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Why are Dental Stats lower than Medical Stats?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by ItNeverEnds, Nov 16, 2002.

  1. ItNeverEnds

    ItNeverEnds Senior Member
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    I noticed that dental school matriculants have lower GPAs than medical school applicants. The DAT is also easier than the MCAT (subjective opinion).

    Why is it easier to get into dental schools than medical schools?
     
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  3. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse The luckiest man
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    I would imagine that it is a reflection of the academic credentials of the applicant pool, which may be rooted in the demand/level of competition to gain admission to dental school.
     
  4. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    There is currently a major shift happening in regards to the stats of applicants to dental schools (I know the post mentioned matriculants, but that is harder to explain).

    At my undergrad (the #1 predental school in the nation in terms of applicants/acceptances/matriculants), it appears that the stats of the predental students will even out with our premed counterparts in two or three years. It is expected that the predental stats will then overtake the premedical stats in the next 6-7 years.

    This is occuring because dentistry is gaining a much wider recognition as a healthcare profession with the greatest overall benefits. As demand for the degree rises, so will the quality of the applicants seeking the degree.

    On the note of the DAT being easier than the MCAT: it truly does not matter. It the DAT were made harder, then the median would simply go down. The scores are reported along with percentiles, so the difficulty of the exam does not matter, so long as not everybody is achieving the 100th percentile on every section. As long as 17 or 18 is the national average, then a 20 or 21 is going to be a great score. If the DAT were made harder, then 15 or 16 might be the national average, with a 18 or 19 equating to the samer percentile as a 20 or 21 previously did.

    In all honesty, I find it ridiculous to complain that the DAT is easier than the MCAT. It DOES NOT make dental applicants any less qualified to practice their profession. As I said before, the DAT takers are judged according to their scores when compared with other DAT takers. Those who do well on the DAT are the cream of the crop of dental applicants. We aren't vying for positions with medical applicants.

    That being said, dentistry has ranked above medicine in level of income for 4 years now ($117,000 vs. $104,000), hours worked are far less than our MD counterparts, many dentists enjoy owning their own business and not being hospital based, dentists don't have to club themselves over the head with a q6, q5, q4, or q of any type, and dentistry is largely untouched by HMOs, PPOs, and other insurance hoardes. These factors, of course, apply to the general population of dentists and physicians. Just as medicine experienced its golden age in the 80s, dentistry is now heading into its golden age.
     
  5. But you forget the demand for dentists will never be as high as that for physicians.

    I do agree that eventually the DAT scores will be comparable to those of the MCAT, but eventually the market for dentists will become flooded. I personally know people who don't go to the dentist, or only go rarely. The income might be higher now, but whats going to happen when the market is packed with new DDS's that are fresh out of school and there is no demand? The salary will drop.
     
  6. DATMATT

    DATMATT SISU
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    I know the source is pro-dental, but I have heard that in the next 10 years there will be a major retiremnet of dentists. Babyboomers ready to relax, room for us to take over. This has been mentioned at more than 1 interview. As society becomes more and more health aware I would not be surprised to see damand increase as well. Also there is more of a trend for dentists to do cosmetic work.

    Matt
     
  7. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Not at all true. It isn't going to happen quickly, but physicians are on the road already. Physicans are literally being eliminated from the workforce, because the services which they perform are now being performed by several other sources, and for half the salary of physicians.

    Hospitals will now routinely hire one or two anesth. but hire 5 or 6 nurses anthesths. Physician's assistants can do much the same work that physicians can, and for half the cost (which HMOs love!). Only one actual doctor is needed to oversee the work of a PA, and that doctor can oversee 10 or 15 PAs. New legislation says the doctor doesn't even have to be on site! You see where I'm going with this.

    The ADA is too strong of a governing body to allow others the rights which dentists currently hold.
     
  8. Dr. Pedo

    Dr. Pedo Senior Member
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    Gavin,

    You couldn't have said it better. I know several PA's. They have told me many times they are basically taking over the primary care position. They continue to have an increase in salary all the while the MD/DO income slide. That has to be frustrating to know not only are the HMO's reeking havoic with their life but also positions are being eliminated by their own helpers!!!! That is why I have to give a round of applause to those who are entering a career knowing this is taking place. Here, here for altruism. However in the game of life the truly important issues are family and friends and the time you have to spend with them. Dentistry is truly the greatest profession. With our ability to help fellow humans, earn incredible incomes, work an average of 37 hrs, and the ability to raise a family and watch them grow is the greatest gift of all. My friend is a 4th yr. resident in gen. surgery and he continuously tells me about the 90 hrs weeks and the fact that he sees his nurses/peers more than his own wife.----sad. I always wondered why someone would work so hard to get accepted to a program that promises 4 years of hell, followed by a min. of 3 yrs of overworked and severly underpaid life, and then a avg. income of $140K, w/ an avg work week of over 55+ hrs, on call, little time for family or free time, constantly dealing with ppl who have a master's degree that get to tell you what procedure you can and cannot do to your patient---aka HMO. High malpractice insurance, constant badgering from so-called informed patients, lack of opportunity to spend quality time with patients, the list could go on.......Obviously they don't do it for the money, and the respect is not what it use to be for the docs, so is it the challenge? Don't get me wrong the satisfaction of accomplishment and pride must be present and the ability to help those in life or death situations once and a while must be thrilling but on avg-----what makes them do it? It obviously takes a special person to make that choice----I just find it ironic that seemingly bright individuals would want to compete for a chance to live life that way. Please no flame war----I respect docs and they are certainly needed-----I just don't know how they put up with all that @#$%.

    RRB
     
  9. logos

    logos 100% Organic
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    This is interesting to me because both my father and grandfather are/were dentists and I am looking at getting an MD. They both would prefer that I not go into a medical field at all....preferably buisness or something of that nature....however they have finaly resigned themselves to the fact that, similar to them, I love both science and people and want to go into medicine....


    Although lately ive been thinking about the idea of a DDS/MD....seems like it would combine the best of both worlds...the real advantage of dentistry is not having to deal with HMOs .... and the greater ability to make life changing differences in medicine......plus nowadays a good dentist makes WAY more than an avg. MD......but I then again I dont think I could be just a dentist because I would quickly become bored with it...just like my father has.....it will challenge some people for a very long time....others will quickly get bored with it....just depends on how good you are (esp. with your hands....dentists work in a space much smaller than ANY other surgeon) and how well you learn the profession as it seems that dentists are either good or terrible...without much in between.....an MD/DDS might solve this a bit....but who knows....i just wish medicine wasnt such a big mess....they really should revert to a system much like dentistry.....
     
  10. tinker bell

    tinker bell 1K Member
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    The shortage for dentist is real, even the dean at ucsf said about it recently. Especially in rural areas. For example, even in CA, some counties don't even have 1 dentist. So, time will answer. Ten yrs from now, we'll know what's true, what's not about our profession.
     
  11. MidwestDental

    MidwestDental Member
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    Logos, I think you hit it right where it matters.

    The reason why many people are turned off by dentistry is the possibility of sheer boredom. Sure, it's a great job, it provides a stable, high income and short hours, but most people do happen to readily think that after 25-40 years of it, that it could get a "LITTLE" routine.

    The demand should not go down, since many dentists are retiring, and there was a severe shortage of graduates from the mid 70's till a couple years ago. However, as with medicine, rural small-town practice will provide plenty of demand, as will moving to geriatric Florida. Honestly, though, the aging population will provide opportunities in ALL health care fields, regardless.

    Having scores and demand rise is not necessarily a great thing, if you are pre-dental. it increases competition for dental school and later when opening a practice.

    My father is a physician and I agree with Dr. 2b, I don't understand how one could work their *ss off for undergrad, then in med school to match for a good residency in a sought after specialty, then residency, then when you are in your 40's, you are still on call every 3rd night. It's no wonder my dad's colleagues dropped in their fifties.
     
  12. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    The stats have to do with the volume of applicants as well. Aren't there 100+ medical schools? There are only 50-something dental schools. So there are at least double the number of applicants to medical school and they can be more picky about selecting only the 3.6+ gpa/30+ MCAT students to fill their seats. Thus it looks like they are "more selective."

    But as the previous threads here point out, just because it is "easier" to get into dental school than medical school, that means absolutely nothing.

    Logos, there are other things to do in dentistry than just filling cavities and doing root canals for 30 years. If you want to pursue a more "medical" aspect of dentistry, you could attend a dental school where the first and second years take all of their basic science classes with the medical students (UCONN, Harvard, Columbia come to mind). Then you can pursue post-graduate training in Oral Pathology/Oral Medicine, a very interesting field that has very little to do with cutting cavity preps. You could also pursue dental research, another area of dentistry that has lots of potential. Often times (especially in Endodontics), we are taught you should use material A just because it seems to work, although we don't really have any scientific trials to show us that it actually does work. And the dental research community is international, so this would be a very varied and interesting option as well. Or you could do Oral Surgery to get the DDS/MD combination training. Dentistry does have a lot of potential, it's just that the majority of our profession consists of general dentists and so the other aspects of what we could do often get overlooked.
     
  13. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker
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    Many of you post some compelling arguments. But no matter how you spin it, the average pre-medical student is superior to the average pre-dental student. This can be seen with the average undergraduate GPAs of the matriculants to medical school versus dental school.

    And while there are many cases of people who could not hack it as a pre-med so they became pre-dental, I don't find too many people (namely zero) who can't hack pre-dental and thus default to pre-med.
     
  14. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    Mudd (aka charlatan and troublemaker) picked an appropriate screen name. Wasn't Dr. Mudd the one who did hard time for tending to the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth and thus brought forth the the infamous phrase "your name is Mudd"?
     
  15. DATMATT

    DATMATT SISU
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    I will lay it out for me. I opted for DDS over MD for many reasons. Could I get into med school & hack it? Yes, I know I could. But I want to be a dentist. The job is way more attractive for many of the resons above. Being your own boss is untouchable. But hey, all the MD's can call me a dumb second rate doctor, a dentist. I will sleep sound at night. It is too unfortunate that the folks that can't get into pre-med end up in DDS programs, I would be interesting to see how many of those that don't get into med school & do get into a DDS program get through the DDS program.
    All dental school applicants, why is it that people enjoy bashing dentistry? Does it make them feel better about them selves? I don't get it. Anywho- I will be happy that counts for something.

    MATT
     
  16. Rampart

    Rampart Member
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    Medicine has a reputation of being the hardest faculty of them all (except maybe engineering physics). Many students go through thier eductation trying to get the hightest mark possible, and are skilled enough to pull off very good averages. Often times these students use thier high averages as a source of self esteem. We all know how good it feels to get a top mark.

    Then comes the question. What are they going to do with this great knowledge? Be a "second rate" doctor? I've met students who want to get into medicine for no better reason than it lets them feel superior for another 4 years. Of course, this isn't everybody, but it often happens that medicine is the best way to tell someone "I'm smart, real smart" without screaming it in thier face. This appeals to some people. Of course, M.D's who went through school with this opinion usually have a huge god complex and even bigger type A personalities. I think we've all met this student/doctor.

    The trend Gavin stated seems to have a start at my school as well. (I am on the stanine system, so the grades will seem a little different)

    The Med prereq avg is 8.48/9 (~3.85)
    The Dent prereq avg is 8.3/9 (~3.79)

    The Med School does not give it's range, but it is possible to be admitted after 2 years with an 8.8 overall and 8.9 prereq avg.

    The Dental School range is Overall GPA 7.6 (~3.5) - 9.0 (4.0) (Mean 8.2)
    Pre-requisite GPA 7.9 (~3.6) - 8.9 (~3.97) (Mean 8.3)

    So some very smart individuals are choosing Dent. The first 2 years of Dent is lumped in w/ Med.

    Rampart
     
  17. BatmanMD

    BatmanMD Senior Member
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    i'm a 2nd year med student and everything that you are saying is true. Dentists have easier hours, get paid DIRECTLY out of school (no residency), and usually better patients. More and more people will be attracted to this lifestyle than before. The same is true for optometry. 4 years of post-bac (sometimes you dont need a bacc. degree) and you make ~90,000!

    My friend choose dental school over med school and is very happy with his choice. He does not have his own practice, yet, but gets to spend a lot of time doing what he wants.

    After 4 years of med school, you still have AT LEAST 3 years of residency, where they work you a max of 80 hours/week for minimal pay. Now I am a med student, so i think it does have perks. Some fields have more than others, some are on call, some aren't, weekends off, weeks off at a time..... Although it can be monitinous (sp?), dental seems worse in this respect. The scary thing about dental is the HIGH suicide rate. MD just have high alcoholic rates.:laugh:

    anyways, depends on what you want, i always wanted to be a doc, so i am. if you are happy, screw what other people say!:clap:
     
  18. deciduous

    deciduous ready to shed
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    okay, I realize you have the type of personality that looks to stir things up. I realize you WANT people to reply to your post. I thought I might try doing so in an objective manner with regards to the subject of the thread, not directly you yourself.

    It cannot be said that pre-med students are superior to pre-dent students, at least it cannot be said by someone with integrity. People are people, and the dynamics of being are far beyond whether or not someone is trying to gain admissions into a program. Ultimately, what you could honestly say is this: that people in pre-med have traditionally had better stats than pre-dent applicants.

    So, if you really did not mean to spread ridiculous arguments that no one in an educated environment (especially those of us who have been trained in the scientific method (don't let me down here)) can honestly try to defend, then I think you may have meant the above statement, which is far more acute and deals within the boundaries of the subject itself and not any greater philosophies of man.

    In the end, I just want to point out what you did. Someone said (in essence), Why are med-school applicant GPAs higher than dental school applicant GPAs?; to which you replied (again, in essence), because med-school applicant GPAs are higher than dental school applicant GPAs.

    Sure, there's no arguing that.

    Can anyone here argue with a circular argument?

    ..........

    :confused:
     
  19. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    I sure as hell can try to argue with a circular argument! ;)

    And of course, we all know that dentists have no higher suicide rate than any other professionals.
     
  20. zer0el

    zer0el Sports Junkie
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    as this thread has quickly become pro-dental, i will throw in my $0.02. someone on this thread said that dentistry is the greatest profession of them all, which i find to be complete B.S. the U.S. president works long hours with little sleep (and ****ty pay might i add), yet why do many kids dream of being the next president? i, and many other pre-meds, want to be a doctor because i want to heal and SAVE lives. yes, you read that right. only physicians can save lives. if busting my ass as a surgeon is what it takes to perform a bypass, then so be it. seeing a patient recover fully from such an operation gives a sense of satisfaction, pride, and self-fulfillment that can be found in no other profession. yeah, medicine is going through troubled times, but the essence of medicine is still there. i can go into the OR with a very sick patient and have the opportunity to give him a second chance in life. that alone is worth it to me.
     
  21. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    you gotta be kidding me :rolleyes: try comparing a fireman to a plastic surgeon :rolleyes:
     
  22. zer0el

    zer0el Sports Junkie
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    when i wrote my message i was thinking of only health professionals. you get the idea. and i was referring to saving lives due to illness, not due to external circumstances.
     
  23. Loudy

    Loudy Member
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    "you gotta be kidding me try comparing a fireman to a plastic surgeon "
    Hahaha! :laugh:
     
  24. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    you dont think nurses, NP's or PA's can save lives?
     
  25. zer0el

    zer0el Sports Junkie
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    vixen, ur replies are very easy to come up, but try adding a little more to the discussion. you didn't say anything when someone proclaimed dentists to have the greatest job because they work 37 hours a week and make a ton of money. i could've countered that with a ton of other occupations (e.g., NBA players). your intent on disproving my belief is useless, but i'll respond like this. anyone can save a life. CPR saves lives, and millions of people know how to perform the procedure. but it is in a physician's job description to perform the act of healing. he takes responsibility if a patient dies or lives, he prescribes the meds, he cracks open the chest and wields the knife, etc. so do i think nurses and PA's save lives in this sense? no. do dentists (which i assume you're going to become) save lives? that's a big heck no.
     
  26. vixen

    vixen I like members
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    i was just refuting one of your points. when someone claimed that dentists have the greatest lives', its subjective, so how can I say anything to that? Oh, and I never said a dentists job was to save a life.
     
  27. Loudy

    Loudy Member
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    Obviously, there will be a bias in here but in all fariness, I think what most here will agree to is that dentistry is a sweet balance.

    More people than you would believe would rather not deal with life and death ALL the time (which not all physicans do either BTW). And I disagree that the greatest satisfaction comes from cracking the chest, blah, blah, etc. For myself and many others, happiness and satisfaction could come from fixing tormented smiles, healing cleft palates, boosting confidence, correcting jaws, making anguish and pain disappear, diagnosing cancers, setting braces, etc. All while still being more or less our own bosses and having the freedom to spend plenty of time with our families. We've got our reasons for being stoked! :clap:

    And for those who really want to save lives they can go into oral pathology and oral surgery. The option is there for them. You know where HIV quite often manifests?? Diabetes? Guess who often diagnoses these and many more. Prevention is part of treatment. If Radiology is so cool, how about Oral Radiology? Where do you think you get oral cancer? Who do you suppose might diagnose and treat it? And if you get your face smashed in a car accident, tell me you won't feel grateful if/when the OMS pats you on the butt and tells you'll be alright now! ;)

    For real though, guys up in here sometimes take the defensive because alot of the pre-meds are both ignorant of the dental field and somewhat pompous at the same time. So they like to come over and start ****. I'm pretty sure some monkey will be in here again in a couple of weeks asking if dentists have real degrees or not. If it ain't one thing, it's another with some... :rolleyes:

    :laugh:
     
  28. agutier3

    agutier3 The City By the Bay
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    As was brought up in previous posts, we're all arguing to a mute point here.

    While I don't know what the intentions of the original poster was, it is true that on average med applicants have higher stats than dental applicants.

    However, it does not mean that one profession nor its applicants is necessarily better than another. Your numerical statistics IMO does not dictate how good a dentist or doctor you will become. There are many factors too numerous to list, which play a role in our decision to pursue our respective fields.

    Remember, it is a PERSONAL decision, irrespective of our statistics. Previous posts listing our reasons for deciding one way or another, attest to that. There are 4.0 students applying to dental school and 2.5 students applying to med school too.

    Now instead of spouting the virtues of one profession over another, why not congratulate and wish each other luck on making the decision to enter a health profession at all.

    As physicians and dentists, we will be part of a team helping people live better and more productive lives. Now if you're the type of person who must feel superior by making the comment that the only way you can save a life is by opening someone's chest cavity and cutting....so be it. You're absolutely and unequivically wrong......but that's your opinion.

    The dental forums are always going to have these types of people. Ignorance draws attention, and everyone takes different approaches to handling it. As for me, I don't have the time nor the energy to listen to that kind of garbage anymore. Good luck to everyone......
     
  29. deciduous

    deciduous ready to shed
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    I & D s of abscesses which ultimately would cut off airways (including necessary tracheotomy).

    Detection of oral cancers, sometimes including removal.

    Oral surgery.

    ETC

    You've got it all wrong when you say dentists do not save lives. They do.

    Dentists are oral health care professionals. Some take on different roles in this field, limiting to exclusively esthetic practice, but others play a crucial role in people's health.

    !
     
  30. teduval

    teduval New Member

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    Dental schools have been quietly downsized in the USA. You can expect it to continue to become very competitive to get in!
     
  31. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA
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    Do dentists save lives?

    Damn-right they do. More people I know of go to a dentist more often for regular cleaning/check ups than they do to phycians. Usually they belong to a lame HMO like I do and only go when it is necessary. Anyways, dentists are usually the first health professionals that may notice abnormal growths (e.g. cancers, tumors, cysts, HIV symptoms, STD symptoms (herpes etc)). I've been at the scene when a dentist I was assisting points out to a patient that there is something "abnormal" going on their tonsil or back of their throat and they should get that checked out. the patient returned two weeks later to illustrate her gratitude that her dentist saved her life and there was a weird cancerous lesion on her throat which could have spread to the rest of her body in less than 6 months. Now you tell me who saved this patients life? Granted the physician will treat her, but a dentist knew tha pathology of the mouth and noticed something strange. Don't you dare say that only physicians save lives. I think it is a safe fact to state that more people die in the care of their physicians than plane crashes, car crashes, alcohol related deaths combined.

    Don't you dare try to demean other health professionals that they don't save lives. All health professionals are a team, no one deserves more credit or less credit. The goal is the patients well being not gloating who is doing what.

    DesiDentist
     
  32. zer0el

    zer0el Sports Junkie
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    i realize i offended a lot of people with my remarks (perhaps an uncalled-for backlash against the pro-dentist posters who really drove me up the wall). i apologize.
     

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