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NYNJKING

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So I'm finishing up my masters at Rutgers Biomed, however, I came in as premed. GPA has been a 4.0 but due to undergrad and copious credits I took, it only brings it up to above a 3.4. I'm Asian so if I continue w/ medicine I'm most likely going to osteopathic school. I'm not okay with becoming a primary care doc (FM, IM, neuro, psych) but more so want to do Radiology. However, with the burnout rate and lack of proper compensation during residency, I was looking into dentistry (and was for a while as another option outside of medicine) due to work-life balance and the idea that I can still practice being the clinician to diagnose w/o having the bearing of working a life-changing procedure (such as plastics or gen surg) I understand that dent school costs more and residency is a toss-up depending on if you pay or get a scholarship. I haven't shadowed yet and would have to take the DAT but I'm also in my mid-twenties and kind of having a quarter-life crisis about this because it's time to move on to the next step. In medicine, there are more options and specialties that come into play but the baseline is if those don't work out I either work as a Primary care physician or a general dentist (if taken the dental route). Shadowing now seems embarrassing since I already shadowed physicians (neuro, ER, and scribed for an Interventional cardiologist) and that I'm an older non-trad. For medicine I would ideally want to pursue Radiology but if that doesn't happen idk if I'd be okay with primary care. For dentistry, there are limited options. I'd be okay with endo or might even try for ortho but seems like general dentists have a good work-life balance. Another thing to consider is I'd like to stay within the tri-state NYC area or if anything else be in Socal or SoFlo which plays a big factor. Maybe I'm just ranting. But ideally would like to hear anyone's advice.


GPA so far will be about 3.4
Last 60 credits were all As
Extracurriculars;
ER volunteering- brought pts their food, blankets, pillows, bedside care, companionship
ER Research - Tobbacco cessation, colorectal screening, cholesterol screening, oral contrast study for ab pain was also in charge or writing letters
Volunteer for pts w/ delirium or borderline dementia - helped them w/ neurological activities, assisted pts w/ dysphagia consume food
Med scribe - I guess irrelevant but did it w/ an interventional cardiologist
Shadowed several ER residents and physicians, also a Neurologist.
TA - for astrophysics lab, graded their lab reports and helped answer some questions
Pharm tech - also useless but pays better than med scribing

What sort of ECs do I need besides shadowing?
DAT score to aim for?

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macsak

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So I'm finishing up my masters at Rutgers Biomed, however, I came in as premed. GPA has been a 4.0 but due to undergrad and copious credits I took, it only brings it up to above a 3.4. I'm Asian so if I continue w/ medicine I'm most likely going to osteopathic school. I'm not okay with becoming a primary care doc (FM, IM, neuro, psych) but more so want to do Radiology. However, with the burnout rate and lack of proper compensation during residency, I was looking into dentistry (and was for a while as another option outside of medicine) due to work-life balance and the idea that I can still practice being the clinician to diagnose w/o having the bearing of working a life-changing procedure (such as plastics or gen surg) I understand that dent school costs more and residency is a toss-up depending on if you pay or get a scholarship. I haven't shadowed yet and would have to take the DAT but I'm also in my mid-twenties and kind of having a quarter-life crisis about this because it's time to move on to the next step. In medicine, there are more options and specialties that come into play but the baseline is if those don't work out I either work as a Primary care physician or a general dentist (if taken the dental route). Shadowing now seems embarrassing since I already shadowed physicians (neuro, ER, and scribed for an Interventional cardiologist) and that I'm an older non-trad. For medicine I would ideally want to pursue Radiology but if that doesn't happen idk if I'd be okay with primary care. For dentistry, there are limited options. I'd be okay with endo or might even try for ortho but seems like general dentists have a good work-life balance. Another thing to consider is I'd like to stay within the tri-state NYC area or if anything else be in Socal or SoFlo which plays a big factor. Maybe I'm just ranting. But ideally would like to hear anyone's advice
a year and a half ago, you were told you should shadow dentists...

 
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NYNJKING

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a year and a half ago, you were told you should shadow dentists...


That was before I was accepted into the master's program and due to covid, I didn't bother looking for shadowing. Was mainly focusing on school.
 
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macsak

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That was before I was accepted into the master's program and due to covid, I didn't bother looking for shadowing. Was mainly focusing on school.
ok, point taken
you should shadow dentists...
 

macsak

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ok, point taken
you should shadow dentists...
oh, and your masters degrees is graduate gpa, separate from your undergraduate gpas...
 
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NYNJKING

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oh, and your masters degrees is graduate gpa, separate from your undergraduate gpas...
Do Dental schools not compile the two? Would this be disadvantageous in terms of grade forgiveness/reinvention
 

HowToTeeth101

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I don't think saying your an ORM applicant really matters that much in the grand scheme of crafting a good application that the ADCOMS (for medicine or dental for that matter) would like and that shows you in your best light. I would not lead with creating a list of schools based on that. I would however focus on doing well on the DAT, getting your LORs together, and finishing strong in your Post-Bac. Also, shadow and take notes while doing so because some schools will ask during interviews about your experiences. Based on the regions you have pointed out as preferences, I'd say you have bunch of options as far as choosing what school you want to go to if you're offered an acceptance.
 

macsak

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Do Dental schools not compile the two? Would this be disadvantageous in terms of grade forgiveness/reinvention
i just said they consider them separate
which is to your advantage, because it shows you can succeed in a rigorous program
that's why you are paying so much money and taking so much time to do the special masters...
 
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Big Time Hoosier

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I'm not okay with becoming a primary care doc
As a dentist, you are a primary care doc for the oral cavity. You have to be comfortable with that.

the burnout rate and lack of proper compensation during residency
Trust me, I was "worked" in my pediatric dentistry residency. I was putting in likely as many hours as a non-surgical medical resident. I know that's not the case for every dental residency, but it was for mine and it could be for yours. Also, as is the case for many dental specialty programs, imagine not getting paid at all during your residency and having to pay $200,000 or more in tuition for the opportunity. Glad that wasn't me. That is what I would call "lack of proper compensation." The road to becoming a dental specialist can easily leave you with $700,000+ in student loans. Fact, you don't want to be one of these people.

I'd be okay with endo or might even try for ortho
If you're worried about getting into competitive medical residencies, you should be just as worried about getting into competitive dental residencies. To be competitive for endo, you will be expected to have full-time practice experience after dental school. Few get directly in, you okay with that? For ortho, it seems to me that ortho obsesses over class rank more than other specialties. You confident in your ability to be in the top 20% of your class to have a solid chance of getting in? You need to go to dental school being completely content becoming a general dentist. As you pointed out, there are fewer roads to take in dentistry compared to medicine.

Big Hoss
 
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D1Bound

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I think there are serious advantages of dentistry over the medical school route. However, understand that dentistry is SO incredibly dependent on your ability to use your hands. You're talking about doing radiology through the medical route. Are you okay with working in millimeters of length in general dentistry? I think few people actually understand what dentistry is until they get to dental school and actually do some of it. I know picking up a handpiece for the first time was eye opening for me. It sounds like you are very conflicted. Try and shadow a ton and really understand what you want. Consider jobs outside of these fields as well. Be open minded. But dentistry is a great path and several physicians told me they would consider if they had to do it all over again
 

tstrazz2

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I think it sounds like you need to spend some time in a dental office and make sure you actually like the job - not just your theoretical idea of what it would be like. I also think you need to ask more direct and targeted questions - a lot of this kind of reads like assumptions and generalizations. You don’t have enough information right now to commit several hundred thousand dollars to a dental education. I’m going to tell you a little about me for background before sharing a couple of thoughts:

I was premed in undergrad and graduated with a 3.6 GPA from an average to above-average college. I wanted to do orthopedic surgery but was nervous because it’s so competitive and I didn’t like general medicine as a career. I felt dentistry was a better fit because I wanted a job that was more hands on. I scored a 22 AA and 19 PAT on the DAT. It took me a few years to get in with additional pre-reqs I needed. Actually, I did get in to NYU my second year applying but decided to reapply to a state school that was in the city I’m from (best decision ever). I finally got in my 3rd year and was 26 by the time I started. In the time between, I shadowed at a dental office a few days a week and worked as a bartender and fence installer.

In dental school, I was in the middle of my class academically - ranked 46/93. But despite this, I got into a very competitive (and paid) AEGD program. Why? Because I LOVED dentistry. I enjoyed learning about it and practicing it and trying to improve. My GPA got better every year as the curriculum became less general science and more dental specific. I had good but not great clinical skills - in the top 25% of the class but I separated myself because I put a ton of work into each case and the faculty could see my effort and passion. Also, not for nothing but I think I separated from a lot of classmates by being able to comfortably communicate and interact with patients and faculty. Most of my classmates spent their lives in school prior to dental school and didn’t have the same experiences I had working at a restaurant and making small talk/interacting with people. I kept records and pictures of my clinical work and made a strong portfolio - which combined with faculty recommendations for me into a great residency. I then decided to try to specialize in Prosthodontics - which I was always interested in and you could see that looking at my resume. I applied during my AEGD residency and again got into an extremely competitive and paid program.

So here is what I would say to answer your questions:

1) Your interest in dentistry should be genuine. You need to make sure you really like the day to day work as a general dentist, and start there. If you later decide you want to pursue a specific specialty, then awesome. But I would make sure you are good with what a general dentist does. Yes the hours are nice - but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s easy or not stressful. Unfortunately, there is a higher rate of suicide or substance abuse in dentistry than many other professions- in my opinion a lot of those people are ones who realized to late they didn’t really like the job.

2) Very few residencies in general dentistry are unpaid. Specialties are a different story since many also give a degree. But remember - specialties are an investment in yourself and your long term earning potential. Most are only 2-3 years. It’s not something that I would make a decision for your career based on.

3) Consider spending a year working in a dental office. Apply as an assistant. Don’t simply sit to the side and shadow quietly - take a position that forces you to interact with patients get comfortable with those interactions. It will pay off when you get to clinic.

4) Have you really looked into all the different career paths in dentistry? Your interests in the medical field don’t really line up with the specialities you mentioned above. Have you researched Oral Pathology? Oral radiology? Dental Anesthesia? Those are some more chill ways to make a living in dentistry outside of doing a lot of hands on clinical work.
 
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HKSZYU

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I think some of your medicine worries are a little overblown.

Academically, is your masters program an SMP? If you're getting a 4.0 from an SMP, that could position you for a decent MD application. Goro's reinvention guide has more info on this. Even if you don't get an MD acceptance, a DO acceptance doesn't mean you have to be a primary care physician. Rads may be a bit harder to match, but if you match IM, you can do any IM-subspecialty.

In terms of work-life balance, dentistry generally has a better lifestyle, but once you're an attending physician, there are medicine jobs available where balance exists. When thinking about balance, remember that dentistry is hard in big cities (you mentioned you want to stay in NYC or SoCal); if you're trying to be an owner dentist, there's saturation and lot's of competition. Meanwhile, for medicine in big cities, you'll be an employee in most cases and there are a lot of medicine jobs available.

Based on your profile, I think both medicine and dentistry doors are still open. You just need to figure out which one is more interesting to you content-wise and provides career paths that you like best. If you want to continue down the dental path, I think all you'd really need is some shadowing hours; the rest of your ECs look good.
 
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lwergod

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So I'm finishing up my masters at Rutgers Biomed, however, I came in as premed. GPA has been a 4.0 but due to undergrad and copious credits I took, it only brings it up to above a 3.4. I'm Asian so if I continue w/ medicine I'm most likely going to osteopathic school. I'm not okay with becoming a primary care doc (FM, IM, neuro, psych) but more so want to do Radiology. However, with the burnout rate and lack of proper compensation during residency, I was looking into dentistry (and was for a while as another option outside of medicine) due to work-life balance and the idea that I can still practice being the clinician to diagnose w/o having the bearing of working a life-changing procedure (such as plastics or gen surg) I understand that dent school costs more and residency is a toss-up depending on if you pay or get a scholarship. I haven't shadowed yet and would have to take the DAT but I'm also in my mid-twenties and kind of having a quarter-life crisis about this because it's time to move on to the next step. In medicine, there are more options and specialties that come into play but the baseline is if those don't work out I either work as a Primary care physician or a general dentist (if taken the dental route). Shadowing now seems embarrassing since I already shadowed physicians (neuro, ER, and scribed for an Interventional cardiologist) and that I'm an older non-trad. For medicine I would ideally want to pursue Radiology but if that doesn't happen idk if I'd be okay with primary care. For dentistry, there are limited options. I'd be okay with endo or might even try for ortho but seems like general dentists have a good work-life balance. Another thing to consider is I'd like to stay within the tri-state NYC area or if anything else be in Socal or SoFlo which plays a big factor. Maybe I'm just ranting. But ideally would like to hear anyone's advice.


GPA so far will be about 3.4
Last 60 credits were all As
Extracurriculars;
ER volunteering- brought pts their food, blankets, pillows, bedside care, companionship
ER Research - Tobbacco cessation, colorectal screening, cholesterol screening, oral contrast study for ab pain was also in charge or writing letters
Volunteer for pts w/ delirium or borderline dementia - helped them w/ neurological activities, assisted pts w/ dysphagia consume food
Med scribe - I guess irrelevant but did it w/ an interventional cardiologist
Shadowed several ER residents and physicians, also a Neurologist.
TA - for astrophysics lab, graded their lab reports and helped answer some questions
Pharm tech - also useless but pays better than med scribing

What sort of ECs do I need besides shadowing?
DAT score to aim for?


do not do dentistry should because you couldn't do medicine. both are very different careers. You will end up regretting it. Nothing wrong with osteopathic school as long as you go to a reputable one. You can become an IM doc if you don't want to do family medicine.
 
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