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    So hello potential dentists/student roomers, i have recently got my 4th and final rejection for medicine (exeter,barts,soton,bristol w interview). I am in year 13 down in the south west and in 2 months will have finished my a-levels. I am unsure of what to do next year as i can now not go to uni, do i try again for medicine or try for the equally stimulating dentistry course. I am predicted A*AA (maths,chem,bio) and can safely say that i will get AAA if i work how i am atm (touch wood/i hope). The questions i would like to ask are..

    • is there anyone in a similar situation to me?
    • is dentistry as competitive as medicine?
    • would my grades take me to dental school?
    • what are the perks of dentistry over medicine?
    • what is the usual applicant profile for a succesful dental applicant?
    • would i be in a worse position as a re-applicant?

    If there is anyone who can relate to me, or give me advice, i would be very grateful

    George
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    I was someone who initially applied for Medicine, didn't get in, and when re-applying decided to go for Dentistry instead and am now in my first year

    Competition wise, it's debatable but a lot of people including careers advisers at my school suggested that Dentistry could be more competitive due to the low number of dental schools in the country and the relatively small size of each dental year. But I'm not 100% sure on the stats. Don't let this sway you, overall the competition is very very similar

    Your grades are fine, I think some Dental schools ask for an A* now? Not sure but if so the majority still are AAA, so depending on your GCSE's you shouldn't have any problems

    Dentistry as a career, perks would be
    -Faster route to a speciality, if you have an interest in the field then you won't have to spend 5-8 years specializing post-graduation like you would in Medicine
    -Much more emphasis on manual skills than most medical fields, except for surgery obviously. If you like working precisely with your hands, it's great
    -Better work life balance, much more regular hours
    -More emphasis on the private sector in Dentistry, so if you are business orientated you always have the option of setting up your own practice (ideally in a particular specialty)
    -Generally as a dentist you will increase your earnings quite a lot faster than as a doctor. Many dentists in their 2nd year of work are easily on upwards of £60k
    -This isn't a perk but in the Dental course you learn a lot of the same modules Medics do, so if you're worried its going to be 5 years of nothing but teeth then don't be

    Usual stuff, work experience in a general dental practice, as well as in at least one specialty (ortho, perio, endo etc). If you can get into a hospital and observe an oral or maxillofacial surgeon then this would be good too. also, having some proof of good manual dexterity would be useful, so something like a high level in a musical instrument. If not, just spend a good amount of time working on a complex airfix model or something that you can take to your interview in case they ask. apart from that, the requirements are similar to Medicine, so volunteering/charity work/team sports/CCF anything that shows good interpersonal, teamwork and leadership skills basically

    And no, if anything you'll be in a better position as you will already have your grades.

    goodluck
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    Medicine. Always medicine. Just my personal opinion, though So many more choices.

    Edit: Uuuh, shouldn't have voiced my personal, non-offensive opinion in the Dentistry forum
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    To answer the bullet points:

    I was in a similar situation, I applied medicine first time, applied dent this time round

    Yes, competition is pretty much the same, you could argue both ways. But regardless of figures, don't think about this too much.

    3 A's will suffice for all unis, but you should really do everything u can to maximise your chances. Aim for 3A* not 3A. Even if u go for med, nowadays standards are just too high for 3 A's to shine, if it makes any difference which usually isn't the case actually. Again, depends on uni.

    (not exhaustive, very general terms so may not apply) Pros of dent over med: less stressful hours; reaching v.slightly higher salary quicker; less emotionally demanding as you won't come across as much depressed/suicidal/disturbed patients; business aspect; don't worry about scope of specialisation in dentistry - most ppl find their bit of interest and passion within dent, whether that is general, paediatric, endo, ortho, teaching, maxfax whatever. You should begin to realise what you would like to do while at dental school.
    Edit - oh one more thing, one significant advantage of being a dentist over being say, a gp or physician is that you have much more control over your patients. You will know what i mean by this after doing work experience.

    Usual applicant profile is similar to med, go see the profile thread as well. From my observation, it is very slightly lower in standard than medicine, but again just forget about such pedantic detail, it is irrelevant as the difference if any, is insignificant.

    You won't be in a worse situation I think, but the issues I had experienced in order of importance: arranging work experience within short time frame, interview prep, coping with loss of self confidence and sense of direction for making a sudden decision to change career choice from med to dent, having to invest time doing various research, modifying ps, coping with criticism from others for changing from med to dent


    I wish I could give you more advice, but I'm on my iPad at the moment which is straining my fingers . Pm me if you want to talk more so i can use my computer, I think I can be quite useful for you as I experienced what you could potentially go through.
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    (Original post by Sir Fox)
    Medicine. Always medicine. Just my personal opinion, though So many more choices.
    Yeah its worth thinking about this properly OP - Go into medicine and you'll have a massive range of specialties to choose from depending on your personal interest. If you go into dentistry and then end up hating it, you are gonna be pretty ****ed

    With that said, I personally don't see the difference between dentistry and any normal medical specialty (eg dermatology). in either case you are specialised to treat conditions affecting certain areas/systems, but one of them simply requires a 5 year course, the other requires a 5 year course plus another 5 or 6 years of further specialisation...
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    (Original post by ItsDoctorTime)

    • is there anyone in a similar situation to me?
    • is dentistry as competitive as medicine?
    • would my grades take me to dental school?
    • what are the perks of dentistry over medicine?
    • what is the usual applicant profile for a succesful dental applicant?
    • would i be in a worse position as a re-applicant?

    If there is anyone who can relate to me, or give me advice, i would be very grateful

    George
    In my opinion I would say that dentistry is much more competitive than medicine, especially in the UK, because only 13 or so universities offer the course - meaning very limited spaces - while with medicine there are a number of universities to pick from. The minimum requirement for dentistry is AAA for the majority of dental schools, so you are definitely in with a chance although it is always better to get above that I do not think you would be in a worse position since I have heard that unis like re-applicants because it shows determination. Also remember that there will be many others in the same position as you.

    If you prefer medicine over dentistry, seeing as it was your initial choice, then I would say take a gap year and re-apply for it again (you never know what may happen!) Do not go for dentistry just because it is *there* - unless you are genuinely interested then you may regret taking it a few years down the line despite the high income. Remember that like medicine not everyone, unfortunately, gets in. But overall, good luck in your decision!
 
 
 
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