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Question about M.S. degree

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by SugarNaCl, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student
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    I'm not that big of a title person, but looking online I see a lot of dentists who have specialized, with an M.S. after their D.D.S. title. If someone has an M.S. degree in Neuroimmunology (more general biomedical than dental) and graduates from dental school with a D.D.S., would it be misleading for them to write D.D.S., M.S. after their name? Does that strictly indicate a dental specialty if you place it after DDS? I'm just curious.
     
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  3. koochooloo

    koochooloo SugarNaCl's bestest bud!
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    uh huh you just want to be special

    NEW NAME!: Official WANTS EVERY LETTER AFTER HER NAME Person of VCU Class of 2011

    man im good
     
  4. drpduck

    drpduck Senior Member
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    I've actually wondered this too, as I will be finishing my M.S. in a couple weeks. However, as you said, it seems most of those that advertise as DDS, MS got their MS from a speciality program.
     
  5. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student
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    Absolutely kooch... by the time I die I will be known as SugarNaCl DDS, MS, Esq, NAACP, UPS, DC, PhD... and I will require people to call me Doctor, master, doctor, doctor Sugar, esssssss-quire.
     
  6. ddstobe

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    Does UPS kinda like DHL?
     
  7. lgwdnbdgr

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    Check out http://www.themonastery.org/?destination=ordination
    You can become The Reverend Doctor SugarNaCl DDS, MS, Esq, NAACP, UPS, DC, PhD...!
     
  8. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    You can legally advertise your credentials no matter where you earned them. If you get an M.S., you are an M.S.
     
  9. koochooloo

    koochooloo SugarNaCl's bestest bud!
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    HAHAH doctor Sugar :thumbup: :D
     
  10. drdion

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    ethically it would be misleading for you to put ms in your title..this is misleading your patients-you are implying that you have special credentials. If you are doing scholarly research or you are a faculty member then that would be fine.
     
  11. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    No it wouldn't, it would only be ethically misleading if they adverised as having an M.S. and didn't.

    By your argument, it would be unethical to advertise as "A Harvard trained dentist" because a DMD is a DMD is a DMD, and they're claiming to have special credentials.
     
  12. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student
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    Thanks for your replies. I thought along the lines of Armorshell as well...if you earn the degree, you can use it if you want. It just seems like people that put MS have addt'l dental training...maybe it is just more common because most people don't take the extreme round-about route like I did.

    Exactly right, yes...but no, I doubt UPS likes DHL

    I was ordained after reading this yesterday. Thanks. My certificate will be my new avatar soon. At this point you can all start referring to me as "The Reverend SugarNaCl, M.S." Um...kidding. But I do have documentation.

    I thought you have to do scholarly research to get an MS in neuroimmunology. I have done research (in my MS Neuroimmunol. program for 2 years) before 3 more years of clinical cancer study (currently involved) at a research hospital. I suppose you mean DENTAL research though? My MS is biomedical, not dental specifically, that's my point. I want to know if that still counts to write in after one receives a DDS degree, or if it has to be in an oral specialty.
     
  13. Dr. Dai Phan

    Dr. Dai Phan Senior Member
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    Persons who have earned the degrees have the right to put them after their names. A person with DDS,MS on their name tag is most likely have done a specialty program where he/she earned a Masters degree also. That Master degree could be dentally related or in Oral Biology. Mine was in prosthodontics. Just because a person has an MS degree listed on the lab coat does NOT always mean that person is a specialist. It is a wrong assumption. I really doubt if a person puts the MS after DDS to imply that he is a specialist through. DP
     
  14. 95881

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    I was told by one of my professors that you list the letters of your degrees in the order that you received them. Since you completed your M.S. before your DDS you would be:

    SugarNaCl M.S., DDS

    Hope that helped!
     
  15. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student
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    It's my "naughty movie" name.
     
  16. CSI Dentist

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    okay the way I see it... first of all not that many patients even realize that dentists are doctors.. call me crazy but many don't know what DDS or DMD really means, and especially that a specialist needs to have DDS, MS or DMD, MS after their name....

    I wondered this too, but I realize.. if u are M.S., then DDS, and if u specialize, i saw some dentists put , MS, DDS, MS... seriously.. i thought it was a bit redundant but hey.... u earned, so display it proudly, and in order too hahahahah...
     
  17. doc toothache

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    The usual order is B.S., D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., but if you like, you can scramble them in any order you wish.
     
  18. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I think it absolutely would be misleading. You are advertising yourself as a dentist, and should only list degrees received after earning your DDS.
     
  19. doc toothache

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    You are confusing the M.S. designation with Board Certification.

    The M.S. designation is, in general, a source of confusion in dental circles, since most of the M.S. degrees result from degrees in a dental (sub) specialty. It is not the M.S. degree that allows one to legally limit the practice to a specialty. Rather it is the Board Certification. If a degree was legally obtained, there is nothing misleading, unethical or illegal about claiming that title. It would, however, be misleading and unethical if a specialty was claimed without Board Certification. By your suggestion, it would OK to list an M.S. degree earned after dental school even if the degree is in, say, in Basket Weaving. It is not a source of confusions in medicine circles where there is an abundance of M.D., Ph.D.s. In this case everyone understands that the Ph.D. is not in a medical specialty, but rather in a basic science.
     
  20. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    What about an MPH or MBA? Look in the faculty directory of your school and you'll see many people listing those with their DDS.
     
  21. ItsGavinC

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    Thanks for the tutorial, but board certification is NOT required to practice a specialty. In most cases it is a voluntary process.
     
  22. SugarNaCl

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    Sorry guys, but I thought this was a fairly simple question. Neuroimmunology can relate to dentistry or traditional medicine but it is not a specialty of dentistry. You are telling me that if I were to get a DDS degree and then spend 2 yrs in research resulting in getting an MS degree so I better understood immune response to say conduct research into cytokines released during oral cancer, THEN and only then I can write M.S. On the other hand if I received this degree to obtain this understanding PRIOR to my DDS degree (despite 2 years of research and study) it doesn't count? This makes no sense! Can't someone please just give me a straight forward answer?

    I earned my MS degree for 2 years of intense study and research in the field of neuroimmunology. After I get out of dental school, what can I stick after my name? This shouldn't be THAT difficult. When I graduate I will have an M.S. degree and a D.D.S. degree for 6 total years of study and research. A LOT of people are in this situation and it was just a curiosity question.
     
  23. koochooloo

    koochooloo SugarNaCl's bestest bud!
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    i think listing MS and then DDS after your name in that order makes the most sense...you earned it..why would it be wrong to display it? and especially in that order, it can't mean a specialization since you earned it before the DDS
     
  24. SugarNaCl

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    Kooch... you and armor give me the most direct answers. It's appreciated. I'll never even put it after my name. I don't put it after my name now. I'm just so curious about the proper usage. It's like when you read a new word and then can't sleep until you figure out what it means. You know? ;)
     
  25. koochooloo

    koochooloo SugarNaCl's bestest bud!
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    hahaha i dont know what a lot of words mean so i just dont worry about them and sleep nice and soundly :D
     
  26. lgwdnbdgr

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    It is a pretty simple question. Four years from now (knock on wood) you will have earned an MS and a DDS. So, after your name, you can stick "MS, DDS." Plus any other letters you've legitimately earned (though it'll be up to you to decide if you want them). As long as you don't present anything designed to make patients think the MS means you specialized, there is no problem at all. The MS degree is not generally synonomous with "dental specialist," so why would it be unethical?

    Now, if I skip dental school, start an NWA fan club, get myself elected to the position "Dr Dre Superfan," start an "Oral Health Center" and market myself as Lgwdnbdgr, DDS, now THAT would be unethical. I'd be presenting letters that are generally known to mean one specific thing in a context reinforcing that specific definition but meaning something else. Your MS degree is the "Master of Science" degree that everyone across the globe acknowledges as such.
     
  27. toothfairy85

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    I don't think patients can mistake a dentist for having earned an MS in a dental specialty if the dentist works at XYZ Family Dentistry... not XYZ Orthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry, etc.

    In response to the OP, I do not think it matters if you put your masters degree before or after the DDS/DMD if you choose to do either. From my standpoint though (and from what I have seen) the DDS is first, then any degrees and certifications you earned concurrently with your DDS/DMD or after receiving your DDS/DMD are listed after the doctorate.
     
  28. Drill2Fill

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    Do patients even realize that some specialist receive a M.S. degrees? I think it would only be misleading if all specialist received a M.S., and that was something patients used to identify specialist. Patient are more likely to look at the billboard outside to see if a dentist is a specialist, then the letters after his name.
     
  29. dentalwannabee

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    If you have enough intelligence to earn a Masters' then surely you should have enough intelligence to be able to figure out something as simple as this on your own. :rolleyes: Sometimes I think you start threads, just to start threads. I'm just saying'... ;) :) ;) :)
     
  30. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student
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    If you have real input I'd be glad to hear it. This is a legit. question. I just don't know if anyone truly knows the answer. Do you? Did you see all the different responses? We are all in dental school (or on our way) so none of us are complete idiots. My true question to you. Do you have an answer to my question? Why do I feel like I'm going in circles. As the OP, this thread needs to end.
     
  31. dentalwannabee

    dentalwannabee busy bee
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    My real imput is that I believe you can do whatever either way. Certain contextes and situations (i.e. different regions of the country) might have particular norms that you should follow. When the time comes you are faced with making a decision it will be pretty apparent.

    In the end, I honestly do not think that the order really matters all that much. Obviously if you aren't a specialist they will know you aren't a specialist if you're doing GP work. Most patients really wong care. And for the patients of your's that might be are confused, or interested, they will simply ask you for clarification on your degrees. :) :) :)

    congratulatiosn on finishing your Masters' by the way! I'm sure it was a lot of hard work!!:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :)
     
  32. polf

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    what about you get a MS in something like molec bio after college. Then go to dental school and end up specializing and getting another MS?

    would that be: "polf MS, DDS, MS"?
     
  33. koochooloo

    koochooloo SugarNaCl's bestest bud!
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    woah woah woah sugar starts the best threads around here...at least they're not useless and they're always new topics...don't mess!
     
  34. McSexyDDS

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    dude that was just mean...i think it's a real question, that needed a real answer...

    ahhh and you probably think becuase we're all so intellegent wanting to be doctors one day we shouldn't even have this forum because we should all be smart enough to figure out everything on our own, and need noone but ourselves, but suprisingly, your here, so i guess maybe you have questions too?
     
  35. ItsGavinC

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    I still think it would be unncessary to list the MS degree, unless it was earned as part of a higher dental education. You should only list the degrees that pertain to what you are doing in your career. Are you going to list your BS or BA on a card? Why not, you earned it? The answer is that after you've graduated from dental school you've earned a *higher* educational degree than a BS or BA AND the BA/BS have no bearing on the job you do as a dentist. The other reason, of course, is that a bachelor's degee doesn't qualify you directly for any job, so it is useless as far as stating that you are qualified to do anything in specific.

    It isn't uncommon to omit degrees that have no direct relation to current employment. Many people earn master's degrees but then omit them from professional notation because they have subsequently undergone additional training or certifications that have greater pertinence to their careers.

    Further, you should list the highest applicable degree first, with other degrees following (no matter when you earned them). For example, a practicing dentist with an MBA should list DDS, MBA (or omit the MBA completely), while a independent business consultant to practice start-ups should list MBA, DDS. Likewise, a dentist working in public health by drafting policies should list MPH, DDS (not DDS, MPH).
     
  36. ItsGavinC

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    It isn't a question of being unethical as much as it is of being appropriate and following business etiquette. You have a business card that says "Highland Family Dentistry" accross the top of it. Your name is on it, "John Doe, DDS". If it says "John Doe, DDS, MS" that is implying that you have received advanced training in family dentistry. That is in appropriate. The same principle applies if your card says "Highland Endodontics" on it. The MS you list had better be earned in an advanced endo program. This isn't simply a dental question, but applies to every profession.

    If you are a certified public accountant who went back to school and got a master's in art history and now works at an art musuem, it would be inappropriate to list the CPA on your business card. It simpy doesn't pertain to what you are currently doing.
     
  37. SugarNaCl

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    Thanks for having my back, Kooch. :thumbup: You are hysterical!
     
  38. pearlywhite

    pearlywhite I'm going to be a DENTIST
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    I read in a dental publication last spring about a dentist who was a dds and a phd. He was asking if listing his name as "Dr. Bob Smith, dds, phd" in the phone book would be ethical, since it was a phd in english (or something of that nature) The ethics committee said that listing a himself under the dental listings as a phd as well WOULD be unethical, because it can commonly be misconstrued to be a phd in something "dental." I have no idea if this helps answer your question, but it's something to ponder.
     
  39. doc toothache

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    From "I think it absolutely would be misleading" to "I still think it would be unnecessary", it is safe to say we are dealing with a significant decrease in the decibel level.

    Admittedly, the post in question should have been stated more clearly. Board Certification is not required and is indeed voluntary. What is required is the fulfillment of an ADA accredited program in a specialty Approved by the Council on Dental Education and Licensure of the ADA. The legal right to practice dentistry/or any dental specialty comes from the State Board of Dental Examiners.

    The master degree has been around a lot longer than the M.S. degree in a dental specialty. Thus, it is hard to understand why, in dental circles, the use of the M.S. should be the exclusive domain of dentists who have earned a specialty degree. Such claim may in fact be construed as arrogant. To suggest that a master degree in other fields is somehow less important (or misleading if used alongside D.D.S.) is premature and simplistic. A dentist with an M.S. in mechanical engineering will have much better understanding of the design (or lack of) and structural integrity of a build up, removable partial denture, implants and implant supported abutments, and removable or fixed orthodontic appliances than most dentists would ever care to know. A dentist with a background in polymer chemistry would certainly have a better understanding of the composite resins and impression materials. A dentist with a Pharm. D. degree certainly has more extensive knowledge of the drug armamentarium that a patient may need or is taking. Finally, a person with a background in sculpture most certainly can carve a much better looking amalgam or composite restoration. Whether or not this additional knowledge would make them "better" dentists could be the subject of an endless debate.

    Is it misleading to the public? Doubtful, at best. It is interesting to note that only our fellow practitioners (with or without a specialization) seem to have a problem with such a listing. While every profession has member that like to push the envelope, most dentist and other professionals list their degrees to show their accomplishments. It is a source of pride. Moreover, the patient may even benefit from the listing since they may come to accept the practitioner as someone who knows more than to just drill, fill, and bill.

    As it has been pointed out by others, most patients are not particularly interested in the degree their practitioner has. For dentists with a Ph.D., the designation may even be a source amusement since patients are surprised to be dealing with a dentist that has a degree in philosophy.

    The bottom line is that the listing or not listing of earned degree should remain a personal choice. As a profession, we need to learn to Agree to Disagree. Epithets such as "misleading" and "unethical" are not in that spirit.
     
  40. Dr. Dai Phan

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    I think that if there is public confusion about the "MS" after DDS/DMD then I think ADA should post a guideline about listing it. However, public doesn't know squat about the MS or MSD or PHD so it doesn't matter whether a person os DDS or DDS, MS or DDS, PhD. A dentist is a dentist. I put MS after my name since that degree is associated with my DDS. If I have a PhD in engineering, I would list that too but not a MS in that field. DP
     
  41. koochooloo

    koochooloo SugarNaCl's bestest bud!
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    no prob bob :cool:
     
  42. doc toothache

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    During your 20+ years of practice how many cases of misled patients have you seen? Can you give some examples and circumstances of such cases? Did the practitioners purposely mislead the patients or was it a case of patients misleading themselves? Could such misunderstanding have been easily clarified had the patient asked the pertinent question regarding special training in dentistry? If they were concerned about being misled would it be fair to say that such a question should have been forthcoming? Do you by chance have an M.S. in a dental specialty?

    Actually a D.D.S. with an M.S. does have special credentials, but they are not necessarily in a dental specialty.
     
  43. ItsGavinC

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    That's my point exactly. It would be considered common business ettiquette to not list degrees that have no relation to your field of practice. This goes for a plumber or an architect as well as a dentist.

    Customer (or patients) don't have to know what degrees stand for. They see letters after a name and translate that to the practitioner being more qualified than the next guy.
     
  44. ItsGavinC

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    As I said, the lay public connotates more degrees with a greater skill and knowledge. I'm curious as to how a master's in English makes one a better dentist. Of course it doesn't, so when it comes to presenting yourself to the patient as a dentist, it shouldn't be noted.

    Our fellow practitioners having a problem with such listing is as it should be. We are a profession governed by ourselves. Our ethics, integrity, and public image rests in our hands. I would hope that we would be critical of ourselves before others are.

    Once again, the typical patient will not know that there is no Ph.D. given in relation to dentistry. They probably will, however, assume that such a Ph.D. dentist has greater skill, care, and judgement than a dentist without a Ph.D.

    Not in that spirit because you disagree with them? No vile remarks have been made, no derogatory statements towards individuals. I've stated my opinion, which some have agreed with and others haven't. THAT is the spirit we should be striving for. I'm happy you disagree with me--it's what makes life interesting.
     
  45. lgwdnbdgr

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    Of course, the question at hand is concerning Rev. SugarNaCl's MS in Neuroimmunology.
     
  46. reapply2007

    reapply2007 Senior Member
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    It seems like most patients won't notice and won't care what you put on your sign/card/website. The only people who may have a problem will most likely be the dental community. As such, it's not entirely unreasonable to specify what your other degree is in, especially if it's not specifically applicable to dental issues, somewhere conveniently co-located by the list of acronyms.
     
  47. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    True, and like a master's in English, an MS in neuroimmunology imparts him no greater skill in or knowledge of dentistry than those without the degree.

    In other words, what he can do for his patients as a result of that degree is no different than what any other dentist can do.
     
  48. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    But by simply advertising her rightfully earned credentials, she isn't implying that she has any additional knowledge.

    Should we stop dentists from advertising themselves as John Doe DDS, PC simply because the additional letters might imply to some uninformed people that they have additional training?
     
  49. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Of course she is! What else would she be implying? That's what a degree does -- it qualifies you by earned experience and further education.

    Excellent point. It should be noted, however, that the "PC" *does* at least relate to the doctor's practice of dentistry in terms of how they are legally held accountable for malpractice or negligence.
     
  50. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    I feel like I stopped in the middle of a sentance there. :laugh:

    I should have added "...she isn't implying that she has any additional knowledge related to the practice of dentistry." Simply listing your rightfully earned credentials isn't illegal, or even immoral, as long as she doesn't rote claim that it makes her dentistry superior.

    True, but we're not talking about legality here, we're talking about ethics and morality. If putting letters after your name which don't relate to dental education is immoral for certain letters, it should also be immoral for all the other ones.
     
  51. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Not dental education, but dentistry. I think the letters should relate to the practice of dentistry.

    But what I really think is that my Suns are whooooooopin' the Lakers. :D
     

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