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crazy4clana

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Are dental students generally happy at school based on classes, studying, stress level...ect. I know a few med students who want to kill themselves with all of the studying and memorization they have to do, not to mention the boredom. It's one of the reasons why I switched to dental, but are dental students generally happy?
 
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dWiz

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the first two years are the same as medical school, however we have added pre-clinical work in our curriculum...so if you feel medical school makes you unhappy because of the work, I don't think you'll feel any different about dental school
 

crazy4clana

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It's not the classes that would bother me, I took some of those classes in college and loved them, it's the overall atmosphere and stress level I'm worried about. I don't think dental students have the SAME classes like med students, the have classes dedicated primarily to oral heath issues and stuff like that if I'm not mistaken?

A lot of family members told me not to go into medicine for that reason, I don't want to be burned-out at 25-26 years old.
 

RazorDDS

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Obviously I have not gone to med school so I can not comment first hand about med school. I would say that in general dental school is not a stress free time. However, I really think this depends on the student. During first year, everyone was trying to get every single point possible to try and keep the option of specializing open. Kids would seriously flip about 1 question on a 5 point quiz. Anyway, now that I am almost finished everyone is worried about graduating, getting requirements done, and boards. Different stress but just as if not more stressful.... Dental school is not easy and you must work hard. In saying, that I feel that if you work hard and know you gave it your best you can be relatively happy. Despite this I still think a vast majority of dental students are sick of school by the time they get done. Just my two cents.
 

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It's not the classes that would bother me, I took some of those classes in college and loved them, it's the overall atmosphere and stress level I'm worried about. I don't think dental students have the SAME classes like med students, the have classes dedicated primarily to oral heath issues and stuff like that if I'm not mistaken?

A lot of family members told me not to go into medicine for that reason, I don't want to be burned-out at 25-26 years old.

It always sounded to me liek we take the same classes as med students...anatomy, physio, pathology, histology, biochem, micro. I think a few of them weren't as detailed as the med classes because we'd focus on the oral aspects (like oral histology and head and neck anatomy). But they were pretty much the same as the med school and we ntook a number of dental related classes and drilling classes in addition to all of those...

As for being happy, it really depends on you. Are you a gunner or are you content being in the middle/bottom of the class? Are you good iwth time management? Sure, there are days when you get bored or sleep through class and a lot of school is straight-up memorization...but it's 2 years of crap. Then it gets better. Though the first 2 years you want to kill yourself because you're studying for exams, then you're drilling preps for class, then you're studying for a quiz...by the time second year rolls around, I hear it's a million times better.
 

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Not having been to dental school yet (starting in July) I have to say that being happy depends a lot on the individual. I can imagine how much more stressful dental school is from undergrad but Im sure we've all met those who are unhappy no matter what circumstance they are in. There are also those that are happy regardless of stress and work load - and then there is everything in between too.
Although dental school and life in general for that matter can be stressful and difficult it doesnt have to determine your happiness.
 
J

jackbauer!

Choosing dental school because you think you will be less burnt out by 26 is not a good reason to go to dental school.

You will find out next year that dental students are generally more stressed than the med students. I have many dental school friends that have med school roommates who have far more free time than we ever have. Most are done with class around noon, while we go to 4 or 5.

Plus, we have the learning curve of working with our hands and tons of very heavily weighted practicals. Again, something med students don't face.

Now, I'm not ragging on med students, not saying we're better, because we're not. We're peers in the medical community. Just saying, from personal experience, it seems like we have more hurdles than they do.

As far as being happy in school: it depends on YOU. If you're the kinda person that has test/practical anxiety than you will be very stressed and likely unhappy. If you come to grips that you will graduate if you work hard and have a good time along the way, then much (not all) of the stress will disappear. There are plenty of the 1st type of students in dental school, it's up to you to phase them out and just hang on for the ride. I'm having a great time and getting good grades.

jb!:)
 

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I'm curious to see when people realize that it is not worth all the stress to specialize and decide that GP is fine.
 

jon68

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Seems like it would be smart to realize that now, then you could have a great time in school. I spoke to a dental student at an interview I was at and he said he was aiming for all Cs that quarter and was having a great time cause he didnt have to worry about being top of his class. He said last in his class was just as good for him as long as he graduates!
 

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different strokes for different folks

also, the reason we all strive to get A's in the beginning is because we're used to it. We competed in high school to get into a 4 year college/university of our choice. We then competed in college to get a seat in a professional school. Now for some people that is the end of their academia career, while others want to go on to specialize. So the competition continues....
 

li1p0ptart

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A big part of it is whether you like what you're doing or not. Many people go into this purely for the wrong reasons and thus will end up unhappy throughout most of their schooling. If you enjoy dentistry then the studying/stress will balance out with the fun drilling stuff. =P
 
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INFNITE

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having a time of my life....NOTTTTTT

this has been by far the worst year of my life, but thankfully it will be over soon.
 

crazy4clana

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Thanks for the insight guys, guess it depends on me haha. Just wanted to get the POV from dental students now to see if they are miserable.

Choosing dental school because you think you will be less burnt out by 26 is not a good reason to go to dental schoo

I like dental for more reasons than that, I can't say I LOVE teeth and everything about them. I like oral health, working with my hands (manual dexerity), being my own boss, working in the medical field...ect. I know my reasons for getting into dentistry, just wondering about the road there. I really want to specialize, almost to the point that I don't know if I will be happy if I become a general dentist. There's more stress I guess for that, but all of the classes in dental school are the ones I'm interested in...so I hope I'll be happy?
 

INFNITE

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the thing is though, you're not just learning about teeth. you have to learn teeth, but also everything associated with health in general. you will find that in dental school, you're learning a ton of stuff you'll probably never end up using in the future. you will learn all these disease processes and end up having to miserably cram for exams only to get screwed over. some people will have an easier time than others, but you'll be working and studying so much you'll be burnt out (especially applies for 2nd year). having a major exam every other week is NOT a fun feeling

and yes, med students definitely have an easier curriculum...at least the 1st 2 years. this is especially evident at a school like Columbia with integrated curriculum. not only do we have to take med classes, on most days, we have to deal with preclinical activities. not to mention the additional courses we have to take.
 

pietrodds

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Yes, to some extend happiness is determined by the person not the circumstances or surroundings. So if you could be happy as a prisoner in a german nazi camp then you should have no problem being happy in dental school. Stress is all relative to the person. Personally, I found D school to be very stressful and I'm glad to have it behind me. Do a search, this topic has been beaten to death...
 
V

v&andy_yankee

I'm pretty happy. I think I'm going to cry (seriously!) on graduation day because I really have enjoyed dental school. Sure, second year was painful at times, but in retrospect it wasn't too terribly bad. And the friends I've made in dental school have been awesome.
 
J

jackbauer!

Thanks for the insight guys, guess it depends on me haha. Just wanted to get the POV from dental students now to see if they are miserable.



I like dental for more reasons than that, I can't say I LOVE teeth and everything about them. I like oral health, working with my hands (manual dexerity), being my own boss, working in the medical field...ect. I know my reasons for getting into dentistry, just wondering about the road there. I really want to specialize, almost to the point that I don't know if I will be happy if I become a general dentist. There's more stress I guess for that, but all of the classes in dental school are the ones I'm interested in...so I hope I'll be happy?

Thing is, you know nothing about dentistry now. You think you know what it's like to be a GP, but you don't-- I don't even know for sure, but I do like the things were doing in operative and the variety of cases you will see as a GP. Plus, you really are capable of doing things that a "specialist" does on a daily basis (root canals, extractions, implants, ortho).

I guess what I'm getting at is this: go in to dental school and do the best yo can & strive for A's. This is especially important for someone like yourself that "knows" they want to specialize. But go in with an open mind and a free spirit. Realize you won't be the smartest person in the class anymore, and when you get a B (or, oh my gawd, a C) on your first practical, don't beat yourself up over it. If you can do this you will be a happier dental student.

jb!:)
 

crazy4clana

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I don't have anything against being a GP, it's just something that I believe is too concentrated for my interests. I want to a broader area to work with. I also wanted to do the specialty before I wanted to go to dental school. I was told you needed to go to both med and dental school for OMFS, but was thrilled to find out you only had to go to dental school.

I get that it's stressful, as with any professional school. Guess that answers my question.

Do a search, this topic has been beaten to death...

Not really. I did a search and this topic came up, but not exactly what I wanted know. If dental school is "fun" and dental students being happy are two different topics.
 

li1p0ptart

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im pretty sure you have to go to dental school, then 3 years of medical school, then do residency for OMFS
 

crazy4clana

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No you don't, you can go into a 4-year program for the OMFS degree right after dental school or the 6-year program OMFS/MD degree where you go to med school for two years.
 
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Whenever I feel less than happy, I watch this video and think of two donkeys and the untouchables - and suddenly, I'm happy again~!!
 

Columbia07

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I don't have anything against being a GP, it's just something that I believe is too concentrated for my interests. I want to a broader area to work with. I also wanted to do the specialty before I wanted to go to dental school. I was told you needed to go to both med and dental school for OMFS, but was thrilled to find out you only had to go to dental school.

I get that it's stressful, as with any professional school. Guess that answers my question.



Not really. I did a search and this topic came up, but not exactly what I wanted know. If dental school is "fun" and dental students being happy are two different topics.


1. Let's get one thing straight, general dentistry is the broadest category of dentistry and that's why it's called GENERAL dentistry.

2. For me, and I'm sure most will agree with me, didactic classes are didactic classes. Some are a bigger pain in the a$$ than others but for the most part, we're all capable of getting through them. The aspect that people haven't touched on as much is the fact that you will be readily abused in dental school from all angles. You're self-esteem is going to go down the drain when you fail your practical ("I could have sworn that was the best damn prep I've seen!"), when the clinical professor rejects your patient for a much needed competency exam, You're radiology professor rips you a new one for overlooking a minor detail (ugh...). How about re-mediating courses because you're too slow, flip out during exams, or your pre-clinic professor is a complete blowj*b. How about waxing up an arch (this will take you a while in the beginning) to drop it on the floor and bust it to hell and have to start over knowing you only have about 5 hours remaining before it's due?

3. The examples above, the intangibles that you cannot completely control, are the things that make dental school, at times, a pain. You can control how well you do on your physiology exam or cardiovascular pathology exam, but you cannot control the factors that will ultimately test your will power to succeed and make it through dental school. I swear to you, the sophmore class spent about 180 hours in the lab for one project (which I believe they had like 3 weeks to complete), not multiple projects, ONE! This is in addition to regularly scheduled cases, lectures, labs and rotations, which take up most of the day each day.

4. OMFS is awesome and it's something I'm considering, but don't go into dental school close-minded because you need to make it through everything else to be able to finally rip teeth out every day...
 

crazy4clana

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I know, I go to my dentist regulary because I needed a lot of work don't on my teeth like root canals, teeth extraction, regular cleaning...ect. I know the scope of dentistry very well since I obviously ask a lot of questions. Anyway, I think what dentists do is amazing...I had the worse pain in my life from a dead root and my dentist was the one who fixed it up and I am forever greatful. It's just not something I'm interested in exactly...I like OMFS because of the trauma patients you see and fixing skeletal disfigurations, at least that's what I saw when I shadowed one...whipping out teeth seems cool too.

I'm not putting down general dentistry, I just really into the specialty AFTER dental school.
 
V

v&andy_yankee

I know, I go to my dentist regulary because I needed a lot of work don't on my teeth like root canals, teeth extraction, regular cleaning...ect. I know the scope of dentistry very well since I obviously ask a lot of questions. Anyway, I think what dentists do is amazing...I had the worse pain in my life from a dead root and my dentist was the one who fixed it up and I am forever greatful. It's just not something I'm interested in exactly...I like OMFS because of the trauma patients you see and fixing skeletal disfigurations, at least that's what I saw when I shadowed one...whipping out teeth seems cool too.

I'm not putting down general dentistry, I just really into the specialty AFTER dental school.

The VAST majority of OMFS dentists, after they finish their residency, will set up their own shop in the burbs/towns/etc and 95% of what they do will be 1.extracting wisdom teeth and 2.placing implants. Every once in a while, they will have a biopsy or an excision of a blocked duct, but the MAJORITY of their jobs will be pulling out teeth.

The "cool" surgeries you're talking about are basically confined to hospitals. It may be cool and more gratifying, but I don't think it's as financially rewarding as setting up shop in the 'burbs, and your body will definitely start breaking down much faster. How many years do you think your body can put up with 7 hour scrub-ins?

Pick the lifestyle you want first, then decide on the job that will allow you to live that lifestyle.
 

crazy4clana

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My OMFS had his own practice and the vast majority of his patients were not there for their wisdom teeth. Most of them were there for skeletal problems, cleft palates, reconstruction to the entire face. Along with his practice he also worked trauma in the ER with car accidents and battery to the face. His hours wren't bad at all, same as dentists and a few evening shifts at the hospital. It's not all pulling out teeth, infact there were only a few cases of those in my experience.
 
V

v&andy_yankee

My OMFS had his own practice and the vast majority of his patients were not there for their wisdom teeth. Most of them were there for skeletal problems, cleft palates, reconstruction to the entire face. Along with his practice he also worked trauma in the ER with car accidents and battery to the face. His hours wren't bad at all, same as dentists and a few evening shifts at the hospital. It's not all pulling out teeth, infact there were only a few cases of those in my experience.

His office is the exception, then. What do you think the incidence of cleft palates or various skeletal syndromes are? Compare that to the incidence of impacted wisdom teeth (or people who just want them out for other reasons, ie caries)
 

crazy4clana

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I don't think it's an exception, many people have skeletal problems that get referred by general dentists and orthodontists (I was one of them). And I live in the suburbs, very strange area for "exceptions" if you ask me.

My point is, even the most common OMFS can have A LOT of variety instead of just pulling teeth...at least where I live.
 

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:corny::corny::corny::corny::corny:
2823565940048425017wdXZhs_ph.jpg
 

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crazy4clana, I am excited for you. You seem to have done some research and done some good job shadowing and know what you want in life and in dentistry as well. Stick to your goals and Im sure you will end up doing what you want.
 

li1p0ptart

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I swear to you, the sophmore class spent about 180 hours in the lab for one project (which I believe they had like 3 weeks to complete), not multiple projects, ONE! This is in addition to regularly scheduled cases, lectures, labs and rotations, which take up most of the day each day.

It was disgusting that the SIM lab felt more like home than anything else. SO glad thats over. Good luck to you next year, :smuggrin:
 
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MOST oral surgeons pull teeth and do some implants all day, every day. The cleft stuff is rare and not done or a regular basis. Do not base what the typical oral surgeon does to earn a living off of spending one day with one oral surgeon who happened to be doing major oral surgery that day. This is an extreme minority.
 

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Your OMFS is definitely an exception. I've done two hospital residencies in two different parts of the country and it seems like all we see is cleft because the doctors in the suburbs don't see them - treatment takes a long time and poor reimbursement.

Dental school is painful. There are just too many classes, exams, lab projects, and intense memorization required to be happy and care-free like college. There are some moments of fun and happiness, but there is always a cloud of stress over your head that doesn't lift until you successfully graduate. At some schools they do take the same science classes as the med student. I don't understimate the medical profession because its tough, but first and second year med students are a bunch of whiners, I lived with one. If you get out of class at 12 and all you have to do is go home and memorize a bunch of powerpoints, your life is pretty good compared to the dental student who sat in the same lectures as the med student and then went to preclinic for four hours of project beatdowns.

Dental school is rough, but an OMFS residency is intense and very time consuming as well.
 

crazy4clana

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^ Thanks for the insight. I saw that cleft palate in the hospital and cosults/repairing procedures back at his office.

MOST oral surgeons pull teeth and do some implants all day, every day. The cleft stuff is rare and not done or a regular basis. Do not base what the typical oral surgeon does to earn a living off of spending one day with one oral surgeon who happened to be doing major oral surgery that day. This is an extreme minority.

I did not shadow an oral surgeon for one day, I shadowed him for an entire summer. And no, he had a cleft palate case and many more consults/surgeries with patients who were in car accidents. I am not making it up, just becuase you don't happen to see it everyday doesn't make it untrue.
 

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^ Thanks for the insight. I saw that cleft palate in the hospital and cosults/repairing procedures back at his office.



I did not shadow an oral surgeon for one day, I shadowed him for an entire summer. And no, he had a cleft palate case and many more consults/surgeries with patients who were in car accidents. I am not making it up, just becuase you don't happen to see it everyday doesn't make it untrue.

On another thread you just asked whether fifty hours of shadowing was enough. I don't really think that is enough time to make you an expert on the type of cases regularly seen by oral surgeons.

Not trying to pick on you, but maybe you should be receptive to guys that are already dentists. I'm guessing they have a better idea of what things are like out there than you.
 

crazy4clana

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On another thread you just asked whether fifty hours of shadowing was enough. I don't really think that is enough time to make you an expert on the type of cases regularly seen by oral surgeons.

No, I shadowed an OMFS for an entire summer and I have seen those cases. I have not yet shadowed a general dentist hence why I asked if 50 hours were sufficient enough.

Not trying to pick on you, but maybe you should be receptive to guys that are already dentists. I'm guessing they have a better idea of what things are like out there than you.

My bad, did not know they were a dentist. Thanks for your help. :)
 

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I'm trying to help you here. You spent time with one person and have a skewed view of surgery. I'm a dentist and have friends in oral surgery and I'm giving you an honest view of how it is... not how I think it is. Another thing, don't go into dentistry because you like one specialty or in your case one very small aspect of one specialty. It's very competative to get into specialties and if it's all you want to do you'll be very unhappy with your line of work if you don't get in. Do what you like with my advice.
 

crazy4clana

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I didn't realize you were a dentist, I apologize for my ignorance. It just felt like people thought I was making up procedures just for fun? How in the world would I know about all of these cases if I had not seen them first hand?

Anyway, I know I want to become an oral surgeon...it's why I want to go to dental school. If oral surgery was a specialty in medicine then I would have stayed pre-med. Although general dentistry interests me somewhat, it is not what I want to be doing. I've convinced myself if I somehow get into dental school then I will be on my way to OMFS regardless of how hard/competitive it is.
 

pietrodds

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no appologies needed... are u female? You can do anything you set your mind to but know what you're getting into before you start the journey. I would discourage anyone male or female that is interested in having kids before age 32 to find another line of work. I know of two females that dropped out of their oral surgery residencies. they're nothing short of brutal for 4-6 years after dental school. My friend who's half ways through his program says that the attendings brag about their 75% divorce rate among married residents. There's many things to weigh when choosing a profession.

Best of luck
 
V

v&andy_yankee

I didn't realize you were a dentist, I apologize for my ignorance. It just felt like people thought I was making up procedures just for fun? How in the world would I know about all of these cases if I had not seen them first hand?

Anyway, I know I want to become an oral surgeon...it's why I want to go to dental school. If oral surgery was a specialty in medicine then I would have stayed pre-med. Although general dentistry interests me somewhat, it is not what I want to be doing. I've convinced myself if I somehow get into dental school then I will be on my way to OMFS regardless of how hard/competitive it is.

C4C, I wasn't trying to pick on you. I'm getting close to graduating dental school, and my statements above were made from my own observation at a hospital-based dental clinic and private office shadowing. Even in the hospital-based clinic, the VAST majority of what we do are 1. pull teeth 2. place implants. Every once in a while there is a biopsy or salivary gland dissection. And depending on which hospital you are at, in some OR surgeries are scheduled only a few times a month! Sure, there are people out there with skeletal defects, but you can't deny that the incidence of that is very VERY small compared to impacted teeth or perio involved teeth.

I wish you the best of luck, but please do realize that OMFS is incredibly hard to get into. The number of smart kids in your college now--it'll basically be all your classmates in dental school (assuming you go to a dental school with a high specialty rate). I'm sure you are bright, but you will be surprised at how bright and hard-working your fellow classmates will be as well. Just make sure that dentistry is something you can live with, don't go to dental school with the all-or-none mentality ("I MUST get into OMFS or else!") There's a difference between truly wanting something and having a strong goal (which is very respectable) and being too stubborn and not having a backup plan (which is very foolish). You have to be a dentist first, before you can become an OMFS. And NEVER underestimate how smart your classmates will be. I've had a classmate in my school who turned down Harvard dental (tells you that they are incredibly bright) yet that person has failed numerous tests (and almost a few classes as well...) Before dental school started, I'm sure they thought that they would have no trouble ("hey, even Harvard accepted me!") but they were served some humble pie starting the first semester :laugh:
 

crazy4clana

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Oh, I wasn't targeting you. Thank you for the insight, I understand that it will be a very difficult and long road ahead of me but hopefully I'll get there somehow? If not, dentistry isn't a bad fall-back option haha.

So basically I'm getting the consensus that dental school will kick my butt...a lot. :(
 

HuyetKiem

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Are dental students generally happy at school based on classes, studying, stress level...ect. I know a few med students who want to kill themselves with all of the studying and memorization they have to do, not to mention the boredom. It's one of the reasons why I switched to dental, but are dental students generally happy?

Dental school isn't that bad if you know how to manage your time. Excessive drinking, party, late nite study and heavy lab works are all parts of my very happy 4 yrs of dental school. My happiest moments in those 4 yrs were when I recevied letters, cookie baskets, xmass presents of appreciation from patients. :D:D A very rewarding experience! :love:
 

Count Orlok

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no appologies needed... are u female? You can do anything you set your mind to but know what you're getting into before you start the journey. I would discourage anyone male or female that is interested in having kids before age 32 to find another line of work. I know of two females that dropped out of their oral surgery residencies. they're nothing short of brutal for 4-6 years after dental school. My friend who's half ways through his program says that the attendings brag about their 75% divorce rate among married residents. There's many things to weigh when choosing a profession.

Best of luck

SHIZER! what programs are like this and why would anybody be proud of that?
 
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