Scholars of Ggbatemp: a career in dentistry or Chemistry?

placebooooo

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I am a junior in University. Ever since I was a child, I told myself that I wanted to be a dentist. Now that dental applications open up in June, I am starting to hesitate.

I am starting to realize that dental school, although an awesome profession that I would love to be a part of, just does not seem write for me. When someone asks me what I love about dentistry that made me pursue it for so long, I don't know how to answer. I also had a difficult time writing my personal statement. Although I have done a fair share of dental shadowing, I can see myself as a dentist in the future, but it's the path I need to take to get there is what scares me.

I am a chemistry major. I absolutely despise biology. To me, it is nothing but rote memorization. Unfortunately, dental school is nothing but oral biology. Not only do I dislike the science, I am not good at it either. I feel that this will be my downfall If I attend dental school.

Talking to my chemistry research professor, we discussed PhD options. I have a first author paper which I hope to submit for review by the end of April which my professor says will set me apart from most other applicants. He says that with my grades (3.90 overall and 3.92 sGpa) and paper, he cannot see any school refuting me no matter how good it is.

I love chemistry, I really do. I have a few months to decide what career path to take and it is pretty stressful. Any support, advice, encouragement is much appreciated. Honestly, it seems to me that a PhD in chemistry is the way to go. Not only do i like the subject, but it appears that I would be able to spread my wings in terms of schools I can apply (and hopefully, get accepted) to. I am afraid to pick one thing but only to soon find out that I could be better at the other (im 21 if it matters).

I may apply to both dental and chem grad for now and see what options open up. Not sure. But whatever I decide to do, I need to know what I should do to make myself more competitive for chem grad with the few months I have left.

What do you think? Thoughts? Are you potentially a chemist or dentist? Have you ever contemplated betwee grad school and health professions? Personal experiences you would like to share?
 
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AbyssalMonkey

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Honestly, going into any medical practice field seems like an absolute nightmare. Having to deal with the stupidest people in the world makes you down right depressed.

I would go chemistry. It has far more diversity in it's job opportunities so you are bound to find a field that you enjoy. Plus no stupid public.
 

Boogieboo6

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Honestly, chemistry sounds really interesting. Just seeing what can be done with chemicals and being able to research and experiment with them sounds really cool! Being forced to stare at rotting teeth all day wouldn't be very fun. I'd tell you to do what you love. You've explained quite clearly that dentistry is basically oral biology, and you hate biology. You do like chemistry though, and are a chemistry major. When asked why you like dentistry, you can't answer it. I think you'll like being a chemist much more than a dentist. Maybe you'll take very good care of your own teeth rather than fixing people's disgusting mouths.
 
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Issac

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I would choose dentistry if I had the interest. No doubt about it.

What part of chemistry is it that you like, compared to the dentist studies? I would assume it's quite a lot of memorization going on in chemistry as well.

Oh dear, speaking of dentists... in 3 weeks and 1 day I'll pull out a wisdom tooth. And we don't get any fun drugs as you seem to do in the states (based on all the viral videos). We just get local anesthesia, numbing the area around the tooth. No option for anything else.
 
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Don't overthink, but if you feel that another major would be better for you, go for it. I know some people who have majored in several fields before deciding upon something. Not that that's necessarily a good thing, but it won't hurt if you change your mind once.
 
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evandixon

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If you prefer chemistry, enjoy it, dislike a major portion of dentistry, and aren't good at the major portion of dentistry, then I don't see how it's a dilemna. I don't know what you could do with a PhD in chemistry, but if you're confident you can find a good job in it you enjoy, I say go for it.
 
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Pluupy

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Human anatomy, a required course for any medical program, is exclusively memorization. You're stuck with that silliness either way. You will not be reinventing the wheel. You will be conducting specific, strict procedures as approved by the Department of Health. Also looking at some pretty nasty shit in people's mouths.

Also, although you may be able to claim you're a doctor you won't be the first person people turn to in medical emergencies. lol

Dentists get paid a lot tho.
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dentists.htm

Chemists can vary. I don't completely trust BLS since they're generalize.
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/chemists-and-materials-scientists.htm
 
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placebooooo

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Honestly, going into any medical practice field seems like an absolute nightmare. Having to deal with the stupidest people in the world makes you down right depressed.

I would go chemistry. It has far more diversity in it's job opportunities so you are bound to find a field that you enjoy. Plus no stupid public.
Yeah. I understand what you mean here. There are far more job opportunities to choose from in the chemical field (law, industry, academia...). But do any of these beat the high dental salary and happier life? When I say happier, I feel the dental field is rather lax compared to other medial areas. You know what they say, dentists are the happiest of doctors.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

I would choose dentistry if I had the interest. No doubt about it.

What part of chemistry is it that you like, compared to the dentist studies? I would assume it's quite a lot of memorization going on in chemistry as well.

Oh dear, speaking of dentists... in 3 weeks and 1 day I'll pull out a wisdom tooth. And we don't get any fun drugs as you seem to do in the states (based on all the viral videos). We just get local anesthesia, numbing the area around the tooth. No option for anything else.

It's kind of difficult to answer what I like about chemistry as well, but definitely easier.

I just love the intertwining of numbers and letters. I am always trying to apply things I learn in class to real life settings and always look around to see what my hair products, toothpaste and other daily things consist of. For example, I learned in organic chemistry that acetone can easily wipe of ink and marker and what not off walls and smooth table tops (because they contain similar makeup to acetone, the ink/marker dissolves in the acetone and you can easily wipe it off). I took some acetone from the lab before and tried to clean of my study desk which contained ink and marker all over eat. It worked! Clean and smooth as butter.

Chemistry I feel has endless possibilities (but A LOT of uncertainty). You can always synthesize something, analyze it using different instrumental methods to determine what you have, but you can never for sure with 100.0% certainty know what you really have because we cannot just zoom in on a substance and see what letters of the periodic table are floating around in it. Know what I mean. I love a challenge though.

Chemistry has a small degree of memorization, but it relies a lot more on math and understanding concepts. For such reasons, I find it easier to comprehend and more enjoyable.

Good luck with your wisdom teeth extraction! I would have loved to watch the extraction in action, although I fainted on my first extraction shadowing experience haha (The oral surgeon extracted all of a patient's bottom teeth and started grafting jaw bone. I do NOT want to be an oral surgeon. Just a general dentist lol).
 
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SuzieJoeBob

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I would choose dentistry if I had the interest. No doubt about it.

What part of chemistry is it that you like, compared to the dentist studies? I would assume it's quite a lot of memorization going on in chemistry as well.

Oh dear, speaking of dentists... in 3 weeks and 1 day I'll pull out a wisdom tooth. And we don't get any fun drugs as you seem to do in the states (based on all the viral videos). We just get local anesthesia, numbing the area around the tooth. No option for anything else.
My inner sadist (non-sexual) says to go for dentistry because what is funnier than a kid crying!?! :D

But seriously, I was going to ask what Issac asked; what do you like about chemistry interests you? From what my buddy told me about his experience in chemistry, it is not the stereotypical "looking under a microscope" stuff like on television shows depending on what specialization you are pursuing. There will be a LOT of high-level calculus in Physical Chemistry, plenty of differential equations and linear algebra in Theoretical/Quantum, and a lot of algebra and calculus most other sections, so if math is not your strong-suit, I would recommend looking up the different specializations online for a little while to understand each specialization's focus and what math/physics are involved in each one.
 
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medoli900

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Everyone are talking about rotten teeth and stinky breath, but did they ever smelled some good ol' Pyridine•HBr2? Also 90% of solutions are colorless (Unless you work in Organic Chemistry. Organic Chemistry is bae.). I still recommend chemistry (no, it's not because I am studying in chemistry too or anything, baka.), since it is more varied and less mundane.

Oh yeah, and fuck physical chemistry.
 
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placebooooo

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My inner sadist (non-sexual) says to go for dentistry because what is funnier than a kid crying!?! :D

But seriously, I was going to ask what Issac asked; what do you like about chemistry interests you? From what my buddy told me about his experience in chemistry, it is not the stereotypical "looking under a microscope" stuff like on television shows depending on what specialization you are pursuing. There will be a LOT of high-level calculus in Physical Chemistry, plenty of differential equations and linear algebra in Theoretical/Quantum, and a lot of algebra and calculus most other sections, so if math is not your strong-suit, I would recommend looking up the different specializations online for a little while to understand each specialization's focus and what math/physics are involved in each one.
Psht. I conquered that shit. I get high on quantum and upper level calc courses all year around (Seriously in love with said courses).

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Everyone are talking about rotten teeth and stinky breath, but did they ever smelled some good ol' Pyridine•HBr2? Also 90% of solutions are colorless (Unless you work in Organic Chemistry. Organic Chemistry is bae.). I still recommend chemistry (no, it's not because I am studying in chemistry too or anything, baka.), since it is more varied and less mundane.

Oh yeah, and fuck physical chemistry.
Thanks for you opinion!
I struggled with o-chem (did not like it!). I LOVE physical chem. Sorry lol
 

SuzieJoeBob

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Psht. I conquered that shit. I get high on quantum and upper level calc courses all year around (Seriously in love with said courses).
Perfect. Just figure out what specialization interests you the most and you should be good to go.

Note: I looked at Engineering schools for a week --> no Google suggested ads
Look at 1 Chemistry school to double-check Majors' names --> instant ad
 
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Pleng

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Read back the original post to yourself but try and read it as if it was written by somebody else. You'll probably then see why pretty much everybody has given you the same response. Don't burden yourself in a field that's going to make you unhappy for the rest of your life.
 

pivix

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I would choose dentistry. It is much better paid, and in your work you always know what you expect. Chemistry is all about random, you dont even know what to expect. Now I am biotechnologist and if I ever had a chance to go back in time andchange my profession I would like to become a doctor xP
 
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FAST6191

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A merger of the two perhaps an option?

Back when I were a greasy student there were some dentistry types in the same labs doing some pretty radical stuff with materials and polymer/composite/ceramics to do things like replace gold or dental amalgam with far cheaper and easier to work with stuff, or more effective as the case may be. Alternatively many of the tools used in dentistry are silly expensive for what they are, something might be interesting there. Their pills and potions are also not without need of some chemistry.

If this is for a phd as well it will hopefully not lock you down too much and you can still escape into more general chemistry, possibly less hardcore industrial chemistry than some of your peers but smaller lab, testing lab and research stuff should be fine. Or indeed you would still be in a fine position to do dental school afterwards.
 
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placebooooo

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A merger of the two perhaps an option?

Back when I were a greasy student there were some dentistry types in the same labs doing some pretty radical stuff with materials and polymer/composite/ceramics to do things like replace gold or dental amalgam with far cheaper and easier to work with stuff, or more effective as the case may be. Alternatively many of the tools used in dentistry are silly expensive for what they are, something might be interesting there. Their pills and potions are also not without need of some chemistry.

If this is for a phd as well it will hopefully not lock you down too much and you can still escape into more general chemistry, possibly less hardcore industrial chemistry than some of your peers but smaller lab, testing lab and research stuff should be fine. Or indeed you would still be in a fine position to do dental school afterwards.
Interesting response, although a bit confused.

No doubt about it, if I could somehow take the chemistry route and end up as a dentist, you bet I'd definitely do that. When you first mentioned "A merger of the two perhaps an option?" I thought you were at first hinting at a DMD/PhD program. Looked into such programs and they are oral biology on steroids for 8 additional years of schooling. No way. Would you mind clarifying your post a bit? Are you saying that I can go for a PhD in chem, but enter a lab specific to materials in the dental field and yet still end up as a dentist?
 

sarkwalvein

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Be a professional... dentist. A profitable career. Picture attached.
a-fox-a-rabbit-and-a-cabbage-lorne-malvo-the-dentist.jpg

/s

On a serious note, never follow a career only because you thought about that as a child. That would be flimsy, and could make you very regretful in the future. Cut the ties with your whimsy child memories and think it again now, do you really want it now?

Also, think that additionally to money you may want to do something that makes you feel you are growing in some way, or perhaps you will end up wanting to kill yourself out of boredom in the far future. I.e. do something you want to do. OFC, IMHO.
 
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