If I'm near the bottom of my class, what should I do? :(

Artaterxes

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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums. I created the account because I want some feedback while remaining anonymous.

I'm in 3rd year right now. Basically, I study very hard, but do poorly in clinic. I'm the type of person who can't drive a stickshift without getting confused. As a result, I'm near the bottom of my class.

First question. Some of my friends insist that I'll be able to specialize if I want to. I disagree - I think it is unlikely that I can get into any specialty, and with my low confidence, I don't see myself as the leader that specialties require. Do you agree?

Second question. Do you know of any students who were terrible in dental school but became good GPs? If you do, I would be reassured.

Thanks~
 

Mackchops

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I heard a good one once.

Students that get A's become the best teachers
Students that get B's become the best clinicians
Students that get C's make the most money

Just learn what you can and figure out what you want to do. If you want to specialize (depending on what it is) you might be able to make it happen. Especially in 3rd year where it's less memorizing of factoids and you get to show off your interest in the field and your dedication to learning. Get good, get quick, and get out.
 

Daurang

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Dec 6, 2006
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I almost flunked out my first year and pretty sure I graduated bottom 10% in my class. Now I make more money and vacation more than the Prez of the USA. You are still a doctor whether you graduate first or last plus people have much more trust in your words than Prez of the USA. Your life begin anew after you graduate so have no worry.
 

7 Iron

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Oct 8, 2010
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What do they call the dental student who graduated at the bottom of the class?

Dentist!
 

Saddleshoes

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Oct 28, 2007
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Second question. Do you know of any students who were terrible in dental school but became good GPs? If you do, I would be reassured.
The guy with the worst hands in the class ahead of me has a very successful private practice in a small town and also works for the state part-time.

The guy with the worse hands in my class was the President of the State ADA a couple of years ago. He is doing just fine.

The guy with the worst hands in the class behind me made more money then any of us in a "denture mill" he started.


The point is...
Don't worry about it! Just survive till graduation and you will do fine.
 

Quattro DMD

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May 20, 2008
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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums. I created the account because I want some feedback while remaining anonymous.

I'm in 3rd year right now. Basically, I study very hard, but do poorly in clinic. I'm the type of person who can't drive a stickshift without getting confused. As a result, I'm near the bottom of my class.

First question. Some of my friends insist that I'll be able to specialize if I want to. I disagree - I think it is unlikely that I can get into any specialty, and with my low confidence, I don't see myself as the leader that specialties require. Do you agree?

Second question. Do you know of any students who were terrible in dental school but became good GPs? If you do, I would be reassured.

Thanks~
If you're still not confident after you graduate why not do a GPR? I think it would be very valuable and give you an extra 1-2 years to improve your skills and enhance your knowledge base.
 

iLuvDAT

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Aug 2, 2007
232
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The guy with the worst hands in the class ahead of me has a very successful private practice in a small town and also works for the state part-time.

The guy with the worse hands in my class was the President of the State ADA a couple of years ago. He is doing just fine.

The guy with the worst hands in the class behind me made more money then any of us in a "denture mill" he started.


The point is...
Don't worry about it! Just survive till graduation and you will do fine.
people at top of class, especially those who do naturally well in basic sciences, usually don't possess right mentalities or business senses to succeed as GPs in the real world. I notice it's the slackers in dental school, you know those people who would sleep through gross anatomy lectures but are super efficient in clinic, end up doing very well after they graduate
 
Jan 8, 2010
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Do you guys really think that slackers in dental school tend to be more successful than the ones who managed their time wisely, are naturally intelligent, and put in 110% to rank at the top of their class? I am not sure I agree with that assertion...

I would think that if people are ranking low in dental school because they are developing business management skills, or networking strongly, then that might lead to future success.. But many low ranking students are only there due to laziness, distractions, or procrastination.

However, I am still early in the game of dental school, so I really don't know.
 
Jan 13, 2010
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I think the take home message is: Your grades, and class ranking won't necessarily determine your success as a dentist. A low class ranking doesn't brand a person a horrible dentist for the rest of their career, just as being at the top of your class won't guarantee success in private practice.
 

newyorkblork

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Jun 3, 2008
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people at top of class, especially those who do naturally well in basic sciences, usually don't possess right mentalities or business senses to succeed as GPs in the real world. I notice it's the slackers in dental school, you know those people who would sleep through gross anatomy lectures but are super efficient in clinic, end up doing very well after they graduate
I'm no dentist, but I would argue that people with intelligence, a hard work ethic, and the willingness to put up with crap classes do indeed have the right mentality and business sense to succeed as GPs...

Doing poorly in classes is not a guarantee of good business sense :p
 

mike3kgt

Hopefully scuba diving
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Do you guys really think that slackers in dental school tend to be more successful than the ones who managed their time wisely, are naturally intelligent, and put in 110% to rank at the top of their class? I am not sure I agree with that assertion...

I would think that if people are ranking low in dental school because they are developing business management skills, or networking strongly, then that might lead to future success.. But many low ranking students are only there due to laziness, distractions, or procrastination.

However, I am still early in the game of dental school, so I really don't know.
:thumbup:

I will agree 100%. As a practicing dentist and one who did a substantial amount of teaching for boards, I saw lots of different types of new-grads. As a dentist who also assisted in hiring and recruitment of various types, I can tell you that the best clinical dentists are not the ones in the top nor the bottom of the class.

What you generally see is that the top 5 or so students are so incredibly competitive that if they didn't go on to a program like ortho or oral surgery, many times they are aggressive and often disingenuous as a new hire. Although you see a mix of quality, what you do often see is that the best overall dentists come from the top 30%.

On the flip side, the bottom of the class (bottom 10% or so) fall into a few categories. #1 lazy and didn't work in dental school, #2- just didn't thrive in an academic environment, #3- had a family emergency/personal injury that held them back in doing their best. It's very hard to separate #1 from 2,3.

I personally know some of the students from my class who were in the bottom 10% who are doing quite well, but what people tend to do in dental academics is ASSUME that if you do poorly in dental school that you will be a great GP and make more money than your top 30% classmates. While that is possible, it just simply isn't true.

I know this is painting a broad brush, but you have to understand what people on this thread are doing is justifying their not having to study or work hard by falsely believing that it doesn't matter in the long run.