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I Need Your Help With Deciding What To Do Please!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by MY NAME IS EARL, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. MY NAME IS EARL

    MY NAME IS EARL Junior Member
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    Hi everyone. I just found out that I was accepted to WVU School of Dentistry. However, I have been having second thoughts about not pursuing this avenue and going to Osteopathic Medical School instead.

    Would anyone like to comment on the pros and cons of this decision?

    Where I live people do not care if you are a MD or a DO so that certainly does not matter. DO's are very much accepted as doctors. (as they should be of course) However, dentists are not considered doctors.

    I obviously like what a DO does and what a DDS does so I would like some input from anyone if possible. Furthermore, the large startup costs of a dental practice is worrysome and it does seem much easier to start a medical practice in my area.

    Please just comment, I would like some help if possible!
    Earl.
     
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  3. Canuck99

    Canuck99 Senior Member
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    Go to medical school, but realize that I am extremely partial. Sounds like you have a tough decision to make. Sorry, I am not really offering you any advice.
     
  4. NTM

    NTM Member
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    LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY! GO to dentistry! The biases toward DO's are strong as ever and all you have to do is read some DO threads that define, defend, or boasts about their chosen field or how great OMM is. The reason for this need to justify themselves and their credentials is simply for the same reason why you dont want to become a dentist. If you really want to go to med school take a year off and study your ass off and raise your MCAT score and try allopathic, but if not and you are choosing what credentials will give you more stout and prestige...well I think you really need to re-evaluate why you want to be called doctor. Honestly though, I have nothing against DO's, I go to one as my PCP for exactly what DO's were created to do, focus on Primary care and preventive medicine. This was Dr. Still's vision and to see so many DO's trying to specialize and more importantly trying to obtain an allopathic residency (MD residency) while DO residencies are there for them really just strengthens my point that DO's need to continue to justify their credentials and capabilities. Bottom line, here's what the thinking process that we all went through when wanting to become a doctor: 1. apply MD 2. DO for backup 3. Maybe carribbean.
     
  5. Fermata

    Fermata Hold me.
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    How original.
     
  6. MY NAME IS EARL

    MY NAME IS EARL Junior Member
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    Well I was looking to get some advice from someone with more intelligence I suppose.

    Listen man, I took the MCAT and scored a 27. I visited a DO school in WV and learned that 60% of their students go on to specialize in areas other than general and family medicine.

    I also visited two MD schools and I can tell you straight up that I like the DO schools better. I could care less about MD. ITs not for me. I am just unsure of what work I would enjoy better. Dentistry or medical.

    I assure you that with my GPA I would not have a hard time at all gettin into a MD school and the comment about a carribean school is hilarious. I can have my pick of schools here at home.

    I was inquiring about the work and future opportunities, guess I should have made myself clear. The only real downside is that doctors in my state are sued and sued and sued. There are sooooooooooooo many lawyers in my area, much more than physicians. However, I never hear of a dentist getting sued.


    ITs like this, my options are wide open. I scored high on the DAT and on the MCAT and I have a 3.98 GPA and graduated summa cum laude. (I got a B in BIOCHEM, my only B.)

    I would just like advice. Ill have my pick of schools, just need some help deciding.

    Thanks,
    earl
     
  7. MY NAME IS EARL

    MY NAME IS EARL Junior Member
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    really. Thats sad. Didnt these people work hard in undergrad? I busted my ass and graduated early. I am doing a masters now. You just have to dedicate.
     
  8. Old_Mil

    Old_Mil Senior Member
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    For starters, you are making a big assumption: that you will get in to medical school should you apply. Having been accepted to dental school, I don't doubt for a minute that you have the intellectual ability to do well on the MCAT and put together a good looking application...

    ...the question you're going to come up against time and time again is "why medical school?" when you've progressed so far towards a dental school career. This aspect of your application alone may ruin your chances of admission to some medical schools.

    My advice to you reflects an old saying: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. At some point in time you wanted to be a dentist badly enough to do the coursework, take the DAT, and make a successful application to Dental School. If I were in your shoes, I would probably continue along the path I had spent this much time in navigating. If you want, postpone your WVU admission for a year to take a year off relaxing and working or something of the sort. Do something totall unrelated: learn to fly, run a marathon, sail around the world, get an old Harley and fix it up...the break may help you solidify your plans. I'd just be extremely hesitant to toss out an admission I already had for something that might not come to pass.
     
  9. Old_Mil

    Old_Mil Senior Member
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    Like it or not, NTM speaks the truth. If you doubt me, consider how big a DO school's applicant pool would be if they dropped the allopathic portion of their curriculum to focus on the teaching of manipulative medicine (answer: not very!). Now compare how big it would be if they dropped OMT entirely and kept the allopathic portion of the curriculum.

    There's your answer.
     
  10. FrogE7

    FrogE7 Senior Member
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    Keep on rockin' in the free world! :thumbup:
     
  11. MY NAME IS EARL

    MY NAME IS EARL Junior Member
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    thanks the input. Actually the dental pre-reqs are the same as medical. I was workin hard for a bio/chem double major and somewhere in that mess lost my reason for doing it entirely.

    Yea I took the DAT. It was 4 hours on a Saturday and not much prep went into it.

    What I was really gettin at was to hope that you guys could provide some pros and cons for medical vs. dental.

    I appreciate your help thus far however!
     
  12. MY NAME IS EARL

    MY NAME IS EARL Junior Member
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    Well I wasnt tryin to be mean. That dude just assumed that I was a loser who was trying to get around requirements, etc.

    I just would like to know others opinions as to what would be the better route.

    I KNOW that I will get into medical school if I want to do that. Its people like me that get the spots. The people that didnt dick around in undergrad and go and party, etc. I worked my butt off, rocked the MCAT, etc. Is that cocky? Sure it is. I had a miserable college experience to do so. I even turned down a full paid sports scholarship to do so.

    So I get to brag and be an ass now.

    Can someone just give some pros and cons? Jezz.
     
  13. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    GOSH! You should do what you want!

    Seriously, the jobs are much different. When you fantasize, which one do you dream of doing?
     
  14. dr_keki

    dr_keki Member
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    Wow, you're really full of yourself. I give you props for your accomplishments, but if that's the attitude you have, I'd question what kind of doctor you'd make. Also, a 27 is not "rocking the MCAT". With close to a 4.0 GPA, you should have put more time into the MCAT prep if your goal is to be a doctor. If you want to go to medical school, think long and hard about it first. Think of what motivates you towards medicine. If it's money and prestige, I've heard that dentists make more money than doctors these day. To try and compare a doctor and a dentist is like comparing apples and oranges. Although health related, those are two totally different fields. I suggest you shadow a few doctors MD and DOs before you decide to apply.
     
  15. OnMyWayThere

    OnMyWayThere OMS-III
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    If both satisfy equally, I say definately go into dentistry. It's shorter, malpractice is not significant compared to medicine, compensation is much better (yes, it really is) unless you go into a very competitive field in medicine, shorter hours, more $ per hour, insurance companies don't stiff you like they do physicians, the list goes on. I feel medicine has an additional satisfaction that certain people get, but if you're equal on both - then why medicine?
     
  16. MY NAME IS EARL

    MY NAME IS EARL Junior Member
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    THANK YOU.

    Finally someone has given me something good. Malpractice is a big one. I really don't care about the compensation, I know I probably will later when I need to eat, pay employees, etc.

    As for the other poster above. I feel I rocked the MCAT with a 27. My cousin got a 22 and she got in med school with less stats.

    Thanks.

    EARL
     
  17. mj1878

    mj1878 Water good...
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    :mad: Earl, I take a great deal of offense to this post. I can't speak for everyone on SDN, but I believe I speak for a great many when I say that those of us that have chosen to pursue medicine as a profession did not do so lightly. I had to work full time while taking a full load in undergraduate, while working 20 or so hours every week as a volunteer in various activities. I left the house at six in the morning, and got home at 8 at night(when I didn't have to work). I was usually the first one in the library and the last one to be shooed out at night during midterms and finals. I had to study very hard because I test very badly. Many others that were premedical students were right there in the same boat with me, fretting about chemistry midterms, studying in groups, and always trying to do the best we could in order to make our applications to medical schools shine. We would talk at length about the kind of physicians we wanted to be, and what our philosophies about medicine were then and what we wanted them to be. We weren't gunners, because we were always looking for opportunites to help each other out if the need arose.

    As the application process rolled around, an entirely new kind of anxiety rolled around with it. Here I was, finally at the penultimate moment. I tried to pour my heart out in my applications while trying not to sound desperate, but the truth was, I WAS desperate. Finally I had reached the point where my fate as a premedical student was no longer in my hands, but up to the subjective judgment of a committee that would see thousands upon thousands of applications each year. How would I be different? What if I wasn't good enough in someone's eyes? I had no backup plan, because I had no backup DREAM.

    I think that blithely deciding to pursue medicine produces BAD physicians. Do you REALLY want to be in a position where, if forced to tell the truth, you would have to tell your patients that you were vacillating between medicine and dentristry, and finally picked medicine because the STARTUP COST of the practice was CHEAPER???!!!

    Deciding to pick medicine over dentristry for what I consider to be superficial and sheerly cosmetic reasons are why burnout doctors are so dangerous. "I wanted to be called 'Doctor'" is a reason that a FIVE-YEAR-OLD decides to be a doctor, not someone of supposedly sound mind and with a hint of rationality.

    In my opinion, you should be NEITHER a dentist NOR a physician. If you become a dentist, you'll always be wondering what it would be like for people to look at you and see the "doctorly" aura, and you'll burn out inside of five years. If you become a physician, it won't be because you have any true wish to become a healer and help the sick, injured, or dying; it will be because you wanted to feel GOOD about yourself.

    You're asking us about what profession to choose, but you make it sound as if you're asking whether or not to eat chicken or beef at dinner. Pick one; just don't treat me or anyone I know.
     
  18. OSUdoc08

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    Would you rather work on teeth or other parts of the body. The money shouldn't be the basis of your decisions. (i.e. what would you rather do as a volunteer)
     
  19. OnMyWayThere

    OnMyWayThere OMS-III
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    You'll always have food on your plate as a physician.
     
  20. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Well, perhaps you should try shadowing some dentists and physicians to see what their days are like? Money should be a consideration, but I don't think you can go wrong financially with either right now. However, each profession have their own 'problems' and you need to figure out if you can handle that.

    Dentists have a high startup cost for their practices, and they also focus on only one part of the body. However, they don't seem to have to deal with the same amount of insurance hassles as physicians. Physicians will deal with malpractice (moreso than dentists), but they will have more variety to choose from in terms of what area(s) of the body they want to treat.

    You need to ask yourself: do you prefer teeth and the oral region? Or do you prefer some other part of the body? Don't let money be your only guide, and don't let what people 'think' define what YOU want to be. So what if some people don't think dentists are doctors? There are still some MDs that think DOs aren't 'on par' with them, and there are surgeons who look down on internists, specialists who look down on general practitioners etc. There will ALWAYS be people who will look down at you. You can be the greatest neurosurgeon that came out of Harvard and there will still be people who think you're not as good as them. However, the career decision YOU make is something YOU will have to live with the rest of you life...so choose something that you know will be enjoyable rather than something you other people would like.

    For what it's worth, these are the reasons why I personally decided medicine, and not dentistry:

    1. I modeled my profession in part on the people I felt had the most impact on me. I never felt like my dentists were anything more than my teeth cleaners. I always felt my physician was someone who can look/solve my health problems. That is a PERSONAL assessment. I'm sure some people feel closer to their dentists than to their physicians, but I was not one of them.

    2. I like the option of treating the many parts of the body rather than focusing exclusively on teeth and the oral region.

    3. The dentists around where I live are subpar and seem very money grubbing which contributes to a very negative impression I have of the profession. My parents have switched many dentists in the past five years and can find none that does more than cursory cleanings while charging an arm and leg for it (and constantly spamming them with their ads). This, despite the fact we have a dental school in the city!

    Also, it seems many dentists around where I live have too much competition and not enough paying customers. When my dentists heard that I had dental insurance, they were practically jumping for joy (again more of a personal assessment, so don't take this as a good reason to choose medical over dentistry).

    4. I want to focus on disease diagnosis and treatment, Dentists can also diagnose and treat oral health related problems but I think physicians are in a better position to do this than dentists. Again, this is more a personal thing, coming from my personal experiences than anything else.

    Overall, I do not regret 'choosing' medicine over the other health care professions. My only regret is not taking the leap into medicine sooner.

    Good luck on whatever you decide.
     
  21. dr_keki

    dr_keki Member
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    If you go to medical school, it'll be 4 years in school and 3+ years for residency...so minimum time will be 7 years. For dental school, it's only 3 years and you are a full fledge dentist...correct me if I'm wrong. So that's something to consider.
     
  22. FrkyBgStok

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    i just gotta say that if osteopathic schools dropped allopathic section they wouldn't be a medical school so....um....DUH NO ONE WOULD APPLY! i just don't like working on teeth.
     
  23. OSUdoc08

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    This post doesn't even make sense.....

    :confused:
     
  24. Sundarban1

    Sundarban1 Devil in disguise
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    Yeh, what are you saying? Allopathic schools let Osteopathic schools use their curriculum? That makes sense. :idea:
     
  25. OSUdoc08

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    Define "system."
     
  26. FrkyBgStok

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    it is based on the above post by Old Mil.

    it doesn't make sense now that I reread but, but i am a stong believer that allopathic and osteopathic are the same.
     
  27. fpr85

    fpr85 "newbie"
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    Quite frankly I think this whole MD vs DO thing is absolutely ridiculous. I work for an orthopedic company and we receive TONS of scripts from DO's -- and we don't consider them any less important than scripts that we get from MD's. People who post **** like this need to grow up -- unfortunately SDN is comprised of a bunch of little kiddies in their early twenties whom think they are demi-gods of some sort. puh-lease!
     
  28. Sundarban1

    Sundarban1 Devil in disguise
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    Curriculum? I was agreeing with you nonetheless. It made no sense to me.
     
  29. OSUdoc08

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    You can't really just call everything but OMM the "allopathic" portion of the curriculum. It's a bit more complicated than that.

    Osteopathic medicine is more than just an extra OMM class.
     
  30. FrkyBgStok

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    again, i know that. that is what i was implying to the Old Mil post.
     
  31. dr_keki

    dr_keki Member
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    Let's not make this into another MD vs DO thread....the OP is perfectly fine with osteopathic medicine. Focus on the OP's question please.
     
  32. Canuck99

    Canuck99 Senior Member
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    Good call. Unfortunately there will always be d**che bags who feel the need to mouth off.
     
  33. Canuck99

    Canuck99 Senior Member
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    Seriously, he was asking for help and advice, not ridicule.
     
  34. Earl,

    I feel for you in your choice. There are two things you need to answer for yourself that will void any of the opinions presented here. What do you value in life (money, family, sunshine, toys, pride, fame, etc...)? What do you want out of life (wealth, happiness, adventure, peace of mind, children, etc...)? Now all you need to do is some research and find out what occupation alligns best with what you answered.

    Some physician will tell you dentists make more money, and some dentist will tell you physicians make more money. One says the other has less stress, more freedom, and better hours. Essentially your asking us for help, and I say to you go balls deep and figure it out on your own. Let us know what you decide.
     
  35. Unemployed

    Unemployed Senior Member
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    dental school is 4 years plus 3-6 years specialty residency (optional)
     
  36. dcratamt

    dcratamt Senior Member
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    I think the real question is..........how much do you love teeth?
     
  37. jcr_massage

    jcr_massage BodyworkSweety
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    Well there is one other thing I would consider if I were you, and that is the fear that the general population has of dentists. Sorry, but it's true. I am one myself who has a profound fear of dentists due to a deficiency in my enamel that I was born with, which caused me to have cavities on my teeth before they spouted through my gums even. This meant lots of trips to the dentists, toothbrushes to school with me, allot of fillings and several teeth pulled. I fear them so much that I will wait until my tooth is killling me before I go to the dentist. When I had to have a root canal, the dentist stopped and rescheduled me at the outpatient clinic at the hospital because gas wasn't enough to calm me down......they had to completely sedate me.

    So if you can get into medical school whether it's allo or osteo and you don't mind the extra years of education........and you think that medicine is something you would enjoy, I would give it a shot. But that's just my admittedly biased two cents worth.

    Blessings
    Bodyworksweety
     
  38. scpod

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    According to the ADA, only 2 in 5 dentists are self-employed and only 80% of those are solo practicioners. Are you ready to provide your own health insurance, life insurance, and retirement benefits too? Plus, the US Department of Labor's outlook on dentistry through 2012 says that employment will grow more slowly than other occupations.

    That being said, a new solo practice as an MD/DO would be nearly unheard of in this era of rising malpractice. Did you realize that due to Medicare/Medicaid and private insurance that it typically takes six employees per physician just to run an office? However, your employment options are wide open as a physician-- just not as a solo practicioner.
     

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