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cartier_slme

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hello everyone,

dental student here with a question that i hope i get genuine feedback on. I've been considering leaving my program for many reasons (i have been lucky to not have accumulated that much debt so I can pay it off as soon as I leave - if I do..). Though, dentistry is an amazing profession and you have the ability to heal patients, i feel as if though I'm not too interested in the field as I thought I was before applying. I tried giving the different specialties a try, but I just cant pick up interest for some reason. I guess the only thing that's keeping me going is the picture of becoming an entrepreneur within the field and essentially just focusing on the business aspect of the profession without doing much clinical work.

I been thinking that this is not a great reason to stay in the profession and I've been considering jumping boats to another healthcare profession that I find myself more intrigued by and could see myself doing for the rest of my life as opposed to dentistry where I just want to come out and essentially jump into the business aspect of things.

What are your thoughts about this? For dentists who are entrepreneurs within the field, how are y'all liking this avenue of the profession? Is it as great, as many youtube entrepreneurs make it to be?
 

T00thDr

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What's stopping you from jumping to another healthcare profession that is more "intriguing" only for you to find out that you are also not interested in that one either?

Some things to reallllllly think about. Are you at a school that is just burning you out? Are you studying for boards? Are you not studying for boards but they are getting closer and your anxiety is building? Are you at a school that offers TRUE exposure to ALL specialties (including: anesthesiology, OMF radiology, oral pathology, orofacial pain, etc)? Are you depressed or predisposed to be depressed? There are a lot of factors that can lead to your day to day not being exciting anymore. Make sure you have looked at all possibilities.

Whatever you do, make sure you have some letters after your name to help ensure your future as an entrepreneur is more successful.
 
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cartier_slme

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What's stopping you from jumping to another healthcare profession that is more "intriguing" only for you to find out that you are also not interested in that one either?

Some things to reallllllly think about. Are you at a school that is just burning you out? Are you studying for boards? Are you not studying for boards but they are getting closer and your anxiety is building? Are you at a school that offers TRUE exposure to ALL specialties (including: anesthesiology, OMF radiology, oral pathology, orofacial pain, etc)? Are you depressed or predisposed to be depressed? There are a lot of factors that can lead to your day to day not being exciting anymore. Make sure you have looked at all possibilities.

Whatever you do, make sure you have some letters after your name to help ensure your future as an entrepreneur is more successful.
Thanks for your feedback! I think everyone agrees that dental school just sucks in general, but I am at a P/F school so I don't have much stress as my peers who go to letter grade schools and I did relatively well in all my classes including sim lab which I actually don't practice too much so I guess my hands skills are naturally descent. I am also in my preclinical year so I have not yet rotated as an actual provider but rather as an assistant and I tried to assist in almost every specialty and though every specialty has its perks, I am not too sure if I'd want to specialize within the field.

I got some exposure to another healthcare profession before applying to dental and I really enjoyed it so I am confident that I will not have these thoughts if I switch routes. I decided not to pursue it as I really saw dentistry as a business opportunity and I'm not too sure if this is a reason worth staying in the long run. I guess one of the main reasons that I been hesitant on switching is the thought of throwing everything away I worked so hard for to get into my top choice school and potentially years of awesome income... so I am at this point of figuring out if the business side of dentistry is worth staying.
 
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I got some exposure to another healthcare profession before applying to dental and I really enjoyed it so I am confident that I will not have these thoughts if I switch routes. I decided not to pursue it as I really saw dentistry as a business opportunity and I'm not too sure if this is a reason worth staying in the long run. I guess one of the main reasons that I been hesitant on switching is the thought of throwing everything away I worked so hard for to get into my top choice school and potentially years of awesome income... so I am at this point of figuring out if the business side of dentistry is worth staying.

If I were in your shoes I would switch into a field I wanted to do. I think the business idea is terrible. Ignore the "influencers" on social media. Most people view the business aspects of dentistry as a necessary evil to do the fun part that is treating patients. If you're inclined to do business then just go do business; it may be too limiting to just do business in dentistry and you don't need a DDS/DMD to be an entrepreneur.

You're young. You have little debt. Go do what you really want to do in life.

What healthcare career are you thinking about? What do you dislike about dentistry that you've experienced thus far? What originally interested you in dentistry?

This is a very difficult, personal, decision. Make sure not to let anyone on the internet sway your decisions too much.
 
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T00thDr

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Thanks for your feedback! I think everyone agrees that dental school just sucks in general, but I am at a P/F school so I don't have much stress as my peers who go to letter grade schools and I did relatively well in all my classes including sim lab which I actually don't practice too much so I guess my hands skills are naturally descent. I am also in my preclinical year so I have not yet rotated as an actual provider but rather as an assistant and I tried to assist in almost every specialty and though every specialty has its perks, I am not too sure if I'd want to specialize within the field.

I got some exposure to another healthcare profession before applying to dental and I really enjoyed it so I am confident that I will not have these thoughts if I switch routes. I decided not to pursue it as I really saw dentistry as a business opportunity and I'm not too sure if this is a reason worth staying in the long run. I guess one of the main reasons that I been hesitant on switching is the thought of throwing everything away I worked so hard for to get into my top choice school and potentially years of awesome income... so I am at this point of figuring out if the business side of dentistry is worth staying.

I went to a very competitive P/F school... And even though I didn't get grades per se, it wasn't stress free by any means and for sure can still lead to burnout.

That said, totally agree with the post above me. Go do what you want to do with your life because staying for business opportunities is not worth it.

BUT, I'm still stuck on this point. At some point you chose dental over other healthcare fields...

So, sometime before applying you looked at dental and med (based on your flare which ways "pre-med" and "pre-dental"). You KNEW that you were intrigued by med, you weren't sure about dental, and then you chose dental? Sounds like you just made a bad choice.

OR, you were sure about med, not sure about dental, but thought dental had more business opportunities at the end so you ended choosing dental? Well, you got what you wanted and now you're a couple years away from whatever business opportunities you want to pursue.

OR, you equally liked med and dental and you chose dental? The answer to that is, "the grass is always greener on the other side." I have many med friends that wanted to drop out or did drop out because they couldn't find interest in anything.


Don't be too confident with this statement you made, "I got some exposure to another healthcare profession before applying to dental and I really enjoyed it so I am confident that I will not have these thoughts if I switch routes." If you are so confident now, you probably would have been confident at the time you were choosing between dental and the other healthcare field and would have made a different choice. Again, the grass is always greener.

All that said, there is no reason to push through dental if you don't enjoy it. All I'm saying is don't assume that something else will be better.
 
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How much debt have you owed so far? A lot of people think $100k loan is easily manageable. It’s actually a lot of if your annual income is under the 6-figure amount. That’s at least $1200 that you have to pay back every month for the next 10 years of your life.

How old are you now? And how old will you be by the time you finish school with a degree in the other health field? Do you plan to get married and have kids? If you are a female and will turn 30 by the time you finish school, then I don’t think it’s a good idea to change career.

What is other health field that you want to pursue? Do you have good enough grade to get accepted? Or do you go back to undergrad school to take some more classes to improve your chance to get in. IMO, medicine is the only health field that is worth pursuing. Pharmacy and Optometry are both controlled by big corporations and good paying jobs are not easy to find after graduation. You can’t do well as a Chiropractor, if you are an honest person. Working as a PA is like working as a medical resident for the rest of your life. Remember, you already owe some money for dental school. If you don't think you will make more than what a dentist makes (at least $200k/year), then it’s not a good idea to switch. In order to enjoy your job, you have to be able to pay the bills first. No one would date/marry a broke person.

I would be very sad if one of my kids made a decision to switch career this late in the game. Thousands of dollars were wasted and the future is still uncertain. Both of my kids are still in HS. I pray every day for them.
 
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cartier_slme

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How much debt have you owed so far? A lot of people think $100k loan is easily manageable. It’s actually a lot of if your annual income is under the 6-figure amount. That’s at least $1200 that you have to pay back every month for the next 10 years of your life.

How old are you now? And how old will you be by the time you finish school with a degree in the other health field? Do you plan to get married and have kids? If you are a female and will turn 30 by the time you finish school, then I don’t think it’s a good idea to change career.

What is other health field that you want to pursue? Do you have good enough grade to get accepted? Or do you go back to undergrad school to take some more classes to improve your chance to get in. IMO, medicine is the only health field that is worth pursuing. Pharmacy and Optometry are both controlled by big corporations and good paying jobs are not easy to find after graduation. You can’t do well as a Chiropractor, if you are an honest person. Working as a PA is like working as a medical resident for the rest of your life. Remember, you already owe some money for dental school. If you don't think you will make more than what a dentist makes (at least $200k/year), then it’s not a good idea to switch. In order to enjoy your job, you have to be able to pay the bills first. No one would date/marry a broke person.

I would be very sad if one of my kids made a decision to switch career this late in the game. Thousands of dollars were wasted and the future is still uncertain. Both of my kids are still in HS. I pray every day for them.
thanks for your response. I was able to do some stuff on the side to help me pay for school so my current debt is significantly lower than that. I didnt mentioned it because I was afraid this would turn into a dentistry vs. medicine debate but it is medicine.

I guess one of the main things I was looking for in this thread was to get opinions from dental practice owners and if they had the opportunity to change careers (with the perks and headaches that come with owning a practice), if they would take that opportunity?

I'm not even sure if that makes sense, but it's been a tough time deciding what to do lately and it's pretty therapeutic talking about this.

Yup it sucks but here I am. When I have kids of my own, I will definitely provide them with everything necessary so they can find their passions and not go through everything that I am currently going through.
 
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yappy

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thanks for your response. I was able to do some stuff on the side to help me pay for school so my current debt is significantly lower than that. I didnt mentioned it because I was afraid this would turn into a dentistry vs. medicine debate but it is medicine.

I guess one of the main things I was looking for in this thread was to get opinions from dental practice owners and if they had the opportunity to change careers (with the perks and headaches that come with owning a practice), if they would take that opportunity?

I'm not even sure if that makes sense, but it's been a tough time deciding what to do lately and it's pretty therapeutic talking about this.

Yup it sucks but here I am. When I have kids of my own, I will definitely provide them with everything necessary so they can find their passions and not go through everything that I am currently going through.

they’ll likely stumble around just like you are too. That’s life and that’s okay.
If medicine truely is your passion then why not just do that now? Don’t go further into debt.

To answer your question, I do not want to switch careers. OTH, I could see myself happy in a surgical field of medicine too if I went that route.

Edit: medicine vs dental is not an issue because it’s totally subjective. Some prefer the former, some the later. At the end of the day youre the one doing the job. The only thing that matters imo is doing what you prefer. No one else will care what you do for a living.
 
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thanks for your response. I was able to do some stuff on the side to help me pay for school so my current debt is significantly lower than that. I didnt mentioned it because I was afraid this would turn into a dentistry vs. medicine debate but it is medicine.

I guess one of the main things I was looking for in this thread was to get opinions from dental practice owners and if they had the opportunity to change careers (with the perks and headaches that come with owning a practice), if they would take that opportunity?

I'm not even sure if that makes sense, but it's been a tough time deciding what to do lately and it's pretty therapeutic talking about this.
When I was in college, I wanted to be a doctor. I took the MCAT twice and did poorly both times. I didn’t know anything about dentistry but I applied for dental schools anyway. That’s because I didn’t have any other choices. With a BS degree in Bio, which was pretty much useless, I would be no better than a person who didn’t go to college. I didn’t want to be a loser with no job. My parents risked their lives and spent a lot of money to escape the communist regime and brought me to America for a better future. I didn’t want my parents’ efforts and sacrifices to go in vain. They are my heros.

Dentistry is much better I imagined…..being my own boss, setting my own work schedule, great income, being financially independent, good lifestyle. I didn't see nor appreciate any of these advantages when I was a dental student. I used to envy my cousin, who went to the same undergrad school with me and got accepted to med school. He’s a MD anesthesiologist. He’s my age…49yo. He has just paid off his student loans a few months ago and I paid off mine a long ago. He is still, however, paying his home mortgage. Wherever he went, he could not be too far away from the hospital where he used to work at. It’s like living in a prison. His life is much better now. He currently works at a surgical center, where everything is scheduled…..no emergency call, no more working at odd hours and on the weekends. But this center pays him much less. He is fine with the pay cut because he already paid off his student loan. His co-resident couldn’t handle the stress of doing anesthesiology and switched to a different specialty….pain management.

I had worked for someone else for 4 years before I had enough confidence to start my own office. Since I am not a business savvy person and I didn’t want to take a big risk, I started a very small low overhead office for under $120k. In case my business failed, I would just walk away with minimal loss. I don’t have good people skill either. English is not my first language. To attract more patients to my office, I have to charge low fee and offer convenient weekend office hours. To compensate for the low fee, I have to work harder than most of my colleagues, who charge much higher fee. Most of my colleagues don’t work on the weekends. Things have turned out great for me. I didn’t think I could be 100% debt free at 49. I thought it would take me at least 10-15 years longer to reach this goal.

I am doing very well as an orthodontist. I am very happy with my job. So why do I want my kids to pursue medicine, instead of encouraging them to follow my footstep? Because my kids are growing up in a very different environment than when I grew up. I am from a low income immigrant family. To me, 8 yrs of schooling is just a form of investment and a DDS degree is just a piece of paper….I am not entitled to anything. To be successful, I have to work hard. I am afraid my kids will not be willing to do what I am doing right now….like charging low fee, having a low overhead low tech office, working on the weekends etc. Being a physician, they don’t have any choice….they have to work on the days and the hours that the hospitals require them to work because they have to save lives. They may not make as much as a dentist, who owns a practice. But at least being a doctor and working for a hospital, they get paid a decent salary + paid vacations + other benefits.

I am glad that you think about medicine and not pharmacy or optometry. My brother is a gastroenterologist. My brother in law is a family doctor, who owns a very busy practice. My other cousin is a nephrologist. They are all very happy with their jobs. As long as you don’t go into anesthesiology, you should be fine. According to my cousin, anesthesiology is the worst specialty in medicine…the surgeons don’t respect you….you can’t own a practice like other MD doctors….your work hours are very long and bad.
Yup it sucks but here I am. When I have kids of my own, I will definitely provide them with everything necessary so they can find their passions and not go through everything that I am currently going through.
As a parent, I always want my kids to have a better life than what I have. I want them to provide a better lifestyle for their kids than what I provide for them now. I don’t want my kids to lose the comfortable lifestyle (because of picking a wrong career) that they are enjoying right now. I can’t live forever to support them financially. It would break my heart to see them struggle financially.

It's hard to understand now. But I think you will understand when you become a parent.
 
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cartier_slme

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When I was in college, I wanted to be a doctor. I took the MCAT twice and did poorly both times. I didn’t know anything about dentistry but I applied for dental schools anyway. That’s because I didn’t have any other choices. With a BS degree in Bio, which was pretty much useless, I would be no better than a person who didn’t go to college. I didn’t want to be a looser with no good paying job. My parents risked their lives and spent a lot of money to escape the communist regime and brought me to America for a better future. I didn’t want my parents’ efforts and sacrifices to go in vain. They are my heros.

Dentistry is much better I imagined…..being my own boss, setting my own work schedule, great income, being financially independent, good lifestyle. I didn't see nor understand about any of these advantages when I was a dental student. I used to envy my cousin, who went to the same undergrad school with me and got accepted to med school. He’s a MD anesthesiologist. He’s my age…49yo. He has just paid off his student loans a few months ago and I paid off mine a long ago. He is still, however, paying his home mortgage. Wherever he went, he could not be too far away from the hospital where he used to work at. It’s like living in a prison. His life is much better now. He currently works at a surgical center, where everything is scheduled…..no emergency call, no more working at odd hours and on the weekends. But this center pays him much less. He is fine with the pay cut because he already paid off his student loan. His co-resident couldn’t handle the stress of doing anesthesiology and switched to a different specialty….pain management.

I had worked for someone else for 4 years before I had enough confidence to start my own office. Since I am not a business savvy person and I didn’t want to take big risk, I started a very small low overhead office for under $120k. In case my business failed, I would just walk away with minimal loss. I don’t have good people skill either. English is not my first language. To attract more patients to my office, I have to charge low fee and offer convenient weekend office hours. To compensate for the low fee, I have to work harder than most of my colleagues, who charge much higher fee. Most of my colleagues don’t work on the weekends. Things have turned out great for me. I didn’t think I could be 100% debt free at 49. I thought it would take me at least 10-15 years longer to reach this goal.

I am doing very well as an orthodontist. I am very happy with my job. So why do I want my kids to pursue medicine, instead of following my footstep? Because my kids are growing up in a very different environment than when I grew up. I am from a low income immigrant family. To me, 8 yrs of schoolings is just a form of investment and a DDS degree is just a piece of paper….I am not entitled to anything. To be successful, I have to work hard. I am afraid my kids will not be willing to do what I am doing right now….like charging low fee, having a low overhead low tech office, working on the weekends etc. Being a physician, they don’t have any choice….they have to work on the days and the hours that the hospitals require them to work because they have to save lives. They may not make as much as a dentist, who owns a practice. But at least being a doctor and working for a hospital, they get paid a decent salary + paid vacation + other benefits.

I am glad that you think about medicine and not pharmacy or optometry. My brother is a gastroenterologist. My brother in law is a family doctor, who owns a very busy practice. My other cousin is a nephrologist. They are all very happy with their jobs. As long as you don’t go into anesthesiology, you should be fine. According to my cousin, anesthesiology is the worst specialty in medicine…the surgeons don’t respect you….you can’t own a practice like other MD doctors….your work hours are very long and bad.

As a parent, I always want my kids to have a better life than what I have. I want them to provide a better lifestyle for their kids than what I provide for them now. I don’t want my kids to lose the comfortable lifestyle (because of picking a wrong career) that they are enjoying right now. I can’t live forever to support them financially. It would break my heart to see them struggle financially.

It's hard to understand now. But I think you will understand when you become a parent.
Thank you for sharing your perspective. I am also from a low income family and was the first person to go to college and attempt to get a doctorate degree from my entire family. This is actually an important thing for me that also led me to want to focus on the business aspect of dentistry to be able to give back to my parents. I suppose somewhere along my journey I began to pick up interest in a different branch of health care (medicine) but the thought of having to wait 7-10 years to finish school to give back to my family has been keeping me in dentistry. I actually dont even know what I am looking for in here anymore. I just have to make a decision for myself, but the unpresendented future is sometimes scary. but it feels so much better talking about this as opposed to just keeping it to myself as I am afraid that it might backfire if I talk to people about it. Thanks for your advise though, I really appreciate it. Hope I can have a success story like you someday.
 
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cartier_slme

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they’ll likely stumble around just like you are too. That’s life and that’s okay.
If medicine truely is your passion then why not just do that now? Don’t go further into debt.

To answer your question, I do not want to switch careers. OTH, I could see myself happy in a surgical field of medicine too if I went that route.

Edit: medicine vs dental is not an issue because it’s totally subjective. Some prefer the former, some the later. At the end of the day youre the one doing the job. The only thing that matters imo is doing what you prefer. No one else will care what you do for a living.
thanks for your advise, much appreciated.
 

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hello everyone,

dental student here with a question that i hope i get genuine feedback on. I've been considering leaving my program for many reasons (i have been lucky to not have accumulated that much debt so I can pay it off as soon as I leave - if I do..). Though, dentistry is an amazing profession and you have the ability to heal patients, i feel as if though I'm not too interested in the field as I thought I was before applying. I tried giving the different specialties a try, but I just cant pick up interest for some reason. I guess the only thing that's keeping me going is the picture of becoming an entrepreneur within the field and essentially just focusing on the business aspect of the profession without doing much clinical work.

I been thinking that this is not a great reason to stay in the profession and I've been considering jumping boats to another healthcare profession that I find myself more intrigued by and could see myself doing for the rest of my life as opposed to dentistry where I just want to come out and essentially jump into the business aspect of things.

What are your thoughts about this? For dentists who are entrepreneurs within the field, how are y'all liking this avenue of the profession? Is it as great, as many youtube entrepreneurs make it to be?
Dude the way things are right now, just be happy you got into dental school and will become a dentist. Finish through with it open a practice and trust me you will be able to go after whatever you want (business wise). Being a dentist isnt only about "healing people" or whatever admission committees want you to believe. You are looking out for yourself as well and your interests. Being a dentist opens up other investment opportunities that you wouldn't be able to access being in blue collar or other fields including physicians. You will be a small business owner, your own boss, you cannot be replaced.
 
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cartier_slme

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Dude the way things are right now, just be happy you got into dental school and will become a dentist. Finish through with it open a practice and trust me you will be able to go after whatever you want (business wise). Being a dentist isnt only about "healing people" or whatever admission committees want you to believe. You are looking out for yourself as well and your interests. Being a dentist opens up other investment opportunities that you wouldn't be able to access being in blue collar or other fields including physicians. You will be a small business owner, your own boss, you cannot be replaced.
Yea to be honest this is what keeps me going. Thanks for keeping it one hunnid
 
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allDAT

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Dentists aren’t entrepreneurs. If you want to be an entrepreneur, I’d get out of dental school.

Entrepreneurs build businesses bigger than themselves. Dentists build businesses around themselves that sell at low multiples of EBITDA and very few can transition to a truly entrepreneurial endeavor. To do that, you don’t even need a dental license (see Steve Thorne).
 
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Dentists aren’t entrepreneurs. If you want to be an entrepreneur, I’d get out of dental school.

Entrepreneurs build businesses bigger than themselves. Dentists build businesses around themselves that sell at low multiples of EBITA and very few can transition to a truly entrepreneurial endeavor. To do that, you don’t even need a dental license (see Steve Thorne).

Good point. If my information is correct ..... in Arizona .... you do not need to be a dentist to open a dental office. Probably the reason Arizona is so saturated with dentists, private and Corp offices. Learn business instead of RCT-BU-Crown and open/hire dentists to work for you.

You want to be a dentist. Then be a dentist.
You want to be an entrepreneur. Then be that instead.
 
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yappy

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Good point. If my information is correct ..... in Arizona .... you do not need to be a dentist to open a dental office. Probably the reason Arizona is so saturated with dentists, private and Corp offices. Learn business instead of RCT-BU-Crown and open/hire dentists to work for you.

You want to be a dentist. Then be a dentist.
You want to be an entrepreneur. Then be that instead.
And if your passion is medicine. Go do medicine.

I do not understand your thought process. You say that your passion is medicine, then you say that the business side of dentistry is what is keeping you in it. How does business keep you interested if your passion is medicine?

Why do you feel responsible for taking care of your parents financially? IMO that is an unfair burden to have placed on you; maybe evaluate the boundaries between you and your parents.

EDIT: My apologies for being direct. These are just some of the questions that pop in my mind as someone who doesn't know you. You don't have to answer them. Whatever you do, make sure it's right for you and the people in your life.
 
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There are plenty of entrepreneurs in both Medicine and Dentistry. Surgery Centers, starting a DSO, Developing products, etc. Entrepreneurial minds will constantly see these possibilities. You either have this kind of mindset or you don't. About 1/3 of my income comes from dentistry, the rest comes from profit sharing and it is shifting further and further every month. However if you don't like dentistry at all it is going to be very difficult to get to that point in this field.
 
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Why do you feel responsible for taking care of your parents financially? IMO that is an unfair burden to have placed on you; maybe evaluate the boundaries between you and your parents.

EDIT: My apologies for being direct. These are just some of the questions that pop in my mind as someone who doesn't know you. You don't have to answer them. Whatever you do, make sure it's right for you and the people in your life.
Why is it unfair? Your parents have made a lot of sacrifices for you and they never complained nor thought what they have done for you were unfair for them. When you were a baby, they gave you their undivided attention. When you became a teenager, they gave up their own dental treatment so they could afford to pay the orthodontist to fix your crooked teeth. When you were old enough to drive, they had to work overtime so they could buy you a car and pay for the car insurance. They worked OT so they could give you the money to go out with your friends….so you wouldn’t feel ashamed when went out with your friends. They have sacrificed so much for you….so much that they couldn’t save enough for their own retirement. And now, they are too old to get a good paying job….too old to work. Who’s gonna help them?

In my culture, the adult children are obligated to take care of their parents when their parents are too old to work and to take care of themselves. If you have a chance to eat at an Asian restaurant, you see a lot of the elderly Asian people (many are wheelchair bound) eating with their adult children and their grandchildren….and they all have good time. Their children don’t put them in a nursing home.

My dad came to the US when he was 52 years old and he didn’t speak any English. He had made a lot of sacrifices to put all 3 of us in professional schools. He didn’t retire until he was 72. He could have retired sooner if I (I am the oldest child) didn’t spend 3 additional years (1 yr GRP + 2yr ortho) to specialize. All 3 of us helped paid off our parents’ house. We continue to pay the house’s property tax every year. It’s all good. When our parents pass away, this house will belong to 3 of us anyway. He bought it for $134k….now, it’s worth more than $700k.
 
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yappy

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Why is it unfair? Your parents have made a lot of sacrifices for you and they never complained nor thought what they have done for you were unfair for them. When you were a baby, they gave you their undivided attention. When you became a teenager, they gave up their own dental treatment so they could afford to pay the orthodontist to fix your crooked teeth. When you were old enough to drive, they had to work overtime so they could buy you a car and pay for the car insurance. They worked OT so they could give you the money to go out with your friends….so you wouldn’t feel ashamed when went out with your friends. They have sacrificed so much for you….so much that they couldn’t save enough for their own retirement. And now, they are too old to get a good paying job….too old to work. Who’s gonna help them?

In my culture, the adult children are obligated to take care of their parents when their parents are too old to work and to take care of themselves. If you have a chance to eat at an Asian restaurant, you see a lot of the elderly Asian people (many are wheelchair bound) eating with their adult children and their grandchildren….and they all have good time. Their children don’t put them in a nursing home.

My dad came to the US when he was 52 years old and he didn’t speak any English. He had made a lot of sacrifices to put all 3 of us in professional schools. He didn’t retire until he was 72. He could have retired sooner if I (I am the oldest child) didn’t spend 3 additional years (1 yr GRP + 2yr ortho) to specialize. All 3 of us helped paid off our parents’ house. We continue to pay the house’s property tax every year. It’s all good. When our parents pass away, this house will belong to 3 of us anyway. He bought it for $134k….now, it’s worth more than $700k.

It's unfair because it's a covert contract that children do not willingly enter into.

IMO it is an ethical obligation for parents to care for their children. I think It is wrong to place financial obligations on your adult children's lives for caring for them when they were younger. Practically, I don't agree with it because children will grow up and they will be responsible for raising their own children, which takes a lot of resources.
Not relying on your children prevents parents from exercising unhealthy control over their adult children (Why did you buy x? Are you doing career y? etc.) because they don't have a finically interest in their success. Unfortunately, I have seen money issues divide families when people's boundaries are crossed, especially after adult children marry. Those are my concerns with the expectation that children must provide for their parents financially. Having said that I would never tell someone else how to live, those are just my thoughts.

Your dad sounds like an amazing guy.
 
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Impossible to discuss cultural differences. But it should be a moral obligation for children to look after their older parents. But I see where @yappy has a point. If this pattern of WE, the parents take care of our children .... then WE the parents can indirectly control their children's current financial choices.

For example. Lets say @charlestweed wants to buy a new Tesla (not for me ... I prefer Jeep Rubicons ;) ). But then dear old dad says. "C'mon Charley .... you need to save your money for my new boat when I get older. wink wink.

It's all cultural differences. I bought a brand new Jeep Gladiator Rubicon the other day. My Asian mother said to me "Why do you need another car. You have plenty." Her culture. My Irish, French Canadian father (if he was still alive) would have said. "Son. You need a bigger garage for all those cars." No right or wrong. Just differences.



Gladiator1.jpg
 
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It's unfair because it's a covert contract that children do not willingly enter into.
It’s not a contract. It’s completely voluntary. The children can choose not to help their parents and their parents cannot do anything about it. Their parents are too old and too weak to have any authority over them.
IMO it is an ethical obligation for parents to care for their children.
So to you, it should only be a one way street? Only the parents have the obligation to care for their children and not the other way around. 2thMVR is right. It’s impossible to discuss about the cultural differences.
Unfortunately, I have seen money issues divide families when people's boundaries are crossed, especially after adult children marry. Those are my concerns with the expectation that children must provide for their parents financially. Having said that I would never tell someone else how to live, those are just my thoughts.
I’ve seen a lot of these problems too. That’s why I wanted to marry someone from the same culture and religion. And someone who has a good stable job would be a huge plus:love:.
Your dad sounds like an amazing guy.
Yes he is. Both of my parents are. My dad has never forced me to do anything but he has always encouraged to do things that he thinks would benefit me…like going to school, going to church every Sunday, working hard, being responsible, don’t rely on somebody else or on the government etc. Because of his love and sacrifices, it would make me feel very guilty if I don’t succeed in life. I want to make my dad proud. I told him I would do fine as a general dentist and I wanted to help him....I wanted him to retire. But he encouraged me to specialize in ortho and told me not to worry about him.

I won't be disappointed if my children put me and my wife in a nursing home. I don't expect them to think like me. They were born here. I just want them to have a good stable career so they can take care of themselves... so they can continue to enjoy the good lifestyle that they have right now....so I won't have to continue to work to support them financially.

BTW, nice Jeep, 2THMR.
 
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Molar Whisperer

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Why is it unfair? Your parents have made a lot of sacrifices for you and they never complained nor thought what they have done for you were unfair for them. When you were a baby, they gave you their undivided attention. When you became a teenager, they gave up their own dental treatment so they could afford to pay the orthodontist to fix your crooked teeth. When you were old enough to drive, they had to work overtime so they could buy you a car and pay for the car insurance. They worked OT so they could give you the money to go out with your friends….so you wouldn’t feel ashamed when went out with your friends. They have sacrificed so much for you….so much that they couldn’t save enough for their own retirement. And now, they are too old to get a good paying job….too old to work. Who’s gonna help them?

In my culture, the adult children are obligated to take care of their parents when their parents are too old to work and to take care of themselves. If you have a chance to eat at an Asian restaurant, you see a lot of the elderly Asian people (many are wheelchair bound) eating with their adult children and their grandchildren….and they all have good time. Their children don’t put them in a nursing home.

My dad came to the US when he was 52 years old and he didn’t speak any English. He had made a lot of sacrifices to put all 3 of us in professional schools. He didn’t retire until he was 72. He could have retired sooner if I (I am the oldest child) didn’t spend 3 additional years (1 yr GRP + 2yr ortho) to specialize. All 3 of us helped paid off our parents’ house. We continue to pay the house’s property tax every year. It’s all good. When our parents pass away, this house will belong to 3 of us anyway. He bought it for $134k….now, it’s worth more than $700k.
@charlestweed

Being Asian myself I share a lot of culture with you and I'm really impressed with your family dynamic and values. Growing up, I wished I could have chosen mine (don't we all). I would gladly trade money for a less dysfunctional family. I would love to ask my dad a lot of sensitive and provocative questions, but since he had passed, those difficult questions will never be answered. Thinking back he was suffering from severe, untreated bipolar disorder and early dementia/brain decline in his early 40s. I learned so much from my dad on what not to do. What I learned from my dad's dysfunction is having a loving family is way more important than wealth (it's nice to have both though). I'm far from being a perfect dad and husband but I'm blessed to have a wonderful family. If my kids want to put me in a nursing home, then it is on me.
 
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@charlestweed

Being Asian myself I share a lot of culture with you and I'm really impressed with your family dynamic and values. Growing up, I wished I could have chosen mine (don't we all). I would gladly trade money for a less dysfunctional family. I would love to ask my dad a lot of sensitive and provocative questions, but since he had passed, those difficult questions will never be answered. Thinking back he was suffering from severe, untreated bipolar disorder and early dementia/brain decline in his early 40s. I learned so much from my dad on what not to do. What I learned from my dad's dysfunction is having a loving family is way more important than wealth (it's nice to have both though). I'm far from being a perfect dad and husband but I'm blessed to have a wonderful family. If my kids want to put me in a nursing home, then it is on me.
It’s very true that money cannot buy happiness….cannot buy a loving family. I was very fortunate to be raised by 2 very good parents. We were poor but we were happy. I used to have a wish that my parents could make more money so I could have all the materialistic things that many kids at my age had. Now as I look back, I think I had a much better childhood life than many of my kids’ friends, who have very wealthy parents who put them in expensive private schools. Some have parents who got divorced. Some lost one of the parents due to cancers and other illnesses. Some have parents who live in a different state/country.
 
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Molar Whisperer

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It’s very true that money cannot buy happiness….cannot buy a loving family. I was very fortunate to be raised by 2 very good parents. We were poor but we were happy. I used to have a wish that my parents could make more money so I could have all the materialistic things that many kids at my age had. Now as I look back, I think I had a much better childhood life than many of my kids’ friends, who have very wealthy parents who put them in expensive private schools. Some have parents who got divorced. Some lost one of the parents due to cancers and other illnesses. Some have parents who live in a different state/country.

Everyone will have different family dynamics. My father in-law was a dad I wished I had growing up (he passed away last year). He was a retired middle school teacher with no overt wealth. I realized early that materials only provided temporary thrills (new toy effect). Despite my dad making medical doctor money, he rarely buys us anything and I couldn't keep up with the latest and greatest with my school mates. Like a song lyric by Aerosmith, "I was a high school loser, never made it with the ladies...." Being older, I hope to be healthy enough to seek long lasting thrills like hobbies, trips, being with family and not working anymore.
 
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