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UPR PY1 thinking of dropping out of pharmacy school for dental school

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Typical Average Student

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You graduated with a 4.0 and 97 on the PCAT and went to PR?!! WHY!?!?! I'm sure you'll get into UPR SDM, you just need to make sure dentistry is right for you. Is there any particular reason why dentistry and not medicine or any other field? Have you been exposed to working/shadowing in the field of dentistry?

Lastly, I think it's best to reevaluate every situation and plan out exactly what you will be doing for that 1.5 year gap. $15,000 in loans isn't bad at all, I'm sure you can find a part-time job to pay a good chunk of that off.
 
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xer-pr

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You graduated with a 4.0 and 97 on the PCAT and went to PR?!! WHY!?!?! I'm sure you'll get into UPR SDM, you just need to make sure dentistry is right for you. Is there any particular reason why dentistry and not medicine or any other field? Have you been exposed to working/shadowing in the field of dentistry?

Lastly, I think it's best to reevaluate every situation and plan out exactly what you will be doing for that 1.5 year gap. $15,000 in loans isn't bad at all, I'm sure you can find a part-time job to pay a good chunk of that off.

I chose PR because I've always lived here and tuition is only ~$8,000 per year. I'm $15,000 in debt cause I asked for the max loan amount.

I'm don't like how MD students sometimes have to do 24 hour shifts, long residencies, etc. to end up working 60 hours a week. Yeah physicians make money, but do they get to spend it? I also don't want patients' lives on my hands.

I haven't shadowed a dentist, so that's something I'd be doing during my 1.5 year break.
 

Typical Average Student

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Hmm... I would start shadowing a dentist right now until you finish out this semester of pharm school (if you haven't already) then at the end of the semester if you feel it's truly the right field for you, then go for it. I would start with becoming an registered dental assistant to get more exposure to the field so when you do apply for dental school, you have a valid story and exemplify a solid commitment to dentistry so it doesn't look like you just dropped pharm school for money or anything like that.

Good luck! I think you'll do well.
 

kholley25

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My thoughts:

• 15K may seem like a lot (which it is) but it is NOTHING compared to the debt you will owe if you:

1. Attend a U.S. dental school or
2. Pay all 4 years of pharmacy tuition

If you're going to make a change, sooner is better than later financially speaking. However,

• I would NOT drop out of P. School unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE that you want to pursue dentistry. You better MAKE SURE this is what you want.

•Your opinions regarding the differences between pharm vs. dental:

I'm considering dropping out of pharmacy school for dentistry. I know it's also saturated, but it doesn't look as bad as pharm. I wouldn't be working overnight or New Years'. I wouldn't have to deal with customers demanding me to work faster because they don't know what my job is. As a dentist, I think the overall work conditions would be better and I'd actually enjoy doing my job. I don't have to be rich, but even with saturation dentists make more money than pharmacists. Patients would actually see me as a healthcare provider and respect me more. I could eventually do my own thing, have my own business and be my own boss.

...are a bit naive, in my opinion. As many have said before me, the grass is always greener on the other side. The aspects you comment on - patient's demands, work speed and conditions, respect, and being a practice owner - are HIGHLY variable within dentistry and location of practice. I could go through and offer counterpoints to each one, but I think it's enough to tell you that dentistry isn't some "saving grace" that you may think it is. I just think you should be honest with yourself and explore some of the upcoming and growing challenges of dentistry (corporate expansion, falling reimbursement rates from insurance companies, increasing difficultly of new grads to enter private practice, economy sensitivity, etc.) before making your decision.


My advice:

•Contact U of PR dental admissions and discuss your situation. Ask them if your desire to switch and (eventually) apply and enroll in UPR dental is realistic.
•Start looking for a job NOW if you're serious about dropping out. Preferably in the dental field so that you can gain experience.
•Shadow shadow shadow. You need dental experience for both personal growth (i.e. You NEED to verify that dental is what you want do do as a career) and for your application.
•Study for the DAT. There are numerous resources for this on SDN. The DAT discussions forum is a good place to start.
 
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xer-pr

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Hmm... I would start shadowing a dentist right now until you finish out this semester of pharm school (if you haven't already) then at the end of the semester if you feel it's truly the right field for you, then go for it. I would start with becoming an registered dental assistant to get more exposure to the field so when you do apply for dental school, you have a valid story and exemplify a solid commitment to dentistry so it doesn't look like you just dropped pharm school for money or anything like that.

Good luck! I think you'll do well.

Becoming a registered dental assistant at my campus would take 1 year. I'm think it's a good idea.

I'll have to find a dentist to shadow this month. Our semester ends on the 18th. Maybe I could do at least a week of shadowing, before deciding to drop out.

The plan would be to spend the first half of 2016 getting ready for the DAT, shadowing, and applying for the dental assistant degree. Spend 1 year on that, while applying to dental school here.

Thanks for your advice :happy: I really hope this works out for me long-term.
 
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