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drown besk

Dropping out of Dental School

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I am currently a first year Canadian dental student and am thinking of dropping out in favor of medicine.. I decided to pursue dentistry for its foundation on health sciences, prestige, lucrative lifestyle, and no requirement of residency. However, I'm learning the realities of dental market saturation, unsure if my fine motor skills are competent, and realizing how much more challenging dental school is compared to medical school. It is having a serious toll on my mental health and i feel more stressed and depressed day by day. I'm not sure if this is worth it. With even family doctors making near double that of associate dentists, I'm seriously questioning if all this hard work and mental distress is worth it.. I am seeking for advises as I am on the verge of dropping out..

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My advice would be talk to somebody. Friends and family and also mental health support staff at your school. I think there are some mental health issues that needs to be addressed.

Regarding your question, you don't "Drop out of dentisty to go into medicine", you have to get into med school first, which I can assure you is not guaranteed even if you got into dental school, in fact, chances are not very likely for you as they may question your motives for doing so and your dedication to your schooling if you have a history of dropping out after first year dentistry (assuming you are competitive GPA and extra curricular wise-which med school have higher standards than dental- on average)

Secondly, the grass is greener on the other side. Do a little research and you will see that medicine has its own problems. Tight residency spots leading to many well qualified canadian med school graduates being unmatched. Lack of jobs in surgical specialties where many new graduates (after 4 year med school and 5 year residency) are under employed and have difficulty paying back their student debts. The government increasingly proposing cuts to doctors salary (cough cough ontario) or underpaying doctors (cough cough BC and Quebec) that many doctors have to see high volume or do niche medicine to make good money and lifestyle (leading to maldistribution of healthcare resources and long patient waitlist and timelines). Your problems do not magically go away when you just go into medicine. Also, if you are business savy, dentistry beats medicine anyday. I have heard of dentist making 1 million plus routinely. I rarely hear doctors bill for more than 1 million (unless you are some hot shot optho or plastics, which is the rarity in medicine)

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59 minutes ago, deathvvv said:

My advice would be talk to somebody. Friends and family and also mental health support staff at your school. I think there are some mental health issues that needs to be addressed.

Regarding your question, you don't "Drop out of dentisty to go into medicine", you have to get into med school first, which I can assure you is not guaranteed even if you got into dental school, in fact, chances are not very likely for you as they may question your motives for doing so and your dedication to your schooling if you have a history of dropping out after first year dentistry (assuming you are competitive GPA and extra curricular wise-which med school have higher standards than dental- on average)

Secondly, the grass is greener on the other side. Do a little research and you will see that medicine has its own problems. Tight residency spots leading to many well qualified canadian med school graduates being unmatched. Lack of jobs in surgical specialties where many new graduates (after 4 year med school and 5 year residency) are under employed and have difficulty paying back their student debts. The government increasingly proposing cuts to doctors salary (cough cough ontario) or underpaying doctors (cough cough BC and Quebec) that many doctors have to see high volume or do niche medicine to make good money and lifestyle (leading to maldistribution of healthcare resources and long patient waitlist and timelines). Your problems do not magically go away when you just go into medicine. Also, if you are business savy, dentistry beats medicine anyday. I have heard of dentist making 1 million plus routinely. I rarely hear doctors bill for more than 1 million (unless you are some hot shot optho or plastics, which is the rarity in medicine)

You should put Quebec in the "proposing cuts" category alongside Ontario.

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1 hour ago, Butterfly_ said:

If you want a lucrative lifestyle and prestige, perhaps you should consider careers outside of healthcare. 

This pretty much sums it up. I’ve met a lot of people who think Med or Dent are the only professions leading to a lavish lucrative lifestyle. It’s definitely not the case, you can find other careers which are less demanding, less competitive and have opportunities that can lead you to that lifestyle. I know a few physiotherapists making more than doctors and dentists and working less hours. Do what your passionate about and I can for sure say you will get where you want to be doing what you love! If dentistry doesn’t seem like it’s for you, don’t fret over it. You can try for medicine if that’s what you want, just don’t think it’s sunny ways on the other side! 

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12 hours ago, ysera said:

Before you do anything you should ask yourself if you want to pursue medicine or dentistry for the right reasons. I read a couple of red flags in your comment, but obviously I can't know everything about you based on a paragraph. 

@ysera Hearthstone? If so then hit me up =D

But yeah... medicine easier than dentistry, or prestige + money... 

- G 

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15 hours ago, drown besk said:

I am currently a first year Canadian dental student and am thinking of dropping out in favor of medicine.. I decided to pursue dentistry for its foundation on health sciences, prestige, lucrative lifestyle, and no requirement of residency. However, I'm learning the realities of dental market saturation, unsure if my fine motor skills are competent, and realizing how much more challenging dental school is compared to medical school. It is having a serious toll on my mental health and i feel more stressed and depressed day by day. I'm not sure if this is worth it. With even family doctors making near double that of associate dentists, I'm seriously questioning if all this hard work and mental distress is worth it.. I am seeking for advises as I am on the verge of dropping out..

Believe me, my friend, there are PLENTY of other occupations that provide a "lucrative lifestyle" with lots of "prestige," most which are not health-related and are quite relaxed even.  I also second @hartk48, who said dentistry is harder than medicine?

If you're feeling stressed, I very much encourage you to talk about it with people that can support you.  Whether it's with family, friends, instructors, or so forth, don't be afraid to give voice to what is bothering you.  It's important to discuss these issues to, one, have them lifted from your chest and, two, gain the support and insight you need to proceed with ease.  Personally when I'm stressed, I unfortunately blowup the proportions of what's bothering me, overthink all of it, and make it generally way bigger than it needs to be.  But when I chat about it with my family and significant other, for example, they make me realize that it's not so bad, and that there are ways to get around the problem.

I seriously encourage you to not make a bold move yet.  Discuss this issue with someone who is close to you and see what they suggest.  Don't give up yet!

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you make the best decision for yourself and wish you success.

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5 hours ago, GH0ST said:

@ysera Hearthstone? If so then hit me up =D

But yeah... medicine easier than dentistry, or prestige + money... 

- G 

Haha ya I was pretty serious into hearthstone when I created this account, reached legend rank 68 in standard. These days I'm playing games more casually, mainly Red dead redemption 2 and nba 2k (I'm a big basketball guy)

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Thank you for the responses guys.. I've considered finances, real estate, consulting, and actuarial science as well- But, in addition to financial stability and work-life balance, I do want to work in the realm of health sciences, hence leaning significantly towards med/dent. I'm not sure who to approach.. I'm thoroughly embarrassed to talk to my family members, and it will be frowned upon by my class mates and faculty members.

I say dentistry is more challenging than medicine because it is incomparably more demanding... Schedule of dental students are like a full time job, whereas the schedule of medical students are like a part time job, with no classes in the afternoon in some med schools.. Dentistry essentially condenses what medical school teaches + required residency in 4 years of dental school, so it makes sense in that aspect. As well, marks don't matter when you apply for residency programs for med, whereas top x% can specialize in dentistry due to enormous competitiveness. This adds on to the pressure and stress if you're thinking about specializing as a dental student.. Also unlike medicine, dentistry isn't purely didactic, but how well you do is heavily dependent on fine motor skills.. but this is besides the point..

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I really don't want to go on a tangent, because that's not the point of the thread.. but I really don't think you can say medicine is "easier" and I want that flushed out before you make any irreversible decisions. Full discourse, I haven't looked into any dental school curriculum, nor do I want too so I will stay away from commenting on dental schools.

While some programs are "part-time" the expectation is that you will study on your own... which takes away from your full time vs part time argument. We also have to prepare for tutorials and simulated patients (taking history, physical exams, etc..) which takes a lot time.

With regards to stress.. sorry to break it to you, but you will find that here as well. While it is just a pass or fail, exams are not that easy and aside from that I sincerely hope you will strive for high marks because I personally wouldn't want a doctor that just passed (which again, adds stress). 

 

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11 minutes ago, hartk48 said:

I really don't want to go on a tangent, because that's not the point of the thread.. but I really don't think you can say medicine is "easier" and I want that flushed out before you make any irreversible decisions. Full discourse, I haven't looked into any dental school curriculum, nor do I want too so I will stay away from commenting on dental schools.

While some programs are "part-time" the expectation is that you will study on your own... which takes away from your full time vs part time argument. We also have to prepare for tutorials and simulated patients (taking history, physical exams, etc..) which takes a lot time.

With regards to stress.. sorry to break it to you, but you will find that here as well. While it is just a pass or fail, exams are not that easy and aside from that I sincerely hope you will strive for high marks because I personally wouldn't want a doctor that just passed (which again, adds stress). 

 

My statement was entirely based on 6 of my friends who are currently in med. They go to 3 different Ontario meds, and I've independently compared schedules and asked how many hours/day are allocated to academics. Maybe the choice of word I am looking for is "laid back", rather than "easier". Nontheless, If I had a choice to learn in an environment where I can strive to do well to be a competent health professional vs strive to do better than those around me because that's essentially only way to specialize, I'd go with former any moment of the day..

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1 hour ago, Snowmen said:

Man, I wish medical school was like a part-time job. Maybe clerkship or residency is where you get the easy hours.

Forget that... @drown besk doesn't want to do residency... that's where you do a job and a half and for far longer. 

I guess medicine is also too didactic... guess that's why there's so few surgeons or doctors that do procedures of various types. We just pin the tail on the donkey and pray for the best. 

I mean any redeeming qualities in your post is pretty much lost when you further reinforce your prejudice as a 1st year dentistry student... 

1 hour ago, drown besk said:

My statement was entirely based on 6 of my friends who are currently in med. They go to 3 different Ontario meds, and I've independently compared schedules and asked how many hours/day are allocated to academics. Maybe the choice of word I am looking for is "laid back", rather than "easier". Nontheless, If I had a choice to learn in an environment where I can strive to do well to be a competent health professional vs strive to do better than those around me because that's essentially only way to specialize, I'd go with former any moment of the day..

So you blatantly admit to generalizing based off of incomplete information from six of your friends... did you also tell them that you think your program is harder than theirs? I guess people in medical school also don't need to strive to be better than others to specialize. 

Like please tell me you are joking. 

- G 

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If you are serious - I suggest talking to a counsellor (not a psychiatrist). It sounds like you need to do a lot of soul searching to figure out what you really want out of your job/career as well as personal life...

If you think your mental health and depression will be suddenly relieved by going into medicine - I highly suggest you look up mental health outcomes (anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, suicides) among med students/residents/physicians. It is not a rosey picture and actually quite scary for those actually in all stages of the profession.

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@hartk48 on a note unrelated to this topic, I don't think you can control whether you go to a doctor that strived to do well in med school or not. Med school in Canada is just laid out that way. Pass fail system breeds taking it easy. My older cousin is in med and he had a strong undergrad in science and he said it's very easy to wing it and pass lol so much for the "You're more than just your grades" philosophy of med nowadays :') 

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13 hours ago, drown besk said:

Thank you for the responses guys.. I've considered finances, real estate, consulting, and actuarial science as well- But, in addition to financial stability and work-life balance, I do want to work in the realm of health sciences, hence leaning significantly towards med/dent. I'm not sure who to approach.. I'm thoroughly embarrassed to talk to my family members, and it will be frowned upon by my class mates and faculty members.

I say dentistry is more challenging than medicine because it is incomparably more demanding... Schedule of dental students are like a full time job, whereas the schedule of medical students are like a part time job, with no classes in the afternoon in some med schools.. Dentistry essentially condenses what medical school teaches + required residency in 4 years of dental school, so it makes sense in that aspect. As well, marks don't matter when you apply for residency programs for med, whereas top x% can specialize in dentistry due to enormous competitiveness. This adds on to the pressure and stress if you're thinking about specializing as a dental student.. Also unlike medicine, dentistry isn't purely didactic, but how well you do is heavily dependent on fine motor skills.. but this is besides the point..

I understand where your coming from and your story seems similar to my brothers. He went to a Canadian dental school, found it to be way too stressful and not worth the work (in his opinion), so he left after 1st year. Was he afraid of telling people? Of course, its natural and the biggest thing I told him was its not what people think but rather what YOU think. If you are okay with it, there is nothing wrong about leaving dental school. People will have their opinions, but at the end of the day, there will be people who support you, I can assure you of that. Your family will come around to understand your decision, it may just take some time. I'd start approaching the schools counselors (as people have mentioned) and talk to a family member you feel the most comfortable with. Maybe even talk to a dentist your close with (family dentist maybe) and see what they think about it.

Now, for the 2nd part, I agree dentistry is more demanding. You have didactic lectures, practical components and you may have to go to after hours to practice what you learned. The days start at 8:30am and end probably at 10pm. 3rd/4th year is probably worse since you start seeing patients, need to set up cubicles, etc. So yes, it is more demanding but that doesn't take away from med students workload. Yes, they have less class time and no after hours sim clinic but a lot of them are doing research work, prepping for tutorials/patient simulations, etc. And hands down 3rd/4th years of medical school where students rotate are much more demanding than dental school. At least in dental school, you aren't required to be in a surgical rotation through the night and study during the day. It seems like there are sunny ways on the other side of dentistry but its not the case. Meds have their own challenges in school + residency + practice and dents have their own challenges in school + practice + residencies (if you choose to go). Also, the perception that you need really good marks to specialize in dentistry is not 100% true. Other than OMFS, the other specialities (especially in Canada) have looked to GP experience, GPRs, all round capabilities. Talk to your specialist department directors, they'll tell you GP experience is more valuable than grades these days to specialize. The States will still consider GPA as king but there is a shift there to look at everything holistically, especially with the introduction of the ADAT. My point is that you shouldn't stress about the small things, look at the big picture. If you want to specialize in dentistry, you will with low grades. 

And finally, I feel like you want in your life..a) a great lifestyle, b) $$$. I'd suggest that you spend some time researching other healthcare careers that have great lifestyles and make $$$. You can stay in the dental field and go into sales. I know someone whose making more than my general dentist by selling equipment, machines, chairs to dentists and its because he loves the job and he's good at it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, dentistry and medicine are not the only careers that can lead to a great lifestyle with good pay. If you can set up a business model with a healthcare field and have the right demand, you will be successful. If you choose to stay in dental school, thats great. Your motor skills will develop with practice and things will work out. If you choose to leave and go for med, that's great too but be aware of the issues facing them (government intervention, etc.). If you want, you could also PM me and we could talk about this more anytime.

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On 10/30/2018 at 11:48 PM, Briannaxox said:

@hartk48 on a note unrelated to this topic, I don't think you can control whether you go to a doctor that strived to do well in med school or not. Med school in Canada is just laid out that way. Pass fail system breeds taking it easy. My older cousin is in med and he had a strong undergrad in science and he said it's very easy to wing it and pass lol so much for the "You're more than just your grades" philosophy of med nowadays :') 

It is easy, but you'll find the people who do take it easy and chill don't match as well for residency. 

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