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Old 04-17-2013, 12:30 AM   #11
Ashearo
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You can look forward to the toughest time of your life in dental school, and a better life thereafter. I can't say much about Medicine because I am not going to become a medical doctor.

You should also consider your own character. Dental students have to take the Internal Medicine module in the whole of their 3rd year, and that involves going to NUH wards once a week. Frankly speaking, it wasn't my favourite time of the week because going into the wards to see very sickly or dying patients can be quite depressing. I am not prepared for the career of a medical doctor, and I am glad I got into Dentistry.

What makes dentistry stand out? Let's just say its not a course that you can get through simply by studying. Your hands have to be good (the MDT isn't all that accurate, but its the best gauge they have), and no matter how smart you are, if your hands cannot perform, dentistry is definitely not for you. It is very specialised in the simple fact that these are surgical procedures and not something that anyone can google it up and start performing.

Dentistry is the only course of study at NUS where the students will deal directly with patients - each of us have to find our own patients, schedule their appointments personally, diagnose and treat them ourselves (under specialists' supervision, of course), as well as attend personally to dental emergencies and followups. There is no job shadowing - you practice your skills in pre-clinics, and then you go straight into clinics to perform.

In the span of 2 clinical years (3rd and 4th years), you may find yourself having a list of up to 50 patients under your care. This may not seem like a lot to working professionals, but it is definitely a lot for a student to handle.

Dentistry is also very objective oriented. You start out treating with an endpoint in mind for the patient. That means you have to work within the time constraints and finish the treatment plan for your patients. This is a great deal of stress to dental students. Why do i say so? In my opinion, there are 2 kinds of stresses - those that you can control and those that you cannot.

We aren't that much stressed out by academic concerns as much as patient concerns. Mugging - you can do that any time. But if your patient cancels your appointment or decides to stop treatment halfway, you are basically left hanging. You may very well not graduate on time if you cannot finish your requirements. There are a fixed amount of requirements that each dental student has to finish - which is why i said, it is very objective oriented.

As I have mentioned before in the dentistry threads on this forum, if you are coming into dental school, you can be prepared to spend a huge amount of time in school. In the first and second years, the timetable already runs from 8am - 5pm, every day. You will hear people from other faculties complain about their shitty 3-day schedules and how sucky it is to have to come to school at 9am, but you know that dentistry will be like this, and you chose it, and so you shall not complain. In the 3rd and 4th years, you start to stay pass 5pm to finish the labwork for your patients (making dentures and etc). It is not uncommon to stay back to even 9pm or later.

I have not started working yet, but I will soon. I can't tell you what its like to go through dental school, or what it is like to be working, but I have heard a lot from seniors, and its always the same sentiments - life gets better after graduating from dental school.

You should take a step back and seriously read through the many posts on dentistry and consider everything before deciding on which career to choose. I am saying this because only in recent years did more information about NUS Dentistry come up on this forum - back when i applied, there was next to no information. I mean how can you expect information to be readily available when there are barely 50 dental graduates every year? Some students come into dentistry without knowing all these, and they regret it. I think it is only fair that applicants are informed objectively of what to expect. I am NOT discouraging anyone.

Perhaps someone from the medical side can share their thoughts with you too.

I hope this helps.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ashearo View Post
You can look forward to the toughest time of your life in dental school, and a better life thereafter. I can't say much about Medicine because I am not going to become a medical doctor.

You should also consider your own character. Dental students have to take the Internal Medicine module in the whole of their 3rd year, and that involves going to NUH wards once a week. Frankly speaking, it wasn't my favourite time of the week because going into the wards to see very sickly or dying patients can be quite depressing. I am not prepared for the career of a medical doctor, and I am glad I got into Dentistry.

What makes dentistry stand out? Let's just say its not a course that you can get through simply by studying. Your hands have to be good (the MDT isn't all that accurate, but its the best gauge they have), and no matter how smart you are, if your hands cannot perform, dentistry is definitely not for you. It is very specialised in the simple fact that these are surgical procedures and not something that anyone can google it up and start performing.

Dentistry is the only course of study at NUS where the students will deal directly with patients - each of us have to find our own patients, schedule their appointments personally, diagnose and treat them ourselves (under specialists' supervision, of course), as well as attend personally to dental emergencies and followups. There is no job shadowing - you practice your skills in pre-clinics, and then you go straight into clinics to perform.

In the span of 2 clinical years (3rd and 4th years), you may find yourself having a list of up to 50 patients under your care. This may not seem like a lot to working professionals, but it is definitely a lot for a student to handle.

Dentistry is also very objective oriented. You start out treating with an endpoint in mind for the patient. That means you have to work within the time constraints and finish the treatment plan for your patients. This is a great deal of stress to dental students. Why do i say so? In my opinion, there are 2 kinds of stresses - those that you can control and those that you cannot.

We aren't that much stressed out by academic concerns as much as patient concerns. Mugging - you can do that any time. But if your patient cancels your appointment or decides to stop treatment halfway, you are basically left hanging. You may very well not graduate on time if you cannot finish your requirements. There are a fixed amount of requirements that each dental student has to finish - which is why i said, it is very objective oriented.

As I have mentioned before in the dentistry threads on this forum, if you are coming into dental school, you can be prepared to spend a huge amount of time in school. In the first and second years, the timetable already runs from 8am - 5pm, every day. You will hear people from other faculties complain about their shitty 3-day schedules and how sucky it is to have to come to school at 9am, but you know that dentistry will be like this, and you chose it, and so you shall not complain. In the 3rd and 4th years, you start to stay pass 5pm to finish the labwork for your patients (making dentures and etc). It is not uncommon to stay back to even 9pm or later.

I have not started working yet, but I will soon. I can't tell you what its like to go through dental school, or what it is like to be working, but I have heard a lot from seniors, and its always the same sentiments - life gets better after graduating from dental school.

You should take a step back and seriously read through the many posts on dentistry and consider everything before deciding on which career to choose. I am saying this because only in recent years did more information about NUS Dentistry come up on this forum - back when i applied, there was next to no information. I mean how can you expect information to be readily available when there are barely 50 dental graduates every year? Some students come into dentistry without knowing all these, and they regret it. I think it is only fair that applicants are informed objectively of what to expect. I am NOT discouraging anyone.

Perhaps someone from the medical side can share their thoughts with you too.

I hope this helps.
Very insightful opinion into the life of a dental student Ashearo. I hope things turn out well for you in both your academic peruses in dentistry as well as life afterwards being a dentist.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ashearo View Post
You can look forward to the toughest time of your life in dental school, and a better life thereafter. I can't say much about Medicine because I am not going to become a medical doctor.

You should also consider your own character. Dental students have to take the Internal Medicine module in the whole of their 3rd year, and that involves going to NUH wards once a week. Frankly speaking, it wasn't my favourite time of the week because going into the wards to see very sickly or dying patients can be quite depressing. I am not prepared for the career of a medical doctor, and I am glad I got into Dentistry.

What makes dentistry stand out? Let's just say its not a course that you can get through simply by studying. Your hands have to be good (the MDT isn't all that accurate, but its the best gauge they have), and no matter how smart you are, if your hands cannot perform, dentistry is definitely not for you. It is very specialised in the simple fact that these are surgical procedures and not something that anyone can google it up and start performing.

Dentistry is the only course of study at NUS where the students will deal directly with patients - each of us have to find our own patients, schedule their appointments personally, diagnose and treat them ourselves (under specialists' supervision, of course), as well as attend personally to dental emergencies and followups. There is no job shadowing - you practice your skills in pre-clinics, and then you go straight into clinics to perform.

In the span of 2 clinical years (3rd and 4th years), you may find yourself having a list of up to 50 patients under your care. This may not seem like a lot to working professionals, but it is definitely a lot for a student to handle.

Dentistry is also very objective oriented. You start out treating with an endpoint in mind for the patient. That means you have to work within the time constraints and finish the treatment plan for your patients. This is a great deal of stress to dental students. Why do i say so? In my opinion, there are 2 kinds of stresses - those that you can control and those that you cannot.

We aren't that much stressed out by academic concerns as much as patient concerns. Mugging - you can do that any time. But if your patient cancels your appointment or decides to stop treatment halfway, you are basically left hanging. You may very well not graduate on time if you cannot finish your requirements. There are a fixed amount of requirements that each dental student has to finish - which is why i said, it is very objective oriented.

As I have mentioned before in the dentistry threads on this forum, if you are coming into dental school, you can be prepared to spend a huge amount of time in school. In the first and second years, the timetable already runs from 8am - 5pm, every day. You will hear people from other faculties complain about their shitty 3-day schedules and how sucky it is to have to come to school at 9am, but you know that dentistry will be like this, and you chose it, and so you shall not complain. In the 3rd and 4th years, you start to stay pass 5pm to finish the labwork for your patients (making dentures and etc). It is not uncommon to stay back to even 9pm or later.

I have not started working yet, but I will soon. I can't tell you what its like to go through dental school, or what it is like to be working, but I have heard a lot from seniors, and its always the same sentiments - life gets better after graduating from dental school.

You should take a step back and seriously read through the many posts on dentistry and consider everything before deciding on which career to choose. I am saying this because only in recent years did more information about NUS Dentistry come up on this forum - back when i applied, there was next to no information. I mean how can you expect information to be readily available when there are barely 50 dental graduates every year? Some students come into dentistry without knowing all these, and they regret it. I think it is only fair that applicants are informed objectively of what to expect. I am NOT discouraging anyone.

Perhaps someone from the medical side can share their thoughts with you too.

I hope this helps.
Thank you so much Ashearo for your insightful opinions! But when you were 18/19 back then, how did you make that decision to choose dentistry over medicine? You mentioned that information back about the courses were limited, so how did you convince yourself to take the leap of faith into a dentistry course?
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by centurian View Post
Thank you so much Ashearo for your insightful opinions! But when you were 18/19 back then, how did you make that decision to choose dentistry over medicine? You mentioned that information back about the courses were limited, so how did you convince yourself to take the leap of faith into a dentistry course?
I didn't choose. I just got rejected by Medicine. And looking back now, I am glad they rejected me.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:45 PM   #15
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I didn't choose. I just got rejected by Medicine. And looking back now, I am glad they rejected me.
So at the age of 18, what was the thing about dentistry that drew you into putting dentistry as a choice in your NUS application form?

Yes i do agree that dentists gain that immense sense of satisfaction from seeing smiles on patients' faces. However, wouldn't you gain that similar sense of satisfaction by being a plastic surgeon? You help children with cleft lips gain their smiles as well. Well, it's just a thought i have.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:07 PM   #16
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So at the age of 18, what was the thing about dentistry that drew you into putting dentistry as a choice in your NUS application form?

Yes i do agree that dentists gain that immense sense of satisfaction from seeing smiles on patients' faces. However, wouldn't you gain that similar sense of satisfaction by being a plastic surgeon? You help children with cleft lips gain their smiles as well. Well, it's just a thought i have.
Contrary to popular belief, oral surgeons (one of the specialist branches of dentistry) are usually the ones fixing cleft lips and palates. Well, the reason i decided that Medicine is not for me is because I don't exactly feel comfortable around sickly or dying people. As mentioned above, it can be quite depressing to the individual. The work environment is just not suitable.

And graduating with a medicine degree allows you to become a GP - if you gain satisfaction seeing people and talking to them about their illnesses in polyclinics, then i guess it works for you? I certainly don't go into a polyclinic smiling when I am sick, and neither do the doctors there show any signs of interest in my common ailments.

I prefer also to do something with my hands instead of talking so much, so to do that on a medical path, that will take many more years of studying to become a surgeon.

Why did I pick Dentistry? I find dentistry like an art - you design and restore the teeth and smiles of people. I like it as it is a challenging career. And I applied because my A level grades were good enough. These were my frank and honest opinions to the interview panel.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:47 PM   #17
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Thank you Ashearo. Excellent advice.
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Old 12-23-2015, 04:37 PM   #18
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Gonna leave a reply to subscribe myself to this thread. Very very insightful, thank you! (:
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:07 PM   #19
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thanks ashearo!
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