Dentist wishing to switch career

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dudelove, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. dudelove

    dudelove Senior Member
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    I have been a practicing dentist for over 3 years now. I,like most dentists, had always wanted to go into medicine, but decided to go into dentistry because it was shorter in terms of residency and you could make a good living. I am not as happy as I know I would have been in medicine. This definitely is not about money and I would like to express that as I make well into six figures. Why you ask would someone want to give up making a good living in a stable job not to mention go back to school again and take all of those courses like gross anatomy, biochem,etc... Well the answer has to do with happiness ,self-fulfillment and wanting to do more for people than fixing teeth.

    My questions are the following:

    1)Does anyone here know of a dentist who has entered medical school?

    2)Would the admissions committees look on me harshly for being a dentsit? Would it hurt or help that I was one

    3)I don't remember any chemistry, orgo,physics,etc that I would need for the MCAT. Any suggestions on self study aids?

    4) My gpa back in a tier 1 college was 3.61 and science was a 3.46 so is that decent enough to have a chance?

    Thanks in advance. I wish there was a support group of people who were thinking about switching careers to medicine.
     
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  3. lalalala

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    hello, and welcome to SDN!

    I don't think I can answer #1 and #2, but for #3 and #4...

    I think your gpa sounds fine to me. It would probably be to your benefit to take some current upper-level courses, just to show the adcoms you can handle the material. It will also be helpful for your MCAT preparation. (genetics, biochem, etc.) Of course, you don't have to do this, either.

    As far as MCAT prep.... there's always the Kaplan and Princeton Review courses, which are helpful for discipline and keeping you on schedule. Examkrackers has a good prep package as well. I can only speak for Kaplan, which worked out fine for me, but in retrospect I would not have wasted money on the review class and would have just used old books from someone. But Kaplan gives you alot of practice items if you take the class. I am sure TPR does the same. But I would recommend the class if you are a few years removed from your basic pre-reqs, because it will help refresh the material in a timely manner.

    This is all my opinion, but Good luck!
     
  4. heelshmeel

    heelshmeel Tar Heel Bred
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    I have heard of people who have done this... but even if you havent, then go for becoming a physician if you know that it is what you want to do!

    other than that, I agree with lalalala, you got good stats...

    but you would have to spend a good amt of time and i mean GOOD amt of time to study all that material again!
     
  5. crazyA

    crazyA Senior Member
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    Hey-

    It's awesome that you have the balls and dedication to go back to school...

    Your numbers are fine...since you already have an advanced degree, your numbers will be judged on a different scale from the rest of us more 'traditional' candidates...I agree with the rpvious poster recommending Princeton/Kaplan...but also try to get ahold of some old textbooks, and hit them hard, you're really going to need to know your stuff cold.

    good luck

    are you thinking about oral surgery or something?
     
  6. dudelove

    dudelove Senior Member
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    No I am not thinking about oral surgery. I do it everyday as it is. The only thing I don't do is sinus lifts and ridge augmentation. I thank you all for the encouragement though. I have gotten out some of my old textbooks. I started reviewing physics. I dread having to go through organic chemistry again as I will have to learn everything over again. I am thinking about getting that examkrackers package. I wonder if that is a good one to buy. Does it review a lot of the sciences?

    Also how would the schools judge my numbers? Would they look at my dental school grades more? Thanks.
     
  7. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    It's hard to say for sure. I've heard that the first two years of dentistry is identical to the first two years of med school. If that's the case, then it would show to an adcom that you can hack the didactics.

    The larger question will become - why change careers? Since you practiced for three years and decided to pursue an MD, what's to say that you won't decide later on that you don't like medicine either?

    The MCAT will probably be a big thing as well. I've heard examcrackers is good. But if it's been a long time since you last looked at an organic chemistry problem, it might be in your best interest to review the texts before the review material.

    - Tae
     
  8. dudelove

    dudelove Senior Member
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    [

    The larger question will become - why change careers? Since you practiced for three years and decided to pursue an MD, what's to say that you won't decide later on that you don't like medicine either?

    - Tae [/B][/QUOTE]

    Don't get me wrong I don't hate dentistry. I know that I don't enjoy it as much as I would practicing medicine. My only answer to the above would be that I must be dedicated. I spent 200k+ educating myself in dentistry. Why would I want to spend that money all over again just for kicks. I make a better living than a lot of MDs and I only work 32 hours a week. I am going to be getting married soon and starting a family. Why would I want to do this if I weren't dedicated? Infact, I just gave up the opportunity to join a lucrative multimillion dollar partnership. Either I am insane or I must be dedicated. I hope that I can do well on the MCATs and express the above in a decent manner to the admissions officers.
     
  9. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    dudelove,
    i took the mcat several years after completing prerequisites (7-9 years). it is totally doable, but i would suggest not using kaplan as your only source of info. i used kaplan and felt it was ok, but i found they didn't thoroughly explain a lot of things that i had completely forgotten. for example, they did not explain some very basic ochem concepts and i needed the explanation as i hadn't thought of ochem in ages. rather than go to other sources, i was lazy. definitely go to other sources, and if need be, take a refresher class in ochem or physics or whatever you're having trouble with. also, i mistakenly thought that i would learn something from kaplan's courses. i feel they were mostly a waste of time, and i would have been better off relearning/reviewing the material on my own b/c they really glossed over things. the two pluses i see with commercial review courses are that they keep you on a schedule (you may actually want to take longer than the typical 2-3 months to study so maybe this isn't a plus...i didn't really realize this until it was too late), and they have a lot of great practice materials.
    i think it's great you are willing to put in the extra time to do something you really want to do.
     
  10. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    Instead of asking a bunch of strangers, like us, whose qualifications to answer your question are non-existent, I suggest you sound out several medical schools in your area.
    What I think you will discover--my guess--is that the likelihood of pulling this off is little better than zero. You already used valuable resources to become a dentist; why should more be used on you and cut someone else out of a medical education?
     
  11. CaptainAmerica

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    Check out OldPremeds.net when you get a chance. There actually are quite a few of us who decided to change careers and pursue medical school. I took the MCAT twice: Once on my own (scored total 25) and once with Kaplan (total 32). That was after spending 7 years working full time and forgetting every last bit of organic chemistry I learned in undergrad. BTW, I think many schools look favorably on "experienced, non-traditional" schools. There's an ortho PA in my class and a veterinarian in the class ahead of me. Didn't seem to hurt them. Good Luck;)
     
  12. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member
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    I bought and primarily studied with the examkrackers package for the August MCAT and I think it worked out pretty well. I graduated from college in 1995, and I have not taken a science course since then. I did, however, know all the prerequ's quite well back in college. So that may have made it easier to go back and learn them using examkrackers. Anyway, if you had a good grasp of the material in college, I think examkrackers will be plenty good enough. I would use that to review the science, and then go to your old textbooks for concepts you are still having trouble grasping. I read the examkrackers books, took both of their tests (EK1d and EK2d), AAMC tests III through VI, and a few other verbal tests. It's a little early to be taking tests right now. Instead, I would just try to relearn the science.
     
  13. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    Blunt as it might sound, he's right. It would be best to schedule a sit down with someone from the schools you are interested in to see what they want/are looking for in your case.

    This I'm not so sure I agree with. The valuable resources he used were ones he paid for in the form of tuition and time. I don't really see his applying to medical school as 'cutting' someone else out of a medical education, as much as anyone who had a different career prior to applying to med school is *competing* with others for admission.

    - Tae
     
  14. Biodude

    Biodude The Biology DUDE
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    Someone stated that the first two years of dental school are identical to the first two years of medical school. Well, I don't know about that, but I do know of one dentist (DDS) that switched to medicine. So now he's a MD/DDS oral surgeon. Well, he found that he really didn't like dentistry all that much so he tried to go into medical school. He took the USMLE Step 1 and passed it without going to medical school first, so apparently he skipped the first two med school years (it was a deal he made with the medical school) ;)

    I found all of this out when the guy (sorry I forgot his name) was invited to speak for my pre-health professions (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, etc.) club. It was an amazing story actually.

    My point is, yes, there are people that went into medicine from dentistry. Also, you should definitely do what you love. If you hate your job, what's the point of making six figures?
     
  15. crazyA

    crazyA Senior Member
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    I disagree...as dudelove has pointed, he's sacrificing a great deal to practice medicine. I think med schools appreciate this, and will be happy to have such a dedicated candidate.
     
  16. dudelove

    dudelove Senior Member
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    I just wanted to thank all of you for your encouraging and kind comments. On another note...does anyone have a clue what I do about recommendations? I graduated from college 8 years ago. I am still in contact with my advisor(in my major). I have no clue where to begin there.
     
  17. lola

    lola Bovine Member
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    i don't know about gower's view that the likelihood of becoming an md is a little better than zero, but i think you should follow his advice and talk to med schools you are interested in applying to. he is a premed advisor, so maybe he knows something we all don't know.
    i phoned/e-mailed profs i hadn't had for like 8 or 9 years, and it wasn't a problem. (but i went to a small school.)
     
  18. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    Most schools require either a letter from the premedical committee from your school, or three letters from professors in the sciences and perhaps one from your major as well.

    You must have gone through a committee letter for pre-dent. Perhaps they can dig it up and get it ready for you. Usually, it's the biggest bottleneck in terms of letters. I've witnessed countless number of posts complaining that they've submitted their AMCAS/ACOMAS application and secondaried the first day they could, and were still waiting for the committee letter three months later.

    - Tae
     
  19. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    Is he? If he is, he sounds a tad bitter.

    - Tae
     
  20. dudelove

    dudelove Senior Member
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    I don't let negativity effect me. He did have a good point to contact a few medical schools which I am in the process of doing. I will not be deterred however and expect to be part of the class of 2008. On another note, my premed advisor back in college was a PHd. He was miserable and it showed in his enthusiasm for his work. As it turned out, he was rejected from med school and apparently became a bitter person. I guess that's not very healthy.

    I hope the premed office hasn't thrown out my letters of recommendation. That wouldn't be good! I would have to start all over again. I guess I will have to drop by the office later this week.:)
     
  21. pongebob

    pongebob Junior Member
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    why don't you apply for an OMS residency through a dental school?
    You have to go to med school starting in 2nd year, then graduate, then return to the dental school for the OMS residency.
    Just drop out of the program once you graduate med school and try to match into the residency that you want.
     
  22. dudelove

    dudelove Senior Member
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    I think getting into an OMS residency is probably harder than getting into med school(the 6 year combined md ones). I also doubt that would work because I am sure that such programs have calculated for such things. Also, becoming an MD through a lie or misrepresentation is wrong imho. I am honest and ethical and would not give those two traits up even if it meant not getting into medical school. This is exactly how I practice dentistry and how I plan on practicing medicine.
     
  23. galen

    galen Senior Member
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    A cosmetic surgeon in town has a degree in dentistry, then an MD with specialty of oral / maxofacial surgery and finally a specialty in plastic surgery...so it definitely can be done...Good Luck:)
     
  24. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker
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    You are already an atypical applicant, so you might want to try something that will make you stand out. It may be risky, but perhaps you could get a letter from one of your patients that you know well. I would suspect that an adcom reader would either ignore it or be very moved by it.

    As for you other LORs, you are probably going to have to seek out a prof or two from dental school and maybe even undergraduate.
     
  25. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
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    I think you should rethink your decision to switch careers at this point. I know someone who is a professor at a dental school and there was a student there who got their MD, wasn't happy, and then went back to get their DDS. The professor said that it looks like you don't have dedication and committment or that you just really aren't happy anywhere. If you enjoy dentistry, even if you don't think it's as fulfilling as medicine would be, then stick with it, because MCATs and applications to medical school, more hard basic science courses and the bother of HMO's may take away from the joy you're expecting to get by switching and may leave you in about the same state overall. To only work 32 hours is a great opportunity to have more time to do other things, if you take the time to volunteer at an inner city clinic or do a little work in the third world, I bet you can find a lot of the fulfillment you're looking for. Also 32 hours a week means more time with family, do you have a wife and/ or kids? Will you want a family at some point in your life? Going back to medical school at this point may make this extremely difficult. Several years ago you made a decision, be happy with it! To have the skills to help someone who is hurting, to have the time and money to give and to serve others, and to be able to spend time with family and friends. These are the things that make medicine, dentistry and life in general great!
     
  26. jalan2

    jalan2 Senior Member
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    dudelove,

    I'm very impressed by your courage. It's probably better for you to try and fail (hopefully not) than not to try at all and regret it later. If you don't try, you won't know the outcome.

    I'm also a non-trad, have been out of school and working full-time in a lucrative profession for a few years already when I realized that I was miserable. I totally understand that when you're not happy, you're just not happy regardless of how great your current career is, how much you make, and how convenient your working hours are. You just can't lie to yourself about your lack of happiness. This may be difficult for others to understand until they actually experience it.

    I had not taken those science classes for about 6-7 years when I started studying for MCAT (and had not taken one of the major course which content was also tested in MCAT). I took Kaplan and studied very hard by reviewing the science materials in their books, and also did as many practice exams as I could. Since you have the money, it is totally worth it IMHO to take one of the test prep courses-- it just takes the guesswork out of it. I studied for about six months for the April 2002 MCAT, for up to 30 hrs/wk. It worked well for me. Since obviously you are very capable of learning science materials, it would probably not be necessary for you to retake those courses.

    Best of luck to you!!! :clap:
    -j2
     
  27. tryingagain

    tryingagain Soon to have no life
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    There is a guy from New York named Dr. Repicci. He was a dentist who went back to med school. He became an orthopedic surgeon who pioneered a minimally invasive surgery for knee replacement. This procedure has revolutionized uni-chondylar knee replacements.

    It can be done. Look up more info on him if you are interested. Best of luck to you.
     
  28. Medical123

    Medical123 Senior Member
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    It can be done. There is a Pediatrician at the hospital where I work that was a dentist before he went back to medical school. He is very happy with his new career choice.
     

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