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Old 03-30-2008, 07:58 PM   #11
Ashearo
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Originally Posted by kukubird View Post
The no. of people in dentistry counts for nothing. Logically, even if dentistry has only 10% of the no. of people in medicine, it does not refute that many/most are medicine rejects. Maybe you know a few who did not put medicine as their first choice, but majority of them did. And we all know that for medicine, there are a lot more applicants than places. So the rest who got rejected, out of those who are better would get into one of the 40+ places in dentistry (which they put as their second choice). Another common 2nd choice for Medicine students (both accepted and rejected) is Law.

Majority of dentistry students told me they were medicine rejects, and some of these are graduated dentists in the workforce who told me.

You say some "don't mind" doing both, but since they have to put one as first choice, and the other as second choice, so clearly by their choices, we know which one is their first choice and which is their second. If their first choice was dentistry, and they "don't mind" doing both, they'll put dentistry as their first choice, but not medicine. But I have not heard of anyone who put dentistry as the first choice and medicine as second. Their choices already mean they have spoken. If there're only 40+ places in dentistry and all the people in dentistry want dentistry to be their 1st choice, won't they be more compelled to put that as their first choice? I don't mind being a lot of things. I don't mind being a multi millionaire heir, I don't mind being a political hot shot, I don't mind being a super rich, richest in Singapore businessman. But I SURE DO have my preferences!

Besides the prestige problem, students know that if they end up doing dentistry, they end up as a dentist all their lives, and a dental surgeon at best. The sky's the limit if they get to do medicine and become doctors. They can be any kind of specialty doctors they want. People in society don't even consider dentists to be doctors. Thus the different name. Cardiologists, neurologists, ENT surgeons, aesthetic doctors, oncologists and orthopedic surgeons are known as doctors. But dentists are not referred to be as doctors in anyone's mind, except in salutation only on forms.

I did not say that dentists in private practice earn little. I said it has a prestige problem. (watch "the whole 9 yeards"). Also, dentists may earn close to doctors at entry level, but as they both progress, doctors can earn far more due to more lucrative specialties.

LOL vets are Drs too. It is precisely the fact that dentists are also Dr that rolled eyes and comments have happened when someone is revealed to be a dentist instead of a doctor. And do you believe doing root canal surgery and whitening teeth is the same as doing a heart bypass, a liver transplant or removing a brain tumour when it comes to saving lives, as to say that both are equally noble? And the earning capacity of a dental surgeon compared to a specialist doctor is not even close.
Dentists are like medical GPs, they can later specialise into endodontists, orthodontists, maxillofacial surgeons, or oral surgeons that do cancer research and etc. In case you didnt know, dental students study as much as 70% of the syllabus studied by medicine students because all the major organs in the human body will affect dental health one way or another. Poor dental health can lead to illnesses in other parts of the body, and vice versa. Prior to the establishment of the faculty of dentistry, both med and dental schs were under one faculty.

Root canal surgery has its importance as well and if root canal disease are not treated, they can have as much an impact as heart diseases or liver diseases. It is because most people do not place an emphasis on the importance of oral health, and most people do not know the implications of poor oral health, that is why many people see dentists as being less noble, or even irrelevant when being considered as Drs.

And its not true that medical doctors can earn more through lucrative specialties. Frankly speaking, plastic surgeons make up of both medical doctors and maxillofacial surgeons (dental specialists) and they both earn just as much. And what is wrong with being medicine rejects? Who says medicine is more prestigious in the first place? If 2000+ people applied for medicine, whether its 1st choice or not, and they didnt make it in, or didnt get shortlisted, they are ALL medicine rejects then. That makes quite a huge number, and that 2000 people are going to go to the other faculties/universities. Doesnt that make every faculty become a place for medicine rejects? Its only biased to pinpoint Dentistry.

Last edited by Ashearo; 03-30-2008 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:42 PM   #12
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2) Admin Service - $30K -$200K per month. See govt numbers. Yes, SAFOS people are included here.
Well yes the reason I posted that information is because not all SAFOS go into AS, but those that do not also earn heaps of money.

Also, if we are discussing entry level pay, SAFOS do not get inducted into AS until their late 20s, same as SPFOS and OMS, but they are paid a lot more than OMS people before both are emplaced on AS.

Another point to note, SAFOS guys are paid full officer's salary during the duration of their studies before they return to service, which adds up to a hefty amount, even before they start work officially and get their degrees!
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:04 PM   #13
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Dentists are like medical GPs, they can later specialise into endodontists, orthodontists, maxillofacial surgeons, or oral surgeons that do cancer research and etc.
Understand your point. But I do think that the possible fields of specialties are less varied than medicine, for sure. I am sure there are various branches of specialty within dentistry, however if dentistry only deals with oral health when medicine deals with overall body and even mind (psychiatry) health, I am sure the financial potential in consideration in medicine is much higher. I rem orthodontics to be specialists in braces, am I right? I had braces on when I was a teenager, and neither the dentist nor clinic identified itself by its specialty. As opposed to the REALLY SPECIALISED specialties of medicine, where a cardiology clinic and the doctor in it cannot be known as any other.

I think the problem is the constraints that dentistry has, which medicine does not to most prospective students. no matter how many "different" dental specialties you can name, it cannot come close to the development and evolutions in the varied fields of medicine, from cardiology, oncology to opthalmology.
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It is because most people do not place an emphasis on the importance of oral health, and most people do not know the implications of poor oral health, that is why many people see dentists as being less noble, or even irrelevant when being considered as Drs.
Correct. That is why there's a prestige problem, which I highlighted.

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Frankly speaking, plastic surgeons make up of both medical doctors and maxillofacial surgeons (dental specialists) and they both earn just as much.
That may be true, but plastic surgery is not the most lucrative specialty in medicine. Cardiology and oncology are more lucrative, among others.
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Who says medicine is more prestigious in the first place?
The overwhelming number of medicine applicants who were either accepted or rejected who put dentistry as their second choice says so.

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Originally Posted by Ashearo View Post
If 2000+ people applied for medicine, whether its 1st choice or not, and they didnt make it in, or didnt get shortlisted, they are ALL medicine rejects then. That makes quite a huge number, and that 2000 people are going to go to the other faculties/universities. Doesnt that make every faculty become a place for medicine rejects? Its only biased to pinpoint Dentistry.
It's true that there is a large number of medicine rejects because of the overwhelming popularity of medicine, and these rejects would have put any number of possible courses as their 2nd choice. But what makes people think dentistry is medicine reject is because out of all medicine applicants, there is a very substantial, if not overwhelming majority who put dentistry as their 2nd choice. They do not put Arts, or Building and Real Estate or Business.

I have said before, I have nothing against dentistry. I am stating the fact that majority of medicine applicants (both accepted and rejected) lists dentistry as their 2nd choice. Another popular 2nd choice is law, i've mentioned.

An analogy: Say there's a pretty belle who's the toast of the town. And she has a sister. Everyone in the town naturally thinks of the gorgeous, popular and prestigious belle when they come across the sister. Even though there are hundreds of other girls in the town, all less attractive than the belle, references to the popular belle and toast of the town are not made with the other girls as much, even if the sister is better looking than some of the other girls.

Last edited by kukubird; 03-31-2008 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:02 PM   #14
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Haha, nice anecdotal analogy! I guess in the eyes of society, a dentist may seem lower down the status ladder as compared to a GP but what's important to note is that less prestige doesn't make them any less important. In fact since the whole prestige problem stems from the public's ignorance of the possibly serious consequences one could face from bad oral health, it makes dentists all the more important since they've got to make sure patients don't trivialise their own oral health condition (which may not be that trivial in reality) in addition to fixing them up. I'm not saying that GPs are any less important then dentists, but that both groups of professionals do have equally crucial roles to play when tending to the overall health of the patient. (:
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:18 PM   #15
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Haha, nice anecdotal analogy! I guess in the eyes of society, a dentist may seem lower down the status ladder as compared to a GP but what's important to note is that less prestige doesn't make them any less important. In fact since the whole prestige problem stems from the public's ignorance of the possibly serious consequences one could face from bad oral health, it makes dentists all the more important since they've got to make sure patients don't trivialise their own oral health condition (which may not be that trivial in reality) in addition to fixing them up. I'm not saying that GPs are any less important then dentists, but that both groups of professionals do have equally crucial roles to play when tending to the overall health of the patient. (:
I know this and fully agree. I never once said dentists are less important. Otherwise, who's going to ensure I have healthy teeth and I sure do not want to wear dentures at the age of 40. What I said was there is a prestige problem due to several reasons I pointed out. That has no bearing on the importance of dentists in society. Everyone is important in society, if we did not have the cleaning aunties to keep our streets and airports clean, there goes our economy!!!!!

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Old 03-31-2008, 11:08 PM   #16
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Hehe, sorry if I came across as accusing you of saying that dentists are less important. That was never my intention. I just wanted to post a general message to shift the focus from all this talk about prestige to something that I consider more crucial, responsibilities. No offence intended :P Peace
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:37 PM   #17
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Hehe, sorry if I came across as accusing you of saying that dentists are less important. That was never my intention. I just wanted to post a general message to shift the focus from all this talk about prestige to something that I consider more crucial, responsibilities. No offence intended :P Peace
Nope I did not think you were doing so. I did not take any offence. I was just issuing a caveat to others.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:36 AM   #18
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1) Specialists - $30 - 100K per month. depends on area of speciaity, Plastic surgeons make the most it seems.
Nope. in Singapore, plastic surgery is not as lucrative as it is in the US. Plastic surgery is the most lucrative in the US.

In Singapore, cardiology and ophthalmology are more lucrative and ophthalmology is very popular among doctors choosing specialties. Do check the recent report by straits times that reported on the most lucrative specialty a week ago. Plastic surgery is only in the middle of the list.
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:55 AM   #19
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Something that med students may want to know. I'm sure you all know that 40% of you get to specialise and you gotta work for it.

Almost all specialist doctors (in private practice) I know drive a sports car like Porsche or Lambhogini or a car like Merc SLK by their late 30s, whereas GPs drive Japanese cars. ST reported that GP do not earn more than 10K but specialist docs earn from 20K to 100K monthly so do specialise.

I do know an obscenely rich GP who became richer than specialist doctors. And such GPs are normally those business-minded GPs. The one I know set up a chain of clinics all over the island under the same brand name franchise. And he told me and to many others too, that he prefers to be a GP and not specialise, because over the course of a day, he sees many more patients than a specialist, while specialist does not see as many (by appointment only for serious illness) and overall he makes more money he claims. He also said that there is a "goalkeeper" theory, he calls GPs the sweeper, who pass the ball around, and specialist the 'goalkeeper', and says cos specialist is the one who determines the success or failure of a critical illness in surgery, and can often be blamed, while GP does not get blamed! Ok.. quite an interesting take.

Does anyone know how much poly and university lecturers earn? What about academics?

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Old 04-01-2008, 09:15 AM   #20
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And do you believe doing root canal surgery and whitening teeth is the same as doing a heart bypass, a liver transplant or removing a brain tumour when it comes to saving lives, as to say that both are equally noble? And the earning capacity of a dental surgeon compared to a specialist doctor is not even close.
Well, I guess only those who are concerned about 'name' and 'fortune' would actually say such things. Please consider that each job has its own purpose, and do not look down on other occupation just because of 'prestige' or 'earning power'. I know that some would slam me by saying: If that's the case, then why not be a cleaner for heaven sake? Now my key point is 'respect'. Why then we try and classify an occupation as being 'more prestiguous', rather than taking pride in the occupation that we are doing?And one more thing, being a doctor or anything that has high earning power does not mean that you have nothing to learn from a cleaner. Do practise humility even if you are on the professional lists, and practise respect for other occupations.
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