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Hello Premed,

I was looking to get some advice from people on this forum. I am a current dental student at a Canadian University and I'm contemplating on whether I should continue. I found that my hand skills weren't the best and I really struggled to get through practicals in 1st and 2nd year. I've been doing really well on the didactic side of things and my class rank is in the top 15%. However, every single semester I need remedial work for hand skills and I'm always the last one to understand or pick up on practical work. I'm not sure what to do and the school has kept saying "it will get better with time". I'm not sure whether I have the mental capacity to continue and I feel like I'm trapped to continue otherwise I don't have anything else to go back too. I've always wanted to do dentistry, applied 3 times and got in. But going through it and doing practicals day in and day out makes me frustrated more often than not. When trying to look for alternate careers through google, nothing appeases me and I feel so lost. I don't know what to do or where to go next. I start school next week again but I have 3 weeks to decide to drop out and get my money back for this year. I just i don't know how to move forward and what the best course of action is. My parents and family have been supportive and said I can always look for something else and start over since I'm young but its not easy trying to go into something else and giving up on this. Its just conflicting and I just need some guidance from someone who felt like this...

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I'm not a dentist or dental student, but I think you should continue with your program. I know someone who had similar circumstances. He was pretty good at the didactic side of dental school, but struggled a lot with the operative part. He graduated, but his skills were such that his work speed was quite slow. It's been a few years, but he now seems fairly competent and satisfied with his career. This anecdote may not mean much to you, but I still recommend you trust the process. Like any surgical field, it will take some time. Your frustrations today will be your success tomorrow. Whatever you decide though, make sure you're comfortable with it.

Good luck.

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You can still get involved in academics, radiology & pathology, some other non-surgical niches. If you're still interested in dentistry in general there are absolutely avenues through which you can stay in the field. Your time in dental school doesn't have to be a waste.

And sure, stick with it. Even if you graduate, practice for a bit, and just find you can't muster or don't enjoy clinical dentistry, that's okay, you can still figure something out within the field.

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sorry,  this might be out of topic but during what year of your undergraudate degree did you start applying? did you get in before you finish your undergraduate degree?? I am looking to get into dentistry, but afraid it might take me yearsssss to do that and i'll be old af

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45 minutes ago, yampotato said:

sorry,  this might be out of topic but during what year of your undergraudate degree did you start applying? did you get in before you finish your undergraduate degree?? I am looking to get into dentistry, but afraid it might take me yearsssss to do that and i'll be old af

very out of topic. start your own thread.

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You’re in third year or second?  Either way I definitely would not quit. 

Even if you’re behind the curve, you’ll catch up.  If you do something for thousands and thousand of hours you’ll become competent. 

Maybe consider a good GPR after graduation.  One with lots of clinical experience.  

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hand skills come with practice. I also had very poor hand skills  in the beginning and started practicing hardcore until my thumb was numb and couldn't move my hand. Right now I am higher than average in my class. Don't give up and just practice as much as you can and it will come to you. 

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