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What do you guys think?

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emttim

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Alright, so currently I'm pre-med (I'll explain why I'm posting here in a second), but due in large part to my experience so far in medicine as an EMT as well as the uncertainty of the future of medicine and other factors, I'm actually taking a look at doing dentistry instead. When it comes down to it, I really just want to have patients, be my own boss, and do something in healthcare that requires a professional degree at the doctor level. As far as I can tell, private practice MDs are getting killed more and more due to the insurance situation among other things, and as far as I can see (my step-dad is a dentist so I am speaking from experience), dentists enjoy better work hours, comparable pay, and there is obviously no required residency.

I know that I'll probably get flamed for this with challenges as to my motivations, but since you can't really know a person well enough to pass judgment on them simply from reading a post on an internet forum, I'll assume that any negative comments will be in the minority.

Anyhow, I'm mainly curious as to what differences there is in the pre-dent process versus the pre-med process outside the obvious stuff such as taking the DAT instead of MCAT. How competitive is the application process? What is the percentage of dentists who are happy with what they do? What exactly are the different specialties and how many of you guys are considering them, and for what reason? Do dental schools look for any specific degree or are they indifferent like medical schools are?

If you need stats to offer informed advice, 3.95 overall GPA, 4.0 BCPM GPA, haven't taken DAT/MCAT yet, work experience as an EMT for going on 8 months, ECs are as follows: hospital volunteer 8 months w/100 hours, bowling on/off for 10+ years, certified SCUBA diver since last November, sky diver, science club, economics club.

I guess that's about it. Any advice will be appreciated guys, thanks.
 

btizzels

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Well I would have to say, that alot of people share your reasons for wanting to become a Dentist, which is why it is so popular. I would agree that the hours and financial situation is much better then a MD, but I would HIGHLY recommend that you do a ton of shadowing/volunteering in the Dental field before you decide to switch. Make sure it is the right career for you, and with your high GPA, you probably only need average DAT scores around 19 average and you should have no problem getting into Dental school, I would imagine that you would have an equally easy time getting into Med school. So my advice is to get exposure to both fields and then make your decision...
But if you decide dentistry is right for you, you look like you are in good shape... best of luck deciding
 

jigabodo

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Alright, so currently I'm pre-med (I'll explain why I'm posting here in a second), but due in large part to my experience so far in medicine as an EMT as well as the uncertainty of the future of medicine and other factors, I'm actually taking a look at doing dentistry instead. When it comes down to it, I really just want to have patients, be my own boss, and do something in healthcare that requires a professional degree at the doctor level. As far as I can tell, private practice MDs are getting killed more and more due to the insurance situation among other things, and as far as I can see (my step-dad is a dentist so I am speaking from experience), dentists enjoy better work hours, comparable pay, and there is obviously no required residency.

I know that I'll probably get flamed for this with challenges as to my motivations, but since you can't really know a person well enough to pass judgment on them simply from reading a post on an internet forum, I'll assume that any negative comments will be in the minority.

Anyhow, I'm mainly curious as to what differences there is in the pre-dent process versus the pre-med process outside the obvious stuff such as taking the DAT instead of MCAT. How competitive is the application process? What is the percentage of dentists who are happy with what they do? What exactly are the different specialties and how many of you guys are considering them, and for what reason? Do dental schools look for any specific degree or are they indifferent like medical schools are?

If you need stats to offer informed advice, 3.95 overall GPA, 4.0 BCPM GPA, haven't taken DAT/MCAT yet, work experience as an EMT for going on 8 months, ECs are as follows: hospital volunteer 8 months w/100 hours, bowling on/off for 10+ years, certified SCUBA diver since last November, sky diver, science club, economics club.

I guess that's about it. Any advice will be appreciated guys, thanks.

The average enrollee stats from last year was 3.5 GPA and AA of 20.

Before anything else though, I would strongly recommend you shadowing a dentist to see how you really feel about dentistry.
 

emttim

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Well I would have to say, that alot of people share your reasons for wanting to become a Dentist, which is why it is so popular. I would agree that the hours and financial situation is much better then a MD, but I would HIGHLY recommend that you do a ton of shadowing/volunteering in the Dental field before you decide to switch. Make sure it is the right career for you, and with your high GPA, you probably only need average DAT scores around 19 average and you should have no problem getting into Dental school, I would imagine that you would have an equally easy time getting into Med school. So my advice is to get exposure to both fields and then make your decision...
But if you decide dentistry is right for you, you look like you are in good shape... best of luck deciding

Well, that's encouraging. I was indeed planning on shadowing before making a decision, although given the fact my step-dad's a dentist, I'm sure getting some shadowing time in won't be hard at all. Thanks for the input.
 

tamkhan

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Yes, do some shadowing, and try to shadow at least two different dentists. Some clinics have a very fast paced environment, others are a bit relaxed. Try to get a feel for the field from several angles.
 
T

toothfairy85

I would shadow at least 2 dentists as the poster above said. Some schools will require a letter of recommendation from a dentist, and they do not look favorably upon letters written by family members.
 

rewJW

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Definitely shadow at least two dentists, as others are suggesting. I had two entirely different experiences with the two I shadowed. One had a newer office and showed me a lot of behind-the-scenes lab work (I got to make models, bleaching trays, etc.) and the other, who had many older patients who had been coming to him since he graduated dental school, told me a lot about how to run a dental business and keep patients coming back and happy and we had excellent discussions about ethics, pricing, etc. I think the more exposure you have, the better. Plus both gave me LOR's and ironically enough, the schools they each went to are the only two which haven't rejected me yet :p

P.S. You do know that dentists have the highest suicide rate, don't you? :laugh:
 

emttim

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P.S. You do know that dentists have the highest suicide rate, don't you? :laugh:

Strange, given my current job, I would have thought EMTs would have had the highest suicide rate, considering what we deal with and what we get paid. :p

I'll see what I can do about shadowing 2 or more dentists. I would imagine my step-dad has plenty of friends who are dentists so that shouldn't be too hard to get some networking done and make that happen. I just hope that the HIPAA laws aren't as ridiculous in dentistry, because as a result of them, I still haven't been able to find a doctor who is willing to let me shadow 'em.
 

rkamsterdam

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I still haven't been able to find a doctor who is willing to let me shadow 'em.

geez, sound like arseholes. I think Hippa is just an easy excuse to say no.
 

rewJW

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Each of the dentists I worked with individually asked each of their patients if I could watch before I went into the room. Not a single patient had a problem with it; most were like, "Hey, cool! Good luck!" etc. etc.
 

letsgfuad

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damn your very very competitive.... better than me. hit up dentistry, assuming your not stuck up pompous kid andif you are down to earth you should be a shoe in. Get some shadowing hours make sure you like it and do what makes you happy.
 

rkamsterdam

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damn your very very competitive.... better than me. hit up dentistry, assuming your not stuck up pompous kid andif you are down to earth you should be a shoe in. Get some shadowing hours make sure you like it and do what makes you happy.

Stuck up pompous kids get in everyday, they just have to act down to earth/humble for a half a day at the interview.
 

Lurchdubious

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Stuck up pompous kids get in everyday, they just have to act down to earth/humble for a half a day at the interview.
lol. true THAT.


oh, and i'll echo the above statements: shadow multiple dentists for several hours each. with your stats and some average 'people skills' you will have your pick of a few different schools.
 

emttim

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Trust me guys, I'm well aware of the stuck-up, pompous attitude most pre-meds have...hence why I figured there might be some flames in respond to this thread. :p I have absolutely no respect for those kind of people...me and my friend actually make fun of pre-meds on a regular basis for that reason; seems pre-med is synonymous with stupid.

I'd probably shadow any dentist who gives me the ok for the full day if they let me...several hours may be enough to give me an idea, but I figure the point of shadowing is to walk a day in the shoes of whatever profession you're shadowing, so I don't mind sticking around the whole day even if I don't see anything new.

I wouldn't say I'm an excellent people-person, but I've definitely gotten used to patients and how to interact with them as a result of being an EMT...I've done this for almost a year now, pretty much everything I do/say on the job comes naturally. :) I won't have an issue with having to act down to earth though since that's how I am normally...laid-back = less stress = more happiness.

I tend to agree with the notion that using HIPAA as an excuse to say no is probably just that, an excuse, but it still doesn't change the fact I can't find a physician to shadow. Honestly, given half the stuff I've heard about backbiting between colleagues in medicine, it doesn't surprise me that a significant amount of MDs aren't very helpful to pre-meds.

Anyhow, I suppose I'll get some shadowing in and then report back and let you guys know how it went in case you're curious...I think I'm actually going to read up a little on the A&P of teeth; I had no idea they were as complex as they are, pretty interesting stuff. As always, thanks for the feedback.
 

Lurchdubious

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Anyhow, I suppose I'll get some shadowing in and then report back and let you guys know how it went in case you're curious...I think I'm actually going to read up a little on the A&P of teeth; I had no idea they were as complex as they are, pretty interesting stuff. As always, thanks for the feedback.
yeah i'd like to know how it goes for you.

i've taken several classes with pre-meds and of all of them there have only been 2 that i viewed as "normal" people. my pre-dent classmates, for the most part, share my easygoing personality. sounds like you fall into the latter group. please, come away from the Dark Side. :D
 
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