To Dr. Jeff or anyone else that can help

Discussion in 'Dental' started by umasskid, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. umasskid

    umasskid Member

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    here is my situation, I am a student at umass, and all my life I have wanted to be a physician...So last summer I was searching for physicians to shadow and it happened that the doctor who was most willing to help me out was a plastic/hand specialist...Prior to this experience, I thought I would be inclined towards a primary care field (internal or family)...but soon after working with this physician I became fascianted with the art of plastic surgery and the aesthetics which were involved. I fell in love with the idea of helping patients by improving their physical appearence...So I began to question medical school, because I do not know how happy I would be in another field of medicine that didnt involve cosmetics and aesthetic procedures...So recently, I have been researching dentistry and oral/maxillofacial surgery...I feel as though I would be very happy practicing in such a field..however I have the same problem as with medicine...I dont know if Id be happy practicing general dentistry...I have a great GPA and extracurrics and probably have a great chance at getting into either dental or medical school...What should I do?...apply to dental school and take the chance of not getting an OMFS residency or apply to medical school with the chance that I may not get a plastics residency?(which I beleive is quite competetive)
    And one more question, do OMFS programs ever accept M.Ds?
     
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  3. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    Tough call on this one. It's basically a trust your gut instinct and hope that the future desired residency of choice will happen. I can tell you though that many times during dental and/or medical school that folks that enter school with a specific preconceived notion about what they want to practice when they finish school often changes. I have MD friends, one of whom swore he was going to be a orthopedic surgeon when he started med school, well he now couldn't imagine practicing anything but what he does, pediatrics. I also know a few MD's who swore they were going the OB/GYN route at the start of MED school, one is now an opthomologist and the other a radiologist. I also have many similiar stories from my dental buddies.

    Don't get me wrong, it's great to head into Dental/Med school with a vision, just make sure to keep your eyes open and have an open mind.

    As for OMFS programs accepting an MD, it may have happened, but I personally don't know of any instances of it. I do know that the OMFS programs do first look to dental folks for admission.

    Residency competiveness, OMFS is quite competitive. It is generally one of the toughest to get into, although lately some of its appeal has been loosing out to the orthodontic/endodontic programs, but its still a tough one. Plastics will probably always be very competetive. An appealing profession and very limited, if any insurance reimbursement headaches to deal with. Best bet right now, spend as many days as possible shadowing both oral surgeons and plastic surgeons to see which one your gut is telling you to lean to. From the dental side, if cosmetics is what your interest lies in, also consider spending a day or 2 following an orthodontist and/or a cosmetic dentist. That may catch some of your interests.

    Hope that may help a little
     
  4. JML1DDS

    JML1DDS Member

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    aesthetics in OMFS is a small aspect of OMFS. Most OMFS is extracting 3rds, then preprosthetic surg/implants, then reconstructive/correction (i.e. LeFort or sliding osteotomies), a small portion of MD/DDS OMFS who have completed a fellowship in Cosmetic Surg. can perform "plastic surg. procedures" However, it is going to be very difficult for an OMFS to get referrals for a facial cosmetic procedure. When people are shopping for nose jobs or face lifts they are going to tend to go for Plastic Surgeons, also M.D.'s are going to refer to Plastics also. ENT's do cosmetic procedures, too. Going to dental school bec. you want to get into OMFS in order to do plastic surgery is not a wise decision. If you are not interested in medicine in general then you are not going to be happy while you are in medical school bec. the gist is medicine. Plastics is a very very small portion. Same as dental school. Don't tell any of this to an admissions officer or you will surely be rejected immediately. At least half of all med students and about 70 - 75% or all dental students go into general practice. Think long and hard.
     
  5. JML1DDS

    JML1DDS Member

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    I forgot to mention that luckily pathology is a small part of OMFS. Luckily oral pathology is not common, but it does occur and when cysts and tumor and neoplasms occur the OMFS take care of most of it.
     
  6. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    Alot of the plastics/OMFS quantity depends on the area that you're practicing in. In the rural area of Connecticut that I live and practice in, for facial cosmetic/plastic surgey options, there are 3 oral surgeons and only 1 plastic surgeon. One of the oral surgeons is a veteran of a plastics fellowship, and his "oral surgery" practice is marketed almost exclusively as a facial cosmetic surgery center. He actually does more facial cosmetic procedures than classical oral surgery procedures. The real eye opener is that he gets more referrals from his wife and father in law(both orthodontists) for facial cosmetic procedures than for orthodontic surgical cases! <img border="0" alt="[Wowie]" title="" src="graemlins/wowie.gif" /> I can attest to the quality of his work everytime I look at my wife's chin :D The other 2 oral surgeons doing cosmetic procedures in my area are not doing full face lifts, but more collagen injections, Bo-tox, and laser facial peels/derm abrasion. Their practices are more in the 30 to 40% cosmetic procedures and the rest "classical" oral surgery. The main difference between the oral surgery cosmetic practices and the plastic surgeon is the plastic surgeon is doing full body cosmetic surgery, not just limited to the face. The scope of the body that you want to practice on is also something to consider.
     
  7. umasskid

    umasskid Member

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    Dr Jeff,
    First,I would like to say thank you for your help. In regards to your second reply about considering the scope of practice that I desire. The reason I began researching dentistry is because I was fascinated mainly with the facial procedures being performed where I worked...I showed little interest in breast augmentations, reductions, lipo,etc...However I found cleft palate repairs and facial repairs due to dog bites to be quite interesting...Because this is what I was interested in, the plastic surgeon I was working for suggested looking into OMFS...he said it might not be worth it to go to med school, gen surgery residency, and plastic fellowship all for the facial area...and so I began researching dentistry...ANyhow, I have arranged to shadow an oral surgeon next week...SO hopefully Ill gain some insight as to what I should do...I also plan on following around some other docs this summer(M.Ds) just to see if any other fields in medicine strike my interest...Thank you for your advice and any other further advice would be greatly appreciated...Take care
     

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