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Need Advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by umasskid, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. umasskid

    umasskid Member
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    I am a sophomore english major and I had been planning on applying to medical school...however, after countless hours of working with a physician over the past two summers I am beginning to think that the job is not for me...I had been considering applying to dental school all along, but recently the idea has become increasingly appealing to me...I plan on studying this summer and taking the DATs at the end of the summer or in early fall...my problem is is that ive been working with a physician all this time and have no dental experience...my question is, how much emphasis do dental schools put on experience in the field...will I have enough time to gain experience if I apply next spring/summer...I have an excellent gpa/sci gpa...if I get good scores on the DAT, is a maybe a semesters worth of shadowing long enough to get into a good dental school?...(I also have research experience and volunteer experience)
     
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  3. hazelmei

    hazelmei Member
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    One semester is enough experience. I applied summer of 2001 and only put in ~5 weeks of observing at a dental office that summer of 2001. I got interviews right away and was accpeted in December to UCLA, UOP, and Columbia. Since you have an excellent GPA and if you get good DAT scoores, you should be fine. Plus you have all that other research and volunteer stuff. so I would say - GO FOR IT!
     
  4. racemic01

    racemic01 Member
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    One semester is plenty, especially with a high GPA and DAT. Dentistry is an awesome career. I hope you enjoy your shadowing and do well on the DAT. Good luck!
     
  5. umasskid

    umasskid Member
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    hey thanks guys for the information, I really appreciate it...I have a few more questions maybe you guys could help me out with...Ive been checking out the posts on this site, but I cant get a good grasp on a few things, namely how much a a dentist realitically works; both shortly after graduation and in the long run...I am also a little clueless on what the outlook of dentistry is for the future...Ive read that there will be a large demand for dentists as many of the older ones retire, however I dont know how true this is...also will dentistry feel a similar impact from HMOs as medicine did?...finally, Ive have read many mixed things about dentists salaries...some claim an average starting salary of 70K...some claim 50K...hell, some even claim 120K...so I was wondering if any of you could help me answer some of these questions, so I can get a clear idea of whats really going on...thanks again guys!
     
  6. racemic01

    racemic01 Member
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    I'm not even a dental student yet, so I am probably a very poor source for such answers but I'll give your my .02.

    Salary: General dentists I think usually start around 80k for their first yr and average around 150k. If this is the case, it is right on par with primary medicine just for comparison (maybe a bit higher). Specialists are even harder to predict (for me). I think they start in the low 100s and average in the low 200s. Pedo and Prosth probably make a bit less, while ortho, endo and OMS probably squeak by with a bit more. Not sure how perio does.

    I think the demand for dentists is very high. Babyboomers are looking to retire and dental schools are graduating fewer dentists as a whole. Many areas are having tough times attracting dentists. Look at the Univ. of Nevada for example - a newly created state supported dent school.

    HMOs. I really couldn't say, except from talking with dental students and dentists the answer appears to be no although I don't fully understand it myself.

    I can say that EVERY dentist I've talked with have been enthusiastic about the current state of dentistry and its future.

    One last thing. Sometimes it's best to post second questions as a new thread to get the best response. Good luck.
     
  7. racemic01

    racemic01 Member
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    Forgot about work. Most, I know work 4 days a week. Some work Sat mornings just to bring in extra money, but it's all up to you.
     
  8. Blue Tooth

    Blue Tooth Senior Member
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    there's a recent thread about HMOs in the dental forum. I'm sure the ADA has a profession profile listed. I'll see if I can find it
     
  9. umasskid

    umasskid Member
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    thanks for the info racemic...in regards to the ADA, I already found their profile of the dental profession, its just that it differs from what people often say...and I know that stats from the ADA or any other large organization for that matter, can be skewed...so thast why I figured Id ask some poeple who know a bit about dentistry and have some experience in the field...thanks for your help everyone...any other feedback would be appreciated
     
  10. racemic01

    racemic01 Member
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    I hate surveys and statistics, but of all of them out there, the ADA probably has the best figures. Keep in mind that you must adjust for inflation. In 1995 the mean dentist made 124k. Adjust that for 3% growth/yr and today in 2002 it should be 152k. 196k for specialists should be 240k today. Keep in mind that is mean and not average. Average would likely be higher considering dentists with ultra-high salaries. Also keep in mind that this is still a survey conducted in part by the Dept of Labor which IMO makes it lose credibility fast. Unless they check tax returns which I highly doubt, these salaries are the base salaries most dentists give and do not reflect bonuses, retirement packages, health ins, or other perks.
     
  11. Blue Tooth

    Blue Tooth Senior Member
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    you could ask a question for DrJeff over in the dental forum, he's a practicing dentist and is probably the most qualified of any of us to answer this
     
  12. crimson

    crimson What up Smokey!
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    umasskid: all the responses have solid info in them. some other things FYI -- 1. salaries depend on a host of factors including location. For eg metro Boston is probably 20-25% deflated in earnings compared to rural areas given the high saturation, cost of doing business etc. 2. the type of practice (solo, group, partnership) also accounts for some variation in salaries. Thus when you hear figures always ask a few follow-up questions, so you know the characteristics leading to a certain income figure. The consensus I have heard for newly minted graduates in the south (!) is 95-135K for an associate with a 5 yr buy in plan.
    ps: no dental school in Mass...kinda sucks if you are a full tax paying resident like me of the Bay state.
     
  13. umasskid

    umasskid Member
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    thanks guys for all the information...I would have tried to seek out my own info on past posts except that the search option is disabled...I have only one more question...I know that ADA says that all dental schools offer comparable education, and that no one school should be ranked higher than another...however I find this a little hard to beleive...can you tell me which schools are most reputable...I know harvard, ucla, ucsf, columbia, penn, etc. are probably at the top of the list...but do these schools offer something that other schools do not?...and also, does the school you attend have an impact on what type of job placement youll have post-graduation?...thanks again guys for all the info
     
  14. makebuleeve

    makebuleeve Junior Member
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    nmasskid...all the skools u mentioned r just brand name skools....try to look beyond just the name.
     
  15. umasskid

    umasskid Member
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    makebuleeve, that is exactly what I was trying to get at...I want to know if these schools are just brand name or graduates from these schools actually make out better with things such as job placement...to tell the truth, Im new to this whole predent thing and I didnt even know if these schools were reputable for dentistry...only reason I mentioned them was because i know they are good for medicine...(I was premed for a while)...so I guess I should change my question to a more general one: Does the dental school you attend affect your abilities as a clinician or in some way hinder or enhance your post graduation job opputunities?...and if so which ones are good and which ones should I avoid?
     
  16. racemic01

    racemic01 Member
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    I think there are few schools (if any) that offer a superior education compared to other schools. There may be a few schools that are less clinical and more research oriented which I personally consider a bad thing. And there may be a couple of schools that don't teach students as well as they could (there was a discussion on UF that tended to show it in a negative light although I wouldn't know, didn't apply there). But the vast majority of schools offer the same education and it's up to the student to absorb that education as best they can.

    Post-grad offers? I think they're all the same regardless where you graduated from.

    Specialty program acceptances? (I know you didn't ask, but it's an often debated issue) I think you should be in the top 10% of your class whether you graduate from your state's school or a "prestigious" school. If 2 students applied for OMS one from a state school in top 10% and one from a school you mentioned in top 25% and only one gets admitted I'd put my money on the top 10% every time.

    I think one thing these schools offer are a good name and a high price tag if you go private or out of state w/o scholarship.
     
  17. makebuleeve

    makebuleeve Junior Member
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    the top 10 or 5% is just a myth. u can be top 50% and still get into a specialty program. i know people that are in the middle of the pack and still got into OMS.
     
  18. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    racemic is right - it's up to you to make the best of what your school offers you. A name-brand diploma has very little to do with dentistry, as far as I am aware. I really think it comes down to numbers and experiences as far as post-grad is concerned, and not where you went. From reading the med/pre-med forums, it sounds like the school you attend may influence the hospital you do your residency at. I don't really think it is like that for dentistry. I am going by what my school's past graduates have done, since we are not one of the "brand-name" schools you mentioned. Some schools are more clinically oriented, as in you could probably step into private practice with reasonable confidence right after you graduate. Others are more academically oriented and emphasize lots of research, which is also very important for the future of our profession. It's up to you what you want from your dental education. Other than a fancy diploma in latin and tons of debt upon graduation, I really don't see what the benefit is of attending a dental school solely based on its name.
    Check out this link to see where our graduates end up. Keep in mind we are considered a more "clinical" school, although we have a lot of research that goes on here too - <a href="http://www.sdm.buffalo.edu/alumni/classes.htm" target="_blank">UB Alumni graduated classes</a>
     
  19. neeky

    neeky Senior Member
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    Okay,
    I don't have any real info to add to this topic, but I must admit throughout the whole application process i sort of wished the schools were ranked. I don't mean to be snobby but it would really help. I often feel like we are constantly discussing this issue, and a lot of our fears and/or insecurities could be quelled if we had a simple list. Personally I had to decide between Penn and Uconn, and I chose Uconn, ( thier curriclum really impressed me)and I will admit sometimes I wonder, is Penn the "better" school because of its "name" when it comes time to apply for jobs or for a specialty...

    What do you all think? Rank or not to Rank??
     
  20. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Hey neeky, I had to make a similar choice too way back when I decided which school to attend - Penn or Buffalo. I chose Buffalo, but prior to starting dental school, I too wondered if I had given something up b/c of the "name". But with two years of dental school over, I have no regrets and am VERY glad that I chose Buffalo. I really believe that the name of my dental school will not matter and be viewed the same as Penn when I apply to post-grad or jobs. Even if you want to do say endo or something, being #5 from Penn is no better than being #5 from Buffalo. It will be all about the board scores, your experience, research, letters of rec, etc.

    I really don't think dental schools should be ranked and think the dental deans were really smart when they decided to not play the "rank" game with US News. The "best" medical schools don't necessarily produce the "best" doctors - if I am sick, I want a doctor who knows his stuff. Why would it matter if she went to a tier one or tier 3 school? I think once you start school, you will be able to realize better that it is what you do in school that counts to maximize your opportunities after you graduate, not the name. BTW, after reading on UConn's site on how the class of 2000 (or 2001?) did phenomenal on part I and part II boards, I would not second guess your decision at all and enter UConn with great confidence that you will receive a good education to succeed.
     
  21. umasskid

    umasskid Member
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    thanks again guys(and girls) for all the helpful information...Now I am wondering how I should prepare for the DAT, which I plan to take this fall...I have recently purchased topscore, and im also gonna buy the kaplan book...if anyone can tell me about any other materials I should have for the DAT, that would be great...thanks guys!
     
  22. neeky

    neeky Senior Member
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    hi griffin04,

    thank you so much for that post, somehow having you put all of that into words made me feel much better. I do know in my "head" I have made the logically correct choice, I guess it was my heart that was not completely convinced. I know that sounds dramatic, but I have a feeling you understand. :) Plus Buffalo is nothing to scoff at either!! Thanks again.

    PS on a very different topic--Are you anywhere near the "wegman's" supermarket chains? I recently discovered that store, and spent 3 hours in one--eating lots of samples. I feel so cheated out here in the midwest.
     

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