Should You Specialize?
It’s that time of year again! Mazels and congratulations all around! Hooray for the dental grads of 2021. It seems like just yesterday that myself and my classmates were graduating from UCSF. We were on top of the world! Dentistry has clearly evolved since 2001 and if I were a new grad today, I am not sure that I would make the same choices that I made almost two decades ago.
Often, dental students ask me to advise them on whether to specialize or not. My response often hinges upon their expectations and goals. If you are looking to make more income, the answer is a definitive “no”. General dentists often make more income now, and they also don’t have the burden of incurring additional educational debt and delayed income opportunities. If you are passionate about a certain area of dentistry and can attend a specialty program without incurring any additional educational debt, I believe that to be a good opportunity.
Honestly, 80% of my 3-year ortho residency program at the University of Connecticut was a complete waste of time. I understand that the research/indentured servitude that residents provide helps to fund the university, but if I had to do it over again, I would only attend an entirely clinical program. I did appreciate the opportunity to work with numerous skilled faculty members, and to have had the advantage of finishing hundreds of cases from start to finish. I also obtained a strong, fundamental, biomechanical foundation. We did not incur any additional educational debt as long as we completed our master’s thesis.
If you love orthodontics like I do, and want to incorporate it into your practice, there’s an easier way now. StraightSmile Solutions® is the comprehensive choice for dentists seeking an orthodontic coaching solution. Visit www.straightsmilesolutions.com and click on the services page or schedule a complimentary coaching session. StraightSmile Solutions® is the future of orthodontic coaching, offering the first online portal to provide a doctor-to-doctor consulting service that will allow GPs and their teams to access the knowledge and expertise of an industry expert. We pride ourselves on lightning-fast service and responsiveness. We are filling the gap in the market for quality and insightful coaching by providing valuable solutions for doctors and their teams, and subsequent positive outcomes in the quality of patient care.
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