i7ishot

10+ Year Member
Nov 25, 2008
4
0
Status
Dentist
I graduated from dental school with low grades and low board scores. Since then, I finished an AEGD residency and have a few months worth of experience in private private.

I never cared about specializing back in dental school, hence the low grades. But I'm now starting to have some interest in specializing.

I want to specialize in orthodontics. I'm incompetitive for all the civilian residencies but I've heard that military-based ones are relatively more forgiving of lower grades.

On a personal note, I don't care about relocation. I can live practically anywhere. Also, I prefer not to be in a war zone.

What should I do? Am I looking in the right place? What does it take for all this to happen?
 
N

NAVY DDS 2010

I graduated from dental school with low grades and low board scores. Since then, I finished an AEGD residency and have a few months worth of experience in private private.

I never cared about specializing back in dental school, hence the low grades. But I'm now starting to have some interest in specializing.

I want to specialize in orthodontics. I'm incompetitive for all the civilian residencies but I've heard that military-based ones are relatively more forgiving of lower grades.

On a personal note, I don't care about relocation. I can live practically anywhere. Also, I prefer not to be in a war zone.

What should I do? Am I looking in the right place? What does it take for all this to happen?
Although it is true that you can have lower scores to get into residencies in the military, the scores aren't that much lower. You still have to meet the same criteria as civilian residencies. You still have to meet certain criteria the residency programs set to get accepted.

You seriously need to be realistic. Since you have graduated from d-school, you obviously know that Ortho is the most sought after residency. Do you not think that in the military that there will be plenty of people shooting for the couple of slots each year? There are plenty of people who enter the military after d-school who have excellent scores. They know it and will also be applying for these slots. If you have low grades and low board scores, you chances are extremely low of even getting an interview let alone a slot. But, then again, until you speak to the residency director, you will never know for sure!

Another thing you have to look at is that there are also people who are interested in the residency who might not have the highest scores, but have a lot of time in the military who have proven themselves and have shown they are more likely to stay in the military an benefit the military compared to a person who has not been in.

You wouldn't even be allowed to apply for a residency until after you joined. At that point, you would probably find out you probably won't get an ortho slot. Meanwhile, you are going to get stationed somewhere where your services are needed. Although it is possible to get a good place to be stationed, there is no guarantee you will not be stationed somewhere where you will be deployed. If you do not want to be deployed, DO NOT join the military. That is the risk that every one of us who join face. I have been deployed twice myself. Do I like being deployed and away from my family and friends? HELL NO!!!! But, it is the sacrifice my family and I made so I could serve our country and the sacrifice we will continue to make after dental school. Please, DO NOT join the military only because you feel it is the easiest way to get into Ortho. You probably will not get it with low grades and board scores. If you are unhappy with that, you face the risk of making those around you unhappy and I can speak from experience that it sucks to work with a disgruntled military member who has nothing better to do than bitch and moan about how they hate the military. PLEASE, do not be one of them!
 

JSQUARED

10+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2008
40
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I can speak from some experience since I feel like I know the system firsthand.

I applied for Ortho through the Navy right out of D school, but knew nothing about the "operational" tour. Of course I was not selected right out of school. I did my AEGD, then went with the Marines. I volunteered to deploy to Iraq to help my chances of being selected through the Navy.

The selection board is different very year, but the past few years have been the same result. Whoever is or once was the Admirals Aid gets selected. They usually have the least chance of matching and get the spot in the Air Force program in San Antonio. The rest have to apply, interview, and match on their own.

Although it is not a guarantee, you may have to put in 5 yrs to be competitive, but it has been done.

Good Luck.
 

dheav005

keepin' it movin'
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 27, 2005
297
5
Norfolk
Status
Dentist
though its been a couple of months: welcome back jsquared! i remember seeing a BZ to you in the WDU after you got your FMF pin. glad to have another AD Navy doc around these boards.

to the OP: read Navy2010's response very carefully. its great that you think you can live anywhere in the world, but if you can live anywhere as long as its not a warzone, the military is not for you. even though the inside of a ship is different from the senic beaches of Fallujah, it all has the potential to be in harm's way. remember that even though there are fewer applicants to armed forces post-grad programs, there isnt a glut of slots to be filled by just any tom, dick, or harry. you are guaranteed that the military will get back out of just as much training as they put into you.
 

desert rat

general dentist
10+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2008
93
1
Status
Dentist
Ortho is hard to get, and I knew a dentist in the Army that tried for 20 years and had decent grades and scores, and also took hardship assgnments and never got it. I tried for pedo and didn't get it (thank God). Pros was super easy to get and a friend of mine got it no problem first try. The military needs more general dentists than specialists, but if I was in the military I would not hesitate to try.

As a general dentist dissabled from the Army, I have a thriving practice and I do about $200,000 of ortho a year. I could triplle that number easy, but I chose to only do easy cases. You can do any aspect of dentistry you like as a general dentist. I know several general dentists that only do ortho and make a great living.
 

natedizzle

Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2006
117
0
Status
Dental Student
How important is research experience while in dental school for getting into a military specialty? Would externships and other extracurricular experiences look just as favorable?
 
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krmower

10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2008
1,688
59
Status
Dentist
How important is research experience while in dental school for getting into a military specialty? Would externships and other extracurricular experiences look just as favorable?
Depends on the specialty you are looking at. In the Army Ortho is the toughest to get - Endo is next. Those are the 2 specialties tough to get straight out of school - the others you have a good chance at.

When you apply as a senior in dental school - the only thing the board is going to get is your application, letters of recommendation, and your stats (GPA, board scores, etc...). The only place you are going to be able to indicate your research and externships are through your letters of recommendation.

Personally I don't think that research and externships will help you as much in the military as it would if you were applying to a civilian program. It might help you stand out among the other dental students applying - but that would be about it.
 

umkcdds

Army OMS
10+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2005
357
4
Fort Campbell, KY
Status
time spent on active duty is just as important as any other stat that the selection committee will look at - if that tells you how important it is, and how difficult it is to get on of the true specialties right out of school.