Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Hawkeye, Feb 29, 2000.

  1. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Senior Member

    Sep 30, 1999
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    Hello all I hope that I can get some response to my current problem. I am currently a "pre-med" at the University of Iowa (notice the quotations). I have always seemed to have a passion for medicine, but lately I am second-guessing my career path. I am all stressed out over grades, upcoming midterms, and how it is effecting my personal life, or should I say lack of a personal life. I know that dental isn't easy by any means, but from what I have read/heard it is a little easier to gain admission to dental school. My family doctor recently told me if he had to do it all again he would have went the dental route. Less stress, work his own hours, no HMOs, etc. That has got me thinking about my future. Am I alone? Does anyone have an information about career benefits, admission, etc? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all in advance!

    Go Hawkeyes
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  3. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Resident [Any Field]
    Yes, Dentistry is easier than medicine in terms of lifestyle. You will probably make about the same as an FP or Internist and work your own hours (for now).

    However the future of dentistry may change. DDSs aren't entirely immune to HMO-type arrangment, and depending on how much steam it develops, DDSs may soon face organizations much like HMOs.

    Would you really be happy doing dental work? Is that something to which you can devote the rest of your life?

    Dentistry may seem attractive now, but think about your long term interests. Where do you want to be 30 years from now? What kind of work do you want?

    Tim of New York City.
  4. nontradstudent

    Oct 19, 1999
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    I thought about this myself not long ago, and I agree with turtleboard. You have to think about what you'd like to do 20-30 years from now, but please remember that dental schools seem a little bit easier, but also competitive.
  5. Robb1818

    Robb1818 Member

    Jan 30, 2000
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    Hi Hawkeye,

    What makes you think that going the pre-dental route will be any easier?? Sure there are less applicants to schools...but there are far less schools. I have numerous friends who are either pre-dental or dental students and believe me...they stressed out just as much as you are now. Basically you need the same things to get into dental school as you do med school. GPA, volunteer work, dedication to dentistry (do you have this?), and good DAT scores...speaking of which...have you taken the MCAT yet? I hope not. From what i've heard the dental schools don't like that. They want someone who's dedicated to dentistry and not someone who couldn't get into med school.

    I'm sure it is an easier lifestyle once school is finished in four year, if you don't decide to specialize. But as far as the curriculum in dental school...from what my friends have showed me, I definately wouldn't want to go through it. It's not easy by any means (plus how intersting are teeth anyway?) but they still have to do the same basic sciences in addition to all their dental carvings and stuff.

    My advice is to stop stressing out, figure out what you want to do, and go for it. Don't second guess...that's where you run into difficulties.

    Good luck in your decision.


    Carpe Diem

  6. DentalDi

    DentalDi Member

    Sep 16, 1999
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    You're smart to think about these things now before you get locked into a profession you're not happy with. When I was in junior high and high school, I was interested in medicine. However, when I stopped and thought about things (in college), I realized it wasn't the right place for me. It took me a while to get here, but I know that dentistry is where I belong. I'm VERY glad now that I didn't just blindly continue the pre-med thing.

    I've posted a few things on the med vs dental debate--check popoman's post in pre-med (allo) on medical vs dental.

    Part of the reason dentistry appeals to me is that it seems to allow for more of a personal life than medicine. But as others have noted, you also have to be happy doing dental things. How good is your manual dexterity? Do you want to "DO" more things, or do you want to focus more on the thought process? I have friends who are dental residents and have talked to them, seen their case presentations, observed in dental clinics, etc, so I have a reasonable idea of what dentistry entails. I love working with my hands and also love interacting w/people. In a nutshell, that's "why dentistry" for me. Try shadowing a dentist and a physician. Hopefully those experiences (and a bit of self-examination) will help to clarify what you really want!

    As for dentistry and HMO's (or actually DMO's)...they already exist. Who knows what's going to happen there. I wouldn't base my decision completely on this. I just think it helps to realize what MAY affect your future practice, although no one has a crystal ball (and if you do, come out, come out!) [​IMG]

    Happy explorations...

    [This message has been edited by DentalDi (edited 03-07-2000).]
  7. rebe13

    rebe13 Junior Member

    Nov 19, 1999
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    My father is a dentist and hates it because of all of the stress. In fact, he is getting raedy to retire at age 48 because he can't handle the stress anymore. Although HMOs may not play a huge part in his business (he has a private practice), medicaid does. Believe me, it is quite a headache to deal with. I worked there for the summer and was up to my eyeballs in paperwork.
    Don't choose dental if you don't have a passion for it. My father never really wanted to be a dentist and regrets everyday of it. That does not mean that being a dentist is bad, but like with every profession, you should choose one you have a passion for. I mean, you will be doing this for the rest of your life. Do you really want to settle?
    I hope this helps. Dentistry is great, but don't get into a stressful career that you don't really want. The same for the medical profession.

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