Feb 4, 2010
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Hey guys, my fiancé and I were deciding between dentistry and medicine. http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=698397 Here is an update to our situation and I have a few questions that I hope you guys can answer.
Each of us has shadowed dentists for about 40 hours now. Both of us are leaning toward dentistry.

Two new aspects that I discovered in dentistry that I really like are:

1. The fast pace. I have see a dentist work on 4 chairs + 2 hygienist at the same time!
2. Immediate solution. Almost every problem in dentistry can be solved in a few visits, where as in medicine it takes months after months and the problem still may not be solved.

My parents are pushing me toward medicine and we have to decide which way to go by this Tuesday! L My parents want me to go in medicine for basically three reasons:

1. Job security. Even though both fields are pretty security, medicine is much better during economic recession.
2. Doctors are more respected than dentists (I don't necessarily agree or care). My parents are Chinese and in Chinese culture doctor is much much more revered than dentist.
3. I already got everything I need for med school it would be almost a "Waste" to go in dentistry (interestingly I was actually told this by a dental office manager as well). But again, I don't care about this at all.

I basically have four questions:

1. Most dentist work 4 days a week. Is it because they don't want to work more or is it because patient population can only support 4 days?
2. With all the corporate dentistry going on, is it becoming increasingly difficult for a new graduate to start their own practice?
3. Is volunteering in dental setting that important? I cannot find a volunteering position for the life of me…
4. How does insurance work in dental. Is it usually close full coverage and you get reimbursed whatever insurance says they are paying.. or does insurance pay certain amount and patient covers the rest?
The first 2 questions are the most important. I have asked all the dentists that I shadowed. I want to ask you guys so I can get a larger sample.
 

ibo man

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Do what your parent's want. At least you have somebody to blame if it dosen't workout for you. :D
 

Andrew324

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2. Immediate solution. Almost every problem in dentistry can be solved in a few visits, where as in medicine it takes months after months and the problem still may not be solved.
Nope

3. I already got everything I need for med school it would be almost a “Waste” to go in dentistry (interestingly I was actually told this by a dental office manager as well). But again, I don’t care about this at all.
What does this one even mean? You took all the needed classes for Med school? They are the same
I basically have four questions:

1. Most dentist work 4 days a week. Is it because they don’t want to work more or is it because patient population can only support 4 days?
Depends on many things but overall its because they do not want to
2. With all the corporate dentistry going on, is it becoming increasingly difficult for a new graduate to start their own practice?
No
3. Is volunteering in dental setting that important? I cannot find a volunteering position for the life of me…
For your app? No but it will help, and if you cant find one look harder
This is a noob post
 
Mar 12, 2010
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I think it's just something you know after shadowing both professions. You should ask the 4 days/week question in the "dental" forum. You should probably set up an appt. to speak with a dentist that can answer these questions for you, they all deal with experience in the dental field.
 

Ostracized

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I think it's just something you know after shadowing both professions. You should ask the 4 days/week question in the "dental" forum.
It could be because they aren't busy or it could be because they are busy enough.

Lifestyle and income of a dentist is highly variable, with some doing really well and some doing pretty poorly. Geography is a major factor there. It seems to me that MDs are more immune to geographical issues and 'over-saturation' than are dentists.
 

SugarNaCl

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If you want my honest opinion, take a year off. This is NOT a decision that should be made in 3 days! It is the rest of your life. That is ridiculous! I'd hope my MD or DDS would be a bit less spontaneous and think about things a bit more before jumping around like some kind of confused monkey. Take your time.

I chose dentistry. Some of my friends chose medicine. You could not pay me enough now to go into medicine with all of this "threat" of universal healthcare. You may have job security...and end up making $50K per year pretty soon for 60 hours of work per week struggling to pay off student loans. I liked the autonomy of dentistry. Medicine just doesnt have that. MDs don't have control. They ARE controlled, even in what they can prescribe. It's sad. If it were different, I think more people would go into medicine. Yeah, it does hold more 'status' to say you are an MD (not so much a DO, also sadly)... but is that all you are going for here? If so, I feel kind of bad for you. Do what YOU want.
 

MusicJunkie

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1. Most dentist work 4 days a week. Is it because they don’t want to work more or is it because patient population can only support 4 days?
The dentists and orthodontists I've shadowed spend four days seeing patients, and then use the 5th day to attend to the needs of the business.
The orthodontist I shadowed told me that he spends as much time in office on that 5th day as he does any other day.