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  1. Had a presentation done by one of the firms in Vancouver specializing in analyzing and selling dental practices. Here are some facts they brought up: 1. BC licenced 128 foreign trained dentists in 2012. Considering UBC only graduates about 50 students/year. That is a HUGE increase in the number of practicing dentists. If this continues (it likely will), then BC would turn out ~200 dentists a year, which is ridiculous. 2. UBC has increased their class size to 60 students/ year and will be adding more spots in coming years. ...more dentists. 3. The dental market in the states is abysmal at best. For example grads from SoCal can't find ANY job 6 months after graduating. Most dental chains are paying 400$/day to new grads. Private practice jobs are hard to come by. This has caused alot of new grads to move to Canada to practice. It is very easy to obtain a Canadian dental licence. US grads only need to write a written exam which most monkeys could pass. No clinical, no OSCE. 4. Job markets in most major cities are completely saturated. The dentist:population ratio in some areas of the lower mainland is as low as 1:300. On average, the ratio is 1:800 in the Lower Mainland. Considering only 54% of the population sees a dentist on a regular basis, the real dentist:patient ratio is around 1:400. You need about 1500 active patients to sustain one dentist full time. Even medium sized towns like Victoria, Kelowna, and Prince George are saturated. Out of the 50 students that graduated from UBC last year, only 7 managed to find jobs in the lower mainland (not even in Vancouver, just the suburbs of Vancouver). The rest are up north or in AB, Man, Sask. 5. Specialities (with the exception of Pedo) are not faring much better. Most specialties are saturated in major cities. In Vancouver even OMFS is super saturated. The OMFS head at UBC is complaining about the new influx of American OMFS into the country due to the poor US market. In the last 2 years in UBC, 12 new OMFS has moved into the province. Considering BC traditionally only had around 25-30 OMFS, this is a huge increase. Some of the new OMFS grads are working 2-3 days/week. Some are even willing to accept GP fees for extractions and welcome low income (MSSH) dental insurance which pays about $150/ impacted wisdom tooth. Unlike GPs who can choose to work in smaller towns, the small population in most rural regions cannot support a specialist full time. Some of the new grads in Ortho, endo, OMFS are having to work in 2-3 small towns in order to fill up their schedule. 6. Dental chains do exist in Canada and are expanding. 123dentists is a huge problem in the lower mainland. They own 50-60 practices in vancouver, most of them in shopping centers or strip malls. western dental group is another chain that is expanding rapidly as well. 7. The only people benefiting from this are retiring dentists. Most dental practices in the cities are extremely overpriced due to the large number of recent grads looking to purchase practices with existing patient pools. No one wants to risk starting cold in this environment. Practices in Vancouver are selling at 1.4-2 times the gross revenue, which is unheard of until recent times.
  2. In Medicine, even if you have passed the medical boards, you have to match to a residency spot. This is how they limit the number of foreign trained doctors. Every canadian med student has to have a residency spot before they even consider foreign trained doctors. So even if the applicant passes the boards, they cannot practice without completing a residency. This process does not happen in dentistry. The minute you pass your NBDE, you can practice. Hence there really is no filter.
  3. The whole point is that the government doesnt see our services as valuable. They would never let this fly in medicine because there is a potential for unqualified MDs to kill people. For us......it's just teeth right? Using this method, the government will drive down dental costs to satisfy the public demand. You can't charge 600$ dollars for a root canal when Dr xxx down the street is charging $200. Even now in vancouver, there are some east Indian dentists that only charge $1500 for an implant. Considering the material cost along will run about $1000, that's super cheap! ( the regular cost is $2500-3000.). For each dental student in Canada, the government subsidizes $30000-50000 of our tuition per year. Using this method, the government is making money from the foreign dentists taking the exams!
  4. The salary cap was removed for family docs a long time ago (2004) I think? There were a couple of GPs in BC last year that billed 1.1 million. With a 10-15% overhead, not a bad deal!
  5. There is no comparison. A family friend recently opened a new GP office in Vancouver and was able to pay off his expenses (200k) in 3 months. He has been open for 4 months now and is no longer accepting new patients. He said that many pharmacists are offering to cover the overhead (rent, receptionist, supplies etc) expenses of family doctors if they set up practice in the pharmacy. This means that the family doctors get to keep everything they bill. Meanwhile, the dentist down the street had been open for 3 years and is still struggling to fill hid 4 day week. You can get appointments on the same day most of the time.
  6. Established dentists will hire the person that will accept the lowest wage. Plus, many dentists actually prefer to hire foreign trained dentists since they have much more experience than fresh graduates and can generate more revenue. Many dentists can no longer afford to higher associates in the first place since they don't have enough patients. Some of the recent graduates are working as hygienists to make ends meet.
  7. The dean at my school confirmed that a large proportion of the foreign dentists taking the exam passed. Considering that only 500 dentists graduate every year in Canada, allowing even 50% of the test takers (~1500 this year) to pass would more than double the amount of dentists graduating each year. There is a huge saturation of dentists in larger cities such as vancouver and toronto....only 4 of the 40 2010 graduates found jobs in my city, the rest had to move to more rural areas. The saturation of the dental market leads to unethical behaviours. MOST of the dental offices in vancouver no longer charge co-pay in order to attract patients. Alpine Dental, one of the larger dental offices in Burnaby, don't charge ANYTHING as long as your insurance is above 50%. When I was working there, they told me that to make up for the lost revenue, they just bill for more procedures. They are committing insurance fraud on a massive scale, but their patients think that other dentists are ripping them off by charging co-pay. This forces offices nearby to drop co-pay as well just to stay in business. Specialists are also suffering. Because of the increased competition, GPs are no longer referring out procedures such as molar endos, perio surgery, orthodontics, and wisdom teeth extractions so they can keep the revenue in the office. Many of the foreign trained dentists are specialists in their country, so they don't refer out anything. Others are performing specialist procedures for a reduced fee. Also, many foreign dentists consider themselves to be the jack of all trades and will try to perform every procedure regardless of complexity. Also, since Australian trained dentists can now work freely in Canada, many highschool students are going to Australia to do their dental degree since you do not need a bachelor's degree to enter dental school. We had one exchange student from Australia visiting our dental school last month. He's planning to move to canada after completing his BDS....at the tender age of 22!
  8. If I remember correctly, back in the mid 1990s Foreign trained dentists could challenge the boards. The CDA shut this down in the late 1990s. Anyone know why they're allowing this again?
  9. The exam should not be too difficult. Our dean predicts at least a 20% passing rate. 20% of 1500 applicants is 300! Canada only graduates ~600 dentists a year.... Any ideal why the CDA suddenly decided to do this?
  10. Today, our dean told us that in 2011, foreign trained dentists no longer have to go through the international dental program. They can choose to challenge the canadian boards by taking 1 written exam, 1 OSCE (patient interview), and 1 clinical exam. So far, 1500 international dentists have signed up to take the boards in 2011. How do you guys think this will affect dentistry in Canada? Why would the CDA do this when there's an obvious saturation of dentists in urban areas?
  11. Hey guys, I have a very hard decision to make in a few days. I've been accepted into both schools and I really don't know which to attend. Ubc is insanely expensive, but since my parents are in Vancouver, I could save some money by living at home. However, their place is about an hour bus ride from ubc campus, so the commute migh get really tiring. I'm pretty impartial towards PBL , but I do know that ubc students work VERY hard and are usually at school from 8 to 6. Also, the first 2 years at ubc is done with med students. I don't know too much about UT. I know that it's purely lecture based, so it might be a bit easier? The tuition there is 32000 per year, add another 10,000 for living costs, it might not be that different from ubc. Also I heard UT might be better for specializing? I'm not too sure though. What do you guys think? Any insight from UBC or UT students????? Thanks!
  12. Hey guys, I've been thinking lately about the field of Dentistry. In this time of recession, having nice teeth is not exactly on top of people's priority list. Are dentists suffering financially from this? Also, major cities like Vancouver and Toronto are super saturated with dentists. When I'm driving in Vancouver, I could spot at least one clinic on every block (in commercial areas of course). How do the dentists attract enough patients to keep their practices running? Are there enough people in the city to support all the dentists? Also, dental hygienists can now start their own practices. They tend to charge lower prices than the fee guide. Won't this decrease the client base of dentists as well? What about the entry of mid-level providers? Dental therapists can now perform hygiene as well as mild restorative procedures like fillings. How will this affect dentists in the future? I understand dentistry is a pretty stable career, but some of the things that are happening now make me question this a bit....
  13. What? There's a 3 year undergrad degree? I thought all undergrads require 120 credits?
  14. This is totally true! One of my friends live in Alaska. She said if you want to go see a dental specialist, like a oral surgeon, you have to fly down to Seattle. There's a few in Anchorage and Juno, but they're so overbooked that you have to wait months to get an appointment.
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