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Dental student considering the switch (Accepted to MD)

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  • Dental student considering the switch (Accepted to MD)

    Hello all,

    I am a second year dental student (soon to be third year) who decided in the first semester of D2 to apply to med as I was not liking the work we were doing (and I wasn't good at it). I applied on an impulse to be honest.
    I passed the interviews and got accepted a few days ago! Awesome, right? Not so fast.

    I ended up catching up in terms of manual dexterity and practical skills through the year. I actually ended up doing very well in classes I wasn't doing well in during the first semester (the practical portion of the classes was killing me).

     

     

    A few things to be aware of :

    1) I am 55k in debt for the first 2 yrs of dent.

    2) I am turning 21.

    3) I would much rather be a general dentist over a family doctor, HOWEVER, many medical specialties (and even psych, if u dont consider that a specialty) interest me a lot more than dentistry. I'd just hate switching and ending up in FM.

    4) I am in Canada, studying there and will work there.

    5) I am worried about the fact that dentistry is so physically taxing and dependent on the condition of the body. I know that surgeons also have such issues, but I find the positions we are forced in to be able to work in the mouth get draining and are really not ergonomic, as hard as we try. Medicine would feel like a breeze of fresh air if I won't have to be bent over all day.

     

    What would you do, current doctors/dentists?

  • #2
    I am a physician married to a dentist.

    1. Be careful telling a family medicine or psych physician that you do not consider their specialty a specialty.  It can be considered offensive and as a medical student you could pretty quickly get a bad evaluation making it hard to match.

    2. While dentistry might be physically taxing, remember that with dentistry most dentists are not working the same grueling hours as other procedural based physicians.  So if the physical component is concerning, I would look into which specialty allows for more flexible hours as well.

    3. You are only 21. Even if you are taking a slight financial hit, it is good you are realizing now what you do and do not like.  If you are going to be unhappy as a dentist and would be happy as a physician, then you should switch. We might not give the same advice to an individual much older, but you are young enough and have many years of earning potential ahead of you.

     

    Comment


    • #3
      you will be bent over in a different way.  ha ha.

      congratulations!  change is hard.  hope you find something you love!

      not really sure what your questions are.

      good luck!  study hard!

       

      Comment


      • #4
        You realize of course that any procedural medical speciality is going to involve repetitive stress on some joint.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't know how they pay in Canada for procedural vs non procedural specialties but here in USA using your brain pays far less than using your brawn. That is the reality of life here. So if you do want to earn more you are going to do a physically demanding job

          $55K is small change compared to life long misery of  job you don't like. But be sure that you think it over carefully, as you might not be able to switch back to dentistry.

          Comment


          • #6
            You are young and making a switch would be no problem. The bigger question is will you be happy or always looking back at your decision? You need to embrace the profession you choose. There is little you can do to anticipate the demands or the changes of the profession. You need to accept those and alter the way you practice to maintain your health and sanity. Dentistry has worked for me for thirty years. Many can work into their late 60"s and early 70"s if they want to do so. My son is an MD and several of my MD friends have children who are DDS or DMD. We all have colleagues who have children who have followed in their footsteps. There is no right or wrong answer. Only you can make the choice. But once made, do not look back and second guess, but make the most of your opportunity. Best wishes!

            Comment


            • #7




              Hello all,

              I am a second year dental student (soon to be third year) who decided in the first semester of D2 to apply to med as I was not liking the work we were doing (and I wasn’t good at it). I applied on an impulse to be honest.
              I passed the interviews and got accepted a few days ago! Awesome, right? Not so fast.

              I ended up catching up in terms of manual dexterity and practical skills through the year. I actually ended up doing very well in classes I wasn’t doing well in during the first semester (the practical portion of the classes was killing me).

               

               

              A few things to be aware of :

              1) I am 55k in debt for the first 2 yrs of dent.

              2) I am turning 21.

              3) I would much rather be a general dentist over a family doctor, HOWEVER, many medical specialties (and even psych, if u dont consider that a specialty) interest me a lot more than dentistry. I’d just hate switching and ending up in FM.

              4) I am in Canada, studying there and will work there.

              5) I am worried about the fact that dentistry is so physically taxing and dependent on the condition of the body. I know that surgeons also have such issues, but I find the positions we are forced in to be able to work in the mouth get draining and are really not ergonomic, as hard as we try. Medicine would feel like a breeze of fresh air if I won’t have to be bent over all day.

               

              What would you do, current doctors/dentists? ?
              Click to expand...


              Above all else, follow what sparks your interest the most.  Don't worry about not being able to get into a sub-specialty fellowship or residency now.  Listen to your feelings on this.  If the thought of someday becoming a radiologist (for example) gives you goose bumps because it seems like something you would love, then go with your gut and follow that passion.

              The financial stuff, time commitment, and all the hard work it takes will seem totally worth it if you end up in a career you truly enjoy.  And you'll be good at what you do if you actually enjoy it.  What you said in point #3 above tells me you need to make the switch and go for whatever specialty interests you the most.  Don't settle because you're nervous about whether or not you'll be able to get into that specialty.

              Comment


              • #8




                I am a physician married to a dentist.

                1. Be careful telling a family medicine or psych physician that you do not consider their specialty a specialty.  It can be considered offensive and as a medical student you could pretty quickly get a bad evaluation making it hard to match.

                2. While dentistry might be physically taxing, remember that with dentistry most dentists are not working the same grueling hours as other procedural based physicians.  So if the physical component is concerning, I would look into which specialty allows for more flexible hours as well.

                3. You are only 21. Even if you are taking a slight financial hit, it is good you are realizing now what you do and do not like.  If you are going to be unhappy as a dentist and would be happy as a physician, then you should switch. We might not give the same advice to an individual much older, but you are young enough and have many years of earning potential ahead of you.

                 
                Click to expand...


                1. Thank you so much for your advice. To be clear, I consider it to be a specialty. I simply wrote what I wrote to not offend any other physicians here who may or may not consider it to be one.

                2. I don't mind the fact that it's procedural based, don't get me wrong. It's just the physical position that you need to be in to be able to clearly see within someone's mouth (I believe) is more taxing on the back than different medical specialties? Or am I wrong?

                3. Very true. Though, as I said, I'd be happier as a general dentist than as a fm. :/ How to decide?

                Comment


                • #9




                  you will be bent over in a different way.  ha ha.

                  congratulations!  change is hard.  hope you find something you love!

                  not really sure what your questions are.

                  good luck!  study hard!

                   
                  Click to expand...


                  I don't quite mind that other way haha! jk

                  Comment


                  • #10




                    You realize of course that any procedural medical speciality is going to involve repetitive stress on some joint.
                    Click to expand...


                    I do, I do. Is it as bad as dentistry though?

                    Comment


                    • #11




                      Above all else, follow what sparks your interest the most.  Don’t worry about not being able to get into a sub-specialty fellowship or residency now.  Listen to your feelings on this.  If the thought of someday becoming a radiologist (for example) gives you goose bumps because it seems like something you would love, then go with your gut and follow that passion.

                      The financial stuff, time commitment, and all the hard work it takes will seem totally worth it if you end up in a career you truly enjoy.  And you’ll be good at what you do if you actually enjoy it.  What you said in point #3 above tells me you need to make the switch and go for whatever specialty interests you the most.  Don’t settle because you’re nervous about whether or not you’ll be able to get into that specialty.
                      Click to expand...


                      Wow! This hits the nail on the head.

                       

                      What do you do when your preferred specialty, is say, plastics? :/ I know it's insanely tough to get into, so I did dentistry because it allowed me to stay in touch with the aesthetic side of things. Would the advice then be idealistic? Or do you think I should just go for it?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You can still give it a shot.  You stand 0% chance if you don't try.  Plus consider ENT.  Some of those guys end up doing a lot of plastics too (removing things from people's faces without leaving an ugly scar is very important work).  Its a competitive field too, but if it gets you out of bed in the morning and you work hard for it, anything can happen

                        Comment


                        • #13




                          You can still give it a shot.  You stand 0% chance if you don’t try.  Plus consider ENT.  Some of those guys end up doing a lot of plastics too (removing things from people’s faces without leaving an ugly scar is very important work).  Its a competitive field too, but if it gets you out of bed in the morning and you work hard for it, anything can happen
                          Click to expand...


                          Yes I will for sure try ENT too, but as you said it's competitive now. If I do make the switch, should I try to be competitive for 1 hard-to-get-in specialty and one easier specialty as a backup?

                          Comment


                          • #14







                            Above all else, follow what sparks your interest the most.  Don’t worry about not being able to get into a sub-specialty fellowship or residency now.  Listen to your feelings on this.  If the thought of someday becoming a radiologist (for example) gives you goose bumps because it seems like something you would love, then go with your gut and follow that passion.

                            The financial stuff, time commitment, and all the hard work it takes will seem totally worth it if you end up in a career you truly enjoy.  And you’ll be good at what you do if you actually enjoy it.  What you said in point #3 above tells me you need to make the switch and go for whatever specialty interests you the most.  Don’t settle because you’re nervous about whether or not you’ll be able to get into that specialty.
                            Click to expand…


                            Wow! This hits the nail on the head.

                             

                            What do you do when your preferred specialty, is say, plastics? :/ I know it’s insanely tough to get into, so I did dentistry because it allowed me to stay in touch with the aesthetic side of things. Would the advice then be idealistic? Or do you think I should just go for it?
                            Click to expand...


                            What do you think your student loans will be like when you get out, as plastics is another minimum six years of residency? Plastics on the average side of things makes less than many other fields. If you want to do aesthetics, just do the quickest thing like FM/IM and open up a spa. You'll accrue much less debt and wont have to spend years sewing fingers back, whole summers doing a pan face fx everyday, or doing 18 hour free flaps. Plastics residency is not easy.

                            Or, just stay in dentistry and focus on the easy fun stuff, invisalign, botox, fillers, etc...you will be very unhappy and very in debt taking any other route unless independently wealthy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My thoughts, respectfully:

                              1. Why weren't you crushing school?? Med school is not easy either so it'd be good to learn why you struggled, and how you improved (as you'd noted).

                              2. Interested in OMFS? Maybe do the DMD then MD?

                              3. So the 3rd/4th years of dental school seem more appealing? Maybe more clinically focused??

                              Comment

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