Stick to med or switch to dental?

  • Med

    Votes: 13 72.2%
  • Dent

    Votes: 5 27.8%

  • Total voters
    18

chappystick393

2+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2017
18
14
Status
Pre-Podiatry
Hey everyone, long time lurker here but first time poster. I know that there are a lot of these kinds of posts but none that are specific to my situation exactly so I thought I might as well ask. So I'm pre-med and have been my "entire life." My family has often times brought up the idea of being a dentist but I just brushed it off without much thought. But lately I've been thinking this might be the career for me but it just might be too late for me to make the switch. I have shadowed and decided this is definitely something I can see myself doing and want to do as well.

A little background: I graduated with a major in public health and am now completing an SMP and will get my MBS at the end of this. However, I am on the medical path of the SMP as opposed to the dental path (really no difference except in name). By the time I apply, I'll have about a 3.4 GPA and 3.1sGPA. Not great, I know. That's why I was hoping to stick with medical because at least I have a chance with DO (which I know is getting increasingly difficult to get into and my stats are low even for that). I haven't taken the MCAT yet but am planning on taking it in April. I've been putting off taking the MCAT for so long and subconsciously I think it's because I think something may be better suited for me.

So what do you all think? I know med and dental are both longshots for me based on my stats alone, but I'm hoping my extracurriculars (clubs, honor societies, EMT, scribing, global volunteer) will at least give me a chance. I don't want to switch to dental and be in an even worse position, but I know I would be much happier being a dentist. Do you think I should just stick to medicine and try my best to get in, or should I throw myself into dental 100% and try to get in?

FYI my top choice dental schools would be: ASDOH, Midwestern (AZ), Western, and Nova

Any help/insight would be appreciated! And if you think I should switch to dental, what else should I do to show I am committed to this field?
 

Vicviper

Michael De Coro, DMD - AKA Steve McAwesome
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2008
2,253
266
Visalia, CA
Status
Dentist
I had similar stats to you when I was applying... doing awesome on the DAT made a big difference and is what got me into dental school. If there's a will there's a way, but things are getting very competitive now. The real question is what do you think you'd be honestly happier doing? It will probably be easier to get into some med school due to the sheer number of programs, but will you be happy being a physician?

ASDOH is a school that puts significant weight into community service. If you have a lot, that can help. If you're from a rural area, they also have a home town scholar program that you may be able to qualify for. I was affiliated with ASDOH when doing my residency in Phoenix, and I supervise ASDOH students at my health center when they're on rotations. Their students are some of the most skilled and capable I've seen, and so I strongly recommend the school... only minus is the crippling loan debt!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: chappystick393

2TH MVR

Orthodontist
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2017
1,091
2,026
North Scottsdale, Arizona
Status
Dentist
Medicine and dentistry are two different fields. Depends on what you will be happy doing for a lifelong career. I do not envy the primary care MDs/pediatricians. Seems pretty boring. If I were going into the medical field .... I would choose something that involved intellectual thinking and manual dexterity. Maybe an Orthopedic surgeon or surgery in general. Seems fascinating to me.

Same with dentistry. General and Special both have their adv and disadv. You need to research each field thoroughly. The other big component is that most MDs are employees. Not all, but most. They have no real need for business experience. Dentistry is a small business. You graduate. Then there is the investment in a practice .... unless you decide to be an employee.

So ... the decision is not just MD/DO vs. DDS/DMD. It goes further than that. You have to decide what general or specialized field you are interested in and if you have the "kahunas" to run a small business.
 
About the Ads
OP
C

chappystick393

2+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2017
18
14
Status
Pre-Podiatry
I had similar stats to you when I was applying... doing awesome on the DAT made a big difference and is what got me into dental school. If there's a will there's a way, but things are getting very competitive now. The real question is what do you think you'd be honestly happier doing? It will probably be easier to get into some med school due to the sheer number of programs, but will you be happy being a physician?

ASDOH is a school that puts significant weight into community service. If you have a lot, that can help. If you're from a rural area, they also have a home town scholar program that you may be able to qualify for. I was affiliated with ASDOH when doing my residency in Phoenix, and I supervise ASDOH students at my health center when they're on rotations. Their students are some of the most skilled and capable I've seen, and so I strongly recommend the school... only minus is the crippling loan debt!
Thanks so much for your insight.. I think taking the DAT will definitely be my biggest indicator of whether or not to fully make the leap into dentistry. I honestly think I would be happier being a dentist. If I were to get into medical school though, I would definitely go just because it's what I've been wanting my whole life. I'm going to do some soul searching before the next cycle to see which I will apply for (I'm certainly not going to simultaneously apply to both). I just want to make sure that if I am to switch to dentistry, I won't be rejected everywhere and then have no idea what to do from there.

And yes I've seen that ASDOH is very community service oriented and I think I will be okay on that end. I'll look into that program, thanks so much!
 
OP
C

chappystick393

2+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2017
18
14
Status
Pre-Podiatry
Medicine and dentistry are two different fields. Depends on what you will be happy doing for a lifelong career. I do not envy the primary care MDs/pediatricians. Seems pretty boring. If I were going into the medical field .... I would choose something that involved intellectual thinking and manual dexterity. Maybe an Orthopedic surgeon or surgery in general. Seems fascinating to me.

Same with dentistry. General and Special both have their adv and disadv. You need to research each field thoroughly. The other big component is that most MDs are employees. Not all, but most. They have no real need for business experience. Dentistry is a small business. You graduate. Then there is the investment in a practice .... unless you decide to be an employee.

So ... the decision is not just MD/DO vs. DDS/DMD. It goes further than that. You have to decide what general or specialized field you are interested in and if you have the "kahunas" to run a small business.
Yeah I definitely see where you are coming from. I have considered this side of the career as well but not very heavily. I guess it's time to factor this in as a huge part of my decision. Thanks!
 
OP
C

chappystick393

2+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2017
18
14
Status
Pre-Podiatry
You say you know that you would be happier being a dentist, but I have trouble believing that when you're asking a group of strangers what you should do with your life. How is it that you know dentistry would make you happier?
It's not that I'm asking you all which will make me happier, because I know which one will. More so that if I switch to dental, will I have a chance of getting into dental school? I don't want to switch and get rejected everywhere (even though I may apply to medical and get rejected everywhere as well). I just thought that I'd ask people who know much more about the pre-dental life if switching is a viable option for me based on their personal experiences and/or what they have seen
 

aformerstudent

probationary status 4life
Removed
Account on Hold
Mar 7, 2017
695
206
Status
Medical Student
Pick whichever you want but wait till you get your test scores back. Who knows, neither might be right for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chappystick393

Stanelz

RDA-->DMD
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2015
600
974
Status
Dental Student
I was premed, took the MCAT three times, applied to Medical schools once before realizing how amazing dentistry is. Since then I have fully emersed myself in dentistry shadowing many hours and becoming an RDA. I havent looked back since. I wasted time but I am glad I made the switch.

Its up to you, no one here can make the decision for you. Just know that all your medical related experiences will not help you as much for your dental app. If adcoms see scribing on your app I can't say for sure, but they might get suspicious as it is seen badly to switch from medical to dental (anyone can argue with me on that but I am convinced after talking to adcoms and student interviewers that it is very looked down upon.) You have to avoid talking about it without lying. You are in a good spot compared to me who literally took the MCAT and applied to medical school.

If you score high on your DAT above 22A you are fine to switch easily. otherwise you will have a tougher time like me if there are permed traces on your app. I applied to dental school last year and received 0 interviews. This year NOVA and LECOM so far after becoming an RDA.

I also have research experience, committee letter from professors and dentists, and higher than average GPA and still have struggled to get noticed.
 

Michael_Scott

Best Boss
2+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2016
431
325
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Hey everyone, long time lurker here but first time poster. I know that there are a lot of these kinds of posts but none that are specific to my situation exactly so I thought I might as well ask. So I'm pre-med and have been my "entire life." My family has often times brought up the idea of being a dentist but I just brushed it off without much thought. But lately I've been thinking this might be the career for me but it just might be too late for me to make the switch. I have shadowed and decided this is definitely something I can see myself doing and want to do as well.

A little background: I graduated with a major in public health and am now completing an SMP and will get my MBS at the end of this. However, I am on the medical path of the SMP as opposed to the dental path (really no difference except in name). By the time I apply, I'll have about a 3.4 GPA and 3.1sGPA. Not great, I know. That's why I was hoping to stick with medical because at least I have a chance with DO (which I know is getting increasingly difficult to get into and my stats are low even for that). I haven't taken the MCAT yet but am planning on taking it in April. I've been putting off taking the MCAT for so long and subconsciously I think it's because I think something may be better suited for me.

So what do you all think? I know med and dental are both longshots for me based on my stats alone, but I'm hoping my extracurriculars (clubs, honor societies, EMT, scribing, global volunteer) will at least give me a chance. I don't want to switch to dental and be in an even worse position, but I know I would be much happier being a dentist. Do you think I should just stick to medicine and try my best to get in, or should I throw myself into dental 100% and try to get in?

FYI my top choice dental schools would be: ASDOH, Midwestern (AZ), Western, and Nova

Any help/insight would be appreciated! And if you think I should switch to dental, what else should I do to show I am committed to this field?
Hello, your GPA is much lower than the average for all the schools you mentioned and all schools except ASDOH look more at GPA/DAT than extra-curriculars. The DAT's and GPA averages are rising every year for most schools. You need to bring your GPA avg up and atleast score a 21 on DAT in my humble opinion.

Have you volunteered and shadowed in dentistry for 100 hrs (or atleast 50 hours) ? I think you should do that first before making a leap.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chappystick393

DancingBull

5+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2013
122
31
Status
Dentist
If a bunch of random strangers on the internet are enough to decide your career, then neither.
 
OP
C

chappystick393

2+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2017
18
14
Status
Pre-Podiatry
I was premed, took the MCAT three times, applied to Medical schools once before realizing how amazing dentistry is. Since then I have fully emersed myself in dentistry shadowing many hours and becoming an RDA. I havent looked back since. I wasted time but I am glad I made the switch.

Its up to you, no one here can make the decision for you. Just know that all your medical related experiences will not help you as much for your dental app. If adcoms see scribing on your app I can't say for sure, but they might get suspicious as it is seen badly to switch from medical to dental (anyone can argue with me on that but I am convinced after talking to adcoms and student interviewers that it is very looked down upon.) You have to avoid talking about it without lying. You are in a good spot compared to me who literally took the MCAT and applied to medical school.

If you score high on your DAT above 22A you are fine to switch easily. otherwise you will have a tougher time like me if there are permed traces on your app. I applied to dental school last year and received 0 interviews. This year NOVA and LECOM so far after becoming an RDA.

I also have research experience, committee letter from professors and dentists, and higher than average GPA and still have struggled to get noticed.
That's what I'm afraid of.. Luckily I have some time before next cycle to solidify what I am going to do. I don't want to apply for medical school with dental still creeping forward in my mind. I actually haven't begun scribing yet, so maybe I just won't do it and will look more into becoming an RDA instead. Thanks so much, and good luck with your interviews!
 
OP
C

chappystick393

2+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2017
18
14
Status
Pre-Podiatry
Hello, your GPA is much lower than the average for all the schools you mentioned and all schools except ASDOH look more at GPA/DAT than extra-curriculars. The DAT's and GPA averages are rising every year for most schools. You need to bring your GPA avg up and atleast score a 21 on DAT in my humble opinion.

Have you volunteered and shadowed in dentistry for 100 hrs (or atleast 50 hours) ? I think you should do that first before making a leap.
So I've just started shadowing recently and am closer to about 20 hours right now. I will definitely keep shadowing before I make up my mind for sure but so far I am really liking what I see. I know my stats are low, that's why I'm nervous about making the jump fully because right now with medicine, at least I have my pre med background and experiences to fall back on since my stats aren't going to cut it alone. I am now looking into more dentistry-oriented volunteering options. Thanks, I am nervous about making the change but I know that if it's what I really want to do I need to just do it. (But being a realistic personality, I don't want to make the jump without being fully prepared first)
 

SmileItsLife

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2017
436
274
Status
Pre-Dental
So I've just started shadowing recently and am closer to about 20 hours right now. I will definitely keep shadowing before I make up my mind for sure but so far I am really liking what I see. I know my stats are low, that's why I'm nervous about making the jump fully because right now with medicine, at least I have my pre med background and experiences to fall back on since my stats aren't going to cut it alone. I am now looking into more dentistry-oriented volunteering options. Thanks, I am nervous about making the change but I know that if it's what I really want to do I need to just do it. (But being a realistic personality, I don't want to make the jump without being fully prepared first)
Honestly the only difference I see between actually getting into each respective health field is the type of shadowing you have to do, research isn't a de facto requirement in dentistry, and the type of standardized test you take.

I don't know why you keep reiterating that you'll "lose" all of your extracurriculars.... if you have hospital volunteering, keep it on the app, if you did research, keep it on the app, if you have any non- health volunteering, keep it on the app, any club, keep it on the app, any job, keep it on the app... etc...

If I where you, I'd be more concerned about if you'll actual enjoy your job after spending so much time and money training for that job....
 
About the Ads