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Pre-med & Pre-dent

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by pbehzad, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. pbehzad

    pbehzad Faddayy
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    Im a premed student right now, but if I dont get accepted I was thinking about dental school. I was wondering what kind of grades and DAT scores do you need? Also what classes are different from the pre-med route? Do you think if you study for the mcat you could still take the DAT, or are there separate subjects tested in the DAT?
    thanks for any help.
     
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  3. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    pbehzad,

    Congratulations on doing some planning for your future. Do some research on dentistry before you blow money applying. If you really want to be an MD and you don't get accepted this year, then I would strongly encourage you to apply again. If you really want to do it, there is a way.

    As far as dentistry goes, scores that will make you extremely competitive (read: interviews at nearly everywhere you apply & a good deal of acceptances also) are a 3.5-3.7 overall GPA and a 3.3-3.6 science GPA. Those fluctuate a bit, of course, depening on your extra-curricular activities, proof that you are interested in the field, etc. DAT scores would be 20's overall.

    There are no different classes for premeds and predents, however the DAT does not test on physics, so this is often delayed until the applicant's senior year. If you've studied for the MCAT you can do fairly well on the DAT, however you will find that the testing styles are polar extremes. If you are really interested in pursuing this, I'd suggest you take a look at the Kaplan DAT prep book (local library, bookstore, etc.) and take a gander at some of the practice exams. Kaplan.com also offers a practice exam so you can become familiar with the question types and different sections. The DAT does include sections which aren't on the MCAT -- but you'll find out more about those as you look at mock DAT tests.

    I hope this was somewhat helpful -- I didn't go into extreme detail because I didn't get a sense that you were very serious about pursuing dentistry. I may be completely incorrect on that topic (apologies if so), but it seems as though dentistry is a backup resort for you, which it shouldn't necessarily be. If you research the field a bit more you'll find out how it suits you (or doesn't suit you). If you are pursuing it simply because you can't get an MD you might have a very miserable career! Dentistry is a thriving aspect of the health-professions, but there are a key number of differences between the DDS and MD, and sometimes those differences poke and prod people throughout their entire careers. That could lead to a very unsuccesful and unhappy career.

    On the other hand, perhaps dentistry is right up your alley! If so, congratulations! You'll be entering a field where the pay & hours are far better than 98% of MDs could ever hope for. You'll also be likely to experience a level of autonomy that relatively few MDs ever experience. Dentists (and predents?) are a close bunch and enjoy sticking up for each other. For example, 20% of MDs are members of the AMA, while 85% of DDS/DMD are members of the ADA. Dentists are in control of their profession and the sky is the limit.

    Good luck with your decision!

    -G
     
  4. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    By the way, if you find you become serious about dentistry and wish to contribute to the profession, then don't let anybody (certainly not your premed buddies) put down the profession or your career goals.

    We take slightly different routes of training than MDs, but the moral of the story is that some choose to do rads, some er, some eyes, some peds, some become gasdocs, and some choose to do teeth. Dentistry is every bit as important as the other medical specialties and the benefits are outstanding (just ask those of us who are doing teeth!). ;)

    -G
     
  5. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    Pbehzad:

    Could I suggest two things:

    One: go shadow dentists or dentist specialists in their offices to gain exposure and knowledge about a career in dentistry.

    Two: Do not think, feel, or assume for a second that dental schools are backup plans for medical schools!

    Find your passion and pursue it.

    :cool:
     
  6. Big_Poppa DDS

    Big_Poppa DDS Senior Member
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    Why do people get so upset, if someone wants to apply to 2 professions. When I was in undergrad I kept all my options open - I took the DAT, the OAT and the PCAT. I applied to teachers college, physical therapy, optometry and dentistry.

    Its called reality, if I couldn't get into dental school - what else would I do and not mind besides going to school forever. By the way it took me three years to get accepted to dental school and in my last year I was accepted to every program I applied for. I also appreciated the options I had.
     
  7. racemic01

    racemic01 Member
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    I must have missed something. Who exactly is upset? Both Gavin and Yah-E's advice was very good and neither were upset. Just to add in my .02, if you really want to be a physician and can't get into medical school I think you should consider osteopathic school. I think dentistry is a great field. I chose it over medicine. But dentistry, albeit related to medicine, is a unique specialty and obviously not the same thing as family practice, etc. If you have your heart set on medicine, first have confidence, you may get in, and second there are other options if you don't. Beef up your resume, or apply to oseopathics. Medicine is a great field, so if that's what you want to do, do it!! FYI, I'm not sure of avg GPAs for allopaths or osteopaths, but the dental schools I applied to had an avg GPA of 3.4 not exactly a piece of cake.

    However, if you are interested in dentistry, I agree with the others. You should shadow a bit and learn more about it. Also, to answer your question, there is math section and a perceptual ability section on the DAT.

    Don't get me wrong, backup plans are a good idea, IF you really want to do both. If your backup comes as a disappointment to you then that's just what it will be and you may indeed be miserable. Good luck though, and if you have any specific questions about dentistry or just want to learn/hear more about it I'm sure people here will be happy to respond.
     
  8. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    Big Poppa:

    You too were one of those "Health Professions Soup" applicants! Did you ever think, maybe that's why it took you three times to finally get in somewhere for dental school?!

    If one applicant knew that one health profession is what (s)he really wanted and have an absolute passion in, then I can bet that that one applicant will do what ever necessary to pursue that one health profession and be a successful applicant! By applying to three or four health profession programs is not one of those "do what ever necessary to gain dental admissions" step!

    In my opinion, it's those that don't know "exactly" what they want to get into that has trouble gaining admission. If these "Health Professions Soup" applicants just happens to have steller grades and standardize exam scores, then they may have a lot of their work cut out for them.

    I have to disagree with you on "reality" that you have mentioned! Maybe it's YOUR "reality", but certainly not for over 80% of dental school applicants' "reality"! Over 80% of dental school applicants year after year apply to dental schools and dental schools only and not three or four other programs.

    Is it bad or wrong to be a "Health Profession Soup" applicant? No, of course not, but is it the reality.........again, I say that's ludicrous!

    :cool:
     
  9. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Yaaaaay! Finally some wholesome action on the predent forum. This is kinda like celebrity boxing --- let's get it on!! ;)

    -G
     
  10. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    just make sure its something you'd actually considering pursuing...application fees are making my head spin!! err!! :mad: :rolleyes: :( AADSAS fees, supplemental fees, photos, Dat scores, stamps, transcripts....ARGH!!! +pissed+
     
  11. cusp of carabelli

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    how did you come up with this number?...did you poll all the applicants to see that over 80% of ALL applicants are only applying to dental schools? I think that if you'd like to pursue the research or teaching side of dentistry then you don't necessarily need the "passion" that is described that all applicants should have before deciding to pursue this career. There are still dental specialists out there whom are afraid to give novacaine injections just like there are physicians that don't know how much 1 ml is (both are true stories!) Not everyone in every field is meant to be in the clinic/hospital but does that mean they shouldn't be in or apply to dental/medical school? I don't think so. Growing cultures of bacteria is performed the same in medical schools, dental schools, undergraduate labs, in some peoples refrigerators (i won't name names...;)) Don't get me wrong...I do think dental school is very different from medical school and other health professions and if you plan on being mainly a general practioner then dentistry might not be THE best alternative if you don't have the manual dexterity skills necessary. will it help to have a passion for your field? yes. but that doesn't mean that you will be a bad dentist just because you are a "health professions soup" applicant.
     
  12. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    Listen Cusp:

    No one said anything about anyone will be a "bad" dentist! I simply wish the "Health Professions Soup" applicant luck and shared my thoughts with Big Poppa.

    For the record, no one is upset and no one said someone will be a bad dentist!

    We all obviously have different thoughts, beliefs, and opinions on this topic and many others. Let's not forget to main focus here, we're all trying to help this "Health Professions Soup" applicant!

    What ever advice (s)he chooses, then that's up to that person.

    How did I get that number...I think you have forgotten...I have my ways with dental school admissions statistics!

    :cool:
     
  13. cusp of carabelli

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  14. Big_Poppa DDS

    Big_Poppa DDS Senior Member
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    yah-ee,

    You don't even know what my situation was. First of all the first 2 years I applied only to Dental schools, Canadian dental schools - which in my opinion are a lot harder to get admitted to, mainly because there are only 5. So, It is practically unheard of a successful applicant at a Canadian dental school to be admitted with anything less than an A gpa. Not that this is right, but that is the way it is.

    So, in my last year of undergrad I applied to any profession that I would enjoy doing, I really do think I would be just as happy as an optometrist as I am as a dentist. I also applied to US schools, but I would have gone to any Canadian school that accepted me - for the cheaper tuition alone. You see as a Canadian citizen we are not eligible for financial aid. Since there is only one English speaking Optometry school in Canada - I was waitlisted and was accepted with a scholarship to a US dental school.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with applying to many programs and keeping your options open. I probably don't have the same passion for dentistry as others, and I don't care. My patients like me, and I would never do anything to jeapordize anyones oral or systemic health. Big deal If I don't get excited about doing that endo, or prepping that crown. At least I know how to do it and know when its needed. The point is not everyone who is a competent health care professional has to dedicate their life to it. Heck, I went into dentistry rather than medicine so I could have a life!:cool:
     
  15. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    Big Poppa....what ever works for you, you're absolutely right, it's your life. Good luck.

    Cusp....how did you find my secret!?

    :cool:
     

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