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Nxmeless

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Help me decide, please. Forget about the debts , salaries , years taken to graduate etc. I am concerned about the jobs themselves. I dont want to have less than 2-3 hours of free time a day. I also dont want to go to work in the middle of the night - I dont want bad sleep hours (not anything less than 7-6 hours of sleep). I like medicine because its diverse and you do not do the same things everyday. You have to plan treatments and i like that. I am not sure if i will like working for long hours because i have never tried that before (anything more than 12-13 hours a day). What i dont like about dentistry is that it seems like dental specialists do the same thing everyday. Ex : You want to replace someone's teeth and you already know the procedures so there is nothing new unless if i am wrong about that since i have never tried working as a dentist before.

I am posting this because i may be wrong about some of the info that i wrote above so please correct me if i am wrong.
 

Nxmeless

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I do think that i will like working for long hours (which sounds controversial since i just said that i want some free time ) because i like being pushed to the limits and i also like to work hard. But i have never worked THAT hard before so i cannot guarantee that i will like it.
 

Law2Doc

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I do think that i will like working for long hours (which sounds controversial since i just said that i want some free time ) because i like being pushed to the limits and i also like to work hard. But i have never worked THAT hard before so i cannot guarantee that i will like it.
Nobody "likes" working crazy long hours. The question is do you enjoy what you are doing within those long hours enough to get past the fact that this is most of your life now. That's the issue with medicine -- you really won't ever have the ideal "work - life balance" so you'd better really love the work. Dentistry allows for a much more lifestyle friendly career -- some of my dentist friends work normal 9-5 business hours and 5 or fewer days a week. So if you don't want your job to be most of your life this would be a much better balance. However if you have a passion for medicine and are fine with the notion of spending 60+ hours a week, including some weekends and off hours at work to be able to do what you enjoy, then go for it. (Yes there are people who will point to shift work specialties, per diem and part time options but these have their own issues/wrinkles, addressed in other threads).

I too subscribe to the notion that if you can picture yourself being happy doing something else besides medicine for your career, you should probably do that other thing. And this is from a career changer who already worked in another professional arena.​
 
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Nxmeless

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Nobody "likes" working crazy long hours. The question is do you enjoy what you are doing within those long hours enough to get past the fact that this is most of your life now. That's the issue with medicine -- you really won't ever have the ideal "work - life balance" so you'd better really love the work. Dentistry allows for a much more lifestyle friendly career -- some of my dentist friends work normal 9-5 business hours and 5 or fewer days a week. So if you don't want your job to be most of your life this would be a much better balance. However if you have a passion for medicine and are fine with the notion of spending 60+ hours a week, including some weekends and off hours at work to be able to do what you enjoy, then go for it. (Yes there are people who will point to shift work specialties, per diem and part time options but these have their own issues/wrinkles, addressed in other threads).

I too subscribe to the notion that if you can picture yourself being happy doing something else besides medicine for your career, you should probably do that other thing. And this is from a career changer who already worked in another professional arena.​

The problem is i dont know if i will like working as a doctor (and the same with dentistry) since i have never tried that before. I can only try to expect how it will be like and read about it. Doesnt this mean that the "safer" choice is dentistry ?
 

Nxmeless

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Nobody "likes" working crazy long hours. The question is do you enjoy what you are doing within those long hours enough to get past the fact that this is most of your life now. That's the issue with medicine -- you really won't ever have the ideal "work - life balance" so you'd better really love the work. Dentistry allows for a much more lifestyle friendly career -- some of my dentist friends work normal 9-5 business hours and 5 or fewer days a week. So if you don't want your job to be most of your life this would be a much better balance. However if you have a passion for medicine and are fine with the notion of spending 60+ hours a week, including some weekends and off hours at work to be able to do what you enjoy, then go for it. (Yes there are people who will point to shift work specialties, per diem and part time options but these have their own issues/wrinkles, addressed in other threads).

I too subscribe to the notion that if you can picture yourself being happy doing something else besides medicine for your career, you should probably do that other thing. And this is from a career changer who already worked in another professional arena.​
My expectations for medicine go like this :
1- More varied than dentistry.
2- Less hands-on work (except for surgical specialties).
3- More work hours (compared to dentistry).
4- 12 hours a day or more.
5- More challenging than dentistry.
6- Full of planning treatments for patients.

If there is anything wrong on that list please correct me.
 

sonofva

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You pretty much do the same thing every day in any field. The 100th belly pain in the ER or your 50th cardiac Cath begins to become routine and mundane. I think you have to find enjoyment in mastering your craft and the little variations in each presentation, whether it's bodies or teeth. You can work limited schedules in essentially any field, so long as you are willing to take a bit of a pay cut. The problem is getting to that point. The training for dentistry can be shorter, but who says you won't fall in love with omfs and then you're in for 6 more years of training.


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Kurk

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But isn't it true that dentistry is the better overall choice if you want to have your own business?
 

sonofva

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If you want to hang up a shingle and be a single man show, then perhaps yes. But there's always opportunities in medicine to open a freestanding ed, urgent care, or buy a partnership in a surgical practice.


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Nxmeless

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But isn't it true that dentistry is the better overall choice if you want to have your own business?
I dont mind working in clinics - My target is not working alone.
 
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Dr.Negin

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Its truely my problem to choose. But first of all. Wanting to become medical student is not enough to become!it needs extra tryings! I think the period of dentistry is much less and althought its hard. But its not more than medicine. So i think without the ideas of the salary and anything medicine is the better one.


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jeffk805dent

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Both fields are awesome. Although I'm biased, I would generalize that medicine = lifestyle while dentistry = career. If you value autonomy over your life, you'll have a better shot at achieving this in dentistry than medicine. It's possible in medicine, but in dentistry it's a given.

I feel the generalizations for medicine and dentistry should be switched. When I see most doctors I see people with a huge passion (with some exceptions), when I see a dentist I see more of a lifestyle/business. Thats not to say dentists don't have passion for their career, I just noticed a lot more I'm "going to Nice or Cabo San Lucas this weekend" from a dentist than from a doctor.
 
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timetraveling

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Just to clarify - Emergency Medicine docs are completely trained and routinely complete dental emergencies, dry sockets :)

EM docs also work 40 hours a week, but it doesn't fulfill your "not working at night" requirement unfortunately. Family Medicine docs usually work about 60 hours a week doing paperwork. There's an infographic floating around out there showing what specialities work the most.

Surgeons will work more. Internists (only concerned with the internal body--aka no major knife work) will work less but still a lot. Dentists will work probably the least.
 

DrStephenStrange

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My expectations for medicine go like this :
1- More varied than dentistry.
2- Less hands-on work (except for surgical specialties).
3- More work hours (compared to dentistry).
4- 12 hours a day or more.
5- More challenging than dentistry.
6- Full of planning treatments for patients.

If there is anything wrong on that list please correct me.
First of all, there are lots and lots of hands-on work in any specialty in medicine. Second, the best way to know which one you'd like the most is to actually shadow some physicians in different specialties and dentists, and also through clinical volunteering. They can also give you plenty of good advice since they already have experience in the field.

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AllBleedingStops

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How about you go to college and shadow as much as possible in both fields while taking basic science pre-reqs that overlap for both?
 
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