Jan 27, 2010
61
2
Status
Applying next year, but due to childhood circumstances my teeth are simply F'd up. I may have to take time out to get many extractions/implants/other dental work. Exactly yes or no, and how much time is required, I don't know yet.

Say I am accepted next year, how do I go about navigating the medical deferral process? Do I need just a letter from an doc/dentist?

Thanks.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,917
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Academic Administration
Are you kidding me?? Those are elective procedures and they can be done at any time in the next 21 months without deferring med school. If you don't want to go to medical school in 2012, don't apply in 2011.
 

Kaustikos

Archerize It
10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
12,205
4,164
Always Bespin
Are you kidding me?? Those are elective procedures and they can be done at any time in the next 21 months without deferring med school. If you don't want to go to medical school in 2012, don't apply in 2011.
+1. What on earth..ugh
 
OP
L
Jan 27, 2010
61
2
Status
Well I'm not going to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get dental work unless I need it, and I don't have serious issues YET.

I'm considering full-mouth rehabilitation, which can take a year or more. At least one tooth will be out of service at any time along the entire process, and this will definitely affect my ability to function at all levels: smile, eating, talking etc.

Again, I'm not sure I need all that, so it will be up to a professional's opinion if problems arise in the future. I would just like to be prepared and understand the process so I'm not caught with dental problems AND school problems at the same time.
 
Sep 29, 2009
1,054
25
Cleveland
Status
Medical Student
Well I'm not going to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get dental work unless I need it, and I don't have serious issues YET.

I'm considering full-mouth rehabilitation, which can take a year or more. At least one tooth will be out of service at any time along the entire process, and this will definitely affect my ability to function at all levels: smile, eating, talking etc.

Again, I'm not sure I need all that, so it will be up to a professional's opinion if problems arise in the future. I would just like to be prepared and understand the process so I'm not caught with dental problems AND school problems at the same time.
It sounds like you're getting caught up in a lot of hypotheticals right now. Don't you think that by next June you might have a better idea of whether you'll need these procedures?

But the way I see it, your concern is that you'll apply next year assuming your teeth will be fine for a while, but then your dentist will tell you it's time to spring for the procedure, leaving you with an acceptance and a potentially lengthy dental procedure ahead of you. Honestly? Suck it up and get the procedures done while you're in medical school. (sorry! :oops:) People with young children go to medical school; people in wheelchairs go to medical school; people dealing with tragic family losses go to medical school. You can matriculate with a few sore teeth.
 
OP
L
Jan 27, 2010
61
2
Status
Yeah next June I will have a better idea. I am just asking about the process so I can be proactive if something does come up. I want to be able to fully commit myself in medical school, not be distracted by medical issues (and students shouldn't be, that's the whole point of medical deferral).

My issues are much more serious than a few sore teeth. As a kid my parents never took me to teh dentist (or doctor for that matter). The first time I went to a dentist was when I was living alone in college, at age 18... But this is all personal info, TMI, and not relevant to the topic at hand.

I just want information about the medical deferral process, I don't understand why you guys are so offended by it. It's not some cosmetic Invisalign BS, nor is paying thousands per tooth to get it pulled and replaced with a metal screw in your jaw "fun" in anyway. I would only do it if I had to do it.
 

jadealer

7+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2009
362
1
Status
Yeah next June I will have a better idea. I am just asking about the process so I can be proactive if something does come up. I want to be able to fully commit myself in medical school, not be distracted by medical issues (and students shouldn't be, that's the whole point of medical deferral).

My issues are much more serious than a few sore teeth. As a kid my parents never took me to teh dentist (or doctor for that matter). The first time I went to a dentist was when I was living alone in college, at age 18... But this is all personal info, TMI, and not relevant to the topic at hand.

I just want information about the medical deferral process, I don't understand why you guys are so offended by it. It's not some cosmetic Invisalign BS, nor is paying thousands per tooth to get it pulled and replaced with a metal screw in your jaw "fun" in anyway. I would only do it if I had to do it.
My coworker had an extraction and implantation done, it wasn't that debilitating. The worst was the long wait periods between each procedure as they waited for the gum and bone to heal. Btw, I hope you have alot of pocket change because most insurance plans won't pay for extraction/implant and they can easily run into the $1-2K range per tooth.
 

gravitywave

fourth year
Dec 19, 2009
2,078
9
s/p ERAS
Status
Medical Student
sorry to hear about your situation. i do think you are a bit ahead of yourself here, and i'm afraid the initial incredulity of people's responses here should tell you something about the initial response you are likely to get from medical school administrators.

you need to get a handle on how intense the dental work is going to be. if there's much doubt in your mind, defer the application. i know you are in a hurry to get to medical school - we all were - but there are just so many reasons why it's important to embark on this process only once you are ready. unless you're looking at MCAT expiration, no one's application suffers by waiting one year.
 
OP
L
Jan 27, 2010
61
2
Status
I appreciate the mature responses. Yeah, I could just take a year out to do it and then apply, but if I ended up not needing it, or it only took me 6 months and I did less teeth, then I have to explain to the adcom why I sat out another half year, and it looks like I just wanted a year to get drunk or something.

I realize this is something I will have to carefully present and negotiate with medical schools if it comes to that, but I am just trying to educate myself on the whole process of medical deferral.