Monday, April 9, 2012

Deciding to go to dental school: why become a dentist?

I didn't always know that I wanted to go to dental school.

One friend in particular helped me make this decision. I worked for him one summer and he has since then become a mentor and a friend. Couple of weeks ago he told me I should have applied to UC San Diego. Because he is in San Diego for a conference and loves it. Then he would have someone he knows in San Diego. I thought, what about Philadelphia? (And UC San Diego does not have a dental school.) Now I joke that he's the one who convinced me not to go to graduate school.

He gave me a picture of these duckling statues in Boston for my graduation. In my photograph, the ducks look like they are walking on snow.

Make_way_for_ducklings_statue
Why dental school? Why do I want to be a dentist? I think everyone needs to think about the answer to this question herself, but here are some thoughts about my exploration:

Why not medical school? I think this was the most common response when I told people I am going to dental school. But for me, deciding on dental school did not result from a process of elimination. There are so many health professions out there: pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, optometry… I chose dentistry because I liked the field, not because I did not find the other options undesirable.

Managing your own practice In dentistry, it is still realistic for you to own and run your practice. In fact, many dental schools offer business and management classes so dentists can also be savvy entrepreneurs. This also brings in…

Being your own boss Naturally, you will set your own hours, hire people you'll work with, and set your clinic’s philosophy. Big freedom. Also big responsibilities.

Working with hands Thinking about what everyday work would be like for a dentist, the ability to work with your hands and create something is similar to being an artist. The Canadian DAT even has a soap-carving portion for potential dentists to showcase their best soap sculptures.

Other desirable factors may include 4 years of school. After receiving a DDS or a DMD degree, a dentist can start practicing without completing a residency program. A comfortable lifestyle and predictable work schedule may also be drawing factors.

I think it’s important to think about why you want to become a dentist. Some of my strongest reasons for dental school were incorporated with my experience working in a fruit fly lab and teaching lifeguarding. These unique experiences made my reasons personal.

All right, I don't know about you guys but I definitely have work tomorrow... zzz!

14 comments:

  1. Hey! I enjoyed your blog :D. Suppose to study for DAT but wasted probably a solid 30 minutes.
    Anyways, I hope you would be my sunbae in the future !

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    1. Hello maybe-future-hoobae- Ah! I know, it's hard to study during the holidays. Remember to take mini breaks with holiday cookies! :)

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  2. Thanks What a great info you have given us by your blog. I like it and will share it to my friends.

    Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist

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  3. "Some of my strongest reasons for dental school were incorporated with my experience working in a fruit fly lab and teaching lifeguarding"

    That's awesome...some of my strongest reasons for dental school deal with playing and coaching baseball. It's fun to read why we all chose to pursue this career. Good post!

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    1. It's really cool to hear about how people decided on dentistry. There's so many different backgrounds people come from! :)

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  4. Hi Yesle! I am really excited to find your blog- this is really inspiring. I am motivated to become a dentist (currently studying the DAT) and hopefully you will be my sunbae one day! :)

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    1. Thank you! Best of luck to you && ace those tricky DAT questions!

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  5. I am so excited to find this blog - thank you for the encouragement and information!

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    1. You are welcome! Glad you find my blog useful.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and helpful advice! I really enjoyed reading the articles on your blog. Although I'm not an international student, I am Korean and taking a year (or maybe two years) off before applying to dental schools. 덕분에 많은 도움이 되었어요. 앞으로도 좋은 글, 많이많이 부탁드려요! =)

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  7. I found this blog this morning and I've been reading it for two hours! This is awesome! I am a junior in high school planning to be a dentist and major in biological sciences. You are truly an inspiration!

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  8. I don't usually comment on blogs but just want to let you know I really enjoyed reading yours! Even though I am not a dentist or will ever become one but I just find dentistry interesting! Thank you for writing, definitely wished I found your blog earlier. xx

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