Jan 29, 2017
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I love watching/assisting oral surgeons. Dentists, not so much...

How stupid of an idea is it to go to dental school with the primary goal of becoming an oral surgeon?
 
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I love watching/assisting oral surgeons. Dentists, not so much...

How stupid of an idea is it to go to dental school with the primary goal of becoming an oral surgeon?
Very very very stupid. Incredibly tough specialty to get into even if you are top in the class. What happens if you graduate with huge loans with just a GP degree. Good luck trying to pay that off on a job that you don't even like.
 
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2TH MVR

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Follow your dreams if that is what you aspire to be. Get great grades in undergraduate school so you can attend a good, less expensive traditional dental school like the Univ. of Nebraska (I attended this school). The tuition is very reasonable compared to some of these private dental schools. Also .... a traditional dental school usually offers specialty programs. During D1 .... visit the grad OS section. Set up an interview with the director to discuss your direction and ask for advice. Talk to the OS attendings. Offer to assist the OS grad students with their research thesis. Do research with one of the OS attendings.

You have to network. This was my formula for getting accepted to an Ortho program.
 

ramsdent

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I do not think that's stupid. There are many people (including myself) who matriculated into dental school with a goal in mind. My primary interest was OMS, and I did everything I could while in dental school to match into a residency. There are no secrets to matching. If you are work hard, and are determined, you will realize your goal. Best of luck!
 

schmoob

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On day 1 of orientation, everyone talks about becoming an oral surgeon. As you progress through dental school, you hear about it less and less because reality strikes.

If you want to specifically be in a surgical specialty, go to medical school. You will have many more options taking that route.
 
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Jan 29, 2017
8
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On day 1 of orientation, everyone talks about becoming an oral surgeon. As you progress through dental school, you hear about it less and less because reality strikes.

If you want to specifically be in a surgical specialty, go to medical school. You will have many more options taking that route.
I've gotten cold feet about dentistry before, which made me rush into medicine. I took the MCAT (513), but I still rather pursue OMFS over any medical specialty. I know a lot of people spit out the idea of becoming an oral surgeon to sound cool, but this is a profession I truly want to pursue.

What is the reality of matching into OMFS? I know it's not going to be easy, but is there something those who match do differently than the rest?

Follow your dreams if that is what you aspire to be. Get great grades in undergraduate school so you can attend a good, less expensive traditional dental school like the Univ. of Nebraska (I attended this school). The tuition is very reasonable compared to some of these private dental schools. Also .... a traditional dental school usually offers specialty programs. During D1 .... visit the grad OS section. Set up an interview with the director to discuss your direction and ask for advice. Talk to the OS attendings. Offer to assist the OS grad students with their research thesis. Do research with one of the OS attendings.

You have to network. This was my formula for getting accepted to an Ortho program.
Posts like this are extremely helpful, thank you and congratulations on the acceptance!
 
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sanfransunshine91

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I've gotten cold feet about dentistry before, which made me rush into medicine. I took the MCAT (513), but I still rather pursue OMFS over any medical specialty. I know a lot of people spit out the idea of becoming an oral surgeon to sound cool, but this is a profession I truly want to pursue.

What is the reality of matching into OMFS? I know it's not going to be easy, but is there something those who match do differently than the rest?


Posts like this are extremely helpful, thank you and congratulations on the acceptance!
Matching into any dental specialty is no easy feat...esp Ortho, Endo, OMFS, Peds...well all really.

Anything special?

1. For starters ranking in the top 5-10% of a pre-selected group of individuals. You are no longer competing with undergrad peers but rather a group of highly motivated, intelligent, and hard working group.

2. Score a 65+ on the CBSE. Realize this is basically getting a pass on the USMLE Step 1 Medical boards. The hard part here is realizing that some kids in Med School don't manage to pass with a curriculum designed for this exam. Now imagine trying to study 70-80% of the material on your own to get a passing score. Most take it 2-4 times to get the score the want to match...all while maintaining their class rank. What does that mean? You have a heavy biomed sci curriculum/clinics from 8-5...you come back and have to study the material you learned/didn't grasp in class. When you are done studying at 10:30-11:30, try to fit in studying for this exam. Never mind the fact that you also have to pass your Dental boards

3. Work to differentiate yourself. Do a research project. Get to know the OMFS department. Work on different community service work/projects. Most of all try to get 4+ Externships in there. If you can't show a passion for the field, know that others can.

4. Be prepared to have 4-6 additional years of your life swallowed away

When people go through (or part of 1-3) they realize it isn't worth it to them when they can be making a solid living with a balanced life/lifestyle. If money is the motivator, put in half the work of an OMFS residency for 4 years and you'll be opening multiple offices.

Summary: if you don't have a dying passion for it, you'll never make it. If yo have that passion, kill yourself to achieve it.
 

schmoob

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I've gotten cold feet about dentistry before, which made me rush into medicine. I took the MCAT (513), but I still rather pursue OMFS over any medical specialty.
What is it specifically about OMS that attracts you? Why not ENT?

Say you're getting ready to apply to dental PG programs soon, and realize there is a very strong possibility you won't match? Would you be satisfied being a GP?
On the other hand, say you're getting ready to apply to ENT soon, and realize there is the same possibility you won't match. Would you be happier as a general dentist? Or would it be nice to have the option of matching a different surgical specialty?

These are just some things to think about, because you are about to make a very big decision.
 
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Kazanjian

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I love watching/assisting oral surgeons. Dentists, not so much...

How stupid of an idea is it to go to dental school with the primary goal of becoming an oral surgeon?
I did it. My classmate did it. A chief resident I knew did it. We all love this profession and believe that the risk involved in the gamble of applying to dental school solely for the purpose of becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is well worth having a shot at our dream job. We honestly believe this is the best profession in the world for us and putting in the necessary time and effort was a decision that we easily convinced ourselves to make.
 
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Localnative

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I did it. My classmate did it. A chief resident I knew did it. We all love this profession and believe that the risk involved in the gamble of applying to dental school solely for the purpose of becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is well worth having a shot at our dream job. We honestly believe this is the best profession in the world for us and putting in the necessary time and effort was a decision that we easily convinced ourselves to make.
Վարազդատ Քազանջյան?
your avatar was the man back in the day.
 

ramsdent

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I did it. My classmate did it. A chief resident I knew did it. We all love this profession and believe that the risk involved in the gamble of applying to dental school solely for the purpose of becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is well worth having a shot at our dream job. We honestly believe this is the best profession in the world for us and putting in the necessary time and effort was a decision that we easily convinced ourselves to make.
agree 100%
 

desertrat12

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I'm a little slow to jump in this thread, but you are basically in the same situation I was. I shadowed oral surgeons and LOVED it but wasn't too thrilled on general dentistry so I focus on Med school. Took the MCAT (you beat me, I got a 511), and even applied. Long story short I never really liked any of the specialties I shadowed (even spent time with an ENT), and was overall not excited about Med school. I canceled the first interview I got and decided I might as well try and pursue the speciality I've loved for years. Took the dat and got into a cheap dental school. I'm a D1 and the faculty have been supportive of my desire to pursue oral surgery. The oral surgeons I shadowed thought it was fine to enter school with oral surgery in mind. I guess where we differ is I could be happy doing general dentistry if oral surgery didn't work out, but I'm going to do all I can to get in.

My only thought would be to give the student debt some serious consideration. It's a risk to enter with the idea of only doing oral surgery, but if you are in a cheap dental school then the risk isn't quite as bad as being 500k in the hole from a private school. If you scored a 513 on the MCAT you are obviously a capable student and will most likely find the dat much more straight forward. Having done them both, I thought the dat was easier. If you grades and other extra curricular stuff is sharp then you should manage to get in to a cheap dental school. Also, I wouldn't believe someone who tells you it's too hard to get into oral surgery and you might as well do medicine and do ENT. ENT is one of the most competitive Med specialties and VERY challenging to match. Just like oral surgery. Also, I could be wrong, but I have a hard time believing that the majority of oral surgeons out there didn't know going in that they wanted to do it, or at least have some inclination towards it. There is so much you have to do to get accepted, and it starts from day 1 putting in way more effort than the dental student who just needs to pass his/her classes. Be honest with yourself if you are up to the challenge. The 1 upperclassmen applying to oral surgery at my school is altogether a different breed of student than the general dentist crowd. Not necessarily more intelligent, but he has had a much different dental school experience than those shooting for a 74% (passing at my school).
 

Steins;Gate

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I'm a little slow to jump in this thread, but you are basically in the same situation I was. I shadowed oral surgeons and LOVED it but wasn't too thrilled on general dentistry so I focus on Med school. Took the MCAT (you beat me, I got a 511), and even applied. Long story short I never really liked any of the specialties I shadowed (even spent time with an ENT), and was overall not excited about Med school. I canceled the first interview I got and decided I might as well try and pursue the speciality I've loved for years. Took the dat and got into a cheap dental school. I'm a D1 and the faculty have been supportive of my desire to pursue oral surgery. The oral surgeons I shadowed thought it was fine to enter school with oral surgery in mind. I guess where we differ is I could be happy doing general dentistry if oral surgery didn't work out, but I'm going to do all I can to get in.

My only thought would be to give the student debt some serious consideration. It's a risk to enter with the idea of only doing oral surgery, but if you are in a cheap dental school then the risk isn't quite as bad as being 500k in the hole from a private school. If you scored a 513 on the MCAT you are obviously a capable student and will most likely find the dat much more straight forward. Having done them both, I thought the dat was easier. If you grades and other extra curricular stuff is sharp then you should manage to get in to a cheap dental school. Also, I wouldn't believe someone who tells you it's too hard to get into oral surgery and you might as well do medicine and do ENT. ENT is one of the most competitive Med specialties and VERY challenging to match. Just like oral surgery. Also, I could be wrong, but I have a hard time believing that the majority of oral surgeons out there didn't know going in that they wanted to do it, or at least have some inclination towards it. There is so much you have to do to get accepted, and it starts from day 1 putting in way more effort than the dental student who just needs to pass his/her classes. Be honest with yourself if you are up to the challenge. The 1 upperclassmen applying to oral surgery at my school is altogether a different breed of student than the general dentist crowd. Not necessarily more intelligent, but he has had a much different dental school experience than those shooting for a 74% (passing at my school).
"Long story short I never really liked any of the specialties I shadowed (even spent time with an ENT), and was overall not excited about Med school" If you're able to share, what about OMFS stands out to you that ENT or other medical specialties appeared to lack?
 

desertrat12

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If you're able to share, what about OMFS stands out to you that ENT or other medical specialties appeared to lack?
Sure:

Internal Medicine: I didn't like the management of chronic disease, monitoring medication, changing dosage, changing medication, a little bit of ambiguity, monitoring a million people's diabetes medication, etc... I'm very glad there are people who thrive in that setting, I'm not one of them.

Family Medicine: similar experience to internal Med, plus monitoring depression medication, referring interesting things to other docs, etc. Again, I love my family practice doc, but not for me.

Radiology: a little boring. The doc I shadowed had a sweet gig, but looking at screens for a long time didn't interest me. Perhaps interventional radiology would have.

Orthopedics: ortho was actually very cool. So no personal negatives that were starkly apparent when I shadowed.

ENT: I was probably a little harsh in my original post, I didn't not like ENT, just didn't enjoy what I saw as much as oms. They do some awesome surgeries and seem like they can have a good lifestyle balance. For whatever reason I wasn't very interested in the bread and butter stuff I saw them do like tubes and tonsiles. The allergy stuff didn't interest me much. The doc I shadowed was sort of unhappy with his choice of profession so I'm sure that didn't help my impression of the specialty.

OMS: like I mentioned, I would be happy being a gp if I didn't match into oms, so I'm that respect I guess I'm just more interested in oral health than someone's ears. I really enjoyed wisdom teeth extractions and watching implants being placed. I also loved how happy people were after getting implants. I loved the trauma surgeries. I loved that he had repaired people's jaws that they were self conscious about, and how big a difference it was for their patients. I loved the fact that they (I spent a fair amount of time with 2 oral surgeons, in different states and different types of practices) could be heavily involved in larger surgeries or taper in back to dentiavelor stuff if they wanted. Their schedule and life style was great. Money doesn't matter so much in comparison because Med surg specialties also do well.

I'm typing this out fast so I'm probably leaving a bunch out. Happy to answer any other specific questions you may have. Obviously I only shadowed some of the Med specialties. I admit I could have probably found one I liked. But oral surgery was by far my favorite. And I liked general dentistry much more than the less competitive Med specialties.
 

Steins;Gate

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Sure:

Internal Medicine: I didn't like the management of chronic disease, monitoring medication, changing dosage, changing medication, a little bit of ambiguity, monitoring a million people's diabetes medication, etc... I'm very glad there are people who thrive in that setting, I'm not one of them.

Family Medicine: similar experience to internal Med, plus monitoring depression medication, referring interesting things to other docs, etc. Again, I love my family practice doc, but not for me.

Radiology: a little boring. The doc I shadowed had a sweet gig, but looking at screens for a long time didn't interest me. Perhaps interventional radiology would have.

Orthopedics: ortho was actually very cool. So no personal negatives that were starkly apparent when I shadowed.

ENT: I was probably a little harsh in my original post, I didn't not like ENT, just didn't enjoy what I saw as much as oms. They do some awesome surgeries and seem like they can have a good lifestyle balance. For whatever reason I wasn't very interested in the bread and butter stuff I saw them do like tubes and tonsiles. The allergy stuff didn't interest me much. The doc I shadowed was sort of unhappy with his choice of profession so I'm sure that didn't help my impression of the specialty.

OMS: like I mentioned, I would be happy being a gp if I didn't match into oms, so I'm that respect I guess I'm just more interested in oral health than someone's ears. I really enjoyed wisdom teeth extractions and watching implants being placed. I also loved how happy people were after getting implants. I loved the trauma surgeries. I loved that he had repaired people's jaws that they were self conscious about, and how big a difference it was for their patients. I loved the fact that they (I spent a fair amount of time with 2 oral surgeons, in different states and different types of practices) could be heavily involved in larger surgeries or taper in back to dentiavelor stuff if they wanted. Their schedule and life style was great. Money doesn't matter so much in comparison because Med surg specialties also do well.

I'm typing this out fast so I'm probably leaving a bunch out. Happy to answer any other specific questions you may have. Obviously I only shadowed some of the Med specialties. I admit I could have probably found one I liked. But oral surgery was by far my favorite. And I liked general dentistry much more than the less competitive Med specialties.
"Their schedule and life style was great" Can you clarify what you mean by a great schedule and lifestyle for OMFS?

"And I liked general dentistry much more than the less competitive Med specialties" Can you elaborate on this and what you refer to as the less competitive medical specialties?
 

desertrat12

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The lifestyle (I'm talking about work schedule and pay) was great for both oral surgeons I shadowed. One was freshly out of residency and was taking on larger cases but was still having a very reasonable weekly schedule, the other doc was deep into his career and was only doing dentoaveolar stuff and never worked a full day during the week. Working late for him meant 3:30 pm. These are just two examples though. I'm sure there are plenty oms guys/gals working much more, and the residency is a whole other animal.

For less competitive specialties I'm speaking of family practice/internal medicine/etc. I liked general dentistry more than those. So if I were to shoot for ENT and not make it and be stuck with family practice, I'd rather shoot for oms, not make it and be stuck with general dentistry.

When it comes down to it, though, this was a huge life decision that I made over the course of a few years while shadowing multiple docs and professions. In the end, it's best to go out and answers those questions from your own experience.
 
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Craig_Sherwood234

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Oral Maxiofacial surgeon or bust, brah.
 

Muggsy Bogues

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The lifestyle (I'm talking about work schedule and pay) was great for both oral surgeons I shadowed. One was freshly out of residency and was taking on larger cases but was still having a very reasonable weekly schedule, the other doc was deep into his career and was only doing dentoaveolar stuff and never worked a full day during the week. Working late for him meant 3:30 pm. These are just two examples though. I'm sure there are plenty oms guys/gals working much more, and the residency is a whole other animal.

For less competitive specialties I'm speaking of family practice/internal medicine/etc. I liked general dentistry more than those. So if I were to shoot for ENT and not make it and be stuck with family practice, I'd rather shoot for oms, not make it and be stuck with general dentistry.

When it comes down to it, though, this was a huge life decision that I made over the course of a few years while shadowing multiple docs and professions. In the end, it's best to go out and answers those questions from your own experience.
I went into dental school with the OMFS or bust mentality. But I did my due dilligence and the bolded had a lot to do with my eventual decision. And going through medical school only confirmed to me how much more I would enjoy general dentistry than medicine (with vast majority of medicine specialties sitting below things like construction worker on my list of ideal jobs). Not sure I would enjoy general dentistry over some surgical subspecialties but nevertheless I know I'd have been perfectly fine with a fulfilling career doing general dentistry if OMFS didn't work out.

Going into dental school with OMFS as the goal is fine. In fact I'd venture to guess that those who truly want to do OMFS - those that know exactly what it takes to get into the field, the sacrifices made along the way - have a better chance than not to actually get into the field. Maybe not right out of dental school but certainly after an internship or two. Sure, every dental student says on day 1 of dental school things like "I think I'm interested in oral surgery/ortho" but they find out very quickly how much they don't actually want to devote the effort to get into the field. Those that know, and are willing to spend the extra hours and days studying and practicing hand skills and externing and spending all their time in the OMFS department, end up doing well.
 

Steins;Gate

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And going through medical school only confirmed to me how much more I would enjoy general dentistry than medicine (with vast majority of medicine specialties sitting below things like construction worker on my list of ideal jobs).
Sitting below construction worker? Why would you enjoy general dentistry more than medicine? Which things about medical specialties really do not fit your ideals?
 

KillaCam

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To answer the original post first, many of my classmates and I who ended up matching into OMFS went to dental school with the mindset that OMFS was the only way to go. As people said earlier, having the mindset that this is truly what you want and understand the strides needed to get there make it easier than those not fully committed or unsure.

Sitting below construction worker? Why would you enjoy general dentistry more than medicine? Which things about medical specialties really do not fit your ideals?
I would agree; I would rather do something totally unrelated to healthcare than do many of the medical specialties such as Fam Med, Int Med, OB/GYN, Psych, basically anything other than surgical specialties. Construction worker, personal trainer, dental hygienist, stripper, I'd do any of those over medicine for the most part. In many of those med specialities including those I just named, sitting around and writing notes and orders all day is not my ideal method to contribute to health. Go to med school and you will quickly find out how awesome OMFS and dentistry really is relative to medicine. But this also is just one opinion from someone who loves surgery and actually doing things in a direct manner to impact people's health issues, even if that has to include dental restorative procedures such as fillings, crowns, ect. As a OMFS resident who worked as a general dentist when moonlighting a lot in the last 2 years, I could force myself to do general dentistry if needed and would be much happier doing that than most of medical specialties and practice.
 
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Muggsy Bogues

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Sitting below construction worker? Why would you enjoy general dentistry more than medicine? Which things about medical specialties really do not fit your ideals?
Mainly the 25-30 years of 50 hour weeks spent rounding and writing notes. Someone once said to me that to the surgeon, his work is the surgery; to the medicine doctor, his work is the note. No thank you.
 

Muggsy Bogues

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Don't get me wrong, medicine (and I've basically meant internal med specialties, peds, fam med, etc) can be a great and fulfilling career. But the day-to-day work of a surgeon and someone who practices medicine, with some exceptions, are so different. I like my days to consist of a lot of carpentry and manual labor. Some prefer to sit down and work through medical complexities. Neither is better. They're just different and there aren't tons of people who wouldn't prefer one over the other. And that's probably a good thing.
 
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resiliens

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I do not think that's stupid. There are many people (including myself) who matriculated into dental school with a goal in mind. My primary interest was OMS, and I did everything I could while in dental school to match into a residency. There are no secrets to matching. If you are work hard, and are determined, you will realize your goal. Best of luck!
I did it. My classmate did it. A chief resident I knew did it. We all love this profession and believe that the risk involved in the gamble of applying to dental school solely for the purpose of becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is well worth having a shot at our dream job. We honestly believe this is the best profession in the world for us and putting in the necessary time and effort was a decision that we easily convinced ourselves to make.
I went into dental school with the OMFS or bust mentality. But I did my due dilligence and the bolded had a lot to do with my eventual decision. And going through medical school only confirmed to me how much more I would enjoy general dentistry than medicine (with vast majority of medicine specialties sitting below things like construction worker on my list of ideal jobs). Not sure I would enjoy general dentistry over some surgical subspecialties but nevertheless I know I'd have been perfectly fine with a fulfilling career doing general dentistry if OMFS didn't work out.

Going into dental school with OMFS as the goal is fine. In fact I'd venture to guess that those who truly want to do OMFS - those that know exactly what it takes to get into the field, the sacrifices made along the way - have a better chance than not to actually get into the field. Maybe not right out of dental school but certainly after an internship or two. Sure, every dental student says on day 1 of dental school things like "I think I'm interested in oral surgery/ortho" but they find out very quickly how much they don't actually want to devote the effort to get into the field. Those that know, and are willing to spend the extra hours and days studying and practicing hand skills and externing and spending all their time in the OMFS department, end up doing well.
To answer the original post first, many of my classmates and I who ended up matching into OMFS went to dental school with the mindset that OMFS was the only way to go. As people said earlier, having the mindset that this is truly what you want and understand the strides needed to get there make it easier than those not fully committed or unsure.

I would agree; I would rather do something totally unrelated to healthcare than do many of the medical specialties such as Fam Med, Int Med, OB/GYN, Psych, basically anything other than surgical specialties. Construction worker, personal trainer, dental hygienist, stripper, I'd do any of those over medicine for the most part. In many of those med specialities including those I just named, sitting around and writing notes and orders all day is not my ideal method to contribute to health. Go to med school and you will quickly find out how awesome OMFS and dentistry really is relative to medicine. But this also is just one opinion from someone who loves surgery and actually doing things in a direct manner to impact people's health issues, even if that has to include dental restorative procedures such as fillings, crowns, ect. As a OMFS resident who worked as a general dentist when moonlighting a lot in the last 2 years, I could force myself to do general dentistry if needed and would be much happier doing that than most of medical specialties and practice.
This is an interesting scenario; how did you guys feel about the ample lab work during D2 then? It has little relevance to OS and I know of at least one person in my class who doesn't really enjoy it and would rather be studying for the CBSE. Since we're given letter grades though, you obviously have to dedicate some time to lab work to make it through D2, but the question is one of how much time to devote. You could put less time into a project that could pass but not be graded an A; same thing goes for preparing for practical exams and such. I guess I'm curious about how you guys managed your time during D2..
 

Localnative

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I love watching/assisting oral surgeons. Dentists, not so much...

How stupid of an idea is it to go to dental school with the primary goal of becoming an oral surgeon?
from a practicing OS-

not stupid, practical. its a good idea to have an endgoal in mind when starting DS. DS for me was a long arduous journey, filled with some good times/successes and also some very dark days. Knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel will maintain your focus.

1. Balance - To achieve that endgoal, you need to working toward earning your degree in good standing first. Mantra - Dentist 1st, Oral Surgeon close 1st. Work toward getting a good dental education from day 1 - yes that means painful things like working weekends on denture wax ups, sunday nights in the anatomy lab etc. However after completion of basic science coursework, familiarize yourself with material for CBSE. I never had to take it however did take the USMLE. Do the fundamentals - review First Aid, buy a QBank subscription, read BRS through and through (not in one day)

2. Externships - As soon as your are eligible as a 2nd or 3rd yr student, do a number of these - 3 to 4 is a good number. Spend time with different programs. Academic (U Michigan, UCSF), Strong 4 yrs (OSU, Washington), etc. Make sure you spend time in the OR, clinic, meet the residents and talk about the daily routine.

3. 3-4 times a week, EXERCISE. 30 minutes , maybe an hour. Run, learn a fighting art, do 100 burpees. Whatever. Clear your head and get those juices flowing and rheostat reset.

4. Limit the social stuff. - A beer or two with some friends a few Saturdays a month is not a bad thing. Don't make it a weekday habit. Definitely slows you down mentally and kills motivation.

5. Attend an OS meeting or two or three. National, local, whatever. Meet some academic/private practice guys, network, listen to some cool lectures. Never too early to place yourself in the loop.

6. Spend time with your home program. Develop a good rapport with faculty, residents. If you're able, spend some time rounding in the AM with them before going to class.

7. Involve yourself in some sort of research endeavor. Doesn't have to be a 3 yr long project with a "Nature" or "Science" pub. Even a case report with one of the faculty shows an academic interest in the profession.

8. Community Service - Do some free Oral Screenings on the weekends, volunteer in a free dental clinic during vacation weeks, etc. Spend time away from the books and help those less fortunate. Puts the daily tribulations of DS in perspective.

9. Apply broadly when its time. Pretty self explanatory.

Any questions just shoot.

M
 
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Steins;Gate

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from a practicing OS-

not stupid, practical. its a good idea to have an endgoal in mind when starting DS. DS for me was a long arduous journey, filled with some good times/successes and also some very dark days. Knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel will maintain your focus.

1. Balance - To achieve that endgoal, you need to working toward earning your degree in good standing first. Mantra - Dentist 1st, Oral Surgeon close 1st. Work toward getting a good dental education from day 1 - yes that means painful things like working weekends on denture wax ups, sunday nights in the anatomy lab etc. However after completion of basic science coursework, familiarize yourself with material for CBSE. I never had to take it however did take the USMLE. Do the fundamentals - review First Aid, buy a QBank subscription, read BRS through and through (not in one day)

2. Externships - As soon as your are eligible as a 2nd or 3rd yr student, do a number of these - 3 to 4 is a good number. Spend time with different programs. Academic (U Michigan, UCSF), Strong 4 yrs (OSU, Washington), etc. Make sure you spend time in the OR, clinic, meet the residents and talk about the daily routine.

3. 3-4 times a week, EXERCISE. 30 minutes , maybe an hour. Run, learn a fighting art, do 100 burpees. Whatever. Clear your head and get those juices flowing and rheostat reset.

4. Limit the social stuff. - A beer or two with some friends a few Saturdays a month is not a bad thing. Don't make it a weekday habit. Definitely slows you down mentally and kills motivation.

5. Attend an OS meeting or two or three. National, local, whatever. Meet some academic/private practice guys, network, listen to some cool lectures. Never too early to place yourself in the loop.

6. Spend time with your home program. Develop a good rapport with faculty, residents. If you're able, spend some time rounding in the AM with them before going to class.

7. Involve yourself in some sort of research endeavor. Doesn't have to be a 3 yr long project with a "Nature" or "Science" pub. Even a case report with one of the faculty shows an academic interest in the profession.

8. Community Service - Do some free Oral Screenings on the weekends, volunteer in a free dental clinic during vacation weeks, etc. Spend time away from the books and help those less fortunate. Puts the daily tribulations of DS in perspective.

9. Apply broadly when its time. Pretty self explanatory.

Any questions just shoot.

M
Was OMFS your endgoal from day 1? How did you decide to pursue OMFS? Does it matter if the research is in your home faculty or another school (assuming you still develop a good rapport with your home OMFS faculty by shadowing, round in the AM, etc.)?
 

Craig_Sherwood234

Summa Cum Laude Recipient
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Mar 18, 2017
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Omfs or bust. That's my motto. Take it or leave it, baby
 
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Phidippides

fi-dip'i-deez
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Apr 27, 2010
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This is an interesting thread. A lot of good advice.

If you really love oral surgery, you have to jump through the hoops. Dental degree is just one of them. If you stick to it and follow the good advice already stated here, you will make it. It is a gamble, but many decisions in life are big gambles. If it is your passion, you have to go for it.

Don't knock general dentistry. Dentistry is a great profession. In the end we are trying to allow the dentist to restore patients back to form and function.

For me personally OMS is a better fit. I think it was well worth it. Having been through both dental school and medical school, I can tell you that any surgical specialty in either field is competetive. One is not necessarily easier than the other.

A question to ask yourself at times is: what would you do if you had no fear?

Good luck! It's an exciting decision.