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military dentistry vs military medicine

Discussion in 'Military Dentistry' started by shamrock2006, May 7, 2007.

  1. shamrock2006

    shamrock2006 5+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Nowhere and Everywhere
    I decided to post this here (please dont move :D ) b/c the military forums..esp. mil. dentistry forum is always dead...If you check out the military medicine threads you will see nothing but guys trashing the hell out of military medicine, the hpsp, etc. Almost treating it as through you are selling your soul to the devil..that the hpsp isn't really a "scholarship" at all, that you actually dont get to see/do anything and it makes you a worse clinician. Even if some (or all) of this is true, does anyone here who has military dental experience have the same feelings? Do you feel that you actually got/are getting little to no valuable experience? Do you think your skills will not be improved once your time is up? Is it as bad as these military med. guys are making it out to be? I'd like to think there'd be a little more stability with the dentists in the military...that there really isn't the need to ship them around as much and put a stop on their progression as clinicians. any thoughts? thanks everyone!
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  3. SquidsLife

    SquidsLife Navy to NiTi 2+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    I believe there are tremendous short term gains doing dentistry in the military (Navy perspective only). You get to build up your speed while developing treatment plans without having to worry about $$ hindering treatment decisions.

    However, I do think you lose a little by staying in longer....too many restrictions on practicing more advanced treatment (implants, full-mouth rehab, grafts, etc...) and the more senior you get, the more admin you have to do...ugh!

    I hear the same complaints from some of the medical guys down the hall.....the medical guys get a little more short changed than dental when it comes to practicing your craft. But actually, I also hear a lot of positives.....some of them are pretty happy..doing things they wouldn't normally do....flight surgeons (have to get the monthly flight time..sometimes in an F-18!!), ship board medicine, combat medicine.

    It's all perspective and expectations I suppose and I definately view my handful of years in the Navy as a plus.....but it's time to move on!
  4. aphistis

    aphistis Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2003
    hSDN Member
    I'm moving it for the sake of housekeeping, but I'll leave a redirect in the dental forum.
  5. MaxAnn

    MaxAnn 10+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2006
    I can understand why military physicians would say those things, but I disagree with a great deal in this post.

    Really, saying that the hpsp isn't a scholarship is not true at all. Even if you borrow money while on hpsp, it will be significantly lower than what you would have had to borrow without it. The only people who want you to believe that the hpsp isn't a scholarship is Sallie Mae etc. which is why the student loan services is a billion dollar industry.

    I agree with Squids: There are great short term gains in that you are given the environment to increase your skills before having to deal with the real world. A lot of associates who come right out of school are really "slow" clinically and thus don't make enough to deal with those aformentioned student loans, buy a decent home, car, etc.

    It is not as easy as people think to come out dental school and start making big money. It takes time to accrue skill and build a client base all the time you have debtors breathing down your neck.

    Most of the dentists I see in private practice are still paying off loans some 15years out of dental school, and I have never been comfortable with that sort of debt.

    The military isn't for everyone, but living off of credit for years isn't for everyone either. You have to make the decision that is best for you, and let those who want out get out and move on with their lives.

    No one who is complaining on either of these boards will help you pay those loans or gain clinical skill. That will be all on the individual.

    Lastly, I don't think the military dental forum is dead at all. There is great deal of nonsense posting on the predental and dental forums further proving that is easy to talk a lot and say nothing. I would make the point that more of the posting in the military forum, while not as voluminous is more productive (e.g. quality vs. quantity). Having posted on all three of the forums, I can say that mood here has a great deal more comrarderie.

    Just my two cents.
  6. shamrock2006

    shamrock2006 5+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Nowhere and Everywhere
    thanks for the responses....when i said the military forum is dead i just meant you dont really get the quick respones that you do in the others, but yes a lot of the info you get in those responses is pretty useless and comes from people who dont know much about what they are saying. I know i've been making a bunch of posts lately about this..and i think its b/c i was second guessing myself. but after getting info from people on here, and having lunch w/ my dentist yesterday (he went navy for 2 yrs) really has made me feel a lot better about my decision. I think that people just hear "military" and cringe...b/c they think a.) they're going to war and b.) that you can come right out dschool making so much you can start livnig a rock star lifestyle immediately...and according to my dentist, "thats bullsh*t" :laugh: He said it himself he cant imagine starting a fresh dschool grad at more than 100k...that they are a liability...and paying off debt in less than 4 yrs? maybe only if you move back home w/ mommy and daddy after school and have no other expenses (as Maxann so kindly pointed out). I mean he wanted me to come right out and work for him after school and slowly move out so I could take over...but I wanted to better myself clinically, and also servce my time in the armed forces...maybe he still wont be there in 8 yrs. but I think there are many dentists who would be happy to work w/ someone who has served in the military as a dentist. Plus, my dentist made a good point, that maybe ur not making a buttload of $$ in military...but you get many allowances to help you survive plus ur base its pretty easy to save. by the time you get can have some $$ money put towards retirment or even saved up for your "future practice fund". I'm feeling a lot better now! thanks everyone!....oh, and aphistis...dont worry about moving i'm glad you did..i think i'd get more quality responses here anyway..but thanks for the consideration!

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