Which route do you recommend for a Navy HPSP student that wants to be a GP?


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militarydds2017

2+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2016
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Dental Student
Hi all,

This post is for me and about 10 other Navy HPSP D4 students at my school. We are all leaning towards Credentialing Tours, but want your opinion. We know this topic has been discussed in some older threads, and have seen opinions going both ways. We know that programs change with time, and that everybody has different experiences. So we wanted to see what the current opinion is of a Navy AEGD vs Navy Credentialing Tour. (Our end goal is to be private practice GPs).

If you comment on your experience, we would really appreciate that! We know many of you have given valuable insight in other posts (thank you for that!), but it would be great to have it all in one place. Any and all advice is welcome! Thank you!
 
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Hedgy

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Sep 22, 2009
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Hi all,

This post is for me and about 10 other Navy HPSP D4 students at my school. We are all leaning towards Credentialing Tours, but want your opinion. We know this topic has been discussed in some older threads, and have seen opinions going both ways. We know that programs change with time, and that everybody has different experiences. So we wanted to see what the current opinion is of a Navy AEGD vs Navy Credentialing Tour. (Our end goal is to be private practice GPs).

If you comment on your experience, we would really appreciate that! We know many of you have given valuable insight in other posts (thank you for that!), but it would be great to have it all in one place. Any and all advice is welcome! Thank you!

I completed an AEGD at Great Lakes in (01-02'). I had a friend complete a credentialing tour in San Diego. He was a DA, so it was kind of a last minute decision for him. Although both will train with specialists, I have my own bias towards the AEGD as I feel you have more study and interaction on cases. You also get 250 hrs CE. I don't think you get CE from a credentialing tour. Now, my AEGD counted toward my time in the service vs a neutral year now. But, in the grand scheme of a 30-35 year career in dentistry, a year difference for some extra training is worth the time. We all seemed to want to avoid deployments, me because I had young children at the time. Having served on a ship and knowing what I know now of Marines and SeaBees, I have no regrets and would have no problem deploying again had I stayed in the service.
 

vellnueve

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Dec 4, 2006
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Hi all,

This post is for me and about 10 other Navy HPSP D4 students at my school. We are all leaning towards Credentialing Tours, but want your opinion. We know this topic has been discussed in some older threads, and have seen opinions going both ways. We know that programs change with time, and that everybody has different experiences. So we wanted to see what the current opinion is of a Navy AEGD vs Navy Credentialing Tour. (Our end goal is to be private practice GPs).

If you comment on your experience, we would really appreciate that! We know many of you have given valuable insight in other posts (thank you for that!), but it would be great to have it all in one place. Any and all advice is welcome! Thank you!
Which school are you at? I'm mildly surprised that any school has 10-11 current D4 Navy students since the numbers of scholarships have gone down in recent years. I know my school had about 10 that graduated the year after I graduated, but they were recruited during the height of the war.

Also, are you sure that all of the students intend to go private practice GP? If any of them have an interest in specialty then we may want to add GPR programs into the mix. Additionally, you may want to consider adding the Comprehensive Dentistry program into the mix, although it does incur an extra year of training (but no extra years of payback) versus the AEGD.

Considering the question as you posed it:

The AEGD offers you a certificate that may be used for licensure in certain states; this may be an advantage for those who are looking to practice in those states following the end of their service.

The AEGD also brings you out to 5 years of total active duty service. In most states, this will qualify you for licensure by credential. It is important to note that there are many states that will no longer accept your NERB/SRTA/WREB or other licensing examination once five years have passed. Since most schools take their licensing examinations in winter to spring of the fourth year, this means that by the end of your 4+1 years of service you will no longer be eligible for licensure by examination, so you'll want to review your options for licensure before you separate to ensure that the state will allow licensure by credential.

If you do a credentialing tour and separate at 4 years service, you may not qualify for licensure by credential and will need to ensure that you can still obtain a license by examination in your destination state.

The AEGD offers a structured didactic and clinical experience, the requirements of which you can find in the accreditation standards for that program. You will gain structured experience in the areas of periodontics, prosthodontics (although the removable prosth experience will be low at any Navy facility), endodontics, and oral/maxillofacial surgery. You may have good exposure to other specialties depending on your location - those programs located at or near the largest facilities (Naval Medical Center San Diego, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Naval Postgraduate Dental School) will have the most exposure to the other specialties like Path, Radiology, Ortho, and Pedo. You will also gain something like 200-250 hours of CE that can be used for your licensure renewal as well as credit towards AGD status.

The credentialing tour will vary by location. If you end up at Great Lakes, MCRD San Diego, or MCRD Parris Island, you should get some very good experience in operative and exodontia and structured exposure to the other major specialties (prosth, endo, perio), as these facilities are very used to receiving large numbers of credentialing dentists. However, at other locations, it will depend on specialist availability and mission requirements - if they need you doing exams and operative and can't spare you to do elective rotations, then you may not be able to get specialty experience. Speaking from experience, at one of my past duty stations we had several credentialing tour dentists that were not able to get any exodontia experience through their three year tours and only got limited endodontic experience. We were able to change that as specialists and leadership rotated out and new specialists very open to teaching came in, but more importantly we were able to get them rotations because the rest of the providers were able to handle the primary mission of keeping the personnel dentally ready. Your experience in a credentialing tour will depend on your location, your leadership, and the providers and specialists you work with (the AEGD will also be highly influenced by the leadership and PD). I know dentists who had great credentialing tours and I know dentists who left the Navy because of poor ones. I also know those who had good PGY-1 experiences and bad as well.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.
 
Aug 17, 2016
2
0
Status
Dental Student
Hi all,

This post is for me and about 10 other Navy HPSP D4 students at my school. We are all leaning towards Credentialing Tours, but want your opinion. We know this topic has been discussed in some older threads, and have seen opinions going both ways. We know that programs change with time, and that everybody has different experiences. So we wanted to see what the current opinion is of a Navy AEGD vs Navy Credentialing Tour. (Our end goal is to be private practice GPs).

If you comment on your experience, we would really appreciate that! We know many of you have given valuable insight in other posts (thank you for that!), but it would be great to have it all in one place. Any and all advice is welcome! Thank you!
At our school, we are leaning towards doing the AEGD/GPR programs. Our recent grads have also typically gone the AEGD/GPR route. We figured more experience and guidance couldn't hurt. Main reason being that our school's clinic runs pretty slow so we want more clinical experience, and also for all the reasons that vellnueve listed above. If you're applying just for kicks, please remember that others want those spots very, very badly! And as far as licenses go, our school makes us take the NERB, and our destination states accept it so no problem there.
 

BobbyBeavis

What are loans?
5+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2013
774
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At our school, we are leaning towards doing the AEGD/GPR programs. Our recent grads have also typically gone the AEGD/GPR route. We figured more experience and guidance couldn't hurt. Main reason being that our school's clinic runs pretty slow so we want more clinical experience, and also for all the reasons that vellnueve listed above. If you're applying just for kicks, please remember that others want those spots very, very badly! And as far as licenses go, our school makes us take the NERB, and our destination states accept it so no problem there.
How competitive are these programs? Thanks
 
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militarydds2017

2+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2016
9
2
Status
Dental Student
I completed an AEGD at Great Lakes in (01-02'). I had a friend complete a credentialing tour in San Diego. He was a DA, so it was kind of a last minute decision for him. Although both will train with specialists, I have my own bias towards the AEGD as I feel you have more study and interaction on cases. You also get 250 hrs CE. I don't think you get CE from a credentialing tour. Now, my AEGD counted toward my time in the service vs a neutral year now. But, in the grand scheme of a 30-35 year career in dentistry, a year difference for some extra training is worth the time. We all seemed to want to avoid deployments, me because I had young children at the time. Having served on a ship and knowing what I know now of Marines and SeaBees, I have no regrets and would have no problem deploying again had I stayed in the service.
Thanks for your reply! Just wondering what you mean by "knowing what I know now of Marines and SeaBees". I assume some assignments are considered more desirable than others...would you mind elaborating? Thank you!
 
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militarydds2017

2+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2016
9
2
Status
Dental Student
How competitive are these programs? Thanks
From what I understand, it depends from year to year. Sometimes there are more spots than applicants, sometimes there are more applicants than spots. But from reading through threads, my overall impression is that it is not extremely competitive.
If anyone else out there has another opinion on this, it would be appreciated!
 
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militarydds2017

2+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2016
9
2
Status
Dental Student
Which school are you at? I'm mildly surprised that any school has 10-11 current D4 Navy students since the numbers of scholarships have gone down in recent years. I know my school had about 10 that graduated the year after I graduated, but they were recruited during the height of the war.

Also, are you sure that all of the students intend to go private practice GP? If any of them have an interest in specialty then we may want to add GPR programs into the mix. Additionally, you may want to consider adding the Comprehensive Dentistry program into the mix, although it does incur an extra year of training (but no extra years of payback) versus the AEGD.

Considering the question as you posed it:

The AEGD offers you a certificate that may be used for licensure in certain states; this may be an advantage for those who are looking to practice in those states following the end of their service.

The AEGD also brings you out to 5 years of total active duty service. In most states, this will qualify you for licensure by credential. It is important to note that there are many states that will no longer accept your NERB/SRTA/WREB or other licensing examination once five years have passed. Since most schools take their licensing examinations in winter to spring of the fourth year, this means that by the end of your 4+1 years of service you will no longer be eligible for licensure by examination, so you'll want to review your options for licensure before you separate to ensure that the state will allow licensure by credential.

If you do a credentialing tour and separate at 4 years service, you may not qualify for licensure by credential and will need to ensure that you can still obtain a license by examination in your destination state.

The AEGD offers a structured didactic and clinical experience, the requirements of which you can find in the accreditation standards for that program. You will gain structured experience in the areas of periodontics, prosthodontics (although the removable prosth experience will be low at any Navy facility), endodontics, and oral/maxillofacial surgery. You may have good exposure to other specialties depending on your location - those programs located at or near the largest facilities (Naval Medical Center San Diego, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Naval Postgraduate Dental School) will have the most exposure to the other specialties like Path, Radiology, Ortho, and Pedo. You will also gain something like 200-250 hours of CE that can be used for your licensure renewal as well as credit towards AGD status.

The credentialing tour will vary by location. If you end up at Great Lakes, MCRD San Diego, or MCRD Parris Island, you should get some very good experience in operative and exodontia and structured exposure to the other major specialties (prosth, endo, perio), as these facilities are very used to receiving large numbers of credentialing dentists. However, at other locations, it will depend on specialist availability and mission requirements - if they need you doing exams and operative and can't spare you to do elective rotations, then you may not be able to get specialty experience. Speaking from experience, at one of my past duty stations we had several credentialing tour dentists that were not able to get any exodontia experience through their three year tours and only got limited endodontic experience. We were able to change that as specialists and leadership rotated out and new specialists very open to teaching came in, but more importantly we were able to get them rotations because the rest of the providers were able to handle the primary mission of keeping the personnel dentally ready. Your experience in a credentialing tour will depend on your location, your leadership, and the providers and specialists you work with (the AEGD will also be highly influenced by the leadership and PD). I know dentists who had great credentialing tours and I know dentists who left the Navy because of poor ones. I also know those who had good PGY-1 experiences and bad as well.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.
Awesome response. Thank you!
 

Hedgy

7+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2009
210
122
Montana
Status
Dentist
Thanks for your reply! Just wondering what you mean by "knowing what I know now of Marines and SeaBees". I assume some assignments are considered more desirable than others...would you mind elaborating? Thank you!
I hope I didn't make it sound like deploying with Marines or SeaBees was a bad thing. You just need to know that they are different types of deployments and accept that possibility. The other Navy HPSP I graduated with from Marquette was with the Marines at 29 Palms. He deployed for 8 1/2 months to Iraq at the beginning of OIF. MEUs can vary for time on deployment depending on the situation. If you take a SeaBee tour, you will most likely have two 6 month deployments during your time with them.
 
Sep 10, 2016
10
6
Status
Dentist
I vote for credentialing all the way. Unless you think you want to specialize or know that you want a career in the military (which you said you don't at this point). If you do want to specialize, a residency is a check in the box on the application. If you want to stay in the military for a career, a residency is a consideration for promotion.

My experience is limited to Camp Lejeune, but have heard similar thoughts from dentists who have gone to other locations for residencies or credentialing. At Lejeune, the credentialers rotate with the same specialists as the AEGD residents. I felt like my credentialing year was more beneficial than the residents as I did far more procedures.

At the end of the day, I think you have the opportunity to work with and learn from specialists whether you're a credentialer or a resident. If you want to learn something, the specialists I've interacted with are happy to teach you (however getting supplemental credentials to perform the procedures independently in the military is a different story...). For me, I'd rather not have an extra year that has marginal benefit in my opinion.
 
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Destiny11

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Mar 2, 2010
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Let's put it this way. It's not guaranteed where you will end up after graduation and specialists may be limited at that location. Do a credentialing tour if you do not want to specialize (including comp) later on, and you simply want to learn how to do procedures. AEGD and any residency programs are structured to teach you "why" you do things along with "how" to do them.
 
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Sep 10, 2016
10
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Dentist
Let's put it this way. It's not guaranteed where you will end up after graduation and specialists may be limited at that location. Do a credentialing tour if you do not want to specialize (including comp) later on, and you simply want to learn how to do procedures. AEGD and any residency programs are structured to teach you "why" you do things along with "how" to do them.
Anywhere they are going to put new doctors to credential, there will be specialists. There are only a few places in the navy right now that you can go to credential. However, if you go to a recruit depot (great lakes, MCRD san diego, and MCRD parris island) you probably won't see a lot of perio or extensive prosth because recruits are on a short/strict timeframe.

I do agree that if you want to specialize you should do a residency as a check in the box. But in my experience, I learned just as much during my credentialing year as my friends who were doing the AEGD at the same time.
 
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vellnueve

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Dec 4, 2006
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There are only a few places in the navy right now that you can go to credential.
There's plenty of places where you can go. With the excess of GPs they're sending newly minted dentists to CONUS MTFs all over the place, not just the traditional hotbeds like the recruit depots.

But in my experience, I learned just as much during my credentialing year as my friends who were doing the AEGD at the same time.
Like I said, it depends on where you go. Our credentialers at my last command went from barely getting any experience outside of exam/operative to having full months in specialties. It depends on where you are and who your leaders are.
 
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Sep 10, 2016
10
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Dentist
With the excess of GPs they're sending newly minted dentists to CONUS MTFs all over the place, not just the traditional hotbeds like the recruit depots.
You've had new grads come to your command and you're not at lejeune, pendleton, great lakes, MCRD san diego, or MCRD parris island? Being a semi new grad and working with and talking to new grads in the past two years, those are their only options to credential that the detailers are giving them.
 
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vellnueve

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You've had new grads come to your command and you're not at lejeune, pendleton, great lakes, MCRD san diego, or MCRD parris island? Being a semi new grad and working with and talking to new grads in the past two years, those are their only options to credential that the detailers are giving them.
In my time at my last command (3 years) we had four credentialers. I've also have a friend who credentialed at Mayport, at least one at one of the NHCNE clinics, multiple credentialers in Norfolk, etc. Even know one who credentialed in Hawaii

It's not uncommon at all, but those spots are usually filled last, once people get slated for training or drop their papers.
 
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militarydds2017

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Aug 16, 2016
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Would you all be willing to post 1) the types of procedures that you learned while in your AEGD or credentialing programs as well as 2) a rough estimate of number of times you did the procedure? (Example-- Program: AEGD. We learned to extract impacted 3rds (30 teeth), ortho uprighting (5 teeth), etc.). Thank you!
 

vellnueve

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Dec 4, 2006
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No idea.
 
Sep 10, 2016
10
6
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Dentist
These numbers are estimates off the top of my head for my credentialing tour.
1. 30-40 wisdom teeth, mostly surgical.
2. 2 posterior crown lengthening surgeries
3. 2 second stage implant unconvering
4. 15 RCT, 15 sick call pulpectomies
5. 15 crowns during credentialing, 50+ the following year at the same clinic.
6. 15 amalgam crowns (full contour buildups)
7. Did not have cerec during my credentialing year but the navy has recently bought many omnicams and mills. Have done 30 cerecs onlays/crowns since. I know credentialers at my duty station are getting to do cerec.
8. 1000+ restorative
9. 800 exams
10. No removable other than essix retainers and flippers for missing teeth.
11. No ortho
12. Assorted other gen den procedures
 

drill-and-fill

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Jun 3, 2011
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These numbers are estimates off the top of my head for my credentialing tour.
1. 30-40 wisdom teeth, mostly surgical.
2. 2 posterior crown lengthening surgeries
3. 2 second stage implant unconvering
4. 15 RCT, 15 sick call pulpectomies
5. 15 crowns during credentialing, 50+ the following year at the same clinic.
6. 15 amalgam crowns (full contour buildups)
7. Did not have cerec during my credentialing year but the navy has recently bought many omnicams and mills. Have done 30 cerecs onlays/crowns since. I know credentialers at my duty station are getting to do cerec.
8. 1000+ restorative
9. 800 exams
10. No removable other than essix retainers and flippers for missing teeth.
11. No ortho
12. Assorted other gen den procedures
Wow, I had no idea you could do those things during a credentialing tour. I know someone who's currently doing one right now and she said she's mostly doing simples ops. I guess it REALLY depends on where you're at.
 

Afualo12

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Dec 3, 2012
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I did an externship for 2 weeks and spent lots of time with GPR/AEGD/credentialers. It was a tough decision for me but in the end I decided that I want to credential. They saw so many more patients. My question is; How does the application work for credentialing? I heard that after all the AEGD/GPRs are placed the Navy asks you to put the 3 regions that you would most want to spend your PGY1. Where are these regions? Also, will the detailer be offended that I don't want to be a career Naval Dentist? Can you stay longer than 4 yrs in the Navy if you credential?

Lastly I've heard that even if you don't want to do an AEGD/GPR you should still apply for it (after all it is "highly encouraged"). What does that mean? Does the detailer hold it against you if you don't apply? Should I apply and then change my mind? I would rather be straight up but I'm afraid that doing so might throw me under the bus for 4 years. Any advice in applying for credentialing would mean the world to me. Thanks
 

USArmyHPSP

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Nov 12, 2009
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I can only speak for the Army. Everyone who is in Army HPSP must apply to the AEGD. You will be afforded the opportunity to turn it down should you be selected and not wish to participate. However, to not apply has some very serious consequences...
 

vellnueve

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Dec 4, 2006
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The Navy does not require you to apply and you will not face consequences for not applying. They encourage you to because it's additional structured training which any new dentist out of school can use.

The detailer already knows that a majority of dentists will get out. I wouldn't go around advertising it but you can be truthful to your detailer about your current life goals. A lot of people change their minds in both directions, so keep your mind open to the possibilities. There are plenty of senior officers around who did not do a PGY1 program.