Having Second Thoughts


Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 7, 2019
  1. Dental Student
    Hey guys, so I was recently accepted to dental school and am planning on starting this coming fall! However, since sophomore year of college I have always been in conflict between the medical vs dental route. My father is a dentist so I have had a lot of exposure in this area but during college I shadowed many hours at a hospital where I developed a liking for ophthalmology. As dental school is approaching, I am feeling as if this is the last moment I can change my mind and pursue med school before I am swamped with debt. I am just lost because I would not like to go into primary care but only ophthalmology (or potentially neurology) but not sure if I am passionate enough to do it. Meanwhile for dentistry I like the aspect of it but I don’t feel like I can actually say I will have achieved my childhood dream of becoming and calling myself a doctor. It is probably very silly and nonsensical of me to think this way but so many pros and cons of both medicine and dental are running through my mind that I am just at a stalemate. I do need to take a year off to shadow as I have already put in a lot of time in both fields. Any words of wisdom or advice would be appreciated!

    EDIT: Pros of dental is that I really want to increase self-confidence of people and have a better lifestyle Cons: I fear that I will get tired of looking at teeth and develop back problems

    Pros of ophto is that I will be making large impactful change on a person’s life Cons: I don’t want to end up in a specialty I won’t like or even ending up as primary care. More years and longer days


    New Member
    2+ Year Member
    Jun 3, 2016
      You definitely need to do some deep soul-searching, and fast, before you start taking out debt for a professional education. Dental school is more stressful overall than the first 4 years of MD training (IMO), and you'll need to dedicate a ton of time, energy, effort, and training to be the best dentist you can be.

      The other reality is a career is what you make of it. There are cons in anything you do and you can pick faults in any career path if you try hard enough. You need to figure out what's important to you quickly, make a decision, and go from there without regrets.

      Many of the global statements/assumptions you made above about dentistry vs. medicine are misleading and shortsighted, and I suggest you do more research.
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      Full Member
      2+ Year Member
      Sep 15, 2017
      1. Dental Student
        We had a classmate that started dental school and after summer and fall semester he decided he wanted to be in medical. He took the MCAT got an amazing score and pursued his dream. Another upper classman was in medical school for 2 1/2 years when he decided it wasn’t for him. He just graduated from dental school and is excited about starting his career. Both of these guys spent thousands of dollars on student loans, but they both felt it was the right decision. I’m sure you’ll figure out where your heart belongs.
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          Hey was just passing by and had to say this. I made myself believe that I wanted to be a dentist and when I didn't hear back forever I still planned on reapplying. This was the dream as they say because of all the pros a career in Dentistry offers. When I did hear back from the dental school and surprisingly got offered a seat a few weeks ago but at this point I've reflected and realized how unhappy I was. I sat down and thought it all over and rejected the offer. My heart just wasn't in it. We have one life and our one sole responsibility to ourselves is to live it to the fullest. If your childhood dream is to become a medical doctor and deep down you still feel that way , That's not silly at all. You go reflect and think it over, You'll do well in whatever field you choose. Cheers my guy!
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          2TH MVR

          2+ Year Member
          Verified Expert
          Silver Member
          Aug 3, 2017
          North Scottsdale, Arizona
          1. Dentist
            Health care is becoming a business commodity. Dentistry is already there. Medicine is still medicine. If you are not comfortable SELLING your services (commodity) to the general public .... then medicine (your dream) would be a better fit. Dental patients tend to compare PRICES for a crown, set of braces, a filling, denture, etc. etc. Fo sure ....patients requiring medical tx also want to know if their insurance covers the procedure and/or if the dr is in network. But how many times have you been in a hospital for emerg and/or procedure and the on call Dr. comes to see you. Do you ask what the prices are? Do you ask to see their reviews on google? I'm not saying medical patients do not get 2nd opinions or review the MD Drs, but I would believe that it is less so as compared to dentists. Especially those dentists competing in saturated, urban cities.

            Do whats in your heart. That's all that matters in the end.
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