1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, be sure to check out How To Get Into Dental School, our free downloadable PDF with step-by-step details for dental school applicants!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Lifestyle differences

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Atlas, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    What would you say to a person trying to decide between medicine (MD/DO) and dental medicine regarding the lifestyle during/after dental school? How does it compare? Are the residency programs as harsh as the ones medical doctors go through with respect to working hours? What's the quality of life like for dental students and dental practitioners?

    Thanks
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. waiting

    waiting Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    atlas,

    Well, I think I'm well-suited to respond to this one.....you see, I went to med school for two years after college but then withdrew to pursue my initial love of dentistry. Much of this was based on lifestyle issues. Here's my 2 cents:

    During school: As far as the "basic science" years go (i.e., first two years), dental school is just as intense if not MORE SO than med school (I've got buddies in dental and used to compare my med studies w/them). Dental students take essentially the same science classes as med students (and, at some schools, actually take it w/them, eg Columbia). Yes, some of the classes are condensed/more focused than the med school versions, but you have to remember that dental students have LOTS of additional laboratory courses and hours added on top of it all. So basically, life sucks for those 2 yrs. During the clinical years though (final 2), dental students are better off as they don't get "abused" as much as med students do in the hospital. One thing I hated about medicine was its very heirarchical nature and rigid, almost 'caste-like' system. It's gotten better, but when you're a third yr. med student out on the wards you're basically at your residents whim (although there are plenty of cool residents who aren't so anal). For dental students, clinics are more of an 8-5 sort of deal w/no "call" really (in general) or reporting to the hospital at 5 in the morning. Plus, you're viewed more as a future colleague rather than incompetent trainee....As for residency, w/the exception of oral surg. all of the dental specialties are much shorter than med ones. And they're not nearly as intense as far as hours go. Again, I'm tallking overall and not looking at fields like psych or family practice.

    As for when you're out and practicing....Dentists enjoy a MUCH better lifestyle in my opinion. Unless you're an oral surgeon, I've yet to hear of a dentist who works more than 36 hrs. a week, with most of the ones I've met working only 4 days/wk, and this includes specialists. Again, you could go into psych or something and have a pretty chill schedule, but w/the vast majority of medical specialties you'll be working at a LOT more hours than that. Plus, you'll be on a call schedule of at least q7 or something. I was working with a pediatrician for the last two years and she worked 4 days/wk from 9-6 and then was also on call every other weekend (and always got called in numerous times). With dentistry, you also enjoy much more autonomy and have less HMO bureacracy crap to deal with it (although it's creeping in...). Plus, salary wise dentists make as much, if not more than, most physicians. Sure, a cardiac surgeon or radiologist can easily rake in 300-400+ soon after residency, but they also spent many more years finishing their programs and will be working many more hours. For me, making 200 or so per year down the line but only working 30-35 hrs. per week and having time for a life outside of dentistry is much more important. Plus, I'll still have the gratification of knowing that I'm making a difference in peoples' lives....

    Honestly, many of med school classmates secretly tell me that they're jealous of my choice to switch to dentistry considering the lifestyle differences they're becoming aware of. Not to say that this should be your only factor of course...I'm sure there are just as many disgruntled dentists out there as there are residents and physicians. But if you're truly interested in dentistry and want to have a better shot at a well-balnced life and minimize burn-out potential, I'd stick with the DDS/DMD! I'd be happy to talk to you about this in more detail if you want, I only scratched the surface here and could go on forever w/specific details.....

    hope this helps! :)
     
  4. RacerDude2249

    RacerDude2249 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Waiting for all that advice...

    Very nice to read... :D
     
  5. Dr. Pedo

    Dr. Pedo Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2001
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    3
    Waiting,

    extremely interesting! I would like to hear more of your view points. You have a great story/experience----share them.

    R.R.B
     
  6. RacerDude2249

    RacerDude2249 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah Waiting,

    Please share some more info....I want the juicy details... :D

    Racerdude
     
  7. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Waiting,

    That was an excellent post! You really got my engine "revvin" with your motivational explanation. I'd love to learn more about anything associated with dentistry! I totally agree with everything you said in your post, too. Lifestyle wise, it seems there is no comparison after year 2 of school. Dentists, obviously, have it way better than doctors when it comes to lifestyle! Thanks for the informative post! I sincerely appreciate it! Also, I'd appreciate any further knowledge you care to share about dentistry now that you've caught my interest! Thanks again!

    Atlas
     
  8. waiting

    waiting Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow....i'm glad you guys enjoyed my rambling dissertation! thanks for all the nice replies...I'll get some more thoughts together and share them soon....in the meantime, i'll keep you 'waiting' (sorry, i'm prone to bad puns... :)
     
  9. ella

    ella New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Waiting

    Is specializing something difficult to get in to? ex. endo or ortho

    I was looking into this and read that you have to rank in the top 5% of your class to be considered! Furthermore, UIC only takes about 5 students (from all over) for the endo program.

    Any info on these matters would be greatly appreciated! :D
     
  10. waiting

    waiting Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey,

    well, i'm just applying now to dental school myself, so I don't have concrete experience on residency and stuff....but from what I've read on posts here and heard from the dentists I've worked with, endo is apparently the toughest specialty to enter right now. Ortho, OMS, and perio are all right up there too....yes, I've also been told that you need to be in the top 10% of your class and have good research exp. too.....so i guess getting into school will be the easy part before hell begins! I'm looking at endo or oms myself....
     
  11. stdent9972

    stdent9972 Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2001
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd like to add that if you would like to live NYC/ LA, that dentistry can be difficult to practice there, due to competition and costs of doing business. If you would like to live in one of these cities, it may be difficult to get established. However, this is probably also the case for MD's to a lesser extent.
     

Share This Page