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Senseless rantings of a former dentist

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Eric Dobbs, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. Eric Dobbs

    Eric Dobbs New Member

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    Hi guys, I stumbled on this website last night and ended up spending a couple hours reading your messages here. I see myself in a lot of your posts and can?t help but share my story. Ever since I ?got my tonsils out? in elementary school I wanted to be a doctor. As I neared the end of my college days though, I started looking at dentistry. The actual practice of dentistry didn?t excite me that much, but I managed to convince myself that the relaxed hours, good pay, and relatively short period of schooling would easily make up for any lack of interest in the work.

    I ended up going to dental school and graduated at the age of 24 way back in 1991. I got out of school and started working about 60 hrs/wk as an associate at two different offices. I made ~$50,000 that yr. The next yr. I bought an older practice in an area that had become a growing suburb, worked about the same amount of hours and made close to $100,000. Awesome money for a 26 yr. old kid and I was living it up. The next year I nearly doubled that figure and the next yr nearly doubled that! I was pulling in just over $300,000/yr. (remember this was a decade ago) and was busy congratulating myself on my choice of careers while college friends who went to med school were still in residency. In 1996 my wife of three yrs. and my new baby were killed in a car accident. I was seriously depressed and really started looking at my life and what I had accomplished. Other than my little family -which was now gone - everything in my life had been shallow and superficial. Cars, clothes, and boats had been the extent of my ambition. Work no longer had any meaning for me as I no longer had anyone with whom I could share the rewards of that work. It had all been about money for me.

    I saw how empty my professional life had been and began to realize that my longing for medicine had never subsided; it was just pushed to the back of my mind. Looking back now and being honest with myself I have to admit that a part of the reason I never applied to med school in the first place was that I was just scared of being rejected by medical school. So I went back to med school in ?96 and lost myself in the wonder of it all. I am now in the fourth year of a general surgery residency and couldn?t be happier. I work like a dog (80 hr workweek limit? Hahaha) and make the money of a highschool teacher, yet I couldn?t be happier. If I took all the things that I thought would make a good career when I was 19 and put them all together, the opposite of that would be surgery. It will still be many years before I reach the level of pay that I had as a 28 yr old dentist, but I don?t care. I feel like my work has meaning now. There is no way to describe the rush you get from saving a life. You never get tired of the hugs, cards, flowers, and cookies you get from patients who wouldn?t even be alive if it hadn?t been for you.

    Anyhow, my point is that if you feel the calling for medicine, don?t fool yourself into thinking money and leisure time will make up for that. The fields are similar in that both dentists and MDs are called doctor; the comparison ends there. Don?t be afraid to fail; it may take 2, 3, 4 times to get in. You may have to settle for DO or Caribbean schools. Whatever sacrifices you have to make it will be worth it.

    I?m not looking to bash dentistry; it is a great profession and fills a very important need, but I had a desire for something more ? well? just different really -and I?m pretty sure there are some of you out there who are going through the very same thought processes I did at 19. Dentistry is fantastic if you are really into it, but be honest with yourself about what it is and is not.

    1. People will not value what you do. In my residency I am often referred to as Dr. Magic Hands, (corny and overplayed, I know) but the irony is that I was only a mediocre dentist. We surgeons get credit for having fantastic hand skills and possessing that special touch, but the truth is that most surgeons couldn?t cut a class 2 prep to save their lives. People rave about my work as a surgeon, but nobody ever got out of my dental chair and said, ?wow, doc it must take a lot of skill to work with that kind of precision.? As far as they are concerned you just plopped a bunch of metal in their mouth and grossly overcharged for it to boot. Nothing in the realm of general surgery really comes close to the level of precision required by the dentist, yet we get all the glory.
    2. You will be isolated. People do not understand dentistry and they never will. The only people who have even a remote idea of the complexity of your job is your assistant - and she thinks she could do it all better than you anyway if it weren?t for those pesky schooling requirements - so you don?t even want to talk shop with her. Even physicians are clueless about dentistry. I wish you all could see the looks I used to get from other MDs when I would try to make referrals for perio, TMD evaluation, or ortho. If MDs don?t treat it, it?s not a real disease.
    3. About a quarter of your patients (remember? the people you are so magnanimously trying to help) will intensely hate your guts and another half will fear you like the plague. People will come into a dental office and whine about every little pinch or hint of pressure ? did you confuse me with your aromatherapist?!!! I?m cutting up your frickin? mouth here!!! The same phobic dental patients let the ?real docs? poke, slice, prod and generally abuse them like it was a ride at an amusement park.
    Generally if I have a mild screw up as a surgeon, ?that?s OK doc, I know you did your best.? (I?m glossing over those few sue-happy #@#s who have a lawyer on retainer before they?ve even been admitted to the hospital. :mad: )The dentist is held responsible for every thing that goes wrong in the patient?s mouth whether he touched it or not. You can?t imagine how many patients I had who honestly believed ?I never had any problems until my last dentist screwed up ALL my teeth.? (Records probably showed something like RCT on #10 and an MOD on #18; yep? I can see how that would make you a candidate for a full denture. :rolleyes: )
    4. Dentistry is not glamorous. You will not be saving anybody?s life. People aren?t impressed with all the time you spent in dental school, even though if I had to compare (hard to do because I was so much younger in dental school) I would probably say dental school was more difficult to get through. You will not be the hero; and you will rarely come home thinking ?wow, I just changed somebody?s life today.? I know this sounds like shallow, weak-minded ego stroking, but you have no idea how great it feels to know that people care about and are impressed by what you do.

    Again, these things don?t apply to everyone. Most people enter dentistry understanding all this and have personalities compatible with that kind of work environment. They love what they do, and in fact, would probably deny that that is the way things are because they are so comfortable with it. Most dentists are incredibly happy people. But for those of you who think in your hearts you want to do medicine but are lured by the promise of money, leisure, and quick gratification, you would do well to reevaluate your priorities.

    Sorry if this sounded like a rant; it wasn?t meant to be. I am sincerely sorry if I offended anyone. Medicine has its faults to be sure, and there are many of my medical colleagues who have the same financial approach to medicine that I had for dentistry. I just wish someone would have been this blunt with me 20 yrs. ago and saved me some time. (not that I would have listened ;) ) But I hope this may have helped some of you who are trying to decide which way to go. Eric
     
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  3. marshall

    marshall SDN Donor
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    Good post, but remember that dentists can always continue into surgical training with OMFS and diversify from there if they wish (though that will take some time it gives you a taste for both fields).
     
  4. babinski bob

    babinski bob Senior Member
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    Dude... you really really REALLY need to take a chill pill! The OP was just offering his advice and experience here. Perhaps there might be a few pre-dents that are feeling what the OP was who might benefit from his experience. There's really no need to write a novel's worth of criticism and spend all night scripting your jumbled, rambled, incoherent post.
     
  5. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer
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    I agree that those who are going into dentistry solely "for the money" or "because they can't get into med school" are doing it for the wrong reasons.

    However, I think Dr. Dobbs here presented his case with some egotistic overtones and just comes across as someone who needs to stroke his own ego to feel good about himself, what with that whole bragging spiel about how much more important he is than everyone else because as a surgeon he saves lives. Frankly, that just makes his post look unprofessional and immature.

    Let's take a look at other professionals in the business of saving lives: you NEVER, EVER see Army medics or Navy Corpsmen (who takes care of Marines) brag about saving their fellow soldiers' lives, and unlike Dr. Dobbs in a clean, orderly OR, these guys do it during a raging gun battle somewhere in Iraq or Afghanistan while they are being shot at with machine gun fire.

    Hell, if Dr. Dobbs here is going into surgery solely for the adulation, he's doing it for the wrong reasons too. For that, I agree with JFrave that Dr. Dobbs' post is in bad form.

    Yeah, dentistry isn't for everybody. But let's leave the BS about how dentists are isolated and all patients hate dentists and that there isn't any "glamour" in dentistry out of this. Hell, I've had plenty of gratitude from my patients, and most of them are receptive to my efforts to educate them what I'm trying to accomplish for them through the tx plan. I'd say the dental profession has evolved a bit since Dr. Dobbs last held a high-speed in his hand.
     
  6. Dr.BadVibes

    Dr.BadVibes Membership Revoked
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    Woodsy does it for the money....as he said, if we didnt do it for the money, then he would call us all idiots. Isnt that right Woodsy?
     
  7. Dentalist

    Dentalist carpe diem
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    Although I disagree with some of Dr Dobbs' comments, it was interesting to read his story. One point which I agree with him is that people should find out what they are passionate about, and work hard to fulfill their goals no matter how difficult it takes.

    I may be wrong but one of the main reasons why we go into dentistry (besides our altruism for fellow human beings and interest in science and working with hands) is because of lifestyle. Let me be honest here. Frankly, if dentistry did not offer financial stability and flexible life-style, I would not have chosen dentistry. In fact, there is nothing wrong with choosing dentistry based on these factors... people value different things in their lives, and I personally value helping others but also having a well-rounded life style with financial stability more than other things in life.

    By the way, if you want to be impressed by your parients, friends or other people for your work, you are taking a wrong path in both medicine and dentistry. Go become a Britney Speares or Leonardo Dicaprio... people would be more impressed.

    Ask these questions and think about them carefully... What is important to you? What fulfills your life? What do you want to accomplish in your life?
     
  8. I think UBTom hit it right on the money. Nearly everyone in my immediate and extended family are physicians and I know what being one is really like. Thanks, but no thanks. Even though the pressure to be one was high, I passed the basket. I KNOW what I want to get into and for this reason I want to be a dentist. Family is first for me and even if I make 100k a year for the rest of my life, I'll have satisfaction knowing that I'll still be happy and get time to spend with my family.

    If anything, I find Eric Dobb's post to be contradictory. All he's accomplised in the last few years is to trade what he thinks is an "empty professional life" for an empty family life, not quite as bad as losing a family but still pretty bad. But then again, maybe he doesn't have a family or social life so he's the perfect fit for surgery. Good luck on your future endeavors!
     
  9. Eric Dobbs

    Eric Dobbs New Member

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    Hi guys, afraid this may be my last message for a while; this fantastic break I've had this weekend is about come to an end and probably won't happen again for a looong time. :) I may try to squeeze in a minute or so if anyone has some questions.

    First, I did look into oral surgery though it was unlikely I would have matched with my scores. I think many predental students don't realize exactly how difficult it is to get those OMS and ortho spots. Besides the six year commitment to OS makes no sense if you know you want to to something else. It's easier just to go back to school and lose the stigma of being "just an oral surgeon." I'm not saying that attitude is right, but there is a definite pecking order in the medical community and it is fairly difficult for OMS to "branch out." (Remember what I said about medicine having its own faults. ;) )

    Second, I did not mean to come across as egotistical. I do not think I am better than a dentist now just because I have different letters behind my name. But I know that I am a happier person because I am doing something that is fulfilling to me. 99% of you are going to be personally fulfilled by dentistry; I am speaking to that 1 in a hundred who's second-guessing himself trying to figure out what he wants. I mentioned the "Dr. Magic Hands" only to illustrate how much I respect the skill it takes to be a dentist; if you remember I mentioned that I was only a medicore dentist.

    For those of you saying that I chose the medical route for the wrong reasons, too; I don't really think there are "wrong" reasons for choosing a career as long as they are the right ones for you. I am not trying to dissuade anyone from dentistry. Dentistry is a great profession (better than medicine or surgery in many respects), but only for the right person. I am just asking those of you who may be questioning to look at what is right for you. Eric
     
  10. fairbrother

    fairbrother Member
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    Eric, well said about your personal experience and your personal views on Dentistry and medicine. I still have to disagree that helping people is why one becomes doctor or dentist for that matter. i do agree that being social worker, being fireman, being soldier and many other professions is about helping people. yes everyone wants to live comfortably and many professions offer that. If it wasn't for the top 10 highest paying jobs in US, the number of applications to theses schools will be less than half. there is nothing wrong about making more money as long as you provide to your patients, customers with type of services that you are trained for. When people ask you what you do for living??? For me this question is like i am human being and part of the community. By doing something to help my community in anyway earns me money to provide for my family and personal needs.

    Enough said about what I think about why one becomes who he wants to be. I come from a family that has half the people barley going to school and other half is doctors, engineers and other professionals. Both of my parents never went to school(old days about working in farms and making living that way) and they both were the oldest in their families. Two of my uncles are doctors(cardiologist and psychiatrist) and many other relatives are engineers and in other profession proving good lifestyle . My doctor uncles are probably the richest people in our family and evrybody is like they make good living by helping others. One of them agrees that why he chose medicine was for what it offers(pride being called doctor, making good living, respect etc.). My parents always wanted both me and my sister to become doctors. As a result we both were pre-med when we started school(not by choice). It is like everyone in your family is like you are pre-med that is very good and so much pressure from the parents and relatives. After two years in college we both realized that we didn't want to become doctor. It was hard to tell everyone in your family that you are not pre-med anymore. My sister took MCAT(33) and accepted to medical school(eventhough not her choice) and after one year in school realized that is not what she wants and :idea: told that she is dropping out of Medical school (she did really well in her first year grade wise) and first thing my other relatives said that the reason she dropped out bcz she couldn't handle it. I took the MCAT in my junior year(even though I did bad that year in school I got 30 in MCAT) but realized fom sisters mistake and told my parents that I don't want to become doctor and they didn't like in the begining but after one year evrything was cool. now I am applying to dental school coming cycle. My sister is now in pharmacy school and she is happy as ever been. i am also happy with what I do. Alll I am trying to say is that being MD's is all about pressure from your family, ego, pride and many things although that there are many people in it for the right reasons. Think about how one in High school or first year collge student knows that he will be happy as being doctor(most of these premeds do have big ego before they even get in to med school and i know this from personal experience) but sure he does know that it will get him sports car and respect like Uncle BOB and may be chicks that he didn't get in high school. Most of the doctors(I would say 4 out of 5) I know are in that first for money, lifestyle, respect, like what they doing and second for helping people like everyother profession(lawyer, professors etc.). So all I am trying to say is one should choose profession based on what is right for him, what he is passionate is about, what he likes to be doing, what are his priorities are and should make sure what he is getting into. Everyone has to do something for living and should choose based on his personal interest and will help people through what he is doing. THIS IS JUST MY PERSONAL VIEWS, OPINION AND EXPERIENCE on how I felt during my school years and choosing my profession. All I am saying is that there is not one profession better than other (it may be in general public's eye?) and are all equal and for a community to exist they all have to be there. Make your decision by convincing yourself about what you going to do is right for you not by convincing others
     
  11. I think the last two posts were very well put. I understand that getting into OMS requires highest of qualifications. I'm not even sure if this is what I want to do. But I do know that I have a good chance of being accepted to and succeeding in whatever specialty I choose because I believe that going to one of the top undergraduate programs in the U.S. and thriving there has prepared me for the challenges of dental school and given me the tools to succeed.
     
  12. gatorfan99

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    Eric,
    It sounds like you are still having to deal with issues related to your personal loss. I think the root of your problem lies in that you wanted to somehow have your work replace your pain.. You looked for in your patients and job a total need of you and your time..

    Have you stop and considered that the reason why you love medicine so much is because it makes you so incredibly busy that you dont have to think about your recent past? Also, going to med school was a new beginning to you, and it also helped heal some of your pains..

    Working 80,100 hours per week is not my idea of fun.


    Gatorfan.
     
  13. Vuse

    Vuse Junior Member
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    Thanks for the post Eric Dobbs I enjoyed the read. Very interesting. I'm sure it will have an effect on someone, someday. Best of luck in your medical endeavors.
     
  14. impiazza

    impiazza New Member

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    Dear Doctor,
    I'd be more than pleased to hear about your predental experience and any "tips" you have to get into dental school. I am a sophomore right now down here at the University of Florida and would really appreciate the insight! Sorry dentistry didn't turn out like a fairy tale for ya...like most things never do :D but I still am just oh so curious about the profession!
    Let me know some interesting "tidbits" if you have the time!
    Thanks! :cool:
     
  15. hafido

    hafido Member
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    Dr. Dobbs, that was a very insightful post. I understand what you are attempting to accomplish in trying to reach out to that 1% that might be on the fence as to what he or she should persue. I think everyone shold keep in mind that as we age, we reevaluate our lives at that moment. I can tell when I am 30, I will have differing priorities than at 26, or even at 40, so what I am trying to say is this, do what you feel is right now. You are living yor own life and altought posts like these can be insightful and helpful, they can also confuse you. By this I mean that it took the OP a loss of a family to realize how empty his life was, but really, was it so empty? He had a family and was living a pretty comfortable life, to many, that is pretty successful. Professionally speaking, yes, work might have been pretty mundane, but every profession has a trade off, even being an MD. Many MD's are not satified with their jobs or hours and envy others professions. Grass is greener so to speak. Live and learn, but also take the learings of others into account. Do what feels right to you, and you can never be wrong.
     
  16. Calculus1

    Calculus1 G.V. Black Fan
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    I'm not exactly sure what Dr. Dobbs was hoping to accomplish with his "ranting", but I hope his posting that on SDN has at least been therapeutic for him. He's had to deal with a tremendous tragedy and if preaching to the .5 % of dental appicants who are having trouble deciding what field to go into eases his pain, I say, have at it.
     
  17. ToothMonkey

    ToothMonkey Senior Member
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    I think you people are giving Eric a bit too much credit. His warning against choosing a profession for the wrong reasons is quite valid, but much of the information in his post is false, and most of the rest is either irrelevant or so blatantly obvious that I question his motives in bringing it up.

    Certainly Eric has an excellent point about the importance of choosing a profession you'll enjoy, but he is kidding himself if he thinks the same problem doesn't exist in the field of medicine. In my experience with pre-meds prestige, family pressure, and money are Reasons 1a, b, and c why people get into medicine. Yet Eric has not posted similar words of warning in the medical forums. Why is that? Eric, I think posters in other forums would benefit from your story at least as much as pre-dents would, so please consider reposting your message there as well.

    I'm not sure "selfish" reasons are necessarily wrong anyway. I've noticed that even when people claim to enjoy helping others, what they typically mean is that they enjoy the ego boost and intense satisfaction derived from providing such assistance. Notice how that is still an inherently selfish reason (i.e. the focus is on personal gratification). True altruists, who would toil away for decades without ANY personal rewards whatsoever, are exceptionally rare in any profession.

    I think a bigger problem for Eric was not his specific disinterest in the nuts and bolts of everyday dentistry, but rather his overall expectations that work should provide one's life with meaning. I don't necessarily find fault with that attitude, but I also don't think it lends itself well to the practice of dentistry. Indeed, in general I've noticed that physicians tend to define themselves by their work, as Eric does, whereas most dentists I've met seem to have varied interests. They place a higher priority on family time and personal hobbies, and love their profession not necessarily entirely for the nature of the work itself, but for how it enables them to pursue their other passions.

    A few comments on Eric's other points:

    Too true. Anyone who has ever worked in a customer service job can attest to mankind's rich tradition of taking service providers for granted. Dentists must deal with the same attitude, yes, which is why Eric is correct that glory hounds should look elsewhere. Medicine is one of the rare exceptions that receives plenty of kudos from the general public, which makes it the best choice for people who want their egos stroked. Please understand that I say that matter-of-factly, not as an insult. There is absolutely nothing wrong with valuing the prestige of one's chosen profession, or enjoying the compliments of others on a job well done.

    This may have been true at one time, but it is no longer even remotely accurate. If a dentist feels isolated it is because he has failed to get up off his lazy ass and do something about it. Some possible solutions to feelings of isolation include:

    1. The Internet. A dentist need only hop onto dentaltown.com to communicate with thousands of colleagues with a click of the mouse. Frustrated after a tough day at the office? Gripe a bit and receive emotional support from others who have been there, done that. Want to brag about a particularly fine case you had recently? Post the pics and let your peers be the judge. If you have a computer and a modem there is no reason to ever feel isolated in this profession.

    2. Continuing education. Online interaction is great, but nothing beats meeting face-to-face. As dentists regularly attend CE courses they have endless opportunities to meet colleagues in person, both to talk shop and to socialize.

    3. Group practice. If a dentist still feels isolated, even with the dental team, they need only find a partner or two and share an office. Honestly, you can't get much less isolated professionally than having another dentist in the operatory next door. If a person still feels lonely in such an environment then a trip to his friendly neighborhood shrink is probably in order.

    Overall I would venture to say that dentists have at least as many opportunities to connect with their peers as members of any other profession. The Lonely Dentist archetype is a myth, and Eric does our profession a disservice by perpetuating it.

    Fear is a real issue, definitely (OTOH, are you telling me that nobody fears seeing a surgeon? Please.). But actual hate? I think not. I don't know where you practiced, Eric, but I've never heard of individual dentists (at least not one who actually gives a damn about his patient's welfare) being hated by 25% of their patients. The profession as a whole perhaps, but not the individual practitioner.

    On the contrary, when a GP obviously goes out of his way to relax his patients by actually talking with them (shocking, I know!) and treating each case considerately and with deliberate care (not as a "rush job"), he is likely to form a fine working relationship with his regulars. In fact dental patients are notorious for their loyalty once they find a GP they connect with. That propensity to view the family dentist through rose-colored glasses is so well-documented that it is often the subject of light joking in the dental community.

    True, but this entire paragraph is redundant. It falls into the exact same category as Eric's first point about people underrating dental work. See my response above.

    More than any other, this statement suggests that Eric may harbor some latent hostility towards the dental profession (perhaps he himself is not even aware of these issues). Why else would Eric feel the need to point out what is common knowledge if not to use it as some kind of perverse putdown? Of course I could point out that dentists do screen for oral cancer, or that most physicians are hardly racking up notches in their lifesaver belt either (sorry, but "Take two and call me in the morning." hardly qualifies as a heroic effort on the practitioner's part). But what's the point in such a childish debate? NOBODY gets into dentistry to save lives, so Eric's bringing up the obvious here is as pointless as doing so in an accounting forum--it's nothing but narcisism thinly veiled as a public service announcement.

    No offense meant, Eric. I appreciate your thoughtful words and trust you felt like you were doing the right thing with your post. I just want to ensure that pre-dents can distinguish the legitimate parts of your post from the rhetoric and/or misinformation.
     
  18. Calculus1

    Calculus1 G.V. Black Fan
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    I agree with the above completely.
     
  19. RaiderNation

    RaiderNation Recently Reinstated
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    Obviously Eric became an MD for psychological reasons. His family died, and in attempting to fill that void he becomes a doctor. Through his job, he has the opportunity to save people's lives, something that didn't happen for his wife and child. As a doctor he attempts to fill his loss with the saving of other lives. Will this fill the void? No. Will anything fill the void? No. So, he will continue to work his life away as a surgeon trying ever so hard to replace the emptiness left by the death of his family. Sad.
     
  20. ecdoesit

    ecdoesit DDS/MS
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    Wow, this thread has really fired up. I guess we care about how people say and view our occupation. First of all, I would like to say I am sorry to hear your family loss, Eric Dobbs. Your life probably couldnt be more miserable. Each occupation has its goods and bads. I really hope that you also aware of all the negatives about being a surgeon so that you will not switch to another career later on.

    A single dentist may not be able to change the field around, but a group of dentists can. I am not a person who just say things and forget about it. If you list all these public view on dentistry that causing you discomfort, how come you dont do something about it? Withdrawing from the field is not your best option, considering you have spent almost 10 years of your life as a dentist. Me too. I am going to be a student at UCLA this coming Fall with JRaven. I am going to make a pledge today to all of you. Please join us to build/consolidate our organized dentistry system. Please get involved and shape our world and eliminate such misunderstandings. There are things that we could do. Remember an individual maybe weak, but a group of professionals can be a really strong force. If you cant make this pledge yet, please do keep this in mind when you become a dentist or anything.

    Thank you

    Eric C

    P.S. Sorry for the short respond. I will reply thoroughly this evening.
     
  21. Henna

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with this. Dentist have high technical skills and aim at precision and they are not always given the credit they deserve, patients have high expections too and are very sue friendly, whereas in surgery you are not concerned with the minute details and still, you are given so much credit and respect ...its just not fair :mad: :D

    :laugh: True
    Exactly !!
    Physicians love to stomp on dentists especially if you are in their surroundings.
    Oral surgery residents doing the 4 yr program face this on a day to day basis.
    I know this as I did a lot of OMFS externships during all of my breaks.

    :laugh: :laugh: It's unbelievable ! During the oral surgery procedure they are the most co-operative patients and the same ones throw a tantrum when you do a dental procedure and you don't to place the topical anesthetic before you give a shot. :idea:

    I agree

    Most people dont even know how many years we spend in dental school, even some physicians are ignorant about it.
    If you are into aesthetic dentistry, you will be making a big difference in a patience's confidence, so I disagree with you on this, we do make a big difference and do come off as hero's s/t's, but its not everyday that we are appreciated.


    :thumbup:
     
  22. SillyRabbit

    SillyRabbit Trix R 4 Kidz
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    It's annoying when people have so little knowledge of dental school. Last week, someone intelligent (a grad from my school!) asked me, "So how many years is dental school? 2? 3?" :rolleyes: And I said "4!" I was nice about it and acted as if it was normal that she didn't know.

    But really, most people have no idea!! The same day I asked a classmate who just found out I was going to Dental school, "How many years do you think dental school is?" She said, "7?" :laugh:

    Even fellow pre-meds don't know much about it! I don't know...i guess i kind of expect everyone to know. EVERYONE should learn about dentistry! How do we enlighten people? :idea:
     
  23. dentalarts

    dentalarts Junior Member
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    Eric Dobbs -

    I strongly disagree with the following statement:

    "...you will rarely come home thinking 'wow, I just changed somebody?s life today.'"

    I've spent two days a week in a dental practice for the past six months (first shadowing before being hired part-time), and I've seen myriad smiles that have been revolutionized by anterior crowns, bridges, veneers, etc. Imagine the confidence that you instill in a patient when you drastically improve their smile. Also, many patients are extremely grateful when you relieve their pain.

    So, my contention is that you will come home on most everyday feeling as if you have positively impacted a patient's life.
     
  24. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with whoever said Dr. Dobbs ought to post this in the pre-med or Allopathic forums and see what kinds of responses he gets there. I'd be curious to see that.
     
  25. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    It seems everyone is interested in medicine... I don't know why more people aren't interested in dentistry. I've met 1 person, other than myself, that wants to persue dentistry at USF. :rolleyes:
     
  26. futureD

    futureD Member
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    Something I have consistently noticed on this forum is that some people can be quite immature. 'Just because you've gotten into dental school and done this and that...that don't mean much until after you finish dental school and see reality for yourselves.

    Until then, be quiet about how you know this and that so much about dentistry and listen to someone who has EXPERIENCE as a dentist.

    Eric...thank you very much for that thoughtful post. I thank you for trying to help others who could benefit from your experience. Forgive those inexperienced and lost soul who have little clues about the real world of dentistry.


    One more thing, SDN is ONLY helpful because people like ERIC have the heart to take the TIME out to share their experience. If you ignorant people attack such people, this forum might be as well be closed down because no one would want to post anyone for fear of personal attacks.

    :cool: GOOD RIDDANCE!!
     
  27. Calculus1

    Calculus1 G.V. Black Fan
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    FutureD, please, he had an extremely tragic experience and said that he enjoys 80+ hour shifts. He's replacing pain with work. My mom has been teaching and practicing dentistry for over 20 years(my whole life) so I've not only been around an office, but I've been around the school for years and years. This sort of opinion is SO in the minority among young dentists and ones who have been practicing for 40 years. Think about it, as a dentist you make a great salary with fewer hours, after the car accident Dr. Dobbs didn't have anyone to spend that free time with, I'd go crazy too. He may "have the heart" to share his experience, but what is the gain when someone who's deeply traumatized emotionally gives advice? He's basically just told us that we aren't really helping people, because our patients aren't going to tell us how great we are. That's a load of crap, watch an episode of extreme makeover, these people will get the boob job, tummy tuck, chin implants, etc. but they always cry when they see their teeth. I think what we do works on a very emotional level as well as general oral health. FutureD, Dr. Dobbs' experience is SO unique to him that it isn't helpful to the general dental applicant and it has served to be more divisive than anything.
     
  28. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Perhaps, but I don't think any of us is qualified to be playing psychologist and diagnosing his motives. Whatever the reasons for his choice, Eric has found something to help restore happiness to his life after a tragic event, and I applaud him for it. He brings up a number of valid observations about our profession in his posts, and SDN might be much better served by debating his opinions on their merits, rather than searching for ways to dismiss them.
     
  29. Calculus1

    Calculus1 G.V. Black Fan
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    I agree with you Mr. Johnson, he made SOME valid points, and I'm not playing psychiatrist, I'm just going on common sense. I probably would have done the same thing, but again, they(Dr. Dobbs and FutureD) have to realize that a situation of great loss like that (hopefully) is in the minority. Life changing decisions made after that won't always be rational or right for someone not in their shoes. As a result of being in the company of a very large population of dental professionals, I know of some that have experienced similar tragedies, they did not, however, quit dentistry.
     
  30. Mo007

    Mo007 Gifted Hands
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    I was going to say the same thing... you don't have to go to school for 8 years to help people, but it sure is one way to do it. Being a doctor or a dentist is an interest-based decision, just like being a fireman or a soldier. I guess more physicians use that excuse than dentists :D .
     
  31. ecdoesit

    ecdoesit DDS/MS
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    I am back. You know what, I am somewhat saddened after reading the post. It is definitely a traffic loss. What could replace life? Maybe that causes Dr. Dobbs to consider dealing with life and death situation is more meaningful to him. Another sad thing is that I was disappointed a doctor didnt use his knowledge to do something about the situation. I hope he will be able to solve the cons about being a surgeon later on. Yet, his post is very informative. My main reason to go into dentistry is to build a long term relationship with people. And reduce pain plus to preach prevention are my major goals. There are too many ways to make money and going into dentistry for such things aint the wisest idea. Though I am glad that he finds his place now. Hopefully being a surgeon will meet his expectation and good luck to u, eric

    EC
     
  32. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Come to my neck of the woods and you'll find the exact opposite.
     
  33. JRogoff

    JRogoff Resident Palatal Phallacy
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    That might just be USF. I'm close by at FSU and i know tons of pre-dents!
     
  34. ToothMonkey

    ToothMonkey Senior Member
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    My experience has been similar to busupshot83. I never met a single pre-dent before stumbling upon SDN.

    I don't think the profession of dentistry is marketed well enough to undergrad students. I went to a fairly large university yet AFAIK we never received any visits from ADA, ADEA or local dental society reps (like at job fairs and such). As a result most students--myself included--were completely ignorant of what a great profession dentistry can be. It's really unfortunate.
     
  35. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    Yea, it's a USF thang.
     
  36. loo

    loo Always Sleepy
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    :thumbdown:
    Please stop reading between the lines and over analizing (sorry, over analyzing)this poor guy's post, people!

    Jeez, he was just trying to describe his PERSONAL experience and OPINION.
    Quit being so defensive! Aphistis, you are so spot-on with your comment.

    Try reading the post again and you'll see that it is not inflammatory, but rather a person's journey to find his "right livelihood".

    loo
     
  37. Dr.SpongeBobDDS

    Dr.SpongeBobDDS Senior Member
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    Exactly, aphistis. the negative aspects of dentistry identified by Dr. Dobbs are irrefutable. Go to dental town and read the "bitching and moaning" forum and you will see several examples of each of the things Dr. Dobbs mentioned. Of course, those guys are content to joke and whine a little about it online and they're good to go. I think those problems are probably just amplified by a certain type of personality. There is no denying it takes a unique individual to be a dentist.

    if you look clsoely at all the things eric posted you'll see a recurring theme: external validation. Some people have tried to dismiss his post as someone who just needs his ego stroked but you can't deny that external validation is a universal human need. We all need and crave it. we are social animals. Some may need it more than others but I don't think that makes them weak in any way.

    I'll admit that I need external validation; I just happen to get it from my family, friends and religious involvement. It doesn't much matter to me that my career provide a lot of pats on the back. But if you do need that from a career, by all means do NOT choose dentistry. :laugh:
     
  38. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    This is definitely one of the best post I've ever read. Well put, heart-felt personal experiences. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:


    However it got lots of negative sentiment here because it is posted in dental forum. If you posted this in MD forum, you would get lots of praise. It is hard for people to accept neg things for their professions(ie. dentistry). :(
     
  39. Typo

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    To be frank, like others on this forum, a significant reason I am going into dentistry is because of the lifestyle it will provide not only for me, but for my wife and baby boy. Not only will I be able to perform work I enjoy, but I will earn a comfortable living, and more importantly, spend more time with my family than I would be able to with most other careers.

    If I lost my wife and boy in the same way that you did, Eric, I would similarly make a serious reevaluation of my priorities because it would rob me of one of the key reasons that dentistry will give me fulfillment. My sincere condolences. I think it's fantastic that you've managed to rebound from such a tragic experience and find joy in life. I can only imagine the pain.

    Best wishes.
     
  40. LetMeIn

    LetMeIn Member
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    I was born to be suspicious, so im wiery of this post.

    First, I disagree with your comment that dentistry doesnt save lives. Many times a dentist is the first health professional that can detect problems, and can recommend seeking further care from a physician. Periodontitis could be a sign of early Osteoporosis in menopausal women for example.

    Even if we dont save lives on a daily basis, can you even imagine the change in someones quality of life, confidence, self esteem after a treatment like the patients here ? I can, and it blows my mind.

    If your post IS real. Then im really sorry about your family and the torture that must have been like. Your fascination with medicine could also be short lived because your in the health profession for the wrong reasons. Best of luck regardless :thumbup: .
     
  41. Meggs

    7+ Year Member

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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  42. preludexl

    preludexl Senior Member
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    You people are so defensive. Insecurities so readily apparent. Go out and do something useful instead of arguing over petty things, go feed the homeless or fix up some old ladies home thru xmas in april or build a house for the poor through habitat for humanity. If you want to be worshipped, go start your cult. True respect is earned as an individual not the coat you wear on your back.

    I would hope most of us here can read between the lines and delineate between which parts to believe and which parts to take with a grain of salt without getting into a tizzy fit. However, after reading most of the retorts, this isnt the case. I hate to see how most of you will react when an unhappy patient starts cursing at you. Are you going to curse at them back? Probably, no doubt.
     
  43. datu

    datu Founding Father
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    Not at all! It was very moving and I'm sure the rest here appreciate the insight you've brought to the forum.

    The primary reason for my having chosen dentistry over medicine (and this is precisely what I told the dental school interviewer) is to earn a very comfortable living while being able to give my future wife and children the attention and security they deserve.

    I know some who are driven entirely by money and the hedonistic pleasures it brings. I want the money because I know it will ensure that my children will be well taken care of. But if it were only for money, I could have chosen a much less treacherous path by going into the business world (I like to think I have a knack for that sort of thing--at least the people around me tell me I do). The toys and treasures money buys are welcome and undoubtedly will be pursued to some degree, but they're not the driving force here.
     
  44. LibertyB

    LibertyB BusyBee
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    I just want to point out the obvious: ATTITUDES TOWARD DENTISTRY ARE CHANGING POSITIVELY. (Evidence of this is seen by increasingly tougher admissions requirements. Funny but true, dental school enrollment standards are getting tighter whereas medical schools have been getting more lax in the past 5+ yrs. I'm sure someone out there who has all of the info could tell us which profession is statistically easier to break into right now.)

    Just think about all the ads, media, celebrities etc. talking about the quality of your smile. People care more now then ever about their oral health. They want beautiful, white, straight teeth. Patients are looking to their dentists as someone who can help them rather than someone who inflicts pain. :)

    Furthermore, I think we are all missing an invaluable point, there is an ART TO DENTISTRY!!!

    Talk to any dentist that has been in practice the past five years. Ask them if Dentistry has changed or is changing. I promise that this question will yield a very interesting, positive and complex answer. This is not the same profession as it was 10 years ago, in the early nineties!!!

    Kudos to all aspiring dentists! :thumbup: Best of luck to you on your long and every changing road! ;) :luck: Luck also to the pre-meds!
     
  45. datu

    datu Founding Father
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    So very true.
     

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