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Everything posted by cleanup

  1. You think your past self defines your present self, but it is in fact your future self that you should be using to define your current self. Focus on who you want to be, not who you have been. Where are you going? What are you striving for? Why are you doing it? This is an issue of self-limiting beliefs, it turns out, not an issue of what the 'best' course of action is. Think of it this way. You want to go to dental school. Okay. Be very honest and clear with yourself about what someone who really wants to go to dental school would do, and then do everything in your power to do that. You shouldn't be afraid of failing. You should be afraid of not trying. It really is as simple as that.
  2. I'm gonna play devil's advocate (because it's fun) and poke a few holes in your thinking. Nobody really cares for their degree. If your goal is dental school, then you're not wrong, the undergrad degree doesn't really matter. It's a vehicle for getting grades, learning how to study, getting to know yourself and getting some life experience, enjoying life, making friends, and then moving on. But failing to finish it doesn't seem wise to me; it would be cheapening the last 3 years of your life. You can still apply to U of T dental even if you write the DAT in November, so why not do that and finish your degree? At least for one application cycle, whatever grades you receive in your 4th year won't register for admissions until after you're accepted (and as long as you don't flunk, you're fine). I'm sure there are ways you can mitigate the 'difficulty' of your fourth year. And even if there isn't, it's still worth completing. As for the dental hygiene route, do not mistaken dental hygiene for an easy degree; it's not. You learn a lot of things just as in depth as in dental school, and it's a two-year degree. I would wager that if you actually go that route, and finish dental hygiene, you'll be less and less inclined to take a stab at U of T dental. Take the hand you've been dealt. You're lucky. You have options. You have high grades. Why are you pigeonholing yourself so early? Finish your degree, apply to U of T dental, and if you don't get in, then re-assess from there. You should have a plan, but one that maximizes your options. I'd say your current plan is reducing them simply because you don't want to do a 4th year of undergrad. None of us wanted to do 4 years of undergrad, but hell, we all did. I did 5. So I understand where the desire to bail on a few things now comes from (because our gut tells us to or because we don't feel an inclination toward them), but I don't think this is wise at all if your ultimate goal is to go to dental school. Just my two cents.
  3. If you're not in dental school, I wouldn't worry about it. Even then, you know how you get good at hand skills for dentistry? By doing dentistry. I'd say spatial reasoning is probably more important than hand skills at first, and even then, you'll still learn it in dental school. There's really no point in worrying about this stuff outside of the realm of dentistry. But if it floats your boat, sure, just do stuff you enjoy. If it involves some level of fine motor control or hand-eye coordination, great. But do it because it's a fun, engaging hobby, not because you're holding onto some 0.5% chance it'll make you a 'better' dentist.
  4. I think you misread! I'm not starting anything, another associate left for a perio residency.
  5. Most of the truly good jobs are found through networking. I've found good jobs through listings before, but that was years ago. The landscape has certainly changed in the GTA, especially with COVID. The last time our practice put up an ad for an associate about 18 months ago, we got like 100 applicants in the first two days. When that associate left for residency and we had to fill his position, I just asked someone I knew from school instead, and I'm glad I did. Good jobs do not need listings because the clinics and dentists who need help in a well-run, busy clinic know people who value the same traits & characteristics in other dentists. It's not hard to find people who want to work in a good work environment, obviously.
  6. Might be tricky due to restrictions around gathering, PPE, etc. Most offices are already struggling pretty bad with the PPE & infection control situation. Unnecessary bodies aren't ideal. We don't let family members/accompaniments in with patients unless absolutely necessary so might be tricky to let a student in (and we usually do a lot of shadowing from local hygiene/assisting schools).
  7. StudentDoctorNetwork is a much better resource for this than this forum. Much more active with Canadians applying to U.S. schools. Start there.
  8. For studying, I adore both my Sony WH1000XM3s and AirPods Pro, but I would not sleep in them. Unless you're exclusively a backsleeper (which isn't terribly good for you anyways), you're gonna wake up with some gnarly ear pain. You might want to look into some sleep-specific headphones like those outlined in this video:
  9. No one has a crystal ball, but I am pretty skeptical of how dentistry is moving in the coming decades. Like someone above mentioned, there's a lot of corporatization going on and an oversupply of dentists which is what's driving the changes we see in the industry. Namely labour is cheapening (lots of grads, lots of competition) and power is consolidating (corporatization, private equity, deep pockets, lots of lobbying power), in conjunction with weak professional camaraderie with respect to Colleges and regulatory bodies that actually look after the job market of their members (hint: ours don't). When I graduated in 2016, the associateship market was still pretty healthy. I had my pick of jobs, and in retrospect, I think I would have done well at any of them. Nowadays I know it's not so rosy; people are struggling to find jobs. On a Facebook dental group, I saw new Toronto grads clamouring to take a job at a hygiene clinic to do recall exams. Not cool. Corporations are becoming quite powerful as well. There's talk that the reason the RCDSO back-pedalled so hard on their COVID19 guidance is mainly due to lobbying pressure from dental corporations. Not from the little guy, not from the public, but from people who are bleeding millions of dollars a day and demand action. The RCDSO of course, has a tough job, but I believe their ability to lobby for its members (most importantly, the smallest voice, the little guy solo-practitioner or associate who just wants to do good work and go home) is exceedingly small. The CDA/ODA & other provincial associations are similarly just organizations that, in my opinion, take our money for very little in return. You can absolutely still make a great living in dentistry, but the avenues to do so are narrowing. It doesn't help to just be the best, or just be the most business-savvy. At this point you kind of have to be both. A lot of confluence of factors have to come into play (along with some luck) to turn you into a successful practitioner. I think those who think just being a good clinician or just throwing money at the problem will solve things are in for a rough ride. In medicine there are similar issues, namely with competition, and the talent pool simply being so competitive (everyone wants to work at X hospital in Y city in Z specialty); but the good news is that although you are somewhat doggedly restrained by the chains of government & regulatory bureaucracy, those chains are golden in hue; you're paid by the taxpayer and you have powerful associations lobbying on your behalf. If things move, things move slowly. In dentistry it's a bit more wild-west, especially in the last 15 years or so, and personally I've seen more and more division/fragmentation in our field as people become more desperate. Some become far more powerful & influential, others fall by the wayside. People aren't picking each other up. Everyone's a little defensive, a little worried, a little strapped for cash, a little wary of the guy down the street. I think the simplicity of practice ownership is gone, I think income disparity & variability is very wide (this is not a good thing; it doesn't matter that some are making millions, it means many more are making peanuts), and I think that people have a tendency to undercut, rather than support each other, which only tarnishes the name of dentistry. Those 3 factors are the main things that I think are changing the landscape of dentistry: a gluttony of labour (bigger classes, equivalency exam), a consolidation of power & wealth (corporatization) and weak professionalism (our associations are largely spineless and out for themselves, not the majority of us). If I could sum up my ideas, I think that the 'security' in pursuing a career in dentistry is very much eroding. ——————————————————————————————————— I don't mean for this to be all doom and gloom. As I mentioned you can still make a wonderful living in dentistry, and it's still a great career. I just think people should manage their expectations about it. I'm lucky that my patients are lovely and 99% of them are grateful for what I do, and I make a good living (with respect to the averages in Canada, not necessarily with respect to other health professions). But I do realize that we are on a downhill trajectory, not an uphill one.
  10. Honestly you should be far more worried about the terms of the LOC than a measly $500 in credit. Go with the plan that works best for you, from an advisor you trust the most. Shop around. $500 is meaningless.
  11. For the better for students. More work for instructors like myself.
  12. To be frank, I would shadow at some point during your application year so at least you gather some data about what you're getting yourself into.
  13. COVID was the impetus for it. I don't know nitty gritty details yet, it's preliminary, but the pandemic is a catalyst for changes that have been ripe for test driving.
  14. There are big clinical education changes coming to U of T in the coming years (the way upper year students see patients will be greatly altered; patient distribution may be addressed too). So it's a bit of a question mark there.
  15. For American schools it is typically required. Individual schools have various requirements. the answer is 'it depends'. You can Google the specific schools you're interested in.
  16. cleanup

    Moving away

    Are you trying to be funny?
  17. cleanup

    Moving away

    You're moving to BC, not to Zimbabwe. You're young and you would benefit greatly from seeing this as an opportunity to learn, be open minded, meet new people, and experience life. If you want life to be stable, predictable, same-same, forever, not only will you a) be sorely disappointed but also b) possibly bored and stunted. That's just my opinion, but I would argue that as someone who is going to professional school, you may want to maintain that curious, open, experience-driven mindset. I grew up in a small town for 15 years, and then moved halfway around the world to Asia for a few years. It took a lot of convincing from my family, but it is by far and above a defining period in my life. It opened my mind, it opened my world. I would not be who I am today if not for that experience. Truth be told, I think my life would be much more regressive, narrow in experience and boring had I not been exposed to something so unfamiliar. I then moved to Toronto when I was 18 for school, and lived on my own while my family was still in Asia. That again, was initially worrying, but living on my own, responsible solely for myself, with only myself to rely upon, was again untold in its enriching value. Have fun. Enjoy yourself. Learn, meet, grow. I would not be surprised in the least if 4 years from now you end up staying in Vancouver, or moving somewhere you never would have dreamed of now. You're young as hell; don't let the importance and freedom of that be lost on you.
  18. We are doing emergency treatment only. That means orofacial trauma, uncontrollable bleeding, swelling/signs of abscess (this is a contentious one), pain not controllable by OTC meds (also contentious). The issue is the latter two; those are very grey areas. Most patients don't know what swelling is, and most people have a very low pain threshold. 90% of dental issues are non-emergent. The entire goal right now is to limit person-to-person contact and community spread as much as possible, and the logistics involved with seeing patients physically, and possibly performing operative dentistry, not to mention producing aerosols, is unreal. I did have to do some surgery the last few weeks and doing that in full surgical garb with a fitted N95 mask, loupes, a face-shield attached to the loupes, surgical gown, intra-oral isolation (an isolite/isodry) and a closed room is absolutely brutal. I felt so claustrophobic and uncomfortable. I personally know someone who has ended up in the ICU after seeing a COVID19+ patient. So I'm ramping up my telemedicine/teledentistry hugely, because I think the threshold for what is truly a dental emergency is quite high. With the advent of technology we can manage a lot of things over the phone and pharmacologically, unless someone gets smashed in the face with a baseball bat. There are rumours that after this is all over the RCDSO will again be changing mandates and basically requiring all aerosol procedures to be performed with an N95, high-volume evacuation, gowns, closed rooms, etc. Even beyond the PPE and IPAC protocols set forth by dental schools right now. I do believe that this will change the landscape of dentistry moving forward, much like how HIV/AIDS did in the '80s. That was obviously a necessary thing; I'm less comfortable with the idea of some of the rumours going around right now. Some N95 masks I can tolerate, some I can't. I don't know that I could tolerate all that plus a face shield plus gown for every single operative procedure I do, especially given that in dentistry we are required to leave the operatory multiple times to do hygiene checks, etc. the logistics of how an office runs (and how fast paced it is) would change drastically I think. Dental offices are bleeding money. As are all businesses. I know plenty of folks are afraid that they'll have a business to come back to given how long this is going to go on, and given how high risk dentistry is (due to proximity and aerosol production), the pandemic could affect us even more greatly than it affects some other industries. Last two weeks of March this was the case. RCDSO is re-visiting their position tomorrow on the 6th. Based off of what has happened in the States (with many dental boards shutting down elective dentistry until May/June in some), April is a wash. May is likely as well. It's unclear what will happen over the summer. I will say that I am very happy to not be a practice owner right now. The pandemic has certainly made me begin to re-evaluate a lot of things in my life. I would hope that most people use this opportunity to count their blessings, practice gratitude, introspect and come out of this stronger, better, clearer, more intentional. Stay safe everyone.
  19. If anyone notices any concerns re: monetization please get in touch with me.
  20. Dental incomes will become more and more disparate/varied as time goes on. The average will go down. The outliers will go both directions. This is only a natural consequence of low demand, high supply, saturation and corporatization. Take any numbers you hear and chop 15-20% off the top for self-reporting bias.
  21. Good questions. OP, why are you really doing this? Why do you want to go to dental school? Why do you feel like the advice of Internet strangers is valuable to you? What behoved you to post? I don't mean to be an armchair devil's advocate moral compass judge (but I am)... but I find that when people do this kind of thing without thought or preparation, there is a high chance they haven't necessarily completely thought their goals, wants & needs and boundaries, through.
  22. I collect. No Panerais currently but I had a PAM111 in the past.
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