WhistlesgoWOO

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2006
6
0
Status
There is a similar post in the M.D. forums that has over 300 pages of posts, so I thought I'd try to start a similar thread here. The questions is basically this - are you happy with your decision to study dentistry?

There were a LOT of people in the M.D. post that weren't happy with their decision to pursue medicine because of things like insane residency hours, tons of debt, declining income and overall respect for doctors, and just an overall disillusionment of what medicine really is, among other things.

I was just wondering how many of these things are prevalent in the field of dentistry and just how you guys felt about your overall experience and future career in dentistry.

Thanks
 

Trookie

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2004
171
1
Status
Repost.

But I LOVE your user name. It goes WOO!!! WOO!!!
 

tx oms

Welcome to Thunderdome
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2004
694
2
40
USA
Status
Yes.
 

scalpel2008

beep beep beep...smash
10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2006
573
4
Status
Resident [Any Field]
if you wouldn't, you'd be stupid to keep doing it (unless you wouldn't because of the loans)
 

MD2b20004

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Dec 31, 2003
365
0
40
Visit site
Status
scalpel2008 said:
if you wouldn't, you'd be stupid to keep doing it (unless you wouldn't because of the loans)
I knew of a lot of friends who went to my local dental school who figured out they hated it by year one and year 2 even more. What kept them in, well they figured their is no exit with 100,000 in loans already accumulated for just 2 years, I mean even them being unhappy, what can you do with 2 years of a professional terminal program that wont transfer to any other degree. Basically you would be losing 2 years of your life, 2 years of lost income, and 100K. 100% of them stuck it out. 80% still hate it practicing, and 20% went to residencies. All who hated it, still do, but it feels better when they see that they are at least getting paid hating something rather than being in debt hating something.
 

aphistis

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2003
8,392
36
Indianapolis
Status
Attending Physician, Dentist
MD2b20004 said:
I knew of a lot of friends who went to my local dental school who figured out they hated it by year one and year 2 even more. What kept them in, well they figured their is no exit with 100,000 in loans already accumulated for just 2 years, I mean even them being unhappy, what can you do with 2 years of a professional terminal program that wont transfer to any other degree. Basically you would be losing 2 years of your life, 2 years of lost income, and 100K. 100% of them stuck it out. 80% still hate it practicing, and 20% went to residencies. All who hated it, still do, but it feels better when they see that they are at least getting paid hating something rather than being in debt hating something.
Yes, we know all of your friends hate dentistry and only stay in because of the $5 billion they earn in pedo every year. You tell us every opportunity you get. :rolleyes:
 

HardWay

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
May 13, 2006
53
0
Status
Dental Student
WhistlesgoWOO said:
There is a similar post in the M.D. forums that has over 300 pages of posts, so I thought I'd try to start a similar thread here. The questions is basically this - are you happy with your decision to study dentistry?

There were a LOT of people in the M.D. post that weren't happy with their decision to pursue medicine because of things like insane residency hours, tons of debt, declining income and overall respect for doctors, and just an overall disillusionment of what medicine really is, among other things.

I was just wondering how many of these things are prevalent in the field of dentistry and just how you guys felt about your overall experience and future career in dentistry.

Thanks
Dentistry is wonderful. I just wouldn't go to UConn. Go somewhere else. You can have the benefit of a great profession without the disadvantage of 4 miserable years that will cause you to be in therapy the rest of your life.
 

gryffindor

15+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2002
2,807
74
Visit site
Status
Dentist
HardWay said:
Dentistry is wonderful. I just wouldn't go to UConn. Go somewhere else. You can have the benefit of a great profession without the disadvantage of 4 miserable years that will cause you to be in therapy the rest of your life.
Quit complaining. Most all dental schools will make you wonder what the meaning of life is when you are obsessing over some medical minutia on the anatomy of the leg or a 0.5mm margin on a plastic tooth that might cause you to fail a class. In a nutshell, they all suck. Deal, it will be over at some point. In fact, if I had to do it all over, I'd go to UConn - no class rank, small class size. The grass is always greener on the other side.

To the OP - yes, I would do it again (although it would have to be at UConn, haha). To answer your questions - 1) almost all residency hours are manageable with the exception of oral surgery 2) the declining income part hasn't been hit as bad since much of dentistry can be considered elective 3) why should prestige matter? it just brings more headaches & expectations so dentistry is better off without it 4) I don't know of any disillusionment. It's a tooth - either save it or pull it - the decision belongs to the patient.

My friends in practice are all slowly getting out of academic dentistry mode (where everything follows the text book) and are adapting to real world dentistry (where it's a free for all in CE courses). We mostly complain about the people attached to the teeth and sometimes the teeth themselves ("This crown I got back didn't fit, blah blah blah), but no one has quit yet since everyone realized that teeth pay the bills better than any former job we may have had and leave plenty left over.
 

Lesley

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2006
707
18
Status
Attending Physician
griffin04 said:
Quit complaining. Most all dental schools will make you wonder what the meaning of life is when you are obsessing over some medical minutia on the anatomy of the leg or a 0.5mm margin on a plastic tooth that might cause you to fail a class. In a nutshell, they all suck. Deal, it will be over at some point. In fact, if I had to do it all over, I'd go to UConn - no class rank, small class size. The grass is always greener on the other side.

To the OP - yes, I would do it again (although it would have to be at UConn, haha). To answer your questions - 1) almost all residency hours are manageable with the exception of oral surgery 2) the declining income part hasn't been hit as bad since much of dentistry can be considered elective 3) why should prestige matter? it just brings more headaches & expectations so dentistry is better off without it 4) I don't know of any disillusionment. It's a tooth - either save it or pull it - the decision belongs to the patient.

My friends in practice are all slowly getting out of academic dentistry mode (where everything follows the text book) and are adapting to real world dentistry (where it's a free for all in CE courses). We mostly complain about the people attached to the teeth and sometimes the teeth themselves ("This crown I got back didn't fit, blah blah blah), but no one has quit yet since everyone realized that teeth pay the bills better than any former job we may have had and leave plenty left over.

Hi griffin04,

If you obsess over anything you will not find it enjoyable. Everyone needs to find balance and learn when to let go in all areas of their lives, including work. It is agreed that dental school is not about balance, but that is only a period in time for all of us.

I agree with finding low cost, free where possible, continuing ed.

I always tell specialists that want us to refer patients, labs that want our business, companies that want us to use/buy their products, free continuing ed is very appreciated. I will not spend $1,500+ to take a continuing ed course in Las Vegas to learn to promote someone else's product. My product is what I produce with my hands. If they want me to to learn/use/buy their product, they better give me incentive.

The cost of running a business is high. Why should I spend my money to learn about their product? Sheesh!

Dentists need to get smart about this. Doctors do not pay to learn about new pharmaceutical products. Good point griffin04.

Lesley
 

gator1210

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2005
179
1
Status
Regarding continuing education, I believe the world is a giant business. Everyone wants a cut. Continuuing education is obviously part of it and that why people charge for it. If you want to use better information and tools, then you must invest, if you dont then you will be left behind.

Simple.

Its your choice not to pay for CE, but youll be the one that pays in the long run. Doctors do have to pay for some seminars. They also get alot free bc they are associated with hospitals, dentists arent.

If people didnt invest in education, nothing would ever happen.

My 2 cents
 

Lesley

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2006
707
18
Status
Attending Physician
gator1210 said:
Regarding continuing education, I believe the world is a giant business. Everyone wants a cut. Continuuing education is obviously part of it and that why people charge for it. If you want to use better information and tools, then you must invest, if you dont then you will be left behind.

Simple.

Its your choice not to pay for CE, but youll be the one that pays in the long run. Doctors do have to pay for some seminars. They also get alot free bc they are associated with hospitals, dentists arent.

If people didnt invest in education, nothing would ever happen.

My 2 cents

Hi gator 1210, My post did not suggest not taking CE, it did, however, suggest you can be sensitive to the cost. Taking the time attending courses and reading journals is an investment.

We have available to us in our area a lot of good, free CE given by periodontists, dental labs and oral surgeons in very relevant subjects. These courses are packed with many GP's and specialists who also appreciate free courses.

We pay for some courses but not many, CPR, OSHA, courses at dental conventions. There is a lot of current, relatively inexpensive CE available in the dental journals. Local study groups are a wealth of inexpensive, informative courses. If we take a course outside of these parameters we think very carefully before we do so.

If someone is selling XYZ denture/veneer/bleaching system, marketing it is part of their cost of doing business. That's our 2 cents. With dental products, in order to market it they have to teach dentists about the product first. Just like you, we have an office, marketing it, if we choose, is part of our cost of doing business.

However, this goes to say that there is no successful business that doesn't pass down costs in the end, but how you do it makes a difference.

Doctors pay for relatively few medical courses, if ever, when they are sponsored by business, ie pharmaceutical companies. However, I am sure, as we do, they do pay for courses offered by their medical societies.

Good luck on all your continuing ed choices. Free or fee, neither is right or wrong, but one is less expensive! ;)

Very Best wishes, Lesley
 

gator1210

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2005
179
1
Status
Lesley said:
Hi gator 1210, My post did not suggest not taking CE, it did, however, suggest you can be sensitive to the cost. Taking the time attending courses and reading journals is an investment.

I know you didnt, I just tried to end the topic of CE and get back to the "would you do it all over again".
 

scalpel2008

beep beep beep...smash
10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2006
573
4
Status
Resident [Any Field]
i would do it. i would do it all night long.
 

Lesley

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2006
707
18
Status
Attending Physician
gator1210 said:
I know you didnt, I just tried to end the topic of CE and get back to the "would you do it all over again".
Hi gator 1210, I'll address that question: I'm old. I wouldn't do anything all over again!

But seriously, yes, I would do it all over again, and that includes joining the Navy. It just worked out well for me. Nothing felt like fun all the time, but there were fun, interesting moments with each experience, and I really do value the fact that I have a skill. It has taken me far.

At this point in time I can decide what type of dentistry I want to do, how many hours I want to work, and if I want to refer a case or not. I do not have to do anything beyond my capabilities, and I can choose to educate myself further in any area without specializing. I have an associate, that works for us one day a week who recently told me she didn't want to learn anything new. She's a little older than me. After a while you get old, but the basics, fillings, endo, crown and bridge, dentures the things we all learn in dental school, will be relevant to 99% of your patients in most general practices, even in the future. These basics will carry you.

People still come to the dentist because their tooth hurts, they've got popcorn stuck between their teeth, they cracked a tooth on a marshmallow or while opening a tupperware container with their teeth. You will hear it all. It's not all implants, although we do some of those too.

My dental school experience had it's ups and downs just like everyone elses. Anyone who didn't have any down moments is not being truthful, maybe not human. Going to dental school was pivotal in many ways. I was given a very good and useful education and a very special degree. I can help people in a way that only dentists can. That is something special. Sincerely, Lesley
 

gryffindor

15+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2002
2,807
74
Visit site
Status
Dentist
When I said "free for all" - I didn't actually mean "free" in the monetary sense. I meant there are a gazillion CE courses out there preaching everything under the sun, each one claiming to be better than the last.

I think it's a slang phrase - maybe I'm not spelling it right or something.
 

Lesley

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2006
707
18
Status
Attending Physician
griffin04 said:
When I said "free for all" - I didn't actually mean "free" in the monetary sense. I meant there are a gazillion CE courses out there preaching everything under the sun, each one claiming to be better than the last.

I think it's a slang phrase - maybe I'm not spelling it right or something.
Hi griffin04, I know what you mean. Continuing ed offerings represent a large portion of our mail. In the past couple of years, we have taken the Invisalign course and the course on rotary endo. When we take courses from manufacturers, which is still a rarity for us, it's because we feel the course will enhance our skills more than anything else.
 

HardWay

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
May 13, 2006
53
0
Status
Dental Student
griffin04 said:
Quit complaining. Most all dental schools will make you wonder what the meaning of life is when you are obsessing over some medical minutia on the anatomy of the leg or a 0.5mm margin on a plastic tooth that might cause you to fail a class. In a nutshell, they all suck. Deal, it will be over at some point. In fact, if I had to do it all over, I'd go to UConn - no class rank, small class size. The grass is always greener on the other side.

To the OP - yes, I would do it again (although it would have to be at UConn, haha). To answer your questions - 1) almost all residency hours are manageable with the exception of oral surgery 2) the declining income part hasn't been hit as bad since much of dentistry can be considered elective 3) why should prestige matter? it just brings more headaches & expectations so dentistry is better off without it 4) I don't know of any disillusionment. It's a tooth - either save it or pull it - the decision belongs to the patient.

My friends in practice are all slowly getting out of academic dentistry mode (where everything follows the text book) and are adapting to real world dentistry (where it's a free for all in CE courses). We mostly complain about the people attached to the teeth and sometimes the teeth themselves ("This crown I got back didn't fit, blah blah blah), but no one has quit yet since everyone realized that teeth pay the bills better than any former job we may have had and leave plenty left over.
Please be more professional about your rebuttals.

I was simply trying to be honest when answering the OP. I attended another dental school before UConn and it was tough too. Thus, I have a right to say that the grass is greeener on the other side. Not to push this metaphor for too much longer, but all grass must be diligently maintained. The thing is, with some grass, you can do everything right, and it still ends up with bare patches and what not. There are places worse than UConn (avoid those places), just as bad as UConn (avoid those places too), and there are some places that are better than UConn (go to those places).