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Specializing without research?

Discussion in 'Dental Residents and Practicing Dentists' started by cl24uw06, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. cl24uw06

    cl24uw06 cl24uw06
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    I am currently a first year dental student and have an interest in possibly Ortho, Endo, or OMFS. Is it possible to make it into these programs without any research, or is research pretty much a requirement? I am currently ranked number one in my class but have no research. Thanks for your help in advance.
     
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  3. ortho07

    ortho07 Junior Member
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    Im ranked 3rd with NO research or extracurriculars and I matched. So yes it is possible
     
  4. cl24uw06

    cl24uw06 cl24uw06
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    Thanks for the response, that is awesome, congratulations on the match. Did the schools you interviewed at have issue with your lack of research and extracurriculars? Where did you match if you don't mind telling?
     
  5. ktcook83

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    That post might as well have started "I am currently a first year dental student and have an interest in making lots of money."

    Some of those specialties are polar opposites.

    Congrats on being #1 though... no easy feat
     
  6. ortho07

    ortho07 Junior Member
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    I really think it depends on the school. A school that doesnt have a lot of research within the curriculum probably wont care if you have done much research. So they probably wont ask you why you havent done any. But I really feel that some programs that are 3 years long with a masters wont interview you if they see you have no research. So I guess there is a trade off. I applied to many schools, and the only places I interviewed were non-research based programs. Is it better to have research?? Sure, because you look like more of a well rounded applicant and you may end up getting more interviews, but personally I would like to have a higher rank and board scores than have a lot of research.
     
  7. ortho07

    ortho07 Junior Member
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    So what? What difference does it make in your life what his motives are? Its his choice and if he wants to apply to all 3 it shouldnt matter to you.
     
  8. ktcook83

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    It makes no difference to me and it doesn't matter to me.

    LD Pankey said that 2% of dentists are masters. 8% are adept. 36% are students. 54% are indifferent.

    If you persue a specialty you don't like because you want to line your pockets, I'd say you are much less likely to become a master and much more likely to become indifferent. For your future patients' sake (not mine), choose the job (specialty, GP, etc) you love and you'll never have to work a day of your life.
     
  9. ortho07

    ortho07 Junior Member
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    lol or you can wake up and join the real world
     
  10. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Yeah, who cares about choosing a specialty that interests you. Geez, what a waste of time. Just rank in the $$.
     
  11. ItsGavinC

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    It's probably going to depend on the program. Certainly I don't think that research would weaken your application, assuming you are well-rounded in other areas. The real key is if you do research, it would be beneficial to do it in the area you are interested in. So your first mission is to determine what specialty floats your boat, and then pursue some research in areas relating to that. That's the best plan.
     
  12. cl24uw06

    cl24uw06 cl24uw06
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    Thanks for standing up to the "master" for me. I hate the fact that anytime anyone posts anything to do with specializing someone will inevitably post some crap about they must be in it just for the money. And no, I am not just searching for the quickest way to make the most money. I have given it a lot of thought and for a long time I have been very interested in OMFS; however I don't want to be so close minded and blaze my way through school without considering some other options. I don't feel the need to explain myself but I also feel at this time that Ortho and Endo could be a great fit. This summer I am going to shadow these specialties and see for sure if I should pursue one of them. In the mean time I am trying to do well in school to keep my options open. As a side note I also love General Dentistry and would be more than satisfied to end up there. It is not about the money but about finding what I love. Don't worry I think all of us will have plenty of income no matter where we end up.
     
  13. EyeAmCommi

    EyeAmCommi Los Angeles Smog
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    Right on. There's no need to defend yourself against pretentious, self-righteous pricks.

    Definitely there are some programs that don't require research but most programs that offer masters do require it (for ortho at least). Endo is trickier, you might have to do a GPR or AEGD and that might or might not be more important than research.
     
  14. cuneatus2

    cuneatus2 Member
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    S
     
  15. ktcook83

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    I'm saying you should only specialize if you are really attracted to one area and want to limit your practice to that area only, not for financial reasons. If you like a little of everything, be a GP. When I become a GP, I'll decide what I like and don't like and everything I don't will be promptly referred. I plan to practice a wider scope (as much as reasonable OH will allow), but I also plan to know when to punt when it is in the best interest of the patient.

    I would argue that someone who goes into ortho that had a previous interest in oral sx would be all the better for it, especially if they had observed some orthognathics from an OS perspective before being on the ortho end of it. It's only going to enhance their communication with their oral surgeons and will ultimately result in a better outcome for the patient.

    By the same token, our fixed prosth professors keep telling us how much better it is to work with endodontists who have been out in the real world as general practitioners for a short time, b/c when it comes to posts and cores, the endodontist knows to leave out a certain amount of gutta percha for the post, etc.
     
  16. ktcook83

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    To give my perspective on your origninal question, I would say for oral surgery it's going to depend entirely on the program. (if you come somewhere like Michigan where they pride themselves way too much on research, than having it on your app is going to be a big plus. I am sure there are many OS programs out there which are more clinical and a lot less academic, and if I were you, that's where I'd apply.

    For ortho, as others have said, you're going to have to get an MS, meaning, you'll have to do research during your program, so already having a foundation in it would be beneficial for ortho, but clearly not req'd.

    For endo, as a previous poster said, research isn't critical, but it's all going to depend on philosophy of the program. For example, in Michigan, U of M would be all over that research experience, but Detroit Mercy would more than likely put less emphasis on it and more on rank, NBDE I, externships, etc. Endo is very tough to get into right out of school. You may need a GPR/AEGD or a year or 2 out in the real world as an associate.

    Best of luck in whichever route you choose.
     
  17. Cyclysm

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    you had me at hello.
     
  18. NewBender

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    It amazes me how every time I come on this site and someone talks about specialty, there is ALWAYS someone who claims they only care about money. Leave the guy alone! If you have something to say, then answer the question posed on the thread!

    Research is completely subjective. If you do a project now, will it involve the specialty you adventually will pursue? How relative is the work that comes out of it? I conducted research before and during dental school. Mostly because I enjoy finding my own answers to questions. On my interviews, I was surprised on how many schools focused on my work.

    Your rank and National board scores will get you in the door, but what are you going to talk about at your interview? They look at your grades and congradulate you for all the hard work and getting to the interview and from that point foward they pick at your CV. The more you have in it, the more you stand out from those around you and I think thats the key. Is it necessary? No, but does it help? Most Likely.
     
  19. gryffindor

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    You should have some research experience. Many people get in with "resume research" experiences which in the game of ortho is probably better than no research. The difference between "resume research" and a serious commitment to a project is easily inferred. I have heard the (dumb) argument many times in ortho that "Oh, our program requires you to do research and no one will hold your hand in residency so that's why it's important to have research experience so you know what you're doing!" So at least having some experience won't hold you back from being considered by the places that think this way, which is probably a lot of programs. Research is not hard to teach any intelligent person so I think it's a flawed argument, but people still believe it.
     
  20. texas_dds

    texas_dds Senior Member
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    hi - if you would like to stay at UW for any of those programs, i would get involved with research!
     
  21. Billy Gilmore

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    speaking of UW and ortho, what happened with their opening following match?

    did they fill it with a student at UW or proceed with another round of interviews?

    just curious...
     
  22. jaap

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    From what I heard, several people were invited back for another interview. I know the spot went to a UNC guy.:thumbup:
     
  23. cl24uw06

    cl24uw06 cl24uw06
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    Thank you to those who provided helpful information, I truly appreciate it. I think that I will try to pursue some research that interests me. Texas_dds how did you enjoy UW's Otho program, are you going to stay and practice in the area?
     
  24. Billy Gilmore

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    so there were individuals who interviewed at UW twice? didn't match initially and got invited back? i would have expected all the first time interviewees to have matched elsewhere... it is hard to believe any of the 20 or so people UW interviewed not matching initially
     
  25. texas_dds

    texas_dds Senior Member
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    you'd be surprised! the match is a wacky animal
    to the UW student - why dont ya come over to the grad clinic sometime, im by the oral surgery side near the window
     
  26. Billy Gilmore

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    I get so sick of hearing about how crazy, unfair, strange, messed up, etc. the match is and how it doesn't work for some people and how it's a big game.

    as long as candidates and programs rank one another based upon their sincere and true preference, everyone wins. i see the excuses about how strange the match is to be just that... EXCUSES.

    supposedly highly qualified candidates don't get in each year, but to blame the match for this is simply unfair. it likely has more to do with personalities; those of the individuals in power at the programs the candidate applied and those in place at his or her own dental school. i feel the dental school one attends has MUCH more significance in the process than most are willing to admit.
     
  27. texas_dds

    texas_dds Senior Member
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    dude its no excuse its just the truth. im sorry the truth is not so pretty. the 2nd round of interviews we had for that spot were not people that interviewed here the first time.
     
  28. Dukie

    Dukie Senior Member
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    The simple answer is no, it is not required. HOWEVER, many of the university based programs include research in their post-graduate programs. Therefore, if you have not done any, you will not be a strong candidate. It will help in hospital-based programs too, though not quite as much. Research is not the only thing you can do in school, but you should seek out things that will help you learn more about the field and show your interest. Research is a good one. Good luck!
     
  29. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Candidates can rank programs by their true preferences and have awesome personalities, but the programs have the power to play with politics and stick in the clinic donor's kid or the dean's favorite into a match spot above everyone else. If you haven't seen it yet, then ask around and you will.

    Everyone will never win because there are double the number of candidates entering the match than there are spots available. So you have programs that invite 70 people to interview for 4 spots. Then there are programs that get 150 applications, invite 20 for 4 spots but only submit 10 on their rank list and end up with something open after match. Qualified candidates are going to get left out.
     
  30. Billy Gilmore

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    I recognize the fact quality candidates don't match. However, I still feel blaming the match is a big excuse. If the match didn't exist there would still be nepotism and politics and qualified individuals would in all likelihood still miss out on positions.

    Truthfully, I am not a huge advocate of the match. I think it is a huge disadvantage to the most qualified applicants who could hold multiple offers under a non-match system. Yet, the match is what it is and it's the best and most fair system available for all applicants.

    texas_dds, ranked UW #1 when she applied a couple years back which tells me she could have had MANY acceptances in a non-match scenario. it is candidates like her who must make their decision without all the facts they could have in a non-match scenario that get screwed.

    Applying to specialty programs is no different than applying for a job as politics, family ties, and personalities prevent QUALIFIED applicants from obtaining the positions they desire everyday. It's called LIFE and to blame the match because it is an imperfect system is pathetic. Even without the match there are still more than twice as many applicants relative to positions available.
     
  31. gryffindor

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    It's candidates like this who would hold multiple acceptances and then take forever to decide is why I also think the match is the best system possible. The superstar candidate isn't getting screwed by the match - they are just being forced to decide ahead of time who really is your #1 choice rather than dragging out the process. The match basically pushes up the deadline for everyone to decide. You have all the facts from the interview before you enter the match list - cost, time, requirements, location, stipend, research, etc. The fact that it is so competitive and those who get left out blame it on the match isn't entirely false - they weren't ranked high enough by any of the programs on their lists so yeah, in that case, "match sucks" because they didn't get a match.
     
  32. texas_dds

    texas_dds Senior Member
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    yikes i didnt know my 2 year old rank list was floating around in cyber space!
    and dont you all assume im some superstar, my orthodontist as a teen was absolutely right when he told me 14 years ago "becoming an orthodontist is a bit of a crapshoot, you gotta work your tail off, be personable, and be very lucky." I think the match is wonderful - there is no other fair system for all the reasons stated before, i just meant its wacky because murphy's law does exist sometimes! i always compare it to the BCS college football thing when i explain the match to laypeople - it usually works but sometimes that computer will crank out a strange result.
     

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