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Dentists

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by aspram, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. aspram

    aspram New Member

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    Just curious. Why do Medical students hate on dental students? Moreover, why does that hate carry on to medical doctors hating on Dentists. Is it just that dentists make more money easily or is it something else. Please feel free to explain this phenomena.
     
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  3. willow18

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    Personally, I've never hated on someone, can you explain that phenomena? Now spitting, that I sometimes do on people.
     
  4. humuhumu

    humuhumu nukunuku apua'a
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    I didn't realize there was animosity between med students and dental students. I think dentists are cool. They do something important that I could never do, and they make a good living. What's to hate?
     
  5. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    I didn't realize there were any bad feelings either. I know a guy who just switched from pre-med to pre-dent and it didn't change my opinion of him at all. It's a job I would never want/never could do.
     
  6. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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  7. unicorn06

    unicorn06 Senior Member
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    I know several people who decided on dentistry rather than medicine either because the hours/work involved with medical school and medical practice seemed to strenuous or because it was too difficult to get into med school and their grades weren't high enough. I've also known people to choose optometry or podiatry for the same reasons. There is nothing wrong with choosing dentistry/opto/podi for these reasons, but you can see why this might lead to med students developing a superiority complex.

    I'm sure plenty of people go into dental/opto/podi out of pure interest and that many of those in these professions could have gotten into med school if they so desired, but that doesn't change the fact that these professions are sometimes "back-up" plans for med school rejects or pre meds with low science GPAs.
     
  8. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    Backup plans that are rapidly changing to first choices.
     
  9. CerealBox

    CerealBox Senior Member
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    my sister just accepted to dental school (see her smile to the side) and I love her SOOOOO much and am so proud of her. I have no problem with dentists at all!
     
  10. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte
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    Somebody buy me dental insurance so I can see a dentist. :D One of my teeth hurts sometimes when I chew.

    But yeah, I don't feel any animosity towards dentists or anything. As an aside, my dad thinks it's weird and absurd that dentistry is not part of medical school. I never even thought about it before, but now it does seem like a good question of why. I
     
  11. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    That's a pretty good smile..where's the rest of her :cool:
     
  12. masterMood

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    I think that all the negative feedback about DOs versus MDs, dentists versus mds, pharmacy versus MDS, teachers versus professors, science versus a liberal arts degree, etc etc happens mostly in undergrad school. By the time we all become (hopefully) professionals, there isn't as many class distinctions only perhaps financially.
     
  13. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
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    It totally depends on the dental school. The dental students at our dental school (UASOD) are quite brilliant, and are equivalent to med students w.r.t. grades and test scores. Quite frankly, you can't get into UASOD if you couldn't have qualified for our med school, either. The course pre-reqs are higher than for med students here, and they have EC requirements that go beyond those for med students. At least at the top tier dental schools, there is no one enrolled who had to use dentistry as a backup because they couldn't qualify for medical school.
    Also, here at UAB, our dental students take the same tests from the same professors (as the med students) in most of the core classes. For several courses they sit in the same lectures as the med students.

    However, I am not certain that this is the case everywhere: I found a listing of matriculant gpas & dat scores by dental school, and noticed that there is a fair amount of variability in student quality across dental schools. From the looks of it, some schools (looked like about half to me) do have average dental matriculant stats that don't look like average med student stats.

    I tend to think the lack of respect for dental medicine is due to the fact that many MD students
    a) don't really know what dentists do, or how they are trained.
    b) still believe that there is nothing as academically or personally challenging as going to medical school.

    I think medicine is more interesting and glamorous than dentistry, but that doesn't mean that dentistry is easier to do or to get into.

    p.s. Alabama was #1 in the nation this year (2005) for part 2 of the national dental boards. Woo!
     
  14. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    It's about the same where I go. The dental students take the exact same exams as the medical for the first 2 years, and thus far their grades have been superior.Every single one of the dental students at my school would of had to have dentistry as their first choice, there is no 'backup' as the requirements for the dental school is higher than that of the medical.
    I know there are some here that didn't choose dentistry because of the higher tuition fees for the clinicals, and the fact that we have to purchase our own equipment at the start of year 2(around 4000USD)and it's a pretty big stretch for most locals.

    At the end of the day, when we are all getting drunk after graduating, who really gives a ****.It then amounts to who is buying the next round of beers!
     
  15. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    I like that mentality. Dentists have it made. Great lifestyle, great salary etc.
     
  16. unicorn06

    unicorn06 Senior Member
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    That's another reason docs might "disdain" dentists. They think dentists are taking the easy way out. I know I briefly considered going into dentistry because I was afraid of the internship year, taking call, and the hard lifestyle associated with practicing medicine. I thought dentistry might be a similar alternative where I wouldn't have to work quite as hard but could still make a good living.
     
  17. QuantumMechanic

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    I think its a historical artifact that dentists aren't MDs, dentistry in the past (I'm talking a long time ago before medicine and dentistry were well grounded in the basic sciences) has been considered a completely separate discipline to medicine. Dentists spend the first two years of schooling essentially learning the same things as med students. If there were no separate schools of dentistry, it could easily be assumed that dental residencies for md's would be as competitive as radiology, derm, ophthalmology and other "cushy and lifestyle" specialties that are highly desired.
     
  18. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    Excuse me for a moment. I have to go do 2 rectals and a pelvic. When I get back tell me more about how glamorous medicine is.
     
  19. OSUdoc08

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    Because they like to floss.
     
  20. unoriginal

    unoriginal Member
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    the fact is that some pre-dent and dental students suffer from "short man" disease because of the stigmas associated with the profession. You will find that most MD and MD students haven't heard of this stigma, but most dents have- mainly because at one time they were premed. They feel like they constantly have to assert superiority because most docs make more money, have more prestige, and given more respect by the public.
     
  21. toofache32

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    Are you being serious? Get it fixed before there's nothing left to do but pull it. This is the dental equivalent of those ER patients who say "I have this substernal chest pain that radiates down my arm, but I haven't done anything about it because I don't have insurance."

    There are a few people out there who believe in this model of dental training. There are several problems with this. One is that the hand skills required of a dentist are much more precise and tedious than those of MDs such as surgeons. Dentists measure things in tenths of a millimeter. The first year of dental school weeds out the people who just can't develop those hand skills. In contrast, there are no manual-dexterity requirements or tests for any med students applying to surgery, but they all somehow seem to learn to operate anyway. If a medical school graduate went into dentistry, you just can't teach manual dexterity in a fast-paced residency setting where you're already assumed to have a basic set of skills and are treating patients without much supervision.

    Also, med students know absolutely nothing about dentistry or the mouth in general. An MD residency in dentistry would require at least a year or 2 of just books and labwork to make up for what dental students have already done. You're looking at at least a 3-4 year residency after 4 years of med school to reach the same goal that the current system provides in only 4 years of dental school.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  22. nico05

    nico05 Senior Member
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    I never heard of one having any problems with the other...the two are different branches of healthcare not either/or and certainly not in competition...I think some people just have problems with PEOPLE...
     
  23. unoriginal

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    the reason it is separate mainly for historical resons... but when u think about it, it makes sense. dentists do not need to have the extensive knowledge base of the whole body.... they need some, but not to the same extent as the average MD. they just mainly need to know the mouth.
     
  24. jonwill

    jonwill Podiatrist
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    Medicine is a profession of egos for better or worse. Regardless of what you do, there will always be someone there with a thousand reasons why their specialty is better, harder, and in general, superior to yours. Part of that comes from loving what they do and the other part usually comes from ignorance as to what others do. I always get a good laugh out of it.
     
  25. toofache32

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    This is a great post by someone who obviously knows everything dental school entails. Do you even know what you're talking about here?
     
  26. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    If you think that unoriginal's grasp of the situation is wrong, don't you think that it would be more helpful to enlighten him or her, rather than spew some sarcastic diatribe? Believe it or not, some people come here to learn and it is possible that those with preconceived notions can be swayed by careful argument. Sarcasm, however, rarely promotes positive results. I should know; I'm frequently guilty. :oops:
     
  27. jonwill

    jonwill Podiatrist
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    Perfect example of this above (unoriginal).
     
  28. unoriginal

    unoriginal Member
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    i did not say they only need to have a knowledge of the mouth; just mostly. i do understand that they must be able to understand how various drugs affect the rest of the body and how certain disease of the mouth might affect the rest of the body (and vice versa). however, they do not need the knowledge of the rest of the body to the extent that the average MD does. thus, it would be a waste for a dentist to have the training that medical school, internship, and residency entails. i am not claiming to be an expert here, just pointing out what i have found to be true.
     
  29. aphistis

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    You seem to be a real authority on this issue. Did you go medical as a backup after not getting into dental? ;)
     
  30. aphistis

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    ...I think I've found my newest quotable.
     
  31. jonwill

    jonwill Podiatrist
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    Ya, that's what I tell patients when they say that working with the foot/ankle is "disgusting"! :laugh:
     
  32. unoriginal

    unoriginal Member
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    ha no. but dental school was a pretty serious backup if i did not get into medical school, as it was for most of the premed people (or law school). so, naturally i did my research and shadowed in both fields. that, or law school. well, i was merely sharing my views. do you disagree? i have yet to have anyone point out what was wrong with what i said? perhaps someone can correct me if i am totally wrong... :confused:
     
  33. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member
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    Well...I'll chime in with personal experience. I'm and pharmacist married for 30 years to a dentist. We met in school when we were taking classes with the medical students (yes....all three schools took classes together for much of the first two years!!!) Only a few in each of our classes were folks who previously had applied to medical school - most were like us and wanted to be pharmacists or dentists. The early years are all alike - biochemistry, histology, microbiology - but, when I was taking physical chemistry, he was taking a course on dental materials and medicine was taking a course on physical exams. Our third & fourth years - for all of us were clinical - in our own specialities. Professionally, we know lots of dentists and physicians. Neither of us wants to do the other jobs. We know 2 MD/DDS individuals - one is a head/neck surgeon and the other is an oral pathologist. My husband takes his own call - he actually went in to see 2 emergencies today - so you can't avoid that. My experience with the many dentists I know is they have a few things in common - they all love gadgets! (dental and otherwise!), love to use their hands to work on stuff and generally enjoy life. They do have to worry about their business because their equipment is so very expensive, but they rarely lament about the state of healthcare. Hope this helps!
     
  34. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
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    Glamour has nothing to do with how much fun or pleasant somehting *actually* is. Glamour has to do with perceptions.

    My partner is a dentist already, and I am just an accepted MD applicant. Yet I already get more respect from many people that we meet. (He is a male, so the respect isn't a gender thing.) Our society glamorizes medicine, and does not glamorize dentistry. If it did, Grey's anatomy & the MANY other shows on TV about medically related things would be about DMDs, instead of MDs. Respect for MDs has gone down in the last 50 years, but the profession still garners a huge amount of public interest and respect.
     
  35. aphistis

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    This reads suspiciously like you're lecturing a practicing physician about how he ought to feel toward his own profession.
     
  36. aphistis

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    My comment was referring less to the post quoted here, and more to the professional short-guy syndrome you cited in your original post. In three years of dental school, I can count exactly one time I've heard someone from school say he wished he'd gone into medicine. I agree that dentists in practice don't routinely employ the entire body of medical knowledge, but what specialist *does*? You've heard the one about what orthopods think the heart's function is, right?

    In short, I think the stereotype of the dentist & his inferiority complex, like all foolish overgeneralizations, was invented & is maintained by the people who benefit from it--in this case, the thriving subpopulation of rank-obsessed overachievers within the collective pre-med & med school student body.
     
  37. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum
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    It wasn't meant to be a lecture about how he should feel. It WAS meant to clarify the fact that we were operating under 2 different uses of the word 'glamour.'

    The implication of his reply to my original post was that I believed that practicing medicine was glamorous--in a way that it isn't, given the specifics of actually interacting with patients--under a definition that would mean I was either misinformed or a fool.
     
  38. Slash

    Slash Senior Member
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    If dentistry were taught within the scope of med school, it would be a highly sought after specialty by med students. You guys are all killing yourselves as it is over derm residencies, and for what? To pop zits? Drain boils?
     
  39. OSUdoc08

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    "Pimple Popper, MD!"

    -Jerry Seinfeld
     
  40. coffeeluver

    coffeeluver Senior Member
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    we know absolutely nothing about the mouth? are you kidding?
     
  41. DOctorJay

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    if you go to the university of medicine and DENTISTRY of new jersey as a medical student you will definitely learn about the mouth and dentistry.

    by the way, we should definitely think about learning something about the mouth as only 14% of the population regularly sees a dentist (i.e. if docs aren't doing oral care then the pt suffers and doesn't get the proper referral/care to/from a dentist).

    -J
     
  42. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there
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    Another stupid M.D./D.O. vs. D.D.S./D.M.D. thread. :thumbdown:

    I think we all know the answer to the OPs questions, since they are common sense. I can't believe we feed into this.

    :thumbdown: :thumbdown: :thumbdown: :thumbdown:
     
  43. IlizaRob

    IlizaRob IlizaRob-erator
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    I agree. I dont understand why people seem to think that their carreer defines character and integrity. Who cares what you do if you enjoy it and do it well?
     
  44. unoriginal

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    yeah and breathing bad breath & scratching teeth is much better? :laugh:
     
  45. docB

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    There may be a public misperception that medicine is more exciting than dentistry. I can even understand if you call that perception glamour. What I was pointing out is that physicians know better (at least they should) that that perception is bogus. I work in a place that is very much like a bus station with drunks and junkies and so on. I saw my dentist the other day and his office is clad in marble with classical music coming out of the speakers, DVDs for patients and wall to wall carpeting. It's like being at a painful day spa. Even the most "glamorous" medicine there is, which could arguably be being a plastic surgeon in Vegas, is not what it seems. A plastics guy I know once described what he does as "Spending day after day hanging bags of saline on narcissistic, anorexic strippers."

    No matter what the public thinks medicine is not more glamorous than dentistry. And take it from an ER doc, the public are idiots.
     
  46. toofache32

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    Of course I'm not kidding. Other than 32 teeth and one tongue.
     
  47. J-Dub

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    I really find it interesting to read how often MD's or Pre-MD's think that DMD/DDS students originally wanted to practice medicine but because they couldn't get into med school chose dentistry as a backup. I don't get this. Could it be that dentists are smarter for not wanting to deal with medical insurance? or maybe they didn't feel like being on call dealing with uninsured people at 3 am, maybe the dentists enjoy being with their family more and having set hours. Maybe it's owning their own business vs. working at a hospital. Maybe it's because on average dentists make more money than physicians. Maybe MD's don't realize that dentistry is a medical specialty much like opthamology, or podiatry. You know I really feel for people like unoriginal who don't realize that pre-DDS/DMD students like what they do and unoriginal should be happy that is the case, if it weren't all those much more highly qualified students would be MD's leaving him out in the cold.
    I am great friends with many preMD's and these remarks are only directed towards people who think dental students couldn't hack it in med school. What is it that makes med school more difficult than dental school? And I don't want to hear residencies because more dental students than ever are doing AEGD/GPR's.
     
  48. unoriginal

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    hey look, here's the "short guy" i was talking about in my previous post. ha ha. not one thing you listed is true. i never said that every dentist at one time want to be an MD, but there is a fairly good proportion that did and there is a fairly good amount of premeds that use dentistry, law, and grad school as backup plans. These are simple facts. The GPA and test score requirements to get into the average dental/law/grad school (not every school- the average one) are far lower than the average medical school requirements.

    Probably the best reason for someone for choosing medicine over dentistry would be the sheer number of options available with a MD compared to that of a DDS. The best reason for someone to pick dentistry over medicine is that they surely know that they would be happy working with teeth for the rest of their life and who see their job as only a job that's only purpose is to make cash. You listed a number of generalizations that just aren't always true. There are many medical specialities that offer the same lifestyle as a dentist. The kicker is that their avg income is about 3 times that of a dentist. In fact, if you check just about any statistics the avg physician will make at least 2 times that of a dentist. Not all physicians work in a hospital setting (i thought this was obvious). Not all physicians take call. Not all physicians work outragous hours. The benefit of medicine is that it offers this diversity.

    Perhaps after a couple more years of undergrad you will gain a better understanding. As for how medicine is harder than dental school, I cannot give any definitive answers. It doesn't really matter. I would reckon to bet there are some dental programs that are pretty rigorous. However, we have 2 dentists in our class who are going to medical school because they were unsatisfied with dentistry. They both say that the tests we are given are much more detailed oriented. The last 2 years of medical school is spent working many, many hours in clinics and hospitals. The information is vast and something that cannot be simply mastered in 4 years, such as dentistry. The disease and sickness that can simply be treated by 3rd or 4th year students (such is the case with dental school where 3rd and 4th year students are able to do many of the procedures without much training). The main benefit of medicine (it's breadth) also makes it quite challenging.
     
  49. IlizaRob

    IlizaRob IlizaRob-erator
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    I find your username and the content of your post rather ironic. Whatever you need to sleep at night. The world is full of egos.
     
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    You guys heard the joke right? What do you call a pre-medical student who doesn't get into medical school? ...a dentist. haha... jk. I'm in Pre-Medicine, but at least I will admit that if I do not get in after a couple shots, I'm not afraid to go for dentistry. It is what my advisor recommended, actually. What is so wrong with this?
     
  51. toofache32

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    "Medicine" is a much broader field, obviously, but MDs only become specialists in one of the specialties. That's why med school is such a generic education which only qualifies us to do H&Ps and chase down xrays. Let's don't kid ourselves here. Med school is really only 3 years...the 4th year is a joke with a few required rotations and other rotations where you can show up on the days you feel like it. As someone who has completed both medical and dental school, I have to say most med students who think they know what dentistry and dental school involves, when they have no insight at all.

    When you describe dental students doing procedures "without much training", you've revealed your lack of knowledge pertaining to dental school. Most dental schools lose 5-10% of each first year class because they can't meet the manual dexterity requirements even after several hours a day of practice and lab work. The only manual dexterity equivalent my med school classmates had involved an XBox for several hours each day. Dentists measure their preps in tenths of a millimeter while my med school classmates never did anything more challenging than suturing. It seems like there would be some sort of manual dexterity test for surgical residencies.

    Give me a break. Med students spend the night "on-call" during some of the 2-months of surgery and maybe medicine and OB during 3rd year. The rest of the 4-years the late hours are no different than in dental school. I worked 20-30 hours a week in med school, while I never had that kind of free time in dental school. I was at school until around midnight at least 5-6 nights per week during the majority of dental school...even much of the 4th year.

    I agree with most of your post, but it's not as cut and dry as most people think.
     

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