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Opinion of dropping out of Dental School, Switching to med

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Biden_white

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So - some background info. I attend an expensive private Dental school. Not excessively (100k+) expensive, but basically up there (80k a year)

I've said this here before, but from the get go, I was interested in Dentistry for the lifestyle it provided, job stability, and income... and because I had always viewed medicine as being "too long". Back in undergrad I had shadowed several dentists in my hometown, and a few doctors, and could see myself doing either. Many family friends were doctors, and it wasn't like I was totally against the idea - but my natural affinity towards working with my hands (I thought) helped my decision.

Looking more and more at the debt picture, and the fact that I'll have to buy a practice for another 500k - putting me nearly 1 million dollars in debt before I've earned a dime - It just doesn't make sense financially for me. Plus, since many hospitals are non-profits, residents qualify for loan repayments much much easier, and quicker than most dentists ever would. And the thing is - medicine isn't really THAT long..

To be honest, I don't see why I am paying 90k a year to get a degree that doesn't seem to live up to it's promises anymore. My classmates all just talk about "getting in before it tanks", or "grabbing a practice before the saturation hits". My operative professors joke all the time day about how "we're paying alot of money for this education, so we should take it seriously" - then almost as an afterthought ask us how much we're paying (because they don't really know). I confided in a faculty member, and he agreed with my that the price was absolutely ludicrous, and that private practice isn't all its cracked up to be (which is why he's teaching).



My grades in college were alright - 3.55 science, 3.6ish cumulative. I vastly think that all the "advice" given on these forums is overblown and eggagerated. The average GPA for medical school acceptancees is around a 3.67 nationally - and many of my friends from school (well over 8+) have in with stats around my range have received acceptances this cycle, with no postbacc. I guess I'd been reading too much SDN - but the stats people post here definitely aren't average. It's like people every other person is only applying to the top 30 schools (even though there are 160+ med schools in the US), but that's a another story.

Right now I'm about 40k in debt, which isn't really that bad. If I stay another semester and finish up 1st year it'll be 80k.

80k a year for a degree that nets me a job with the worse income/debt ratio in the United States. With professors that willingly admit in offie hours that what we're paying it crazy. 80k a year for a job that will have me pushing selling un-needed teeth whitening to people out of a strip mall all so I can pay back my loans. It's almost as if my parents were right, and I should have done medicine instead - the whole field just seems so much more driven by "purpose" than dentistry.


Should I drop out now, or keep going with it?
 

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It looks like you've already made your decision.
 
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Faux

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Could always do the navy route in regards to scholarships. But if you think dentistry is down to just doing whitening procedures in a strip mall, perhaps its time to rethink things. Perhaps some of your classes can transfer over too?


You did get into this a reason. And its more than some strip mall.
 
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ohyeahyeah180

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don't let what some faculty members tell you influence your decision making

there will always be dentists out there that hate their job or like it

and I'm sure there are plenty of physicians that say it's not worth it too

there is no perfect job
 
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allantois

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That was something to think about prior to starting d school.
 
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_sonwin

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Will medical schools no you dropped out of dental school?

I mean if you feel that dentistry isn't for you, dropping out right now is the best choice since your not THAT MUCH in debt (40k is still a lot)...if I were in your position I would finish dental school because there is no guarantee you will get accepted into medical school on your first cycle then you'd have to waste another year reapplying and losing another year of possible income while you could be almost done with your dds/dmd
 

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As one who was was long stuck between medicine and dentistry and is well aware of the new age of dentistry, I would recommend you do what you have a passion for. If you actually enjoy dentistry then stay with it. If you enjoy medicine and want to be a physician or Surgeon, go take the Mcat. However, if it's all a financial motivation, then leave healthcare and try to get into finance/accounting. I have friends with no debt making close to 120k out of school and after MBA they are looking at 250k+ at big private equity/consulting/industry firms. Albeit the lifestyle is not as good as dentistry because you will be tied to the corporation and will not set your own hours.

If it's a completely financial decision than finance is the best way to go. Way Higher ceiling !
 
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Bucks783

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If you are gonna drop might as well do it before the next term starts.....the way you wrote it seems like you have already made up your mind
 
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Worst income/debt ratio in the US ? Dentistry is all about pushing whitening in a strip mall? Taking practice pointers from those who couldn't do, so teach? Helps explain why that expensive dental school was the best one you got into lol.
 

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Worst income/debt ratio in the US ? Dentistry is all about pushing whitening in a strip mall? Taking practice pointers from those who couldn't do, so teach? Helps explain why that expensive dental school was the best one you got into lol.
:whistle:
 

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Fyi medical school isnt too bright and sunny either... If you only consider the perks...
 
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ajj70

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I'd see if you can even get into med school before dropping out. What would you do if you dropped out of dental school and didn't get into med school? Doctors have debt too. There is also nothing that says you have to buy a practice the day you graduate from DS, get an associate position, work for a corporate dentist for a few years to earn some money, etc. Don't forget to factor in the LONG, LONG hours doctors work.
 
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I'd see if you can even get into med school before dropping out. What would you do if you dropped out of dental school and didn't get into med school? Doctors have debt too. There is also nothing that says you have to buy a practice the day you graduate from DS, get an associate position, work for a corporate dentist for a few years to earn some money, etc. Don't forget to factor in the LONG, LONG hours doctors work.
I think that would be a bit difficult. Studying MCAT on top of dental school coursework and studying. Plus going on interviews during the semester. At that point I think he's better off just leaving the program.
 
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deleted659902

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Incis0r

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So - some background info. I attend an expensive private Dental school. Not excessively (100k+) expensive, but basically up there (80k a year)

I've said this here before, but from the get go, I was interested in Dentistry for the lifestyle it provided, job stability, and income... and because I had always viewed medicine as being "too long". Back in undergrad I had shadowed several dentists in my hometown, and a few doctors, and could see myself doing either. Many family friends were doctors, and it wasn't like I was totally against the idea - but my natural affinity towards working with my hands (I thought) helped my decision.

Looking more and more at the debt picture, and the fact that I'll have to buy a practice for another 500k - putting me nearly 1 million dollars in debt before I've earned a dime - It just doesn't make sense financially for me. Plus, since many hospitals are non-profits, residents qualify for loan repayments much much easier, and quicker than most dentists ever would. And the thing is - medicine isn't really THAT long..

To be honest, I don't see why I am paying 90k a year to get a degree that doesn't seem to live up to it's promises anymore. My classmates all just talk about "getting in before it tanks", or "grabbing a practice before the saturation hits". My operative professors joke all the time day about how "we're paying alot of money for this education, so we should take it seriously" - then almost as an afterthought ask us how much we're paying (because they don't really know). I confided in a faculty member, and he agreed with my that the price was absolutely ludicrous, and that private practice isn't all its cracked up to be (which is why he's teaching).



My grades in college were alright - 3.55 science, 3.6ish cumulative. I vastly think that all the "advice" given on these forums is overblown and eggagerated. The average GPA for medical school acceptancees is around a 3.67 nationally - and many of my friends from school (well over 8+) have in with stats around my range have received acceptances this cycle, with no postbacc. I guess I'd been reading too much SDN - but the stats people post here definitely aren't average. It's like people every other person is only applying to the top 30 schools (even though there are 160+ med schools in the US), but that's a another story.

Right now I'm about 40k in debt, which isn't really that bad. If I stay another semester and finish up 1st year it'll be 80k.

80k a year for a degree that nets me a job with the worse income/debt ratio in the United States. With professors that willingly admit in offie hours that what we're paying it crazy. 80k a year for a job that will have me pushing selling un-needed teeth whitening to people out of a strip mall all so I can pay back my loans. It's almost as if my parents were right, and I should have done medicine instead - the whole field just seems so much more driven by "purpose" than dentistry.


Should I drop out now, or keep going with it?

You should be thanking yourself, OP. You're one of the lucky ones to have realized it this early.

$400-500K for this profession is not worth it. It's going to cripple your financial future. Ever notice how almost all dentists say that 400K loans is not OK? Every single one of them recommends minimizing debt load and, from weeks of searching the DT forums, I have yet to find a single one who recommends student loans above $250-300K.

In fact, go over to dentaltown.com, make a free account, and post this exact same question there. You'll get your answer immediately. IMHO, much better to ask experienced dentists than pre-dents.

You can bounce back from a $40K loan. If you think you can handle medicine, then listen to your conscience.


That was something to think about prior to starting d school.

It's not ideal, I agree, but at least OP thought about it and can pull out before it's too late.

There are plenty of dental students with $400K+ in loans who don't even realize the disaster they've gotten themselves into. I'd rather be in OP's shoes than in one of their shoes.
 
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Incis0r

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Fyi medical school isnt too bright and sunny either... If you only consider the perks...

I'd see if you can even get into med school before dropping out. What would you do if you dropped out of dental school and didn't get into med school? Doctors have debt too. There is also nothing that says you have to buy a practice the day you graduate from DS, get an associate position, work for a corporate dentist for a few years to earn some money, etc. Don't forget to factor in the LONG, LONG hours doctors work.

I agree with these two points as well. Don't get the "Grass is greener" syndrome, OP.
Make a well-informed decision based on reason and logic, not emotion.
 

LFA20

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So - some background info. I attend an expensive private Dental school. Not excessively (100k+) expensive, but basically up there (80k a year)

I've said this here before, but from the get go, I was interested in Dentistry for the lifestyle it provided, job stability, and income... and because I had always viewed medicine as being "too long". Back in undergrad I had shadowed several dentists in my hometown, and a few doctors, and could see myself doing either. Many family friends were doctors, and it wasn't like I was totally against the idea - but my natural affinity towards working with my hands (I thought) helped my decision.

Looking more and more at the debt picture, and the fact that I'll have to buy a practice for another 500k - putting me nearly 1 million dollars in debt before I've earned a dime - It just doesn't make sense financially for me. Plus, since many hospitals are non-profits, residents qualify for loan repayments much much easier, and quicker than most dentists ever would. And the thing is - medicine isn't really THAT long..

To be honest, I don't see why I am paying 90k a year to get a degree that doesn't seem to live up to it's promises anymore. My classmates all just talk about "getting in before it tanks", or "grabbing a practice before the saturation hits". My operative professors joke all the time day about how "we're paying alot of money for this education, so we should take it seriously" - then almost as an afterthought ask us how much we're paying (because they don't really know). I confided in a faculty member, and he agreed with my that the price was absolutely ludicrous, and that private practice isn't all its cracked up to be (which is why he's teaching).



My grades in college were alright - 3.55 science, 3.6ish cumulative. I vastly think that all the "advice" given on these forums is overblown and eggagerated. The average GPA for medical school acceptancees is around a 3.67 nationally - and many of my friends from school (well over 8+) have in with stats around my range have received acceptances this cycle, with no postbacc. I guess I'd been reading too much SDN - but the stats people post here definitely aren't average. It's like people every other person is only applying to the top 30 schools (even though there are 160+ med schools in the US), but that's a another story.

Right now I'm about 40k in debt, which isn't really that bad. If I stay another semester and finish up 1st year it'll be 80k.

80k a year for a degree that nets me a job with the worse income/debt ratio in the United States. With professors that willingly admit in offie hours that what we're paying it crazy. 80k a year for a job that will have me pushing selling un-needed teeth whitening to people out of a strip mall all so I can pay back my loans. It's almost as if my parents were right, and I should have done medicine instead - the whole field just seems so much more driven by "purpose" than dentistry.


Should I drop out now, or keep going with it?


yes you should. Dental school sucks so bad(especially 2nd year with all the lab work)and being in debt for 250k+ upon graduation isn't worth it in my opinion. One of my classmates dropped out after the first semester (he had 4.0 in didactic classes) and said that the lab work wasn't for him. I believe he is in med school now. Get out quick before you accumulate more debt.

good luck
 
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LFA20

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That was something to think about prior to starting d school.

easy to say when you haven't started dental school yet. You don't know what your hand skills are going to be like unless you try dental school.
 
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allantois

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easy to say when you haven't started dental school yet. You don't know what your hand skills are going to be like unless you try dental school.

I took a 65 hour dental lab course :p
Actually, I don't know how others determine whether their hand skills are good.
The OP was not complaining about his hand skills however.

Btw, med schools don't particularly like people who switch from other health careers.
 

doc toothache

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It's always best to go where the grass is greener.
 
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coffeeculture

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Btw, med schools don't particularly like people who switch from other health careers.

I think if you're very clear that you've explored the medical field and you know what you're getting yourself into, then the switch shouldn't be a problem. People switch careers all the time. In my opinion, it adds diversity to the class. You just have to make sure you have very strong reasons for the switch...
 

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All of the dentists say go medicine and all of the physicians say go dentistry. What about podiatry?
 
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allantois

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All of the dentists say go medicine and all of the physicians say go dentistry. What about podiatry?

Must do 3 year residency; salaries are 120k
 

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OP, post this question in the pre-allo thread. There are some physicians who are on the admissions committee for different med schools, you may find more advice there!
 

LFA20

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I took a 65 hour dental lab course :p
Actually, I don't know how others determine whether their hand skills are good.
The OP was not complaining about his hand skills however.

Btw, med schools don't particularly like people who switch from other health careers.


how do you know that?
 

Kittenz

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So - some background info. I attend an expensive private Dental school. Not excessively (100k+) expensive, but basically up there (80k a year)

I've said this here before, but from the get go, I was interested in Dentistry for the lifestyle it provided, job stability, and income... and because I had always viewed medicine as being "too long". Back in undergrad I had shadowed several dentists in my hometown, and a few doctors, and could see myself doing either. Many family friends were doctors, and it wasn't like I was totally against the idea - but my natural affinity towards working with my hands (I thought) helped my decision.

Looking more and more at the debt picture, and the fact that I'll have to buy a practice for another 500k - putting me nearly 1 million dollars in debt before I've earned a dime - It just doesn't make sense financially for me. Plus, since many hospitals are non-profits, residents qualify for loan repayments much much easier, and quicker than most dentists ever would. And the thing is - medicine isn't really THAT long..

To be honest, I don't see why I am paying 90k a year to get a degree that doesn't seem to live up to it's promises anymore. My classmates all just talk about "getting in before it tanks", or "grabbing a practice before the saturation hits". My operative professors joke all the time day about how "we're paying alot of money for this education, so we should take it seriously" - then almost as an afterthought ask us how much we're paying (because they don't really know). I confided in a faculty member, and he agreed with my that the price was absolutely ludicrous, and that private practice isn't all its cracked up to be (which is why he's teaching).



My grades in college were alright - 3.55 science, 3.6ish cumulative. I vastly think that all the "advice" given on these forums is overblown and eggagerated. The average GPA for medical school acceptancees is around a 3.67 nationally - and many of my friends from school (well over 8+) have in with stats around my range have received acceptances this cycle, with no postbacc. I guess I'd been reading too much SDN - but the stats people post here definitely aren't average. It's like people every other person is only applying to the top 30 schools (even though there are 160+ med schools in the US), but that's a another story.

Right now I'm about 40k in debt, which isn't really that bad. If I stay another semester and finish up 1st year it'll be 80k.

80k a year for a degree that nets me a job with the worse income/debt ratio in the United States. With professors that willingly admit in offie hours that what we're paying it crazy. 80k a year for a job that will have me pushing selling un-needed teeth whitening to people out of a strip mall all so I can pay back my loans. It's almost as if my parents were right, and I should have done medicine instead - the whole field just seems so much more driven by "purpose" than dentistry.


Should I drop out now, or keep going with it?

As someone who takes all the same courses with the med students. There's a clear distinction and generally true stereotype between dental and med students. Dental students are laid back; whereas, med students are well.. over-worried. It seems that you may fall into the latter category. I suggest palm reading for a second opinion.
 
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Incis0r

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Let's see.. I've been reading the pre-med forum for close to 3 years

That's dedication bruh. And I feel honored that you chose dentistry over medicine :D
 
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jmcunnin

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As one who was was long stuck between medicine and dentistry and is well aware of the new age of dentistry, I would recommend you do what you have a passion for. If you actually enjoy dentistry then stay with it. If you enjoy medicine and want to be a physician or Surgeon, go take the Mcat. However, if it's all a financial motivation, then leave healthcare and try to get into finance/accounting. I have friends with no debt making close to 120k out of school and after MBA they are looking at 250k+ at big private equity/consulting/industry firms. Albeit the lifestyle is not as good as dentistry because you will be tied to the corporation and will not set your own hours.

If it's a completely financial decision than finance is the best way to go. Way Higher ceiling !

Finance/Accounting + MBA is a good field, but I'm not sure the majority are making 120k right out of school or 250k+ after an MBA. However, I do see your point, and you are correct that it is possible. I have an MBA, and worked in the field for a while. One of my main motivations to change careers is that I am an entrepreneur at heart. I feel that dentistry will provide me the opportunity to do something I'd enjoy (based on what I've seen from shadowing), but also allow me to start my own practice and fulfill that career goal at the same time. I also agree with you that you will have less flexibility working for a corporation. The corporate world isn't for everyone. Overall though, business/finance/accounting are great fields and can be very rewarding.
 
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BYU4you

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It's always best to go where the grass is greener.

This, so much this.

You wonder how many Med school students want to switch to dentistry.

"I hear they get out in 4 years and start making 200k plus a year..."
 
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W19

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You should go to LECOM DO school where you can minimize your debt to <200k, and then get into EM residency... EM docs make 350k+/year working 32-36 hrs/wk. Voila!
 

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What are your grades like after semester 1? I agree with other posters that med schools may not look favorably on you bailing on dentistry. If your grades are stellar, that may be less of an issue. Dental school gets harder from here, don't take this decision lightly. Keep in mind, your loan repayment will automatically begin 6 months after you're no longer a student, so you'll need a plan to begin making monthly payments on the loans, on top of the costs of applying to med school and taking the MCAT. No one has a crystal ball, but I'd agree that a future in medicine is less risky than in dentistry, especially with a COA of $350k+, pre-interest capitalization.
 
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This, so much this.

You wonder how many Med school students want to switch to dentistry.

"I hear they get out in 4 years and start making 200k plus a year..."
When I went to the Er, the doctor there told me wow your gonna be making bank...
 
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HelicaseInitiator

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I've been told by multiple dentists and physicians (pediatrician, two family medicine, OBGYN, two dermatologists, ER), that dentistry is the way to go, you get out in four years and work as an associate while physicians are in residency and you work less hours.
 
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torontopharm

Must do 3 year residency; salaries are 120k

The real issue IMO is getting residencies.
There are Pod students with 4.0 GPA that don't get residencies every year. There's a higher chance of not matching at all by going the Pod route than MD/DO.
 
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Incis0r

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don't take this decision lightly.

This.
Free99, do you know if it becomes harder to re-gain admission to dental school if you leave it in the middle of the program, but then change your mind and want to come back?
 
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Incis0r

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My operative professors joke all the time day about how "we're paying alot of money for this education, so we should take it seriously" - then almost as an afterthought ask us how much we're paying (because they don't really know). I confided in a faculty member, and he agreed with my that the price was absolutely ludicrous, and that private practice isn't all its cracked up to be (which is why he's teaching).

How do the faculty not know what you're paying? Everything is online now. The full cost of attendance for any school can be found on that school's website.
 
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free99

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This.
Free99, do you know if it becomes harder to re-gain admission to dental school if you leave it in the middle of the program, but then change your mind and want to come back?
Way harder, I'd assume, but I'm just speculating. Dropping out and leaving an open seat in a class (and less revenue for a school) is a huge inconvenience for schools. I'd be surprised if any school let you back in without some very compelling reason.
How do the faculty not know what you're paying? Everything is online now. The full cost of attendance for any school can be found on that school's website.
Most faculty don't deal with tuition costs or money allocation, so it's not really pertinent for them to know exactly that the coa is. They know it's expensive, and that's probably enough.
 

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I've been told by multiple dentists and physicians (pediatrician, two family medicine, OBGYN, two dermatologists, ER), that dentistry is the way to go, you get out in four years and work as an associate while physicians are in residency and you work less hours.

Yeah, but after residency - don't they eventually make more on average?

Also, OP, I'm pretty sure that some medical specialties are saturated too in cities that are more favorable to live in (noticed that you mentioned dentistry being saturated in your first post).
Choose something you like and then stick to it. Like everyone else is saying, be sure if you're going to make the switch.
 

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OP, it sounds like you might be in for a life of dissatisfaction if you continue. I think if you're not motivated by dentistry itself, you should take a serious reconsideration.
 

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I'm just wondering how you'll explain dropping out of dental school after one semester to med school admission committees?
 
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Yeah I am considering it. I am a D1 and just am not sure whether I should have chosen the dental route over the medical route. From a passion standpoint I want to help people and make an impact, and being a 'doctor' was always my childhood dream. I shadowed both dental and medical professions. I guess when I shadowed dentists I didn't really see what exactly they were doing until I got into sim lab and not sure if this is what I want to do. And then at the same time I am not sure if it is worth taking the shot while already being 100k in debt and switching into the medical field where I also don't really know the ins and outs and only saw the outside view
 

Blueshirts

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Yeah I am considering it. I am a D1 and just am not sure whether I should have chosen the dental route over the medical route. From a passion standpoint I want to help people and make an impact, and being a 'doctor' was always my childhood dream. I shadowed both dental and medical professions. I guess when I shadowed dentists I didn't really see what exactly they were doing until I got into sim lab and not sure if this is what I want to do. And then at the same time I am not sure if it is worth taking the shot while already being 100k in debt and switching into the medical field where I also don't really know the ins and outs and only saw the outside view
Doing Class II's in simlab sucks and the lack of comradery from going virtual has to be super difficult for all D1. I feel for you guys, I personally only know 1 D1 in my class and only because he was in the bridge program last year. By this time last year I already knew almost all of my class and probably half of the class above me, along with some d3/d4. I can't remember anyone enjoying doing restorations in simlab, but I know that all of my friends in clinic are really enjoying doing complex cases, and once your knowledge base starts to build up and you can have real conversations with people in real life it reminds you why dentistry is so cool; everyone needs a dentist but they don't have the knowledge and your position in society becomes meaningful. Fixed and removable prosth classes and endo are way more fun btw. It's difficult to assess what dentistry really is when you are fiddling around with the same style typodont tooth over and over, you should head over to dentaltown and look at a bunch of cases that people have posted, it's eye opening to realize how sophisticated some of the cases can be and might spark your interest in actual dentistry again.
 

dentalchamp98

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Doing Class II's in simlab sucks and the lack of comradery from going virtual has to be super difficult for all D1. I feel for you guys, I personally only know 1 D1 in my class and only because he was in the bridge program last year. By this time last year I already knew almost all of my class and probably half of the class above me, along with some d3/d4. I can't remember anyone enjoying doing restorations in simlab, but I know that all of my friends in clinic are really enjoying doing complex cases, and once your knowledge base starts to build up and you can have real conversations with people in real life it reminds you why dentistry is so cool; everyone needs a dentist but they don't have the knowledge and your position in society becomes meaningful. Fixed and removable prosth classes and endo are way more fun btw. It's difficult to assess what dentistry really is when you are fiddling around with the same style typodont tooth over and over, you should head over to dentaltown and look at a bunch of cases that people have posted, it's eye opening to realize how sophisticated some of the cases can be and might spark your interest in actual dentistry again.
Wow thank you for this! You are absoutely right, when it comes down to it, I just want to know that I will be able to make an impact on people's lives. I want to be acknowledged and respected for that which is what swayed me to medicine. I never had any handskills before dental school which is why it is giving me trouble now.

I also realized you are the original poster, so did you end up sticking with dentistry and not dropping out?
 

gyoku

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Finish D school competitively & then go onto to OMFS. you'll be DDS/MD and definitely not working out of a strip mall.
 
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dentalchamp98

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Finish D school competitively & then go onto to OMFS. you'll be DDS/MD and definitely not working out of a strip mall.
I don’t have competitive grades for that unfortunately...
 
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