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Dentistry as a Career

Dentistry As An Alternative To Medicine

Dentistry offers an attractive alternative career for borderline premedical and preosteopathic juniors. In such circumstances you should carefully evaluate whether dentistry is of sufficient interest to you as an alternative career. If this is the case, you should consider applying for admission to both medical and dental schools simultaneously at the end of your junior year in college (although obviously not to both types of schools at the same university). This can be done because admission requirements are almost identical and the medical and dental aptitude tests are very similar. Students who apply to medical and dental schools should inform their preprofessional advisory office of this fact so that appropriate evaluations can be prepared.

Trying to gain admission to dental school with the intent of using this as an avenue or lever to get into medical school, however, is self-defeating. Medical schools will not be favorably impressed by an applicant who is taking a valuable dental class place and is obviously using it primarily to aid his or her transfer from one professional school to another. When such a student lacks a genuine interest in dentistry, he or she may also end up wasting time and money in dental school.

If you fail to gain admission to medical school and did not apply to dental school in your junior year, you can consider doing so in the senior year or even later. Dental school admission committees are well aware that premedical or former premedical students will also apply for admission to dental school. While they naturally prefer “straight” predental majors, they know that many able and successful practicing dentists were former premedical students.

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