Slash

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I'm at that crossroads where I have to seriously debate the dental school vs. medical school topic. Everything I've read and seen about the dental profession I really like, ie. subject matter, job satisfaction, being not only a doctor but an entrepreneur, quality of life, the money, etc. However, one thing kind of bugs me about dental school....the fact that it doesn't seem to have as good a support network for its graduating students as medical schools. Am I wrong on this assumption? I mean graduating medical school students basically know what they'll be doing after med school as they enter their residencies, but what about dentists? What is a graduating dentist to do? Are you just supposed to walk into a bank the day after graduation and ask for financing of your private practice? Is there a solid residency structure in place that can steer you towards good residencies to apply for? What resources exactly do graduating dentists have to help them begin their careers?
 

wimmcs

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Slash said:
I'm at that crossroads where I have to seriously debate the dental school vs. medical school topic. Everything I've read and seen about the dental profession I really like, ie. subject matter, job satisfaction, being not only a doctor but an entrepreneur, quality of life, the money, etc. However, one thing kind of bugs me about dental school....the fact that it doesn't seem to have as good a support network for its graduating students as medical schools. Am I wrong on this assumption? I mean graduating medical school students basically know what they'll be doing after med school as they enter their residencies, but what about dentists? What is a graduating dentist to do? Are you just supposed to walk into a bank the day after graduation and ask for financing of your private practice? Is there a solid residency structure in place that can steer you towards good residencies to apply for? What resources exactly do graduating dentists have to help them begin their careers?
That is one of the beauties IMO about the profession, you have a ton of options!! If you want to specialize, you then apply for a specialty right from school or apply for a residency program like a GPR or a AEGD and then apply for a specialty. You may want to associate with a dentist and work for a year or two to gain your speed and accuracy and pay off some student loans and then open up your practice. You may want to work for the NHSC and do the LPR program where you work in an underserved area and have the NHSC pay for up to $25K of you loans yearly with a 2 yr. minimum commitment. I know for instance at U Louisville, they have a very strong alumni support, so I know in AZ (where I live), there are approximately 4,000 graduates from Louisville and they help and support one another. (This I heard from the U Louisville admissions office). Again, these are some options but I'm sure there are many more. I would be afraid of opening up my practice right out of d-school since we will tend to be slower than the norm.. so I would suggest you do something other than, for at least a couple of years after graduating.
 

dexadental

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Dental schools just don't graduate their students without trying to help them somewhat do well in the future. During the thrid and fourth years, many curriculums offer business classes and opportunities to network and things like that; to give you an idea of where to go or what options to look into for the future. I don't see dental schools as being any less supportive in the future of their students than med schools.
 

12YearOldKid

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You're definitely right about the path after school being a little hazy. It is not clearly defined the way it is for other healthcare professions i.e. graduation --> residency --> job applications. There are a lot of choices out there for you and you are going to have to make them all on your own. Nobody - especially not your school - is going to hold your hand through the process, either.

You have to be a self starter if you are going to succeed in dentistry. Many of the good associateships/buy-ins are NOT advertised. A lot of jobs in dentistry are found via word of mouth. You've got to be willing to put yourself out there and let people know you're looking. It takes even more initiative and motivation if you plan on starting your own practice.