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Hey guys,

In less than 5 months I'll graduate from a dentistry program. When I was younger, my goal was to be a FM doctor but I landed in dentistry instead. Long story short, even If i enjoy doing dentistry, I can't help but feeling that I would be a better fit for medicine. I actually enjoy more the mental stimulation of Dx, Rx, etc more than working with my hands. Plus, my faculty staff was pretty much horrible and it really took a toll on me. Even If I recognize the importance of oral health and teeth, I feel like I can't really be as perfectionnist and serious about the subject as some of my clinicians are. I don't know if its the burnout from dental school but I feel like I'm missing something by not going in medicine, and that I would be able to put more on the table as a FM doctor than a dentist. I actually enjoy studying, and I wouldn't mind the struggle of another 4 years of schooling. The problem is that I'm 31 years and that I'll be 37 after my residency. I know that it's still young, but I can't help but feeling that I'm giving away my youth (it's pretty much a leap of faith at that point) for a profession that I may idealize. I mean, I could just finish my program and make a very good living, doing cool procedures and going forward with my life but I can't help but feeling that I have to be passionnate about what I do which im not right now. I'm from a province where schooling cost almost nothing and It would be possible for me to work (summer and some weekends) while doing my M.D. if I choose to.

Anyways, I would like to have some insights from medical students or actual physicians about If I should stay in dentistry or not. I applied in MD this year and I did very well in my casper test (top 25%) and my GPA is good so it's highly probable that I'll be accepted (I was accepted last year but decided that it would be better to at least finish my degree). I received a few job offers where I would make around 200k/y for 4days of clinical dentistry per week (after a few years). I know that FM doctors probably make a little bit more than that but to be honest, I'm not thinking about doing this for monetory reasons. It's more about feeling like what I'm doing has meaning and the scope of practice. 

Thanks,

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Life is too short, we should not live with any regrets wherever possible and if I were you, I would follow my passion and dreams. At age 37, you will have not less than 40 remaining productive professional years (I know one physician who continued his practice into his early 90s). 

Interestingly, many decades ago, there was a dentist, upon opening his practice, who had considerable free time on his hands, and so, he went to medical school, obtained his medical degree, and he became a dentist's dentist. When a dentist ran into a problem with a patient on the chair, the patient was immediately sent to him and he developed a brisk practice in handling very difficult cases that others could not handle. He was never interested in the practice of medicine as dentistry was his passion. 

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This only makes sense if you truly don't care about the monetary/financial implications. You would lose out easily on 600k of not working as a dentist and also accumulate significantly more debt.

With respect to age, it's not uncommon to finish residency in mid-late thirties, you would only be 5 years or so older than a typical royal college trained new attending. So I don't think that's a big deal.

Family medicine is also a grind. A lot of random paperwork stuff, administrative things, other non medicine things that they have to deal with everyday. It can be a pain in the ass, and this is why I feel my own family doc told me to not go into the field. Plus, governments are looking at all avenues to cut corners, add in NP's and other lesser trained people into the mix which could water down FM and many specialties (see US forums).

This partly why a lot of people who do FM, don't do the typical longitudinal FM, they go into hospitalist, or other niches.

In all honesty, if I were you, I would just focus on being the best dentist you can be. Make your 200k+, invest, take time off, travel and enjoy your life. 

 

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