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3/4 Through Dental School and Still Thinking Medicine


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It's been quite the journey. I completed a BHSc in 2015 with a 3.95 cGPA, MSc (4.0 GPA) and am now finishing a DDS at an Ontario school. Although I went into the program expecting to be a dentist, I  always had medicine at the back of mind and accepted the offer because I was rejected pre-interview. I convinced myself to stay for a few years to see if the profession would grow on me but as I'm finishing my third year I still feel that medicine would be a much stronger fit for me. I love patient management, diagnosing and treatment planning but am not happy in a profession where the majority of the day is dedicated to very precise hand skills. I also do not see myself in a field that revolves so heavily around esthetics. 

Now I feel the chances of an acceptance are even more slim as my DDS GPA is not considered competitive for medicine (10 courses a semester, subjective practical grades, 2 practical exams determining a final grade etc). I wrote the 2014 version of the MCAT with a very competitive score but would need to rewrite the MCAT.

Looking for any DDS graduates who were able to gain admission into an Ontario medical school. If your DDS GPA was not stellar did you go back to do another undergrad? Which schools would only consider undergraduate GPA and not the professional school GPA? Will applying to US schools be beneficial? Any other suggestions not including going back to school to do another undergrad? As much as I believe in lifelong learning, pursuing a fourth degree before medicine is not the ideal option but would be something I'd consider if it's the only option.

ECs are very diverse as I have been working on them since first year undergrad.

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Do you happen to really enjoy surgery? would you consider doing a 6-year OMFS? It's incredibly competitive and rigorous for sure but you'll be progressing in your career, earning resident money, and making great use of your dentistry credential and knowledge. At the end you'll be an MD DDS surgeon with a strong medical background. You'll definitely be managing high-acuity cases.

If you went into medicine now, or even did a second undergrad, it would take you longer than 6 years to even certify as a FM doctor, not to mention effectively putting your DDS and your years of effort to waste.

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In a few months you will be finished 10 years of university and 3 degrees (BSc MSc DDS) and you want to do another 4 years (MD) and 2-6+ years of residency? 

In the best case situation, if you get into med asap and go into FM, you are looking at 16 years of university education total and if you do a speciality that's 20+ years of university education. Honestly props to you...finishing a DDS and wanting 6-10+ years of more university after that. 

I'm assuming you are turning 28 this year since you are almost done 10 years of university ... I would just get out and start working and enjoy life. While it looks like doing all the extra schooling may be fine at some point you just need to enjoy whatever life we have left. 

Really evaluate the cost-benefit and time-money analysis.  

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1 hour ago, DDStoMD19 said:

It's been quite the journey. I completed a BHSc in 2015 with a 3.95 cGPA, MSc (4.0 GPA) and am now finishing a DDS at an Ontario school. Although I went into the program expecting to be a dentist, I  always had medicine at the back of mind and accepted the offer because I was rejected pre-interview. I convinced myself to stay for a few years to see if the profession would grow on me but as I'm finishing my third year I still feel that medicine would be a much stronger fit for me. I love patient management, diagnosing and treatment planning but am not happy in a profession where the majority of the day is dedicated to very precise hand skills. I also do not see myself in a field that revolves so heavily around esthetics. 

Now I feel the chances of an acceptance are even more slim as my DDS GPA is not considered competitive for medicine (10 courses a semester, subjective practical grades, 2 practical exams determining a final grade etc). I wrote the 2014 version of the MCAT with a very competitive score but would need to rewrite the MCAT.

Looking for any DDS graduates who were able to gain admission into an Ontario medical school. If your DDS GPA was not stellar did you go back to do another undergrad? Which schools would only consider undergraduate GPA and not the professional school GPA? Will applying to US schools be beneficial? Any other suggestions not including going back to school to do another undergrad? As much as I believe in lifelong learning, pursuing a fourth degree before medicine is not the ideal option but would be something I'd consider if it's the only option.

ECs are very diverse as I have been working on them since first year undergrad.

An acquaintance completed dental school and worked a number of years before going back to get their MD and into Family Medicine. For them it wasn't about the money, just about professional satisfaction and diversity in practice - they were tired of manual dexterity based medicine. They now do mostly hospitalist and Emerg.    They did their medical  training in the US.
 
Think long and hard about this decision though - might make sense for your personal situation, many would avoid it from the early financial huge negative impact on their life.  Could be worth it to work for a few years to gain some financial security and then do your medical degree, and transition to very part-time work in dentistry until you get too busy in clerkship or residency.

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Just now, JohnGrisham said:

Id disagree that 4 years of dental school was a "waste", surely at least the first 2 years of basic sciences will allow you to be able to be bit more relaxed in medical school.  And you could still work part time as a dentist during your medical degree, and have that in your back pocket to still enjoy life to an extent.

I say this in the context of  peers who worked in different careers before medicine, it's all a "waste" to an extent, but you now just found your way to medicine and still at a very young age.   While not as much directly translatable experience compared to ex-Nurses or ex-pharmacists who enter medicine... still a lot better than other non-healthcare fields and switching gears. Dentistry is still in the same realm of being financially lucrative to work during medical school like those other healthcare fields (but more so), and you can always have a back up in case you decide medicine is not for you again. Being able to decide to pick up work at a whim and a great pay, is a big luxury that many people dont have. Especially if you are willing to do some rural medicine in the mix.

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Hi everyone!

Thank you for the feedback. Time is not an issue. Although I do have some debt, I was fortunate to get full scholarships for the BHSc and MSc and  half of the DDS was supported by my parents. I am also happily married with a baby girl. 

I do not enjoy manual dexterity at all  and unfortunately all of dentistry is very surgical/hands on in nature with a high focus on esthetics/cosmetic dentistry and with time leads to practice ownership. I regret not withdrawing from the program back in first year as soon as I realized that this isn't for me and therefore I cannot dedicate even more years to this profession. I do hope that some of the basic science knowledge from preclinical years as well as patient management and basic clinical skills will be useful in the future.

This is a choice that is not fueled by money but a genuine desire for diversity in practice, professional satisfaction and providing necessary healthcare not "selling" the perfect smile in an upscale practice.

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i was there a few years ago. i got lucky and found THE thing i love in dentistry (perio) and got in and i'm so excited. being a specialist is not a miracle solution for everyone but it had the flexibility i needed in dentistry. maybe there is a specialty for you too? maybe oral medecine/pathology/radiology/dental anesthesiology could be an option for you?

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