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Which career??

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by ljube_02, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member
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    Hey if you're undergrad, how can you decide between dental school and medical school?? i.e. the only thing i know about physician orthopedes or radiologists and dental endodontists and orthos is they make a lot of money. but i dont know anything about their work and whether i'd enjoy it :(

    So how do you go about it?

    Also i noticed there are websites where physicians are offered jobs but no such websites for the dentists. So when someone says the dentists can make $1000/root canal, how do i know that they'll even have patients for that?

    Also, can general dentists do root canals and crowns? or you must be specialty trained?

    Thanks
     
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  3. SloppyJoe

    SloppyJoe Senior Member
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    Deciding a career takes sometime. I would suggest you shadow both a dentis and a doctor to gain some first hand experience, and most importantly talk to them about their respective careers.

    As for crowns and root canal, general dentists can perform those procedures, but they are held to the same standard as specialists. It all depends on how comfortable you are withe the procedure.
     
  4. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA
    Moderator Emeritus Exhibitor 10+ Year Member

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    SloppyJoe is right. You need to devote some time and energy to find out more about the prospective careers. Also, I would not only use income as the only determining point. you should try to see if you could be happy in those peoples' shoes. Money isn't happiness.

    DesiDentist
     
  5. dudelove

    dudelove Senior Member
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    First of all you shouldn't base what you are going to do on potential money. I will tell you more about that later. You need to decide on the basis of what you want to do. What you should do is shadow a dentist and a doctor and see what they do. As a dentist you can do anything you want as long as you have the training for it. I know general dentists who place implants and do ortho. Indeed you can get a lot for a root canal. Where I am in the northeast I charge $900 for a molar. You have to also realize that the overhead for a dental practice is a lot more than a medical practice...so out of that $900 you have to subtract the average of 65-70% of overhead for a dental practice. To see all of these patients you also have to be socially adept. It doesn't matter what sort of a dental genius you are if you can't get a patient to accept treatment that you feel they need. The other thing you have to deal with, if you take insurance(which many dentists have no choice but to take), is the "patch up mentality". If I charge $1100 for a crown(which I do) and I tell a patient that they need a crown and they would rather have a filling which costs $150 and put off the crown due to the fact that they want to go to disney world, then that isn't great for me. The point is, unlike medicine, you are actually competing for the patient's disposable income.
     
  6. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member
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    Thanks all!

    How do i shadow a dentist or a physician? May i just call them up from the yellow pages and ask around? Does shadowing mean that i follow them around and get to observe how they drill someone's root canal or gut someone's stomach?

    What does it mean 65-70% overhead? Whom does that money go to and for what?

    Why is it bad if the patient puts off getting a crown? Wont he do it from you just a few wks later?

    About being happy in their shoes:
    what do surgeons do in free time and what do dentists do(stereotypes)? How are their personalities different when on vacation, with family/friends, etc?
     
  7. AcidETCH

    AcidETCH UPENN SDM '07
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    ljube_02:

    From my experience I've noticed that Physicians don't really get free time, unless you have your own practice. General dentists on the other hand make their own free time, so there's a lot more flexibility there. Personality wise, I find that physicians tend to worry more about their patients when they're on vacation and tend to take their work home with them.

    If you plan to go into a profession for money, save yourself the agony later on and don't. Trust me, money can only go so far in terms of personal satisfaction. The decision you make will be a lifelong endeavor, so try to experience both professions as much as you can and determine which will best suit your needs. Best of luck to you in choosing a career.

    AE
     

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