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Orthodontics is NOT utopia its a f***ing job!

Discussion in 'Dental Residents and Practicing Dentists' started by drben, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. drben

    drben Member
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    Reading some of the recent threads about getting into ortho (Griffin, and others) has me concerned about the lack of perspective that some of the people that frequent these boards have. What I mean is that at the end of the day Ortho/OS/Endo or whatever the specialty du joir is...when it all comes down to it it's a JOB! What that means is that no matter how bad you want to pursue one of these specialties; at the end of the day you will wish that you could have spent it doing something else.

    When I was a dental student (I graduated D-School 2001) I had a friend that put all of her eggs into the ortho basket. She essentially put her life on hold by sacrificing relationships, friendships, experiences etc. in order to get into an orthodontic residency. Where is she now; She graduated from one of the top orthodontic programs in the country, works in a private practice seeing 100+ patients a day, makes less money than my GP wife, has NO friends, has no significant other, and has NO prospect of having a "normal" family life...she is pathetically alone and knows it. Was being an orthodontist worth it?

    Don't get me wrong, I have been a private practice orthodontist for 2 years and I really like my job. However, at the end of the day I would rather be fishing, snowboarding, hunting, or just sitting on my ass watching TV instead of being at work. Being an orthodontist, owning your own practice is not utopia...it's WORK. You have WAY more staff than your GP buddies and guess what...working with all of those women and keeping them happy is a bitch! By the way if you don't like kissing ass you should reconsider being an orthodontist since it's your most important job skill. You won't sit down and mow down teeth but you'll be puckering up to Mom and Dad and in between that you will be on the phone with referring Doc's kissing brown starfish.

    I have a great job. But the moral of all this is just to be happy and realize that the grass is always greener. Don't kill yourself trying to get 99 on Part I, don't sacrifice friendships for that "A" in General Path...etc. When it all comes down to it you could be perfectly happy being a GP.

    B.
     
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  3. DcS

    DcS damn the red baron
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    And how did you get into ortho?

    They should just dump these ortho threads in with the MD forums. These people are just as bad.
     
  4. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Can you give up your ortho practice now and go back to doing GP? I know you mention your wife is a GP, but did you practice GP before you did ortho? Believe me, if I could be happy as a GP, I would have gave up back in July and focused my energies on finding a good associateship and starting my own GP practice. Something in me says that I could be happy as GP, but I could be happier as an ortho. Every ortho that I have ever met who did GP first always says the same thing "GP was good, but ortho is so much more fun." I know it's a job at the end of the day, but why not enjoy it? Some of us just don't like mowing down teeth and if there is an alternative, why not?
     
  5. cuneatus2

    cuneatus2 Member
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    She has no friends? And she's not making more than your wife? Man, you're right...ortho is definitely NOT the way to go!
     
  6. TiggerJSA

    TiggerJSA Examing the colon stinks
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    I don't know where to begin in response to this post... I can't believe you are generalizing a personal experience to apply to everyone who applies to ortho/endo/surgery/whatever specialty. What it comes down to at the end of the day is what you ultimately wanna do with the rest of your life. I'm sorry that you aren't enjoying your job as much as you would have hoped, but I know plenty of specialists and GP's that love what they do. Whether you're an orthodontist, endodontist, or friggin janitor, there are those that don't like their job and those that do.

    As far as how much money your friend is making in ortho don't mean squat if she is enjoying what she is doing. That she sacrificed relationships, social life, etc. is her choice. Not everyone goes to the same lengths. Besides, the news is out... YOU GOTTA SACRIFICE FOR ANY FIELD OF DENTISTRY, or health care for that matter. How much one sacrifices is personal and is on an individual basis.

    In conclusion, I wouldn't be so hasty to call any of this a job. Someone gave me a great piece of advice when it came to selecting a career..., "Make your career a hobby first and a job second." In other words, do what you love. Yeah, it's gonna involve work, but any career will. Hopefully, selecting a preferred path will replace some of the labelled work with a playful spin. The money is bonus, especially in this business. No one is gonna starve. I don't think everyone applying to ortho is thinking it's some utopia or easy street. Anyone in dental school knows none of this comes easy. Please don't rain on anyone's parade who matched, and don't belittle those that didn't. To any aspiring specialist, put in your all only to the limit that your personal values and priorities will allow. Congrats to all ortho Matchers and keep up the drive to those that didn't (I know many from the past that picked themselves up and made it in subsequent years). Let's hope those of us in Phase II of Match come out shining...
     
  7. north2southOMFS

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    hahahahahah!!!!

    I'm falling over reading your sob story here pal. Sorry about your $hitty life! Why don't you complain more about all your training....oooooooohhhhhhh 2years of residency......oooooooohhhhhhh, my life is on hold, sob, sob sob. Oh, i had to work 5 days a week in residency and had to kiss my friends goodbye because i had to move away from home....sob sob sob......?

    Do you have any clue on this earth who you are preaching to? Well, let me first say that they are mostly people who are either in or are going to be in residencies that LAST MORE THAN 2 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If your miserable being an orthodontist, don't spread it to these newly matched guys who are excited about starting residency. And if you don't like your job guess what, The world needs ditchdiggers too you know.


    Oh, and the sob story about your friend who somehow had to stop her life for a 9-5 residency for 2 years and makes less money than your GP wife working on >100 patients a day,

    Your wife is either the biggest bomb diggity GP out there or your friend is the worst freaking orthodontist known to man.

    Or she just works on people who have no money. You decide.
    Oh and if she has no friends then she has social skills issues, and that doesn't have anything to do with dentistry.
     
  8. WestCoast

    WestCoast OMFS
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    but i thought thats what orthodontists do to make money?? :eek:
     
  9. BlueToothHunter

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    Sounds like a great wife material! Is she still single?? :love:
     
  10. jpollei

    jpollei Senior Member
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    Any job can be fun, or can suck. It's in large part (notice I'm not saying "it's all") a reflection of your attitude towards it. Seems like a career could be a utopia and a job without those having to be mutually exclusive for those people who enjoy what they're doing.
    I'm not by any stretch saying that ortho is fun for everyone. Nor that those who have an ivory tower perspective of it are accurate in thinking it's all 3 day work weeks--code for surfing the web or playing the stock market. However, (and I'm not yet an orthodontist so my personal experience can't dictate and may subsequentially change) I'm yet to meet an unhappy orthodontist. Most I know enjoy work as much as fishing or camping. Othewise, they'd hopefully have become forest rangers or deep sea fishermen. :) Any job can be a utopia that you look forward to each day if you choose to make it such.
     
  11. speedy3816

    speedy3816 reality pwns
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    maybe he was a "legacy-kid" or something and got it handed to him, therefore he doesn't appreciate it...

    i dunno, its just a possibility...
     
  12. north2southOMFS

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    It also helps when they pay you large sums of money for your treatment. :)
     
  13. jpollei

    jpollei Senior Member
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    True, true...though I'm sure no one ever has that as a motive. :laugh:
     
  14. drben

    drben Member
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    Allright first of all this wasn't meant to be a sob story. Go back and read the post. All I'm saying is be happy whatever it is your doing whether its OS/Ortho/GP or whatever else. I think if you want to pursue a competitive career you SHOULD work hard to make it a reality. However, every job no matter how great has problems PERIOD.

    It's about having a little bit of perspective...Something I feel that I have to contribute after graduating from dental school, going through a residency, buying a practice, growing a practice, and dealing with issues in the real world that you guys know exist but have not yet encountered.

    Bottom line is just to be happy with what you have and feel fortunate to be where you are. Don't be one of those people that is constantly building up their lives to face academic/professional hurdles, only to realize that you missed a lot to get there and needlessly sacrificed relationships, or experiences to make it happen .

    Ben
     
  15. drben

    drben Member
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    lol...and I'm supposed to be the bitter one :rolleyes: Thank you so much for all your hard work during your residency...there, do you feel better now?
     
  16. Rube

    Rube Member
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    I think you've made some great points in general terms. I love dentistry, and I think I would love OMS, but I cannot forsee myself doing OMS. Why? Because I love getting up on a cold morning in November, drinking coffee and heading into the woods with my cousins to hunt deer. I love the joking, the stories, the shared experience, the time spent in communion with nature. This is one of the things I'm passionate about and its an experience that brings me a tremendous amout of happiness throughout the year. To give up even a year of that during a 6 year residency would not be worth it. To me that's giving up life.

    For others, OMS would bring them incredible happiness, satisfaction and give their lives a meaning that only they truly understand. For them its important to push on for their goals.

    I suppose its a matter of personal preference at some point and its a matter of working hard to make sure you're thoughtful and careful about how you grow your relationships and your life's work.
     
  17. SMC2UCLA2_

    SMC2UCLA2_ Senior Member
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    I appreciate your post. Sometimes people forget to balance their lives and they will end up like the orthodontist in your story.

    People have been very critical of your post like you are telling everyone to forget about ortho. I don't see where you said anything like this. Thanks
     

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