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One of my greatest attractions to the field of dentistry is the variety of possible career paths - whether it be general practice, specialization, teaching & research, or working in the public health sector.

To those out there who are pursuing dentistry toward becoming an academic could you share with me your path and experiences.

I'm currently an undergraduate student who has a strong interest in earning my DMD/DDS and then pursuing teaching and research positions. To become a teacher would I have to pursue a masters or phD in addtion to a DDS (I'd prefer not to spend 8 years in grad-school)? Do I need to apply to a specific program? When should I voice my interest to the dental school?

How do dental schools view students that want to pursue teaching/research in addition to, or instead of private practice. Is it possible to have a role as an academic and private clinician simultaneously?

Feel free to pm me
:)
 

Farnaz

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Most dental schools like it if you show an interest in teaching and research. There is actually a shortage in teachers b/c of the low income it offers compared to private practice.
Which path you should follow depends on what you wanna do and the lifestyle you wanna take on. If you wanna have a research lab, you should go for a phd.
Talk to the professors at the dental schools you are interested in. They would be able to help you in regards to the path you should take on.
It is doable to have a practice and be in academia if you are a part time instructor in the clinic.
Make sure that you like dentistry by shadowing a dentist b/c dental schools are primarily preparing you for practicing dentistry and secondarily for becoming a good teacher and a researcher.
Good luck!
 

trypmo

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I know that the DDS/PhD program at San Antonio is a six-year program. Do research over the summers as much as possible. To be a prof at dental school, to my observation, takes either PhD or specialization of some kind. If you like research, go for the DDS/PhD, definitely. Argh, back to class for me...
 
D

docandie

trypmo said:
I know that the DDS/PhD program at San Antonio is a six-year program. Do research over the summers as much as possible. To be a prof at dental school, to my observation, takes either PhD or specialization of some kind. If you like research, go for the DDS/PhD, definitely. Argh, back to class for me...

you know what, that is what I like to do as well, i like to teach in a dental college..it would be nice, any other way? do i need to pass the national boards first?
 

Bifid Uvula

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Look into University of Maryland's combined DDS/PHD program. its 7 years and 5 of them are completely funded... nice deal.
 

sidewalkman

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Bifid Uvula said:
Look into University of Maryland's combined DDS/PHD program. its 7 years and 5 of them are completely funded... nice deal.
That's a terrible deal if you consider that the vast majority of MD/PhDs are fully funded + stipend. Not to mention that UCSF's dental program is fully funded + stipend as well. It's better than nothing, but c'mon, no wonder it's difficult to recruit students into faculty positions. If one is going into academics, how much debt can one really afford? I'm aware of loan forgiveness programs, but wonder of the certainty of them in the future.
 

shinji

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sidewalkman said:
That's a terrible deal if you consider that the vast majority of MD/PhDs are fully funded + stipend. Not to mention that UCSF's dental program is fully funded + stipend as well. It's better than nothing, but c'mon, no wonder it's difficult to recruit students into faculty positions. If one is going into academics, how much debt can one really afford? I'm aware of loan forgiveness programs, but wonder of the certainty of them in the future.
Most of the time the mentor will pick up the slack and fund you for the last two years in the DDS/PhD program. That's what happen at UCSF.
 

edkNARF

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Penn offers a combined DMD/MSEd program. I know a few people in it, and they ar every satisifed with it. The best thing about the program is that you still graduate in four years, and the MSEd is at not additional cost.
 

Kung Foo

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I'm a 4th year (of seven) in Ohio State's DDS/PhD program. Ours is completely funded with stipend, (the money is totally not a good reason for completely changing your future plans if you really just want to practice dentistry full time)

My goal is to complete a residency combined with a post-doctoral research position and then to be a full time researcher and part-time clinician in some sort of group practice setting. It's a long haul, but hopefully will be worth it in the end.

Back to the original question, if you want to do research professionally, you will need a PhD to run your own lab, or if you plan to do clinical/human stuff a M.S. degree (in a science) would be enough to establish your credability, and probably to obtain independant funding. A specialization would be enough to be a faculty member without further academic degrees (a straight DDS is enough if you want to be stuck as clinical or pre-clinical faculty, but you wouldn't be able to move around if you wanted other responsibilities)

In our program, you apply to the PhD program after you've already been accepted into the DDS program, but I advise you to ask as many questions ahead of time and to be upfront about your goals throughout the process. You'll get more information and it will not be detrimental to your application.

Also, don't be upset if every professor you talk to at a school is not overly enthusiastic about combined training beyond DDS/DMD. A lot of clinically-oriented faculty see it as a pain in their neck becuase it requires flexability beyond the normal pre-doc program , but the people who actually understand any dual programs you are interested in will be much more helpful.

Good luck!

Kung Foo