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Help! Thinking of changing career and reapplying


New Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 30, 2008
  1. Dental Student
I am a second year dental student who has previously applied to medical school. I currently have a 4.0 gpa in dental school, and I probably have a shot at getting into specialty programs, but I have a problem. Dental school is not what I envisioned it to be when I applied and was accepted. Perhaps its the environment of the dental school I attend, but I feel as if it is a profession that is completely focused on outward appearances and so driven by money and buying and selling private practices... And I know this may sound trite, but when I applied to medical school and dental school, I did it with the sincere heart to help people. Well, here I am, second year in dental school... maybe it's just a mid-school crisis, but I wish I could have gotten into medical school to work in a hospital setting as a doctor. :confused: I was pre-med all throughout college, but I did not do very well on my MCAT... plus my below average gpa (3.58, California resident) could not back me up. Is it too late for me to change careers? I'm open to all the advice I can get. Thanks.
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Full Member
10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
  1. Attending Physician
Well let's forget the other medical students and their "money and private practice" fixation for a moment.

Do you still like teeth and jaws? Or at least think you can tolerate working on people's mouths for a living? If the answer is yes, I think I'm against bailing out of dental school. You can definitely help as many people as a dentist or oral surgeon as you could by being a medical doctor. Many, many people need dental care and/or oral surgery and have trouble getting it due to being uninsured or underinsured. In fact, in many states it is worse in terms of getting dental care, if you are "the working poor". This is because the VA and some other insurance systems either don't cover dental care and oral surgery at all or have a lot of restrictions on what is covered. So your services are definitely needed.

First 2 years of medical school suck too, so don't think that by bailing on dental school you'll necessarily love med school or even the other medical students. People's idealism tends to wear thin after 2-4 years of school...but for some folks like you it doesn't, or it does but then comes back :)

Could you explore becoming an oral surgeon? I know most (or all?) of those guys have an MD, but I know that some of them also went to dental school. I worked with them for 2 weeks during my medical residency, and I loved them. They get to do some cool surgeries besides doing tooth extractions, etc. They learn to operate on the jaw and sometimes the face in addition to doing things with teeth. Maybe you could get in to the oral/maxillofacial program either in your current dental program or by transferring to a different dental school, provided you are doing well in school.

With a low MCAT score you would probably have trouble getting in to a MD school in the US. A DO school would probably take you but I don't know how they'd look on having dropped out of dental school. Having 20/20 hindsight and being 30-something, I think if you like anything about dentistry it's better to stay in and then try to mold your career around things that are important to you, rather than bail and throw the baby out with the bathwater, but nobody but you can really make this decision.
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