy attitude and settle for minimal effort without trying their best. Of course not everyone can get the grades that they would want, but I would expect my colleages to try their best in both clinical and didactic courses to give best treatment possible. I understand grades and ranking are not everything. I agree with you Incis0r how you would pick your dentist. But I would expect them to know what they are doing in terms of knowledge and hand skills.
"I would expect them to know what they are doing in terms of knowledge and hand skills."

You guys realize that by passing your classes in dental school, the faculty and the dental associations consider you to "know what you're doing". If they didn't think you "knew what you were doing", they would have failed you and made you redo the year
 

allantois

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"I would expect them to know what they are doing in terms of knowledge and hand skills."

You guys realize that by passing your classes in dental school, the faculty and the dental associations consider you to "know what you're doing". If they didn't think you "knew what you were doing", they would have failed you and made you redo the year
The final judgement is up to the public to make. If your patients don't find you trustworthy, caring, having good skills (and I would also add down-to-earth); it doesn't matter if you graduated first in your class. Please notice how most of the qualities people care about cannot be taught in dental school if you are lacking them to begin with.
 

Incis0r

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"I would expect them to know what they are doing in terms of knowledge and hand skills."

You guys realize that by passing your classes in dental school, the faculty and the dental associations consider you to "know what you're doing". If they didn't think you "knew what you were doing", they would have failed you and made you redo the year
Good point. I would further add that even if you somehow managed to slip through the cracks in dental school grading, you have NBDE Part I and II, and NERB/WREB/etc. (or in some states like NY a residency) that will not let you practice without demonstrating that you know what you're doing.
 
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The take home question is: What do you want out of Dental School? Do you want to be a gunner and specialize or to just pass and graduate?

Remember: Out of 100 students in a class: No. 1 gets his degree at the end of 4 years and No. 100 gets the same degree.

My upperclassmen tell me this all the time (if you aren't specializing) : C's GET DEGREES. Honestly if you aren't really keen on specializing. Just pass your Didactics (understand them of course) and keep practicing your hand skills in Sim lab. I'm going to be going to tomorrow to Sim Lab to practicing waxing Tooth#9 b/c I want to be good at my hand skills for the next wax up and when the competency comes around.
Problem is what happens when you enter not wanting to specialize, get C's for two years, and then in D3 decide you absolutely love one of the specialties now that you've been exposed to it in the clinic and it's all you want out of life. And you have to deal with a sub-3.0 GPA and one year to bring that up enough to even have your residency application looked at.
 

CanaDMD

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The final judgement is up to the public to make. If your patients don't find you trustworthy, caring, having good skills (and I would also add down-to-earth); it doesn't matter if you graduated first in your class. Please notice how most of the qualities people care about cannot be taught in dental school if you are lacking them to begin with.
I agree! 100%. Which is why I wrote my post in the first place.

Those who "just pass" their dental school classes might make the best dentists because of their chairside manner with patients, while those who were top of their class might not know how to interact with patients.

And both are considered to "know what they're doing". Sure, one might make a better clinician dentistry wise (possible, not necessarily), but patients don't know the difference between a treatment that would warrant a perfect score in dental school and one that warrants a B, as long as their teeth look good and don't hurt.
 

Dental2000

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Problem is what happens when you enter not wanting to specialize, get C's for two years, and then in D3 decide you absolutely love one of the specialties now that you've been exposed to it in the clinic and it's all you want out of life. And you have to deal with a sub-3.0 GPA and one year to bring that up enough to even have your residency application looked at.
That is why I emphasized 'Not Specializing'. If you decide in your 3rd year you want to specialize after getting C's throughout, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.

There aren't alot of chances in Dental School to 'make up' for past mistakes if you want to specialize. That is why I asked the question: " What do you want out of Dental School? ". This question should be answered within the 1st two months of Dental school (give or take).

To those who aren't sure about specializing, start asking the various specialty programs in your school if you can shadow them. This should give you a better idea ( now that you are already in D-school) about specializing.
 

toothsleuth11

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There are 4 types of people in dental school. Those who study and do well. Those who don't study and do well. Those who study and do badly. And those who dont study and do badly. Dental school is enjoyable if you fall into the first two categories and the last category although it could be debated whether or not category 1 is truly happy. If you are in the third category...well tough luck...you will hate dental school and your classmates who fall into the first two categories. It happens every year. The students who study but can't get the A's are always the biggest complainers and the ones who go around accusing everybody of sabotage. By D4 they complain of how terrible dental school is and spread their plague by telling all the younger D1s and D2s that they wont be able to become orthodontists because its "too damn hard!"
 
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CanaDMD

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There are 4 types of people in dental school. Those who study and do well. Those who don't study and do well. Those who study and do badly. And those who dont study and do badly. Dental school is enjoyable if you fall into the first two categories and the last category although it could be debated whether or not category 1 is truly happy. If you are in the third category...well tough luck...you will hate dental school and your classmates who fall into the first two categories. It happens every year. The students who study but can't get the A's are always the biggest complainers and the ones who go around accusing everybody of sabotage. By D4 they complain of how terrible dental school is and spread their plague by telling all the younger D1s and D2s that they wont be able to become orthodontists because its "too damn hard!"
That seems pretty true.

Though saying dental school is hard isn't a lie. :p
 

Mauricio45

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Sep 15, 2013
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How has dental school been so far, and how much have you enjoyed it?
Meh. Some good parts and some bad parts. I didn't care much the first two years since we were in classrooms all the time. I hate being inside a classroom all day. But 3rd year for me was the worst year of dental school. For me, 3rd year was a rough adjustment to clinic. I'm currently in 4th year and despite our graduation requirements and NERB, it's going well and I'm finally getting the hang of things and how things work in clinic. I still have nightmares about 3rd year, lol.

My classmates are awesome. We're like one big family; we help each other out. Faculty are, for the most part, nice and approachable. They want us to do well. There are definitely some douchebag faculty members that make your life a living hell, but as long as you avoid them as much as possible, you're good.

Hands down, the worst part about dental school are dentures and setting teeth!! I hope I never set teeth after D-school. Or do anterior try-in, jaw relations, etc. So many wasted evenings, lol.

So yeah, dental school has been so far a rollercoaster ride. Alot of ups and downs. I wouldn't necessarily say that I "enjoyed" it. But I did appreciate all the things I learnt from D school and knowing that it will go a long way for me when I become a GP.
 
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yappy

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There are 4 types of people in dental school. Those who study and do well. Those who don't study and do well. Those who study and do badly. And those who dont study and do badly. Dental school is enjoyable if you fall into the first two categories and the last category although it could be debated whether or not category 1 is truly happy. If you are in the third category...well tough luck...you will hate dental school and your classmates who fall into the first two categories. It happens every year. The students who study but can't get the A's are always the biggest complainers and the ones who go around accusing everybody of sabotage. By D4 they complain of how terrible dental school is and spread their plague by telling all the younger D1s and D2s that they wont be able to become orthodontists because its "too damn hard!"
I don't buy it. I don't think peoples frustration with dental school is a function of their performance.
 

ktran17

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Apr 12, 2011
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I enjoy it and am doing fairly well. It's all about outlook. For example, I'm enjoying my d2 year a lot more despite the heavier course load and additional lab projects. This is probably due to the heavy clinical emphasis. Almost everything you do in d2 year has major clinical relevance. It also helps to know that you have to perform because patients are right around the corner!
 
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Incis0r

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I enjoy it and am doing fairly well. It's all about outlook. For example, I'm enjoying my d2 year a lot more despite the heavier course load and additional lab projects. This is probably due to the heavy clinical emphasis. Almost everything you do in d2 year has major clinical relevance. It also helps that you know that you have to perform because patients are right around the corner!
Would you say that not having financial stress due to the HPSP is also a major reason why you're happy?
 

toothsleuth11

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I don't buy it. I don't think peoples frustration with dental school is a function of their performance.
People's frustration with dental school stems from a realization that they aren't as smart as they thought they were, in addition to crushed dreams, ie becoming an ortho/omfs is no longer possible. Many people choose dentistry without actually liking general dentistry because "they will become specialists", not realizing having good hand skills is essential, and/or thinking that "my dentist only works 2 days a week and has a big yacht and a hot wife!"
 

CanaDMD

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Jun 4, 2015
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People's frustration with dental school stems from a realization that they aren't as smart as they thought they were, in addition to crushed dreams, ie becoming an ortho/omfs is no longer possible. Many people choose dentistry without actually liking general dentistry because "they will become specialists", not realizing having good hand skills is essential, and/or thinking that "my dentist only works 2 days a week and has a big yacht and a hot wife!"
I don't think the vast majority of people entering dentistry are this naive. Then again, what do I know
 

ktran17

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Would you say that not having financial stress due to the HPSP is also a major reason why you're happy?
That probably contributes to my happiness, at least to some extent. Not having to worry about financials is a definite plus. However, I think it's more of the realization that all you hard work is finally bearing fruit. I've been striving to be a healthcare provider since high school and it's extremely fulfilling to witness the culmination of all my knowledge, from hs, undergrad, and now dental school. All in order to treat patients and make a difference in their lives. It might sound cliche, but from what I've observed, most people that enter dental school have/had some sort of proclivity towards helping towards.
 
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@Incis0r: it is sad that you only see free99's comment as personal attack. There were quite a few lessons you could have learned from his response that you chose to ignore.
 
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