DMD-2-B

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Hey Folks,

I'll be an incoming D1 this fall, and am the mother of a 1 yr old.

Specializing seems so far like something I would like to to do, but I don't know how realistic it is to think I'll be able to achieve any of the competitive specialties (i.e. Ortho).

Are there any dental-student moms out there? What are your academic/career goals and how are your efforts faring out? How are you doing in dental school?

Does anyone know any dental-student moms? How are they doing compared to other dental students, in your opinion?
 

pietrodds

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Dental school as a mom is hard, and the reality is that being a dentist and a mom is even harder. I hope that you talked to other moms that have done it as well. You can do anything you set your mind to just know what you're getting into. If you can finish school with less than 100K or don't have to take out loans then I say go for it. I worked with a couple of mom dentists and I know for a fact that they'd never in a million years go into dentistry again. Not trying to scare you but when you work with women who come in crying because they hate what they've done to themselves by locking themselves into huge school debt in a male driven profession it makes you think about things.... also, you'll be managing women all day, everyday. I've seen female dentists really get abused by staff because they play on their feelings. Are you able to leave the feelings at home and get the job done? Just a heads up as to what to expect. There are those that do it and are successful just make sure you are becoming a dentist for the right reasons.
 

gryffindor

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Dental school as a mom is hard, and the reality is that being a dentist and a mom is even harder. I hope that you talked to other moms that have done it as well. You can do anything you set your mind to just know what you're getting into. If you can finish school with less than 100K or don't have to take out loans then I say go for it. I worked with a couple of mom dentists and I know for a fact that they'd never in a million years go into dentistry again. Not trying to scare you but when you work with women who come in crying because they hate what they've done to themselves by locking themselves into huge school debt in a male driven profession it makes you think about things.... also, you'll be managing women all day, everyday. I've seen female dentists really get abused by staff because they play on their feelings. Are you able to leave the feelings at home and get the job done? Just a heads up as to what to expect. There are those that do it and are successful just make sure you are becoming a dentist for the right reasons.
How depressing. Shoot, I shoulda been a hygienist. :rolleyes:

DMD, I'm not a mom (someday!) but I am a woman dentist and I think it's been a great career option for me so far. I do agree with pietrodds that having low debt from dental school helps, but that's not an option for everyone these days and if this is your goal, then go for it. What I am looking foward to in my career is having the freedom to work part-time or full-time based on my family's needs and financial needs. Last year at the AAO, there was a speaker who talked about women orthodontists in practice, and she had lots of great suggestions of how to manage the staff, career, and family without going overboard; it was really encouraging to hear from other moms and women who had been through it. There is support out there, but in the "male-dominated profession," you might have to look a little harder to find it! Do you have any spouse or family help? We didn't have any dental moms in my class, but from the moms I saw in the other classes, that was probably a factor in their ultimate stress and academic success levels.
 
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DMD-2-B

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Hey gryffindor. Yes, I have help lined up. My parents and my husbands parents will be full-time mommy-substitutes, plus my husband's a very hands-on dad so he'll pitch in as well. I guess the hardest part will be the distance that both my son and I will have to endure... :(

It's strange to hear the above post about women dentists being unhappy with the work-family balance. I've always heard from women dentists that dentistry is great for that very reason. Unfortunately I will owe a huge sum of $$$ when I graduate, but with my husband being an MD, I think we can make ends meet even if I work part time for a couple of years.

I'm curious though, what is the sentiment of most women dentists on the work-family balance?
 

yorkiepoo

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Dental school as a mom is hard, and the reality is that being a dentist and a mom is even harder. I hope that you talked to other moms that have done it as well. You can do anything you set your mind to just know what you're getting into. If you can finish school with less than 100K or don't have to take out loans then I say go for it. I worked with a couple of mom dentists and I know for a fact that they'd never in a million years go into dentistry again. Not trying to scare you but when you work with women who come in crying because they hate what they've done to themselves by locking themselves into huge school debt in a male driven profession it makes you think about things.... also, you'll be managing women all day, everyday. I've seen female dentists really get abused by staff because they play on their feelings. Are you able to leave the feelings at home and get the job done? Just a heads up as to what to expect. There are those that do it and are successful just make sure you are becoming a dentist for the right reasons.
pietrodds, I hope you realize how ridiculous your statement is. In most dental schools about 50% of students are female. And you really think that all of those women are never going to have kids?! Honestly, I find your statement to be sexist and unfounded. Dentistry is definitely changing and just because it was once a male-driven field (as were ALL professions at one time or another, well except nursing and teaching) doesn't mean that is currently the way it is.

Being a mom-dentist is no different than being a mom-anything else. The great thing about dentistry is that you can do it part time when your kids are young and full time when they are in school. Yes it is hard to have to pay back the loans if you choose to work part-time, and that is definitely a consideration. But if you choose to go into any other field, you will still most likely be taking out loans.

To get back to your original questions about being a mom-dental student. Yes it would definitely be hard, but by no means impossible. I have heard that a LOT of women have kids in their 3rd and 4th year and a few even before that. If you already have kids then you can probably gauge that it will be very difficult, but if you have not yet had kids and are still in the planning stages, then it might be better to wait until after completing 2nd year to have kids just because then you will be spending time in the clinic and less time cramming by the books.

Every single dentist I have ever talked to pats me on the back for picking dentistry because of how flexible it is for women. Actually a lot of physicians tell me that too.

Good luck.
 

hazelnut123

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well said...and so true...being a dentist does not mean that you vl never have kids...somehow every1 manages....its too late to wait tillschool is over...
 

pietrodds

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Spoken like a true preDental. No where in my post did I say it's impossible! In fact, I think it'd be great that you do it just know that it's a hell of a challenge especially when you're looking at 2-300K of loans in the face. You can't work 2-3 days aweek and pay your loans off when you're in that kind of ballpark. Financially, I'd say the same thing to a male who only wants to work 3 days a week. It's hard to to keep up with technology and CE when you do dentistry part-time for extended periods of time like 5-10 years. Whether you have a penis or not, you'd be better served going to hyg school at your local community college and making 60-70K a year than taking out 250K in loans and making 120K. I agree with you in that medicine is much worse for a potential mom. The reality is that women do better in college which opens a lot of doors but you need to ask yourself if you want to walk through those doors.

You speak of moms in dental school who have kids. Ask them what their spouse does. I got $100 that says they're a professional, probably a dentist or a physician able to support the family financially. Please don't bash me here. I posted for the shear fact that I'm trying to truly help young people in their career-decision making. I'm speaking from my life experience. Take it or leave it. I wish you the best in whatever you choose.
 

gryffindor

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pietrodds, telling overachieving female pre-dents that they should just pack up now and go to hygiene school is an insult. A DDS degree might cost you $300K which is a lot of loans to payback, but in the long run the DDS offers much more income potential and career options than a hygiene degree does. The kids aren't always going to be rugrats, they do grow up at some point and for a mom dentist looking to go back from part-time to full time, she can do a lot more with a DDS than as a hygienist. I don't know who these disgruntled female dentists you know are. I think a lot has to do with the attitude. No matter what career you choose, a job is a job. If the female DDS has a professional spouse that works full time, even better. She can work 3 days/week paying back her loans while they live on the other spouse's income until the kids get older and she works more.
 
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LeoDDS

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To the OP,

It's all about striking a balance. I don't have children myself, but a fair number of my classmates do. One of our classmates was in a similar situation to you (had a 1 year old when she started, had another child during the summer between year2 and 3)...and that classmate is doing quite well! I think for the people who do have families, they are just very good at time management. They know that they only have a set number of hours in a day, and they're very efficient in how they divide that time between being in school, at home/library studying, and being with their families. It amazes me, but somehow they do it!

In my class, there's been about 10 babies born in the past 3 years :laugh: The people who have families are NOT the ones who are struggling or failing, because they already have incredible drive and focus.
 
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DMD-2-B

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Thanks for the replies everyone! There are so many different types of family-systems out there. Personally, I beleive the responsiblity of child-rearing should be shared equally by both parents, and am fortunate enough to have a husband who shares my views. But that's just us. My guess is that Peitrodds has encountered mothers who bear most of the burnden of child-rearing, and that is very difficult to balance with any job, especially when your kids are young. It is upsetting to me though, that instead of encouraging fathers to find ways to better balance their work-family responsibilities many people tell the mother that she should look for a less demanding, less rewarding job. My prayers are with all the intellegent capable women out there who seek balance in their life, yet have to constantly deal with this mentality. But anyway - enough about that...

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded!!! :)
 

wenz482

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I am a D1 mom of 2 1/2 y/o twins. My husband works afternoons so I am at home alone with them a lot. A couple times my brother has taken them so I can study, so having family around does help. I try to do most of my studying at school over lunch, though. Otherwise I get probably half as much studying done in the same amount of time when I am with the girls. I don't plan on specializing...I'd rather spend more time with my family than be studying all the time.
 

m-dmd

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Dental school as a mom is hard, and the reality is that being a dentist and a mom is even harder. I hope that you talked to other moms that have done it as well. You can do anything you set your mind to just know what you're getting into. If you can finish school with less than 100K or don't have to take out loans then I say go for it. I worked with a couple of mom dentists and I know for a fact that they'd never in a million years go into dentistry again. Not trying to scare you but when you work with women who come in crying because they hate what they've done to themselves by locking themselves into huge school debt in a male driven profession it makes you think about things.... also, you'll be managing women all day, everyday. I've seen female dentists really get abused by staff because they play on their feelings. Are you able to leave the feelings at home and get the job done? Just a heads up as to what to expect. There are those that do it and are successful just make sure you are becoming a dentist for the right reasons.
Hmmm...sounds to me like you are a man or a woman that has never had children.

Fact is, as a mom you (meaning DMD-2-B) have already learned to multi task. That is all dental school is. Multi tasking and learning really great time management. Being a mom may be difficult but it can be done and you can specialize. I am a mom, a dentist, an HPSP recipient (I am just finishing up my 4 year commitment with the Army, and let me tell you dental school as a parent does not compare at all to being a parent in the military), and now I am starting a residency. It can be done. I would not take what pietrodds says to heart, that may be HIS opinion but in my reality, I have not seen how so many moms would never do dental school again and I have LOTS of friends that are female dentists that are moms. One just graduated ortho (well a couple years ago...she loves it). And BTW, all of the mom dentists that I know are able to work as much (or as little) because of the income that they can bring in (and the school that many of us went to is private so we have PLENTY of loans). Also, I manage women, all day, every day, in a very male dominated world (I am the staff general dentist at a very large hospital and I am the ONLY female doctor in the practice, besides one other 1st year OS resident who is hardly in the clinic). I do not have any more problems than any of the men, but I am used to being a woman LOL and if they do not like working with me, o well....Actually I am leaving and they just threw me a little going away party and my assistant that I have had for 2 years is VERY VERY sad that I am leaving and made a beautiful speech, had many in the crowd crying. I think since we work with other women we can bond with them.

My husband is not a "professional" and was in school while I was in dental school. We took out loans, and are paying on them now, and I will be taking out more loans when I am in residency. I could not think of anything I would rather be doing. I am so confident in my choice and dh has seen that and now dh is considering d school and is finishing up his pre-reqs so there will be 2 of us in school for the next 2 years.

This can be done, you can do it, if you want to. We are moms, we know what it is like to be pulled in a million different directions.


Spoken like a true preDental. No where in my post did I say it's impossible! In fact, I think it'd be great that you do it just know that it's a hell of a challenge especially when you're looking at 2-300K of loans in the face. You can't work 2-3 days aweek and pay your loans off when you're in that kind of ballpark. Financially, I'd say the same thing to a male who only wants to work 3 days a week.
To be honest, I don't know many beginning dentists that only work 2-3 days a week.


It's hard to to keep up with technology and CE when you do dentistry part-time for extended periods of time like 5-10 years.
HUH??? What the heck does that even mean? We (moms) go to CE, we go to conferences, etc, just like any other dentist (or dentist parent- male or female) out there.

Whether you have a penis or not, you'd be better served going to hyg school at your local community college and making 60-70K a year than taking out 250K in loans and making 120K.
This is absurd. :confused:As a woman, you should do what makes you happy and fact is being a dentist you will have a heck of a lot more control over your life than as a hygenist. You are faced with the same decisions that many of us were at one time, whether or not take out lots of loans and go to dental school and not take out loans and not be a dentist. Same decision whether you are a mom or not!!!!


You speak of moms in dental school who have kids. Ask them what their spouse does. I got $100 that says they're a professional, probably a dentist or a physician able to support the family financially.
Again, just absurdity. I was in school with lots of women, and I think only 2 of them dated people that were professional. My dh is not, and like I said he was in school when I was in school. He definately made a financial contribution while I was in school, but I still took out loans, and I will again for the next 2 years (my residency is tuition based, so I will not be making any money for the next 2 years).

As a mom, a dentist, and soon to be resident, I would recommend you do what you think will make you happy. I would not have been happy being a hygenist, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but it is just NOT ME. I am happy with my decision, and I know that my kids are no different than if I had chosen another field. My family is the most importatnt thing to me, and I have made many decisions in choosing my family over dental and yet, I am still a great dentist. You can do both and do them well. :D
 
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DMD-2-B

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Thank for your input, m-dmd. I agree with your opinions, and am AMAZED at all you have done. Women like you are truly an inspiration.
 

mokie

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As another dental school my, I too find it offensive and quite frankly ridiculous to suggest that women should just give up the idea of being dentists and become hyginests. I am a rising fourth year dental student, and I have two children- my daughter is seven and my son will be two in July. So yes, I did have a child in dental school and survive. My son was born the summer before second year. Has having children in dental school been easy- no, but dental school isn't easy for anyone. As a previous poster stated, as a mom you learn how to multitask. People ask me all the time how I manage dental school and children, and my answer is always that I just do what I have to do. You can find a way to make any situation work, if you want to bad enough. My husband (who, incidentaly, is in IT- not a doctor or a dentist) is supportive and wonderful. And I am very much still involved in my children's lives, despite the fact that I am in school. I try to do all my lab work at school and studying after the kids are in bed, if at all possible. This idea that all female dentists are miserable with dentistry is absurd as well. For every miserable female dentist, I would bet there is a miserable male dentist as well. Dentistry is a wonderful career for women, as you can have a very fufilling career, make good money and still have time for a family.
OP, don't let people like pietrodds who have no idea what they are talking about discourage you. If dentistry is your dream, you will make it work, just like many moms before you have done. And when you are done with school, your career will be all the more rewarding because you will be doing it not just for yourself but for your family as well.
If you have any questions, feel free to PM me any time!
 
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pietrodds

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For the same reasons males should be careful about getting involved in abortion debates, I should be more careful about getting involved in discussions about moms in dentistry.

Since this post is about moms IN school and not whether an individual should go to school, I will do my best to stick to that topic. If someone has already decided to go to school, hopefully they have already considered/evaluated all aspects of such a decision. As any good mother does with her child, do with D school. Stay on a regimented schedule and plan, plan, plan. It's a marathon, not a sprint! Don't burn yourself out in the beginning as is so easy to do. Specializing is tough and very competitive. Personally, I found it not worth the stress/effort to earn As over Bs in D school. It's hard to understand til you experience D school unlike college, but the different in preparation/studying to get A's over Bs is exponential. Dental school is an interesting adjustment because you're surrounded by extremely motivated/driven individuals who are used to being tops in much of what they do. The life style and financial benefit of being in ortho is big and that is why it's so competitive to get into. You need to be in the top 5% of your class as well as ace your boards to be considered for ortho which is probably the most difficult of all the specialties to get into. Best of luck.

Don't worry, be happy!
 

maialine

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I'd like to ask a question about this topic as well...I am 31 and getting ready to finish prereqs to apply to dental school. (Got a business degree the first time around.) Been in corporate America for 8 years (Pharmaceutical company!)
I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and am feeling a little unsure of this. The combination of the loans and time away from kids during school is what gives me pause, but I know I love the field and really think I would make a great dentist. Even if it is your dream, is it worth it?
 

tinker bell

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I had a 9 yr old when I started dental school, so it is much easier than ppl with 1 & 2 yrs old. However, some ppl in my school do have infant, little toddlers. Amazingly they got into ortho, endo, etc......So, it's all possible, depend on how good your time management skill is. It's not an impossible thing. Don't let anyone discourage you. My kid did exceptionally well while I was in dental school so don't worry about your absent will have negative effect on your kid.
 
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DMD-2-B

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I had a 9 yr old when I started dental school, so it is much easier than ppl with 1 & 2 yrs old. However, some ppl in my school do have infant, little toddlers. Amazingly they got into ortho, endo, etc......So, it's all possible, depend on how good your time management skill is. It's not an impossible thing. Don't let anyone discourage you. My kid did exceptionally well while I was in dental school so don't worry about your absent will have negative effect on your kid.
Hey there tinkerbell. Can I ask what kind of support system you had?
 
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DMD-2-B

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I'd like to ask a question about this topic as well...I am 31 and getting ready to finish prereqs to apply to dental school. (Got a business degree the first time around.) Been in corporate America for 8 years (Pharmaceutical company!)
I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and am feeling a little unsure of this. The combination of the loans and time away from kids during school is what gives me pause, but I know I love the field and really think I would make a great dentist. Even if it is your dream, is it worth it?
Hey maialine,

I think only you can answer your question of "is it worth it?" because only you know your situation and the arrangements/sacrafices involved.

For example, one of my friends was able to get by with having a baby in dental school because her husband made enough money to hire a great high-priced nanny round the clock. But what if she had to send her baby to a more affordable daycare where the quality of care is more questionable? Would it be worth it then? I really don't know.

Also I think it is normal to have doubts, so keep that in mind as well. If you just jumped right into this thing without having a second thought as to the wellfare of your children, I think it would be kind of unnatural. You have identify your specific concerns one by one, assess tneir individual validity and then try to formulate realistic solutions to each one that you and your family are comfortable with.

After carefully mapping all that out in your head, then you will feel more comfortable with your decision, whatever it may be.
 

tinker bell

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Hey there tinkerbell. Can I ask what kind of support system you had?
My husband takes the kid to school & picks the kid up. I always do clean up & cooking in the weekend. I rarely ever studied in the weekend because I had to do house chores, grocery shopping, helped the kid with homework. My husband most of the time had to work in the weekend so he could take 2 week days off. It worked out quite well. My husband works so I never had to worry about financial which was great.
 

Regmata

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Women have it rough in health professions...

There are roughly 5 mothers in my class, as for how they do I don't realy know. They get by though. Day care, a supportive father or family can all help. Truth, I think that the odds are stacked against you for a specialty like ortho. It is just so competitive and you will be up against young kids who do nnthing but study. Not that it isn't possible, but it won't be easy. Good news is that you can still practice ortho as a GP and make about the same money should you choose to do so. Go for it, give it your all. You will have time for family in D-school, as a mother you have to. The career is great and will afford you plenty of time for your family once you are out and practicing.

Good luck
 
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Hey Folks,

I'll be an incoming D1 this fall, and am the mother of a 1 yr old.

Specializing seems so far like something I would like to to do, but I don't know how realistic it is to think I'll be able to achieve any of the competitive specialties (i.e. Ortho).

Are there any dental-student moms out there? What are your academic/career goals and how are your efforts faring out? How are you doing in dental school?

Does anyone know any dental-student moms? How are they doing compared to other dental students, in your opinion?
I know that this post is several years old, but I was curious if it was still active. I am currently a predental student and the thought of waiting five plus years to have a baby seems too long for my husband and I. How did your D1 year pan out with your one year old?
 

oralcare123

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I know that this post is several years old, but I was curious if it was still active. I am currently a predental student and the thought of waiting five plus years to have a baby seems too long for my husband and I. How did your D1 year pan out with your one year old?
I would not advise you to have a kid during first two years of school
 

yappy

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I feel compelled to throw in my 0.02. I noticed that several women classmates of mine were stressed regarding their life plans towards the end of dental school. The common reasons I would hear related to indebtedness, the implications thereof, and the length of time it took them to achieve their education goals. The ones that were hit hardest did not have a spouse or serious boyfriend. One actually did mention she wish she had done hygiene in a non-sarcastic way. I think these observations were all related to the narrow window that women have to achieve a career, find a mate, have children, and how to care for them once they're born (stat at home vs working). Taken together women have unique challenges that they should consider fully before committing to a long career path like dentistry.