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Do You Regret Doing Medicine Over Dentistry?

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I've applied to both med and dent this year. Med has always been my #1 choice as a career, but thought I'd open more doors by writing the DAT and applying to dent as well (since the MCAT is...well... the MCAT lol).

 

Considering how much in debt residents are in, and how long it take to finish a speciality, or even family med for that matter, do any of you wish you would have just done dentistry (4yrs vs. 6-9yrs )? I see how many hoops medical students need to continue to jump through to get into a specialty, and even the stress of residency. It seems like its never ending and too stressful. Some people make it seem like there is such a dark side to it.

 

What is life like through med school and residency, do you even get to have one?

 

Is it hard to match to specialties (that aren't crazy competitive)? Does research during undergrad w/ publications even help wth matching or is it clinical research only?

 

How do you feel like your overall life is compared to you friends who've done dentistry?  

 

I think I'd choose med if I was lucky enough as to be accepted to both since I see med as being more fulfilling in the long run, especially with the number of different specialties available. 

 
 

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Yes. Should have done dentistry instead. Not "passionate" about medicine. Not worth sacrificing your life until mid thirties. 

 

Hmm interesting.

 

When you say that you're not passionate about medicine what do you mean? Did you expect it to be different before you started? Also, did you finish you MD/residency? 

 

Do others feel the same about sacrificing life till mid thirties ? 

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Nope, not regretting medicine at all. With that said, I think its fair to say that there is truly a hidden curriculum in medicine. One of my attendings told me recently: Students enter medical school full of compassion but medical education sometimes has a habit of poking holes in that 'compassion cup'. Its important that you continue filling that cup in medical school, residency and beyond (whether its through advocacy, research, working out, travelling etc.). 

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I cannot deal with teeth or mouths.  Never had any desire to be a dentist.  Also don't really like working with my hands all that much.  Also, teeth -shudder-

 

I like medicine :)  It takes effort to stay compassionate and remember why you like it, but it's possible I think.  My specialty is also not so designed to make people hate their lives, though it has its own challenges.

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I got into both medicine and dentistry when I applied. No regrets choosing medicine over dentistry. There's a lot more variety and it was a lot more appealing than looking at teeth all day. Plus I know I would've been one of the ones who developed back pain later on in my career had I became a dentist. I can barely stand straight! Though in retrospect, while medicine is a great gig, it definitely isn't as great or interesting as I once thought it was. All specialties have their bread and butter cases and things get kind of routine in almost every field and specialty. Also, there are a lot more considerations one has to make nowadays than say 20 years ago. If you are geographically constrained (like me) and want to practice in a certain location and don't want to spend a gazillion years training in residency, then the number of specialties that you could consider does narrow quite a bit. Medicine is a great field to go into, but I don't think the sacrifices that one makes to become a physician were worth it.

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I got into both medicine and dentistry when I applied. No regrets choosing medicine over dentistry. There's a lot more variety and it was a lot more appealing than looking at teeth all day. Plus I know I would've been one of the ones who developed back pain later on in my career had I became a dentist. I can barely stand straight! Though in retrospect, while medicine is a great gig, it definitely isn't as great or interesting as I once thought it was. All specialties have their bread and butter cases and things get kind of routine in almost every field and specialty. Also, there are a lot more considerations one has to make nowadays than say 20 years ago. If you are geographically constrained (like me) and want to practice in a certain location and don't want to spend a gazillion years training in residency, then the number of specialties that you could consider does narrow quite a bit. Medicine is a great field to go into, but I don't think the sacrifices that one makes to become a physician were worth it.

 

Looking back, would you have done medicine again? Or would you have pursued dentistry or another career? 

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Different fields but I just see dentistry as medicine specializing in oral health (in less time). If I won't specialize in more interesting body systems like GI or cardio, why in the world would I specialize in teeth? Could not do that for my whole life...respect those who can, but not for me

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Looking back, would you have done medicine again? Or would you have pursued dentistry or another career? 

 

 

Looking back, I am glad I did it, but if I had a chance to turn back time and become a high schooler again, I would've picked another career (most likely software engineering). I definitely wouldn't have pursued dentistry (personally) but I can see its appeal. But keep in mind I got into medicine right after undergrad and therefore it's the only thing I know. I never had a previous career or a real job to compare it to. Also, money played a major (but not the only!) role in me choosing to become a physician. As I grew older, the amount of money I made started to matter less and less making me regret not spending more time exploring other career paths.

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I've applied to both med and dent this year. Med has always been my #1 choice as a career, but thought I'd open more doors by writing the DAT and applying to dent as well (since the MCAT is...well... the MCAT lol).

 

Considering how much in debt residents are in, and how long it take to finish a speciality, or even family med for that matter, do any of you wish you would have just done dentistry (4yrs vs. 6-9yrs )? I see how many hoops medical students need to continue to jump through to get into a specialty, and even the stress of residency. It seems like its never ending and too stressful. Some people make it seem like there is such a dark side to it.

 

What is life like through med school and residency, do you even get to have one?

 

Is it hard to match to specialties (that aren't crazy competitive)? Does research during undergrad w/ publications even help wth matching or is it clinical research only?

 

How do you feel like your overall life is compared to you friends who've done dentistry?  

 

I think I'd choose med if I was lucky enough as to be accepted to both since I see med as being more fulfilling in the long run, especially with the number of different specialties available. 

 

I got into both when I applied.  Went into medicine (now a resident).

 

A couple things I am happy about with the choice, some I am not.

 

Reasons I wish I had gone into dent sometimes:

-length of training.  I am an R5 in neurology and have almost maxed out the LOC.  Would kill to have started to make money 4 years ago.  This will cease to matter in a few months likely, but holy shit it will matter in your late 20s/early 30s

-Not really passionate about medicine like others are.  TBH it makes people with SO much passion get on my nerves.  It may become irritating to you that many of your colleagues boast to friends,  have self-inflated importance, see it as so much more than "just a job"

 

Reasons I'm happy with the choice

-It may seem weird, but money makes a big difference.  Medicine is more of a guarantee overall.  My friends in dent really have to market themselves.  For every amazing story of the dentist who makes 500k, there are 10 for those in Toronto struggling to get enough patients and taking home under 150k.  Medicine makes it not that difficult to top 200k even without working TOO hard.  (as long as you don't self-sabotage by doing specialties without jobs, etc)

-Prestige matters (don't kill me).  Medicine sounds waaaaaay more impressive to people not in health care (and to the non med and dent health care ppl)

-you have to work with your hands constantly in dent.  Med gives you options to not do that, and options are good

 

Note that IMO, "not liking teeth" is a really stupid reason to not choose dent (no offense to above), seeing as how in almost every med field there is gross stuff also.  Like to me this seems like a good reason if I was a 5th grader and was making a Bristol board lol

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I got into both when I applied.  Went into medicine (now a resident).

 

A couple things I am happy about with the choice, some I am not.

 

Reasons I wish I had gone into dent sometimes:

-length of training.  I am an R5 in neurology and have almost maxed out the LOC.  Would kill to have started to make money 4 years ago.  This will cease to matter in a few months likely, but holy shit it will matter in your late 20s/early 30s

-Not really passionate about medicine like others are.  TBH it makes people with SO much passion get on my nerves.  It may become irritating to you that many of your colleagues boast to friends,  have self-inflated importance, see it as so much more than "just a job"

 

Reasons I'm happy with the choice

-It may seem weird, but money makes a big difference.  Medicine is more of a guarantee overall.  My friends in dent really have to market themselves.  For every amazing story of the dentist who makes 500k, there are 10 for those in Toronto struggling to get enough patients and taking home under 150k.  Medicine makes it not that difficult to top 200k even without working TOO hard.  (as long as you don't self-sabotage by doing specialties without jobs, etc)

-Prestige matters (don't kill me).  Medicine sounds waaaaaay more impressive to people not in health care (and to the non med and dent health care ppl)

-you have to work with your hands constantly in dent.  Med gives you options to not do that, and options are good

 

Note that IMO, "not liking teeth" is a really stupid reason to not choose dent (no offense to above), seeing as how in almost every med field there is gross stuff also.  Like to me this seems like a good reason if I was a 5th grader and was making a Bristol board lol

 

Nice points overall, I can respect them for sure. That being said, you can do much better than 150K if you work outside of the city (i.e. a commutable distance from the tips of the city). Many people prefer not working in the city so it depends on what one prefers in terms of working location. I can see both professions doing fine financially with medicine being more of a financial guarantee. 

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In a rough patch so not capable of an objective answer (if such a thing is ever possible). Never considered dent and not particularly suited for it. Never want to have to base care on a patients ability to pay eg: pulling teeth because it's cheaper than the alternatives. 

 

This week though I would give anything to pick another career, perhaps a non-surgical specialty, but something not involving medicine altogether is more appealing. 

 

Things that are getting to me is: 1) the broken system 2) a backwards culture towards education 3) no time for anything except work and studying.

 

I'm sure it will pass and there have been times where this has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I don't think anything worth having comes without struggles and sacrifice, just not sure where the line is.

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I got into both when I applied.  Went into medicine (now a resident).

 

A couple things I am happy about with the choice, some I am not.

 

Reasons I wish I had gone into dent sometimes:

-length of training.  I am an R5 in neurology and have almost maxed out the LOC.  Would kill to have started to make money 4 years ago.  This will cease to matter in a few months likely, but holy shit it will matter in your late 20s/early 30s

-Not really passionate about medicine like others are.  TBH it makes people with SO much passion get on my nerves.  It may become irritating to you that many of your colleagues boast to friends,  have self-inflated importance, see it as so much more than "just a job"

 

Reasons I'm happy with the choice

-It may seem weird, but money makes a big difference.  Medicine is more of a guarantee overall.  My friends in dent really have to market themselves.  For every amazing story of the dentist who makes 500k, there are 10 for those in Toronto struggling to get enough patients and taking home under 150k.  Medicine makes it not that difficult to top 200k even without working TOO hard.  (as long as you don't self-sabotage by doing specialties without jobs, etc)

-Prestige matters (don't kill me).  Medicine sounds waaaaaay more impressive to people not in health care (and to the non med and dent health care ppl)

-you have to work with your hands constantly in dent.  Med gives you options to not do that, and options are good

 

Note that IMO, "not liking teeth" is a really stupid reason to not choose dent (no offense to above), seeing as how in almost every med field there is gross stuff also.  Like to me this seems like a good reason if I was a 5th grader and was making a Bristol board lol

 

It is interesting you mention the "not so passionate about medicine anymore". I have heard that from a few friends who recently started practice now. They see it as a job with security and that pays comfortably, but at the end of the day, they have other interests and passions, including family. I guess when you're now in your late 20s-early 30s making real money, other things come to priority. It is also interesting to see that many of these people were super keen in their undergrad and even med school days. The really passionate ones are the ones that you'll find in big academic centres.

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im not handy so ive never considered dentistry.

 

they both have their levels of suck but i think the way things are going today dentistry has an edge because of its distance from centralized medicare.

 

medicine has residency, which is bs. lots of specialties have shit job markets like surgery and pathology. so your options are to move to the middle of nowhere or do continuous fellowships or be unemployed. i know people in those fields who are in each of those situations, either living in places they hate, doing another fellowship, or doing nothing because they have to stay in a city for spouses work or personal preference. med has got more prestige compared to dent depending on what field you go into. surgery, sure. radiology, your peers do even if its envy. family med, nope unless youre the small town country doc. pathology, hells no youre a lab monkey told when to jump by your admin superiors and some shithead surgeons. if you do go into a specialty with a good job market, particularly in primary care, you wont make much living in a nice city but youll sure work for it, though that might be true for all fields though most would pay better than family.

 

dent is four (3?) years and youre out working which is nice. job markets in big cities are awful though. if you can stomach really isolated communities and have a good business mind, you can make retirement-level money a few years in and be done before youre 35. im not exaggerating. meanwhile doctors at that age are on Q4 call pulling things out of asses all the live long day for less than minimum wage. if you want to specialize in dent you have to pay tuition and the competition for things like ortho is fierce. omfs requires a medical degree too but those guys are making a killing, like seven figs annually with bankers hours, in big cities. id say omfs might be the best deal in healthcare.

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Thank you all for the input fellas! I really appreciate the amount of time you took to write out how you feel, I'm definitely getting a better list of pros and cons of each career as I go... that's if the choice does have to be made by me  :P

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Would any surgical residents/staff or others with longer training times who were once interested in dentistry mind chiming in? Conversely, can any current dental students/dentists who were once interested in surgery comment? Procedural work is one of the main factors that pulls me to medicine and dentistry; however, I am having trouble weighing other factors such as scope of practice, lifestyle (length of training), etc.

 

Thanks and feel free to PM me if preferred.

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