Med school applicant thinking about applying to Dental school... some Q's

goldsummer

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First, I've always been interested in both becoming a dentist and physician. Im pursuing physician first because my scope of practice would be larger. Dental is a close second for me though.

In the event I don't get into med school, I want to know if becoming a dentist is a viable option for me. Any info would be great and also I have some Q's if anyone has an answer to any of these:

- Will my volunteer experience at a hospice and 2 research projects I've been a part of be completely irrelevent to the dental application process?

- Will being a former med applicant hurt me/require explanation to adcoms?

- How many dentists/hours of shadowing will I need?

- I currently work in a hospital as a lab tech. Will this help my chances?

- What does a well-rounded dental applicant have in terms of GPA/EC's/experiences...

- How similar/dissimilar is the DAT to the MCAT.

I have a 3.7 sGPA and 3.6 cGPA. Took MCAT twice, scored in lower 20's both times

Thanks.
 
Jul 21, 2012
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If you are worried about not getting into ANY medical school... It is probably best not to waist your money applying to dental school. You are much more likely to find a med school to get into than a dental school.

:luck:
 

doc toothache

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Every husband/wife's dream is to hear that he/she was not first choice.
 
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goldsummer

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If I don't get into any med school, I will without a doubt be applying to dental school. Whether or not I should wasn't my question. Though I'm prepared for the naysayers. Ye shant phase moi.

I do have a good chance, just might have to build up the appropriate experiences/qualifications first, and advice on that was more of what I'm inquiring about.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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I think what everyone is hinting at is if you can't get into ANY medical school then you have bigger concerns. Getting into dental school isn't much easier IMO. The average GPA's are around the same at percentage of applicants accepted are around the same.

If you were targeting three med schools and didn't want to go anywhere else, may I would understand. But if you're applying to 15-20 med schools and not getting in anywhere, I would re-evaluate things
 
Jan 23, 2011
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I would say follow your dreams... If you want to go to med school then make it happen. Don't settle for second place.
 

periopocket

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You should deff be able to get into DO school with those stats....you meds who decided to do a last minute switch into dental will regret it your entire lives...this is an epidemic!
 
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goldsummer

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I think what everyone is hinting at is if you can't get into ANY medical school then you have bigger concerns. Getting into dental school isn't much easier IMO. The average GPA's are around the same at percentage of applicants accepted are around the same.

If you were targeting three med schools and didn't want to go anywhere else, may I would understand. But if you're applying to 15-20 med schools and not getting in anywhere, I would re-evaluate things
Well I guess then the biggest question I have then is how similar the MCAT is to the DAT?

The only weak point in my application for med school is my MCAT. My score was in fact horrible by med school standards, yet I still got interviews and am currently on waitlists. Though a low MCAT is a good enough reason for adcoms to deny an applicant as they have reputations,etc to uphold. I have the knowledge down, i get tripped up by the trick-based questions.

Assuming I can't do any better on the MCAT and thus do not get in, I'm wondering if the DAT would give me similar issues, or if its a more straight forward test.

Im not considering dental because I think its a lot easier. i should have made that distinction. it will be hard work. but i go hard in everything i do =D
 
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goldsummer

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I would say follow your dreams... If you want to go to med school then make it happen. Don't settle for second place.

True. Yet being almost 30 and in the midst of my 2nd try at medical schools, I know I should avoid playing this game for too much longer as I'm ready to get started with a career I can enjoy.

If I fail this time, I will try a 3rd time, but I want to start building up a strong application for dental schools in case the 3rd times a fail as well. This way I can try for dental schools for my "4th" attempt.

and again, I don't view the dental field as a lesser field to medicine or easy. Its just my second favorite career. If I wanted to just get in somewhere easy while make a good salary and calling myself doctor, there are options out there...
 

bambam92

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Those MCAT scores are pretty low. Allopathic is out of the question, and even DO would be a reach. I wouldn't plan on using dentistry as a fall back-it is basically as competitive as med school. Your GPA is solid. Maybe you just didn't study enough for the MCAT, 3 months is usually a good start. Good luck!
 
Feb 7, 2012
223
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I am in the same boat as you only the other way around, if dental doesnt work than I will put my energy during my gap year into med shadowing and mcat. Your volunteer should be good because it is general, shadow a dentist and get those hours up. I have heard that the mcat bio and chems are same as DAT more or less. The pat is something you haven't ever seen before and there isn't any physics! Your gpa is excellent and will get you into a dental school. If I were you I would shadow both the MDs and dentist, so some more dental related volunteer and in your P.S to dental explain why you decided to switch and hope for the best! Good luck buddy!
 
Jan 10, 2012
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If you divide 22 by 1.5, then you get 14.7. (I did this because the MCAT is out of 45 and the DAT is out of 30.) I know this isn't exactly scientific, but it does give general ballpark. (For example, my med school friends were shooting for 30 minimums, and dental school students shoot for 20, so it seem close enough.)

Basically, if your DAT is a 14 or 15, you haven't even got a snowball's chance in hell of getting into dental school.

Look, what everyone's telling you is that if you can't get into med school, you probably aren't going to get into dental school. None of us can look into a crystal ball and see the future, but it's not like getting into dental school is significantly easier. There may be fewer applicants but there are also fewer schools, and no DO programs as a backup.

Might want to consider a different "backup" career. Have you thought about becoming a PA?
 

Ferneezy

I don't always Go Blue, but when I do...
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if dental doesnt work than I will put my energy during my gap year into med shadowing and mcat.
you're trying to drive to your girlfriend's place (or boyfriend's...i don't judge). as soon as you start the car you discover it has four flats. imagine the odds.

now, instead of refilling the air or replacing the tires before continuing on your journey...you decide to rebuild a whole new car, tires and all.

why?
 
Jan 10, 2012
186
2
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Pre-Dental
you're trying to drive to your girlfriend's place (or boyfriend's...i don't judge). as soon as you start the car you discover it has four flats. imagine the odds.

now, instead of refilling the air or replacing the tires before continuing on your journey...you decide to rebuild a whole new car, tires and all.

why?
Posts like this make me wish there was a "like" button on SDN.
 

UCSFx2017

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I don't think you'll like dentistry. If you check out DentalTown forum you'll find a bunch of dentists who didn't like dentistry in the first place and say they regret going to dentistry without knowing how often people say they hate the dentist, how they have to deal with uncooperative patients/staff, how they have back problems, how they stress about the business side of dentistry even after closing time, and how they want to leave work as soon as possible and retire early.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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Getting a 20 - 25 on the MCAT is between the 20th and 45th percentile, which can be converted to a 15 or 16 on the DAT. Also, your GPA is more or less average in terms of matriculating dental students. If you can score above the 80th percentile on the DAT, you have a shot. The two tests are more similar than they are dissimilar (plus perceptual, minus physics and writing), so you need to completely change your preparation or change your career goals. Not trying to be condescending, but I am just giving you an honest answer.
 

dentalWorks

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answers = blue

First, I've always been interested in both becoming a dentist and physician. Im pursuing physician first because my scope of practice would be larger. Dental is a close second for me though.

In the event I don't get into med school, I want to know if becoming a dentist is a viable option for me. Any info would be great and also I have some Q's if anyone has an answer to any of these:

- Will my volunteer experience at a hospice and 2 research projects I've been a part of be completely irrelevent to the dental application process?
nope... matter of fact, I also had 2 years of hospital volunteer (zero relation to dentistry). No problem whatsoever.

- Will being a former med applicant hurt me/require explanation to adcoms?
Doubt it... if you convey your reasons well enough as to why you got a sudden change of heart... you should be fine. Applying to a non-dental school before dental school is not a death sentence. Adcoms understand many 20 year olds change their minds often. Explain yourself (incase they ask).

- How many dentists/hours of shadowing will I need?
50-100 is good for most schools

- I currently work in a hospital as a lab tech. Will this help my chances?
nope

- What does a well-rounded dental applicant have in terms of GPA/EC's/experiences...
3.5+ GPA and science GPA along with 19+ DAT... this is 95% of ur application

- How similar/dissimilar is the DAT to the MCAT.
zero similarities. Simply put, MCAT is a more challenging exam esspecially if ur the type of person whom hates application type problem solving.

I have a 3.7 sGPA and 3.6 cGPA. Took MCAT twice, scored in lower 20's both times

Thanks.
 
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goldsummer

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I don't think you'll like dentistry. If you check out DentalTown forum you'll find a bunch of dentists who didn't like dentistry in the first place and say they regret going to dentistry without knowing how often people say they hate the dentist, how they have to deal with uncooperative patients/staff, how they have back problems, how they stress about the business side of dentistry even after closing time, and how they want to leave work as soon as possible and retire early.
Well thats the beauty of this, you don't have to think I'll like it :p

I know I'd like it. Ever since I was a kid, I loved going to the dentist. Love having my mouth worked on. I also have this weird thing where I like to scrape crap off of people's teeth. I've never filled a cavity but that sounds fun too. There will be problems with any career, especially if just settle.

Before I applied anywhere, I actually looked into the MD/DMD and DO/DMD dual degree programs. I didnt have the GPA or MCAT for it though. Also, the debt would have been like 400-500k....
 
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goldsummer

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I am in the same boat as you only the other way around, if dental doesnt work than I will put my energy during my gap year into med shadowing and mcat. Your volunteer should be good because it is general, shadow a dentist and get those hours up. I have heard that the mcat bio and chems are same as DAT more or less. The pat is something you haven't ever seen before and there isn't any physics! Your gpa is excellent and will get you into a dental school. If I were you I would shadow both the MDs and dentist, so some more dental related volunteer and in your P.S to dental explain why you decided to switch and hope for the best! Good luck buddy!
thanks, goodluck to you too =]
 
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goldsummer

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answers = blue
Thanks a lot.

Interesting how some people say MCAT and DAT are very similar and others that say theyre not similar at all. Not sure what to think.

Also not sure why people are estimating my DAT score based off my MCAT score lol

If the DAT is more straightforward knowledge with less trickery, I will do well on it.
However, If doing well on the DAT requires the ability to answer trick questions and be able to speed read 18th century italian literature then i may be in the same boat I am now.
 

wcombs

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Just pursue dentistry. It's cooler than medicine anyway (personal bias here). You get to work with your hands and use power tools, and yes, scrape gunk off of peoples teeth. DAT is easier than MCAT as much as many of us hate to admit it. The subjects are similar but for the DAT you'll just be regurgitating facts, not reading a passage and applying that information. Just find a good breakdown and go hard at it. I have always been pre-dental and I worked at a hospital. It doesn't matter that it's not dental related, they just want to see you enjoy helping people. Good luck!
 

hellopeople

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Lots of ppl here seem to think you will have trouble getting into dental school if you couldnt get into med school. GPA wise that might be true, but if your prob was the MCAT, no worries. The DAT has no trick questions. If you actually prep for it, you should absolutely kill it. That is assuming youre telling the truth about having the material down. The test is all recall, without any assimilation of information required. Make sure to practice the PAT though. Its definately a little different.



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Mar 18, 2012
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Lots of ppl here seem to think you will have trouble getting into dental school if you couldnt get into med school. GPA wise that might be true, but if your prob was the MCAT, no worries. The DAT has no trick questions. If you actually prep for it, you should absolutely kill it. That is assuming youre telling the truth about having the material down. The test is all recall, without any assimilation of information required. Make sure to practice the PAT though. Its definately a little different.



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I agree. I don't understand why people say that the tests are comparable. I have seen both tests (I took a practice MCAT myself and I assisted with the practice MCAT tests that my girlfriend took; I also took the DAT three times) and though they may share some similarities with the material that they test, ultimately, they are dissimilar. The MCAT is more applicable where as the DAT requires more recollection than anything. Do not be discouraged by what people say here. What you can do is go to your local college bookstore and check out the study materials for the DAT and see for yourself some examples of what/how questions are asked and structured. Good luck!
 
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timmytim

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judging from your 2 mcat scores i think you are either stupid or lazy

also dentistry isnt all about the fixing teeth

so saying that you WILL like dentistry simply based on your dental experience as a patient tells me that you are immature

stupidity and lack of maturity itself is good enough reasons for dschools to reject you

you need to grow up first

i think you are just trying to please your overbearing parents
 
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judging from your 2 mcat scores i think you are either stupid or lazy

also dentistry isnt all about the fixing teeth

so saying that you WILL like dentistry simply based on your dental experience as a patient tells me that you are immature

stupidity and lack of maturity itself is good enough reasons for dschools to reject you

you need to grow up first

i think you are just trying to please your overbearing parents
rough night at the bars?
 

dentalWorks

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judging from your 2 mcat scores i think you are either stupid or lazy

also dentistry isnt all about the fixing teeth

so saying that you WILL like dentistry simply based on your dental experience as a patient tells me that you are immature

stupidity and lack of maturity itself is good enough reasons for dschools to reject you

you need to grow up first

i think you are just trying to please your overbearing parents
little judgmental are we....
I sure hope you show this type of attitude in ur interviews
 

Surive123

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Lots of ppl here seem to think you will have trouble getting into dental school if you couldnt get into med school. GPA wise that might be true, but if your prob was the MCAT, no worries. The DAT has no trick questions. If you actually prep for it, you should absolutely kill it. That is assuming youre telling the truth about having the material down. The test is all recall, without any assimilation of information required. Make sure to practice the PAT though. Its definately a little different.



Sent from my LG-MS690 using Tapatalk
My bio, Ochem, RC, and QR section would disagree.
 

wo5678

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I applied to both dental school and med school, and I have to say that dental school and the DAT is hard too. But it is not exact in terms of percentile.

I scored 95th percentile on the MCAT and 99.9th percentile on the DAT. But then again, I couldn't sleep the night before the MCAT and I was crying on the car ride to the test saying, "I don't want to be a doctor, please don't force me". So that might have something do with the percentile disparity. lol.

If you want to see exactly how different the two test are, why don't you go to a book store and look at some study books? lol.

Also, what helped me get into dental school easier is how they calculated the GPA. I had alot of W's and med school treated them like F's and they got averaged into my GPA. But dental schools, they just over looked them. And I had alot of A+'s, med schools counted them as 4.0's and dental school counted them as 4.33. So if you have any W's or A+'s, dental school might look at your GPA in better light.

Good luck making your choice. At the end of the day, you should do what you love. It is the rest of your life.
 
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Glimmer1991

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I have a friend with above average intelligence (not a genius) who studied for the MCAT for TEN DAYS and made a 32. Granted, this person did study 12 hours each of those days, but still. Furthermore, this person had a GPA of what I'm guessing to be around a 3.7. I'm not very knowledgeable about the MCAT, but with hard work and determination, surely you could do better. (I'm reading over this and it sounds harsh. I don't want it to be too harsh, but really, if you think you can make it through med school, surely you can prepare for one test.)

I just wouldn't bank on dental schools being an easy back up plan. There are fewer dental schools than medical schools, and the GPAs of accepted students aren't that much lower. I have extremely high numbers (GPA- and DAT-wise) and know my acceptance isn't guaranteed in ANY way to my top schools.

Like the above analogy, I would try my absolute hardest to fix the one thing you seem to be lacking for med school instead of starting COMPLETELY over and going the dental route.
 

wo5678

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did you end up getting LORs from different people for each respective application? seems daunting!
yes. I had alot of LOR's. lol. It was quite the long journey to finally go to dental school!
 

timmytim

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little judgmental are we....
I sure hope you show this type of attitude in ur interviews
im just being real to a failed pre-med applicant without all the fluffy false encouragments

btw making a judgmental comment to a judgmental person makes you judgmental too

i guess we're pretty much the same
 

dentalWorks

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im just being real to a failed pre-med applicant without all the fluffy false encouragments

btw making a judgmental comment to a judgmental person makes you judgmental too

i guess we're pretty much the same
yeh ur not judgmental.
 

timmytim

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[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObOXkQjOvJw[/YOUTUBE]

@wcombs

nah dude this is me
 

rullom

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You idiots make me sick...probably 30% of the dental applicants are those like you.. I only read the first 5 posts and ive had enough. First of all do you even know why you want to go to med school or is it cuz your parents want you to or because of the money. Do the world a favour and dont be anything that has Dr. in the title because you will be nothing but a problem for everyone that you treat. The reason dental applicants have sky rocketed in the last 10 years is because the med failees realized there was a back door to make some decent money with the same DR title. I could write you an essay here but you know where I am going....and no if you are scoring low 20s on the MCAT then you don't have the academic competence to get into dental school because you will get low 10s on the DAT !!!!!!
 

Cello

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A 3.7 GPA, and 3.6 sGPA with 2 years volunteering and research and this is your second attempt at med school? What happened the first time around? Whatever weakness you had there, maybe look hard at that for your dental school app, read: study hard for the DAT and don't blow it!
 

dentalWorks

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A 3.7 GPA, and 3.6 sGPA with 2 years volunteering and research and this is your second attempt at med school? What happened the first time around? Whatever weakness you had there, maybe look hard at that for your dental school app, read: study hard for the DAT and don't blow it!
hes having a hard time getting into med school because of the low 20s MCAT (I don't like to compare DAT & MCAT scores... but think someone with a 15 DAT, they'll have a hard time getting anywhere too)

The OP is trying to test his luck with a different exam and possibly change career options.
 

Medstart108

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Mar 24, 2012
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First, I've always been interested in both becoming a dentist and physician. Im pursuing physician first because my scope of practice would be larger. Dental is a close second for me though.

In the event I don't get into med school, I want to know if becoming a dentist is a viable option for me. Any info would be great and also I have some Q's if anyone has an answer to any of these:

- Will my volunteer experience at a hospice and 2 research projects I've been a part of be completely irrelevent to the dental application process?

- Will being a former med applicant hurt me/require explanation to adcoms?

- How many dentists/hours of shadowing will I need?

- I currently work in a hospital as a lab tech. Will this help my chances?

- What does a well-rounded dental applicant have in terms of GPA/EC's/experiences...

- How similar/dissimilar is the DAT to the MCAT.

I have a 3.7 sGPA and 3.6 cGPA. Took MCAT twice, scored in lower 20's both times

Thanks.
Lower 20 MCATs? You wont' get into med school or dental school (assuming you score similar on the DAT) and idk know about DO school even. Caribbean or better MCAT.