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Borntobewild

The slow decay of dentistry

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2 hours ago, strawberryjams said:

If the government is sleeping and not taking any measures to prevent Canadian students from going jobless - already in pharmacy and dentistry...who knows maybe MD is next. This stupidity needs to stop. Its common sense that domestic graduates need to be protected from foreign students (DDS and other students) so the jobs stay. If the government continues to ignore this issue, they wont stay elected for too long. The residency issue in med is joke, when CMGs are going unmatched, we continue to take iMGs. I seriously urge POLICY MAKERS of caanada go visit Australia so they know how PROTECTIONISM really works...in Australia there are alogorithms that prevent any IMG from getting match until all Australian domestic grads are matched. First, I think no politician really knows whats goin on and 2) they dont care/dont consider it a bigger issue. This next election - the political leaders have to focus on these issues on their campaign.

I think some common sense measures include;

1)stop granting DDS equivalence to countries outside of USA.

2) Ensure 100% match rate for CMGs and then give left over spots to IMGs. No dedicated IMG spots and a complete ban on having seats where both img and cmg can compete.

3)New policies to prevent pharmacy students from going jobless (no idea how).

 

I doubt they’re worried that dentists and pharmacists are going to manage to sway elections. 

No one cares about us but us. 

It sucks, it’s not fair, but politics isn’t about fairness, it’s about voters and voters do not care about this issue, and it’s a very tough sell to get them to care. 

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Is there even a limit as to how many foreign trained dentists can do the equivalency process? If more and more dentists take part and assuming the same pass rate, then more and more dentists will be qualified to work in Canada year after year. I bet in the next couple of years there will be more foreign trained dentists certified than Canadian students. This is absurd.

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1 hour ago, member_225 said:

Is there even a limit as to how many foreign trained dentists can do the equivalency process? If more and more dentists take part and assuming the same pass rate, then more and more dentists will be qualified to work in Canada year after year. I bet in the next couple of years there will be more foreign trained dentists certified than Canadian students. This is absurd.

No limit, more and more each year.  They opened up a testing centre in Hong Kong for crying out loud.

Pretty much a career path for many dental students in India is to get your BDS in India without ever having the intention to practice in India. I.e there are a lot of students in India getting their BDS just so they can write the equivalency exams and practice here.

The intention of the equivalency exams should have been to allow Canadian citizens with international dental degrees (refugees, long time immigrants) who are already living in Canada an alternative pathway (from the 2 years of dental school) to practice dentistry in Canada. Instead the program has opened the flood gates to Canada.

According to payscale.com the average salary of a dentist in India is 5-6k Canadian YEARLY. Compare that to the Canadian average. They would be stupid to not take the equivalency exams and move here.

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keep in mind that New Zealand has outsourced their equivalency process to NDEB.  I.e., if foreign trained dentists want to work in New Zealand, they would have to go through the Canadian equivalency process. Many internationally trained dentists also want to work in New Zealand, and many eventually want to make their way to Australia via the Trans-Tasman agreement.  https://www.dcnz.org.nz/i-want-to-practise-in-new-zealand/dentists-and-dental-specialists/new-pathway-new-zealand-dentist-registration-examination/.

So in that number you see is not an entirely accurate depiction of how many will work in Canada.

 

with that said, Australia is facing the same oversaturation as Canada...but I would imagine more foreign trained dentists would want to work in Australia because of better weather and proximity to their home countries.

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30 minutes ago, drown besk said:

Honestly not down to study hard and get a 3.98 gpa to go to a Canadian dental school, then endure 4 years of rigorous training and education just to struggle to get a stable job cuz of someone with 3.45 gpa who paid for their degree elsewhere 

Same here, every dental office I go to is completely empty lol 

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32 minutes ago, drown besk said:

Honestly not down to study hard and get a 3.98 gpa to go to a Canadian dental school, then endure 4 years of rigorous training and education just to struggle to get a stable job cuz of someone with 3.45 gpa who paid for their degree elsewhere 

3.9X is not possible in all university programs.

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I want to take this opportunity to share ideas and discuss this matter because whether you agree or not, this is going to affect the dental profession of Canada. I would like people to concert their efforts on what is practical to implement/change because we need to think, brainstorm, and act now. Even if we act now, changes are not going to take place until years down the line; that's just how changes occur. 

Our first job should be to inform and educate the dental students, dental professionals, and the patients of this rising issue as it will affect everyone (yes the patients too!).  

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If the government is sleeping and not taking any measures to prevent Canadian students from going jobless - already in pharmacy and dentistry...who knows maybe MD is next.

It is not just the government, it is the governing bodies i.e. CMA and/or CPSBC. A profession needs a strong governing body not only protect the patients (which arguably is their first priority), but the professionals as well. And unlike the CMA and CNA, CDA and CPhA seem to be more passive in my opinion.

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1)stop granting DDS equivalence to countries outside of USA.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-630-x/11-630-x2016006-eng.htm

Policies or changes that may affect people from immigrating to Canada will not be feasible to accomplish. This country is highly dependant on immigration. 

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I doubt they’re worried that dentists and pharmacists are going to manage to sway elections. 

No one cares about us but us. 

It sucks, it’s not fair, but politics isn’t about fairness, it’s about voters and voters do not care about this issue, and it’s a very tough sell to get them to care. 

100% agree. I believe it is important to realize that no one cares; it is our job to sell that they need to care because it affects them too. 

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So in that number you see is not an entirely accurate depiction of how many will work in Canada.

Agreed. However, when we have more certified people through the equivalency process/international grads than how many Canada produces from its schools, and that number continues to increase, chances are, it is/will be an issue. 

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2 hours ago, member_225 said:

Doesn’t the CDA have a voice in all of this? The CMA protects the Canadian medical graduates more than the CDA does with Canadian dental graduates. Is this fair to say? 

I would recommend researching what the CDA actually does. Their mandate is limited. They don’t have the clout to do anything about this. They could try and fight tooth and nail on this and the government would smirk and say “that’s cute”

https://www.cda-adc.ca/en/about/membership/

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3 minutes ago, malkynn said:

I would recommend researching what the CDA actually does. Their mandate is limited. They don’t have the clout to do anything about this. They could try and fight tooth and nail on this and the government would smirk and say “that’s cute”

https://www.cda-adc.ca/en/about/membership/

Advocacy - Influencing outcomes that protect, promote, and advance the dental profession 

I think we have different meanings of protection 

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23 hours ago, member_225 said:

Advocacy - Influencing outcomes that protect, promote, and advance the dental profession 

I think we have different meanings of protection 

Advocating and influencing, yes, but that influence is limited. 

I get it. This shitty situation is shitty, but no matter how much you feel like someone should be protecting your future career, it ain’t gonna happen and you need to be prepared to handle that. 

I work with the CDA, if I thought someone there could fix this, I would be scheduling a meeting with them and hammering home that point. 

Ostracized works with the ODA and he too is saying that they can’t do anything. 

Irwin Fegergrad from the RCDSO has said repeatedly that the government has no intention of budging on this. 

I don’t know what to tell you other than brace yourself, a great career can still be made in dentistry, but you will have to be savvy and good at identifying opportunities. 

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4 hours ago, McMarauder said:
30 minutes ago, malkynn said:

Advocating and influencing, yes, but that influence is limited. 

I get it. This shitty situation is shitty, but no matter how much you feel like someone should be protecting your future career, it ain’t gonna happen and you need to be prepared to handle that. 

I work with the CDA, if I thought someone there could fix this, I would be scheduling a meeting with them and hammering home that point. 

Ostrasized works with the ODA and he too is saying that they can’t do anything. 

Irwin Fegergrad from the RCDSO has said repeatedly that the government has no intention of budging on this. 

I don’t know what to tell you other than brace yourself, a great career can still be made in dentistry, but you will have to be savvy and good at identifying opportunities. 

 

I think things could be done. It's just that noones willing to really go out of their way to initiate the movement of any changes. But it's saddening how much power CDA has over these policies.

There could also be movements started by dentists themselves.. ex. though questionable, preference of hiring associates that are Canadian dental school grads, an organization set for more communication, information accessibility, etc for Canadian grads, etc

 

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5 minutes ago, drown besk said:

I think things could be done. It's just that noones willing to really go out of their way to initiate the movement of any changes. But it's saddening how much power CDA has over these policies.

There could also be movements started by dentists themselves.. ex. though questionable, preference of hiring associates that are Canadian dental school grads, an organization set for more communication, information accessibility, etc for Canadian grads, etc

 

I have seen several job postings that have stated "Graduates of Canadian dental school" listed as a criteria.  

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29 minutes ago, McMarauder said:

I have seen several job postings that have stated "Graduates of Canadian dental school" listed as a criteria.  

 Where do you see this? Please provide a link. I have never seen that.

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Quote

Honestly not down to study hard and get a 3.98 gpa to go to a Canadian dental school, then endure 4 years of rigorous training and education just to struggle to get a stable job cuz of someone with 3.45 gpa who paid for their degree elsewhere 

Quote

No limit, more and more each year.  They opened up a testing centre in Hong Kong for crying out loud.

Pretty much a career path for many dental students in India is to get your BDS in India without ever having the intention to practice in India. I.e there are a lot of students in India getting their BDS just so they can write the equivalency exams and practice here.

The intention of the equivalency exams should have been to allow Canadian citizens with international dental degrees (refugees, long time immigrants) who are already living in Canada an alternative pathway (from the 2 years of dental school) to practice dentistry in Canada. Instead the program has opened the flood gates to Canada.

According to payscale.com the average salary of a dentist in India is 5-6k Canadian YEARLY. Compare that to the Canadian average. They would be stupid to not take the equivalency exams and move here.

 

Yes, different schools in different countries have varying levels of standards in regards to admission.

Yes, immigrants from other countries can come to Canada to practice dentistry and be more lucrative with their chosen profession.

However, those that go to countries outside of Canada or the immigrants that decide to come here to earn more money are not our enemies; they are not the ones to blame; they are part of the certified dental professionals and I would wager they came to this country to take advantage of the profitable field. That's fine, but if they don't do realize the issue that is at hand, they too will be affected. It's not about your friends you have in India that also want to take advantage of the equivalency process, or your friends that are also in Australia/Ireland/etc getting their DMD/DDS, it's about you, your income, your family, and your future. 

Quote

Advocating and influencing, yes, but that influence is limited. 

I get it. This shitty situation is shitty, but no matter how much you feel like someone should be protecting your future career, it ain’t gonna happen and you need to be prepared to handle that. 

I work with the CDA, if I thought someone there could fix this, I would be scheduling a meeting with them and hammering home that point. 

Ostrasized works with the ODA and he too is saying that they can’t do anything. 

Irwin Fegergrad from the RCDSO has said repeatedly that the government has no intention of budging on this. 

I don’t know what to tell you other than brace yourself, a great career can still be made in dentistry, but you will have to be savvy and good at identifying opportunities. 

I agree, it's not easy to do anything about this and it's easier to go with the flow. However, I believe if we try to make a change at the provincial level first (not ODA or BCDA but  RCDSO, CDSBC, etc) we can make an impact.

Are there ways of adding requirements at the provincial level, so that you need more than a dental education, NDEB completion, and a jurisprudence exam? Like the aforementioned mandatory 1 year GPR or something of that like.

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For those already in the field, what advice would you give to incoming students who will be undoubtedly affected by this over-saturation? Is the problem becoming concerning enough that you wouldn't recommend the career? 

I'm not going into dentistry under the assumption that I will get rich. I come from a very poor family and am happy to live on little if it means I can do something that interests and challenges me, but I also don't want to go 300K+ into debt and not be able to pay that off... 

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1 hour ago, theberry said:

For those already in the field, what advice would you give to incoming students who will be undoubtedly affected by this over-saturation? Is the problem becoming concerning enough that you wouldn't recommend the career? 

I'm not going into dentistry under the assumption that I will get rich. I come from a very poor family and am happy to live on little if it means I can do something that interests and challenges me, but I also don't want to go 300K+ into debt and not be able to pay that off... 

You should be able to pay it off, but there are much bigger concerns like quality of working conditions. It’s not fun working for an owner who is struggling financially. The pressure can be unbearable.

Then there’s the issue of affordability of owning, which is a whole other massive question with its own complex problems. 

What would I recommend?

I recommend educating yourself about personal finance so that you can make intelligent and strategic financial moves that will work for you. It’s hard to make smart choices when you don’t understand the impact of your choices.

Personally, I do just fine. I make plenty of money in a great clinic and have no concerns about my career long term except for the toll it’s taking on my body and the fact that I have other work that I do that might end up more interesting...and more profitable.

It’s not all doom and gloom, it’s just that you have to be a hell of a lot more informed, careful, adaptable and strategic if you want to get the most out of it. You can’t just become a dentist, and hope for the best or you might end up frustrated. 

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4 hours ago, theberry said:

For those already in the field, what advice would you give to incoming students who will be undoubtedly affected by this over-saturation? Is the problem becoming concerning enough that you wouldn't recommend the career? 

I'm not going into dentistry under the assumption that I will get rich. I come from a very poor family and am happy to live on little if it means I can do something that interests and challenges me, but I also don't want to go 300K+ into debt and not be able to pay that off... 

It’s hard for me to give advice on this matter with great confidence because I am only one dentist, working in a terrible geographic location.  Although I keep as well informed as I can, most of what I can convey at an individual level is anecdotal (either of myself or colleagues).  

I’m hesitant to recommend dentistry even at the prices that are being charged for tuition by all but perhaps the least expensive Canadian schools.  Why?  Because if you have the aptitude to gain admission to a Canadian dental school, you have the aptitude to consider other careers with comparable lifetime earnings (adjusted for student debt) and far lower financial risk.  

Anyway I’m a pessimist.  I’m sure there are younger dentists still making bank in this country, even in saturated areas.  I myself am doing fairly well, and I probably earn more than most or all of my friends (with the exception perhaps of some lawyers).  But I work 5+ days a week and my time off is spent working in northern Canada a couple weeks at a time.  Boy, I’d love to get ‘paid vacation’ some day!

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Why does this page from the government contradict everything said here, stating that there will be shortages in the future? 

https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/outlook-occupation/4092/ca

Here's a quote : "Although this occupational group has had balanced market in recent years, projected job openings are expected to be substantially higher to job seekers, creating a shortage of workers over the 2015-2024 period"

Based on this report you would think the golden age of dentistry is coming back! I'm too cynical to trust the feds, but surely they can't be this out of touch (assuming the Doom and gloom talks bear some truth)?

 

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Well most of the members commenting on this thread are discussing the harsh realities pertaining to Ontario/BC. Outside those 2 provinces, dentistry is still a stable profession. Usually, over-saturation hits the the biggest of markets first and slowly spreads out. In your link, you can see this most of ON is now considered a "fair" outlook but used to be a "good" outlook; whereas every other province is considered "good". Also, the categories for outlook that jobbank uses aren't well defined and could extremely broad terms.

As others have pointed out, there's no stopping this declining trend (in outlook) as there is no 'cap/limit' to the equivalency process + rising debt for grads. 

Also, jobbank is probably using a simplistic formula when calculating outlook (b/c they have to do outlook for every profession)

incoming immigrants ( i.e. internationals whom have completed equivalency)  + school producing graduates - retirees

jobbank may be using an average of the last 5 years for incoming immigrants to simply analysis rather than projecting rising amt of internationally trained dentists (i.e. using 1000 immgriants rather than 1000+200x immigrants by yr)

TL;DR jobbank analysis is meant to give simplistic look and without more details, you shouldn't infer too much from their data 

 

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43 minutes ago, evanli78evanli said:

 

I would agree, as I am also from BC as well. I just don't want people thinking it won't affect other provinces given the facts from NDEB. 

1 hour ago, inquirer007 said:

 

I can't speak much for other jobs but I have family members in pharmacy and at least in BC, it is quite the doom and gloom situation as tuition has increased nearly double while wages continue to go down. Yet, jobbanks says there's a "shortage". I would think rural areas might be short on supply of pharmacists, but definitely not Vancouver or the GTA

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I will repeat this until I am blue in the face: income is only a part of the picture of the problem with over saturation. 

I have absolutely no concerns about my ability to make money in this job. What I do have concern about is the stress and conditions under which I may end up in.

Dentistry is and always has been an incredibly stressful job, and adding enormous economical stress on top of that is daunting and can be downright toxic. 

10 years ago when I was deciding on med vs dent, I wasn’t hearing the stories I am now from dentists.

Speaking as someone who has worked in both ideal conditions of working in a highly successful and stable clinic and in a clinic that over expanded and suffered financially, the experience is extremely different. It’s important to note that I made great money at both places. It was the environment and conditions that were drastically different.

The money is a huge factor, but it was when I was making the most money that I was the most miserable. At one point, I truly and deeply hated this job.

It’s also a HUGE hit to change jobs if you aren’t happy. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, if you leave a clinic, you have to start from scratch somewhere else.

It takes time to establish yourself again, build up your patient base, build their trust in you so that you can start doing more advanced procedures.

My income dropped by ~70% for the first 2 months when I switched jobs and it took over 6 months to build back up to my previous level. Add to that the drop in income I had at my previous clinic while I scaled down over my last 2.5 months there. A lot of people can’t afford that kind of pay drop for months on end, which means they can get trapped in bad jobs, especially if they are the primary bread winner.

My current job is truly, exceptionally fantastic, but it’s still a very, very stressful job. If I couldn’t work the way that I do now, I would simply leave the profession. It wouldn’t be worth it to me. 

 

 

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