carn311

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This is the dumbest question ever...
But I'll ask it anyway. :D

I'm premed, financially strained, married, and malpractice insurance is scaring the heck out of me. I want time with my family and financial security and for those reasons I'm becoming ...disenchanted with medicine. I've just discovered dentistry from the perspective of a career option...

Is there anyone out there that was in my situation, chose dentistry, and is happy today?

Can you share some of your experiences?

Thanks for the indulgence guys...
 

RicDDS

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carn311 said:
This is the dumbest question ever...
But I'll ask it anyway. :D

I'm premed, financially strained, married, and malpractice insurance is scaring the heck out of me. I want time with my family and financial security and for those reasons I'm becoming ...disenchanted with medicine. I've just discovered dentistry from the perspective of a career option...

Is there anyone out there that was in my situation, chose dentistry, and is happy today?

Can you share some of your experiences?

Thanks for the indulgence guys...

you may want to post this in the "dental" forum also in addition to this forum ("pre-dental"). may open up more thoughts/perspectives for you.
 
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carn311

carn311

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True but in the interest of not having one of the threads closed I'll wait a day or so...
 

USUaggie

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I guess I was in a similar situation a long time ago (5 years) as a freshman in college. I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon because I was fascinated by my own knee surgeries (4 and counting). When I returned from an LDS mission in Germany I decided to rethink things and what won me over to dentistry is the fact that I can be my own boss and have all the time with my family that I want. I don't plan on working during school holidays, I'd rather go fishing or do something fun. Also, I'd hate to be at my little boy's T-ball game some evening and have to leave because I was "on call". Little things like that convinced me I'd be happier as a dentist. The only drawback, IMHO, is that I probably won't get the same satisfaction by fixing teeth as I would fixing legs or hearts or kidneys. On the other hand, I won't have to go home after a patient dies and wonder what I could have done better to save them.
 

impuny

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carn311 said:
True but in the interest of not having one of the threads closed I'll wait a day or so...
Lol! Hey, I went to SUNY Albany for 2 years and was in class with the same physics professor! That class was a joke! :laugh: :sleep:
As to your question, I understand where you're coming from and I struggled with much the same dilemma. However, while students on this forum may give you useful advice, I found that talking to both physicians and dentists can help a lot too. If you have the time, I suggest shadowing and talking to a dentist to really get a feel for the field before you make your choice. Also speak to a couple of doctors, preferably younger ones to see how they dealt with the issues you're dealing with.
Of course in the end, it all boils down to you and what you really want to see yourself doing 20 years down the line.
Will you be happier as a physician without much time flexibility and with high malpractice insurance, or as a dentist. Then of course, if you find that you do truly enjoy dentistry then you have no problem. :D
Oh and also, if time flexibility and high malpractice rates are the only things deterring you from becoming a doctor, there are certain specialties where these are less of a problem, like pathology.
So, I suggest you get crackin' on doing the research, shadowing, talking, and soul searching you'll need to make your decision. Good luck man, and long live FOUNTAIN DAY!!!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Ah, good times...
 

dentist_to_be?

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carn311 said:
This is the dumbest question ever...
But I'll ask it anyway. :D

I'm premed, financially strained, married, and malpractice insurance is scaring the heck out of me. I want time with my family and financial security and for those reasons I'm becoming ...disenchanted with medicine. I've just discovered dentistry from the perspective of a career option...

Is there anyone out there that was in my situation, chose dentistry, and is happy today?

Can you share some of your experiences?

Thanks for the indulgence guys...
I was the ultimate med school wannabe... :D Since freshman year, all I talked about was going into med school... Until last year...

I know quite a few people who are residents right now, and they are miserable. Specifically I knew a girl who had to wait until 30 to have kids, cause that when she finished her residency, and then when she started trying... she couldnt. She finally had a kid, but then had to go back to the hospital three months later, now she has to hire a nanny to take care of the baby, while she is at the hospital all day.When she comes home, she is so tired, she hardly has energy left for her baby.

In all honesty, thats not what I wanted my life to be... I want a family someday, I want to be able to enjoy life, and do other things rather than devote all my time and energy to my career... thats what made me rethink doing medical school :D and I dont regret it, because I am so unbeliveably happy with what Im going to be doing... as a profession, I find Dentistry has everything I wanted as a career option, and I cant wait to start Dental School. It will be hard but Im up for the challenge ;) :D

With medical school... I was just dreading everything I would have to deal with, I had a million doubts. Seriously consider all your options... dont become the 30 year old living in regrets... (trust me, I know plenty of them)

Good luck

(ps... sorry for the long post)
 

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carn311 said:
This is the dumbest question ever...
But I'll ask it anyway. :D

I'm premed, financially strained, married, and malpractice insurance is scaring the heck out of me. I want time with my family and financial security and for those reasons I'm becoming ...disenchanted with medicine. I've just discovered dentistry from the perspective of a career option...

Is there anyone out there that was in my situation, chose dentistry, and is happy today?

Can you share some of your experiences?

Thanks for the indulgence guys...



dude, its like this, I have 5 dentists in my family. Not one of them ever works less than 50 hours a week.

I also have a doctor in my family thats a gen prac and he works bout 50 hours a week and makes much more money and has it alot easier in my opinion.

Furthermore, if not having money scares you it costs a hell of a lot more to start a dental practice than a medical practice.

So, maybe you need to talk to some mds and dentists before changing over due to crap in your life.
 

USUaggie

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That's a lot of hours per week, most I know only do 4-day weeks. Everyone's different I guess, but generally speaking more dentists are their own bosses compared to doctors so they can work how ever many hours they want and have a lot more control over how much $ they earn. Obviously if the money is important they'll work more. Doctors typically work for hospitals and don't get to set their schedule. I'm sure there are plenty of doctors out their with cushy lives but I got the impression from speaking with dentists and doctors that the dentists were happier. In the end, your career is what you make of it.
 

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USUaggie said:
That's a lot of hours per week, most I know only do 4-day weeks. Everyone's different I guess, but generally speaking more dentists are their own bosses compared to doctors so they can work how ever many hours they want and have a lot more control over how much $ they earn. Obviously if the money is important they'll work more. Doctors typically work for hospitals and don't get to set their schedule. I'm sure there are plenty of doctors out their with cushy lives but I got the impression from speaking with dentists and doctors that the dentists were happier. In the end, your career is what you make of it.


Well, its like this there seems to be much more opportunity for doctors as they are dealing with the entire body.

Most of the dentists I know are stressed and bored with their jobs as all they do is 'look at teeth.' I say if you dont have a dentist in your family or at least know one personally you need to really look into this more. Its NOT the cush job of a lifetime that all these kids are making it out to be.

Most of your patients are unhappy to even be there. Most of them are also very nervous. AND, most of them do not have dental insurance and want you to do the minimal so they dont have a huge bill.

Thats the life of a dentist.
 

USUaggie

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My grandpa's brother is a dentist, I shadowed him for quite a while. He is by no means rich, but he took a 2&1/2 hour lunch every day that I shadowed him and he loves his job. The other dental professionals I shadowed worked 4 day weeks. It's true that most people hate going to the dentist, but if you go into ortho most people are there because they want to be. (just a thought) Again, if you're in charge of the practice then it's up to you what lifestyle you live. Nobody's going to make me work 50+ hours per week.
 

airvent

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GENERAL TSO said:
Well, its like this there seems to be much more opportunity for doctors as they are dealing with the entire body.
Not really. The Med field is divided quite a bit between specialties as well as between surgical and "medicine" descriptions. So in general one is more likely to be limited to their specialty. I would thinking surgeons have the most interesting jobs, but I’m sure after doing the same procedure 100s of times it may get old too(but that really depends on the personality of the DR.

GENERAL TSO said:
Most of the dentists I know are stressed and bored with their jobs as all they do is 'look at teeth.' I say if you dont have a dentist in your family or at least know one personally you need to really look into this more. Its NOT the cush job of a lifetime that all these kids are making it out to be.
The "all they do is 'look at teeth." argument is nonsense. Dermatologist looks at skin, Optometrists look at eyes, and Psychiatrists listen to people whine. I really don't think that it is possible to define dentistry that simply, there is much more to it than filling cavities. Plus with all the new technology many dentists seem quite excited about their field.

If most MDs have it cushy it is because they do nothing all day. They look at sprained ankles and runny noses. Even DR that are treating serious diseases follow routine protocols. step1---step2---step3--observe---think---step 4 etc. (oversimplified, don't mean to offend, probably too late)

GENERAL TSO said:
Most of your patients are unhappy to even be there. Most of them are also very nervous. AND, most of them do not have dental insurance and want you to do the minimal so they dont have a huge bill.
That's somewhat true. ALthough more and more people what cosmetic dentistry. People pay big bucks for fake boobs, now there are both men and women who want nice teeth, and they don't mind paying out the wahoo for it.
 

Furrball

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If you are only looking at medicine for financial gain, then you are looking at the wrong field. The hours are long. There is a lot of stress. I love medicine, I find out this month where I matched for residency. But I am only here because I like what I am doing.
 

Rezdawg

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Furrball said:
If you are only looking at medicine for financial gain, then you are looking at the wrong field. The hours are long. There is a lot of stress. I love medicine, I find out this month where I matched for residency. But I am only here because I like what I am doing.
Congrats, what did you get matched to?
 

Aero047

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I'm in the same boat you are. I love medicine...dealing with the whole body, you make someones overall life better, you have respect, etc. Although some patients may be a bit hesistant to see you, they still see you as someone you can fix their problems, alleviate their pain. It depends on what you want though: if you're looking for financial reward, there ARE opportunities in medicine to make more money. Example, there's an NY Times article on two brothers - one a GP the other a dentist. The dentist makes roughly 250 thousand a year and lives a better quality of life while the GP is swamped with work and makes roughly the same or even less.
But with medicine, you'll be on call, you'll have to have a minimum of what, 3 years residency to even get into FP or GP. You'll be ~30 years when you're done and running your own practice if you chose to start one. Malpractice insurance are through the roof and is a legitimate concern to go into dentistry.
To become a GP dentist, you don't *have* to go into a residency program (though some do have a 1 year program after you complete dental school). You can begin right away and start making money (~26). You just deal with the mouth, and most of your patients aren't too eager to come and see you. But you are your own boss, have no one to answer to, make loads of money without wasting it on insurance and not be on call. The lifestyle is GREAT and since I want to have children some day, am leaning toward dentistry. Just do something you'll enjoy...good luck.