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donnadee

shortage or oversupply??

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living in a semi-rural area, i find it hard to believe there is an oversupply of dentists! called for an appointment today and the first opening isn't until May 25th.. so don't worry, there are definitely places to practice where dentists are in high demand if you are willing to leave the city!

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Very likely yes. Lower overhead, less competition, same fees.

 

But how long will that last..? As the gates for foreign dentists open up, the outlook of dentistry seems bleak. Especially since it's SOO much cheaper to get a degree in dentistry in anywhere else than in Canada/US. I am too having second doubts about wanting to go into dentistry now despite it being my ambition to become a dentist..

 

It just doesn't make sense to pay 200k+ in tuition fees only to come out and compete with other dentists with 80k start-up costs? :mad: They can easily charge lower costs to get more patients while you having a huge debts on your shoulders cannot afford to do so..

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I think when you compare dentists to MDs you need to consider that there is a country-wide shortage of probably every specialty of MD including family practice - and there will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Many people cannot get family physicians and some specialists take months to see. As such, MDs spend 100% of their patient time seeing patients (billing). They will never have to worry about whether they will book enough patients to fill their schedule.

 

Have you ever seen a dentist sign that says 'Not accepting new patients'?

 

I have worked in a dental practice in Toronto, and I can tell you that - especially for new associates - you simply won't be booked 100% of the time. You also need to advertise in some way if you are in a big city. You cannot work on the 4th floor of an office building and hope to get any patients. You need a store-front office ($$$ rent!) to get walk-ins. And that doesn't even touch equipment cost.

 

I'm not saying dentistry is awful, but the financial situation (irrespective of actual net income) is in a completely different ball park compared to MDs.

 

To play the devil's advocate, family doctors have a salary cap in Canada whereas dentists don't. Also, visits to the family doctor are covered by OHIP, whereas visits to the dentist aren't, meaning that you are more likely to get steady and more frequent visits as a family doctor. That is why many "don't accept new patients".

 

And yes there are MD shortages of every specialty, but that isn't the same thing as being able to easily get a job. Other than family med, MOST MD specialists are having trouble finding jobs. Not due to market saturation, but because there just isn't enough money to support all these doctors.

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But how long will that last..? As the gates for foreign dentists open up, the outlook of dentistry seems bleak. Especially since it's SOO much cheaper to get a degree in dentistry in anywhere else than in Canada/US. I am too having second doubts about wanting to go into dentistry now despite it being my ambition to become a dentist..

 

It just doesn't make sense to pay 200k+ in tuition fees only to come out and compete with other dentists with 80k start-up costs? :mad: They can easily charge lower costs to get more patients while you having a huge debts on your shoulders cannot afford to do so..

 

I have to say I'm extremely empathetic with this train of thought. I have my interview next week and while I'm nervous, I must say I have been giving a lot of thought to finishing my 4 year degree and possibilities beyond that. Even those of us who get in this year won't be out looking for a job for another 4 years and it's quite scary to think that we may be facing career saturation and over $100,000 in debt. I'm sure that even if there are still plenty of jobs out in rural areas, it might be less than ideal for those of us who have significant others that won't find work out there, need to help out at home, etc.

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although i understand the concerns u guys are having, i'd suggest that in the event u do make a decision to go into dental school to try not to be saddened by the grief of not being able to find a good enough job...i know its hard to think like this, especially when we will be in such a big debt but hopefully and i am hoping that the situation will not be out of control in the next 4yrs when we graduate..at most there will be a couple hundred more dentists by the 4yr end than there should have been...the ratio of dentist to population in 2008 was around 57.3 dentists per 100,000 people in Canada...i dont know the current ratio but this is something we should be looking at...in the mean time, i'd encourage people to be actively involved with CDA to try to bring up this issue in what ever forum we can.. some of the things should be transparent to the dental community: who is driving and regulating the change? is there a plan and if so what is the plan? are there specific targets that aim towards increasing the number of dentists by an X amount by year X? what is being done to ensure that Canadian graduates, studying in public institutions under tax dollars, are not being impacted by the inflow of foreign graduates? how is the quality of dental care being maintained under such transient and abruptly changing circumstances i.e. are there ways to ensure that by simply passing the exams, dentists from all over the world will have the same education that we have here? given the surgical nature of treatments, there is a high chance that techniques practiced elsewhere are not in line with those in Canada..what is being done to address that?

 

if anyone has answers to the above i'd love to hear them

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although i understand the concerns u guys are having, i'd suggest that in the event u do make a decision to go into dental school to try not to be saddened by the grief of not being able to find a good enough job...i know its hard to think like this, especially when we will be in such a big debt but hopefully and i am hoping that the situation will not be out of control in the next 4yrs when we graduate..at most there will be a couple hundred more dentists by the 4yr end than there should have been...the ratio of dentist to population in 2008 was around 57.3 dentists per 100,000 people in Canada...i dont know the current ratio but this is something we should be looking at...in the mean time, i'd encourage people to be actively involved with CDA to try to bring up this issue in what ever forum we can.. some of the things should be transparent to the dental community: who is driving and regulating the change? is there a plan and if so what is the plan? are there specific targets that aim towards increasing the number of dentists by an X amount by year X? what is being done to ensure that Canadian graduates, studying in public institutions under tax dollars, are not being impacted by the inflow of foreign graduates? how is the quality of dental care being maintained under such transient and abruptly changing circumstances i.e. are there ways to ensure that by simply passing the exams, dentists from all over the world will have the same education that we have here? given the surgical nature of treatments, there is a high chance that techniques practiced elsewhere are not in line with those in Canada..what is being done to address that?

 

if anyone has answers to the above i'd love to hear them

 

The whole objective of making Dentistry a post-graduate program is to restrict the number of dentists providing dental care in the Canadian market so as to limit the supply of dentists and hence raise the wage rates <== Economics textbook example

 

Some may argue that the quality of local dental training provided is "higher". However many foreign trained dentists had to go through 5 years of dental school if dentistry is an undergraduate program in their country, hence arguably the extra year compensates. In addition, for the same number of years required to become a dentist in Canada, the foreign trained dentists would already have 3 years of associate experience. That may be more valuable than dental school itself since you learn how to deal with the business aspects and customers etc.

 

Let's face it, an undergraduate degree in science is pretty much useless in the field of dentistry :( I believe that the skills of these foreign dentists are not that far off from locals especially since some of them have had practiced for decades.

 

In this transition period, i feel for those who are currently in first or second year of Dschool and have to stick it through already. They'll be the first ones to feel the ramifications of the new policy.

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yeah, i dont understand if the govt is rolling out these plans, is the main purpose just to lower unemployment or is it to overcome a pressing shortage...because the latter doesnt seem so likely...i wonder why the dental authorities are being forced to open up gates/ and recognize foreign graduates immediately, when this need is much more eminent in the medical community...yet, no drastic/such abrupt changes have occurred in the medical profession to ease the recognition of australian medical graduates/ who have also had similar training...

 

at this point, im wishing that we had some sort of required dental residency for general practice in Canada, similar to the medical profession where quotas were restricted with preference for Canadian graduates...

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To play the devil's advocate, family doctors have a salary cap in Canada whereas dentists don't. Also, visits to the family doctor are covered by OHIP, whereas visits to the dentist aren't, meaning that you are more likely to get steady and more frequent visits as a family doctor. That is why many "don't accept new patients".

 

And yes there are MD shortages of every specialty, but that isn't the same thing as being able to easily get a job. Other than family med, MOST MD specialists are having trouble finding jobs. Not due to market saturation, but because there just isn't enough money to support all these doctors.

 

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!

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yeah, i dont understand if the govt is rolling out these plans, is the main purpose just to lower unemployment or is it to overcome a pressing shortage...because the latter doesnt seem so likely...i wonder why the dental authorities are being forced to open up gates/ and recognize foreign graduates immediately, when this need is much more eminent in the medical community...yet, no drastic/such abrupt changes have occurred in the medical profession to ease the recognition of australian medical graduates/ who have also had similar training...

 

at this point, im wishing that we had some sort of required dental residency for general practice in Canada, similar to the medical profession where quotas were restricted with preference for Canadian graduates...

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!

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Ok so i've been looking into this further. It seems that the CDA is just simply trying to copy the CMA in their certification for foreign trained professionals. If you re a doctor from abroad you simply have to write a few exams then you can become a resident. It is not that easy for them though..i know one foreign doctor who took 5 years to complete the process....the first exam or two are usually easy with a high percent passing (80%)...but the last exam or two are usually very difficult and much lower passing. Pharmacy has the same process and i know a few pharmacists who had to go through it...took them 2-3 years to complete the process.

Not sure if the steps for NDBE for foreign trained dentists would be similar and if they are then we re not in a bad shape..otherwise yes the market will somewhat saturate faster.

Now back to the original point...it is disappointing that the CDA would simply try to follow the lead without studying the situation well....in all honesty..i don't think there was any kind of research onto retirements of baby boomers and how they would be replaced...this decision has nothing to do with it in my opinion. So this situation is really very difficult to assess since we don't know what the retirement will be like in the next while and how the rest of the exams will be like and the extra number of licences given out!

Its simply a waiting game...but i do still think that if you love what you do and you re good at it....you ll do just fine regardless!

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i can attest to some of what mazzag has mentioned above...i have personally known a foreign trained dentist who has been trying really hard to get into a qualifying program/pass exams in Canada but was unable to do so...recently she was accepted at a US qualifying program and has left for states...the fact that she was trying so hard (and eventually did get accepted to a US program) perhaps does show somewhat of a competitive/ bottleneck process in Canada...however, given that they're/ or have? removed the requirement of going through a qualifying program, it may become much easier since now a significant bottleneck (i.e. only a few qualifying programs in Canada that offered only a few spots) has been removed...i agree with mazagg that it is a waiting game from hereon as only time will tell how harder the exams are to compensate for the removal of the qualifying program requirement...

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what is just upsetting is feeling that we re blindly following the medical profession with no aim or appropriate research...has there been any evidence or research established about those retiring and if the current graduation rates are sufficient to fill...nope! Also will the new accreditation process ensure quality in the dental care provided? Ya i really think we re far behind from being to answer any of these questions!

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Ok so i've been looking into this further. It seems that the CDA is just simply trying to copy the CMA in their certification for foreign trained professionals. If you re a doctor from abroad you simply have to write a few exams then you can become a resident. It is not that easy for them though..i know one foreign doctor who took 5 years to complete the process....the first exam or two are usually easy with a high percent passing (80%)...but the last exam or two are usually very difficult and much lower passing. Pharmacy has the same process and i know a few pharmacists who had to go through it...took them 2-3 years to complete the process.

Not sure if the steps for NDBE for foreign trained dentists would be similar and if they are then we re not in a bad shape..otherwise yes the market will somewhat saturate faster.

Now back to the original point...it is disappointing that the CDA would simply try to follow the lead without studying the situation well....in all honesty..i don't think there was any kind of research onto retirements of baby boomers and how they would be replaced...this decision has nothing to do with it in my opinion. So this situation is really very difficult to assess since we don't know what the retirement will be like in the next while and how the rest of the exams will be like and the extra number of licences given out!

Its simply a waiting game...but i do still think that if you love what you do and you re good at it....you ll do just fine regardless!

 

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.

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There definitely is a filter! The boards themselves...specifically the oral and OSCE! Speaking to IDAP students at our faculty they were telling me how difficult the process is to pass at the final stage (some of them know people going through it)...this is how the filter works..you can pass the first written exam since the passing is at 75% but once you get to the orals a huge filtering process happens!

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There definitely is a filter! The boards themselves...specifically the oral and OSCE! Speaking to IDAP students at our faculty they were telling me how difficult the process is to pass at the final stage (some of them know people going through it)...this is how the filter works..you can pass the first written exam since the passing is at 75% but once you get to the orals a huge filtering process happens!

 

Really? I've heard that the boards have a very high pass rate, and ~100% after two tries.

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Ostraacized I think mazzag and aatleast I was talking about the clinical skills assesment that foreign dentists have to pass before the exams u are talking about...I don't think that clinical assessment has a 100% pass rate even in 2 tries

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hello all, sorry for bringing this up but i was just reading through dentaltown, an online community of dentists in North America and have become really worried about the state of dentistry reading through some of the posts...Most of the posts I read about salary and availability of associates talked about a grim situation with recent graduates finding it hard to even maintain a salary of $70-80 grand...and some with more experience going through the same thing (having to maintain multiple jobs, 60hr weeks and despite that ending up with net of 90-100K in their own practice!)

Granted most of threads, were for various states in the US, I wanted to get a perspective from ppl on this forum as to whether the situation is just as bad in Canada? In Canada, are all cities close to Toronto saturated or soon to be saturated? Im getting a bit worried as although I enjoy dentistry a lot, at the same time I dont want to end up with a salary not sufficiently improved from what im currently earning (65K) and being in debt:( after 4yrs of dent school

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hello all, sorry for bringing this up but i was just reading through dentaltown, an online community of dentists in North America and have become really worried about the state of dentistry reading through some of the posts...Most of the posts I read about salary and availability of associates talked about a grim situation with recent graduates finding it hard to even maintain a salary of $70-80 grand...and some with more experience going through the same thing (having to maintain multiple jobs, 60hr weeks and despite that ending up with net of 90-100K in their own practice!)

Granted most of threads, were for various states in the US, I wanted to get a perspective from ppl on this forum as to whether the situation is just as bad in Canada? In Canada, are all cities close to Toronto saturated or soon to be saturated? Im getting a bit worried as although I enjoy dentistry a lot, at the same time I dont want to end up with a salary not sufficiently improved from what im currently earning (65K) and being in debt:( after 4yrs of dent school

 

I hear you man..it ain't easy out there. Don't let anyone tell you that paying off your debts (particularly 300-400K) will be 'easy'. I did some reading on dentaltown too. True there are a lot of depressing threads but you will find some great docs on there willing to give you the best advice possible if you private msg them and ask nicely. Personally it comes down to this..will you only be happy being a dentist? Do you desperately want it despite the impending financial squeeze that awaits u upon graduation? If yes then go and don't worry about the $..plenty of other stuff to worry about during your 4 years..trust me

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haha "no need to respond", you seem to know that you are the validator of all threads posted here that what flies by you should be posted...welcome to the real world though...if its a grim reality that dentistry is becoming what it has, why do you want to hide the fact from others, especially those who are still in the stages of planning their careers....unlike you i like to give back to the forums, not only absorb from them...I post polls not to show my inferiority complex (u have done quite your thorough research on me, eh?) but to identify legitimate observations i have made through a multitude of resources...polls come out as a curiosity which I know many dental students have...

As for your rant on me talking about dentistry, your post will not stop me from stating the reality and expressing my concerns, just like you have every right to express your concerns about me...unlike you however, my posts never target an individual on a personal level as you have done for two people in your above post...sit back, relax, take a deep breath, open your eyes to the real world...

peace

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hello all, sorry for bringing this up but i was just reading through dentaltown, an online community of dentists in North America and have become really worried about the state of dentistry reading through some of the posts...Most of the posts I read about salary and availability of associates talked about a grim situation with recent graduates finding it hard to even maintain a salary of $70-80 grand...and some with more experience going through the same thing (having to maintain multiple jobs, 60hr weeks and despite that ending up with net of 90-100K in their own practice!)

Granted most of threads, were for various states in the US, I wanted to get a perspective from ppl on this forum as to whether the situation is just as bad in Canada? In Canada, are all cities close to Toronto saturated or soon to be saturated? Im getting a bit worried as although I enjoy dentistry a lot, at the same time I dont want to end up with a salary not sufficiently improved from what im currently earning (65K) and being in debt:( after 4yrs of dent school

 

70-80k for a recent grad sounds pretty good to me. i think u have to understand that dentistry is a business, and it requires time to build up ur practice and patient base. im talking on the timescale of 10-15 years. i remember reading on these forums a while back about a dentist who literally had 1 appointment on his first day of starting his practice, but now is billing over a million, hired a couple of associates, and only works 3-4 days a week. i strongly believe that if u are skilled in what u do, genuine, and friendly, ppl will keep coming back to u and word will spread, and it shouldnt be too difficult for u to buy that big house and bmw. it just may be a bit difficult in those early years when u are just starting off, especially in saturated cities like toronto. there are more immediate things to worry about like getting through dental school first.

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70-80k for a recent grad sounds pretty good to me. i think u have to understand that dentistry is a business, and it requires time to build up ur practice and patient base. im talking on the timescale of 10-15 years. i remember reading on these forums a while back about a dentist who literally had 1 appointment on his first day of starting his practice, but now is billing over a million, hired a couple of associates, and only works 3-4 days a week. i strongly believe that if u are skilled in what u do, genuine, and friendly, ppl will keep coming back to u and word will spread, and it shouldnt be too difficult for u to buy that big house and bmw. it just may be a bit difficult in those early years when u are just starting off, especially in saturated cities like toronto. there are more immediate things to worry about like getting through dental school first.

 

Well said.

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jeez - stop this 'the sky is falling' attitude. your poll on what career people really wanted (inferiority complex much?), pleas to rally the CDA over allowing internationals in, scouring dental town and probably SDN...your paranoia is getting old.

 

you clearly are incredibly insecure about dentistry - please do us all a favor (including yourself) and reject your dental offer at U of T and apply to medicine. all you appear to care about is your bottom dollar. every second post of pbure are his cries about nyu debt... though pbure's concerns are a little more warranted than donnadee's (with nyu)...I'm convinced if the two of you were to meet, some serious group think would happen and you would both be so polarized after the conversation, you'd undoubtedly both switch careers. Here, pbure finally seems to reason that if you enjoy it - that should be the end of the discussion - kudos to you for that comprehension

 

I realize this might be a relevant place to post these concerns, where better than a forum with your peers about to embark on the same journey as you? but I have become nauseated from the bicker. Your perseverance on the topic, clearly demonstrates you have some serious issues YOU need to think about.

 

just read I've written, absorb it, and ponder it. no need to respond.

 

/end rant.

 

I think you're right on the ball; I couldn't agree with you more. Donnadee is extremely insecure about entering the field of dentistry and it's quite obvious through his posts and ridiculous polls. One thing I've learned through dental school is that you can't trust what people say on these forums or on dentaltown, etc. They represent a VERY tiny fraction of the actual practicing dentists and making assumptions based off of them is a waste of your time. Anyone can write anything on these forums, and those who write the negative comments or complain about dentisty are likely those who are failing financially. Don't let these people's negativity get you down about dentistry, it's an amazing field with potential to be extremely successful. Also, recently we experienced the worst recession since the great depression, so of course some dentist's are going to be hurting- it's a business that is not immune to the economy. So lets keep this forum positive and stay away from people's continuous negativity, it adds nothing and from experience I can tell you that when you graduate if you are happy you will be successful.

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I think everyone here has made some good points. I definitely am no proponent of "the sky is falling" mentality..but I agree with donnadee that dr trooth seems to be waiting like a crouched tiger ready to pounce on whatever we post. You have your views and we have ours..nobody is forcing you to read what we write so no point allowing yourself to get so worked up over anything we say. It's creepy how you single me out here and on the student doctor forums and comment almost instantaneously after i post something. Best of luck in your studies but please try to chill out a bit

 

Anyways donnadee and whomever else..I think you'd be foolish to turn down an acceptance anywhere other than the big private US schools. Don't let yourselves get psyched out by some disgruntled posters (you will find those in almost every profession you research). The potential is DEFINITELY there to succeed..no question about that. Perhaps you should speak to a financial planner and have a professional crunch some #'s for you..that might help.

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