Dental School Graduates Unprepared, Say 4 out of 5 Dentists

Wrongful Discharge: Dental Survey ResultsDental Practice Management Not Covered in School

In this survey, we asked if dental school adequately prepares students for the real world. Four out of five dentists say that today’s graduates aren’t adequately prepared for the financial realities of practicing dentistry. Only one in five feels that dental school does a good job.

Here’s what the dentists had to say:

  • Dental school has never prepared students for the real world, but now the consequences for new graduates are a lot more serious. There is so much more to be aware of, and a slipup is going to be more costly.” (Orthodontist)
  • “Schools need extensive realistic practice management curriculum.” (Massachusetts dentist)
  • Dental schools have routinely produced graduates that fully believe that they know a great deal more than they really know. They are definitely not ready for private practice.” (Maryland dentist)
  • “Dental school prepares you for your board exams, not the real world of dentistry.” (New Jersey dentist)
  • “Dental School has tried to address issues of dental practice management, insurance issues, and advanced restorative techniques including implants and periodontal surgery.” (Pennsylvania periodontist)
  • “There should be some basic business requirement in the pre-dental education, but I don’t see that there is room in dental school to cover this in any but the most cursory way.” (Illinois dentist)
  • Today’s graduates are not prepared to start a business, but neither were we. Business sense is hard to get in a classroom setting. It’s like preparing for parenting: how do you know when you’re ready?” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “Academically they are over-prepared and clinically they tend to be under-prepared.” (Missouri dentist)

Read the complete dental school graduates survey results…

About Julie Frey

+Julie Frey is the Editor of TheWealthyDentist.com blog. She has dedicated her career to Internet marketing and communications, working side-by-side with dental marketing guru Jim Du Molin since 2006. She has a degree in Linguistics from Stanford University, has a passion for language and writing, and lives in San Francisco.

  • http://sanangelocosmeticdentist.com Deborah Boudreaux, DDS

    Dental school does NOT prepare or discern first of all what a great dentist does consist of. My family is French and we have the gift of communicating to anyone on the planet. Communication is not taught and neither do I think one can be taught. Thank God that I know how to respect different age groups, speak to them in a manner in which they expect to be spoken to, explain and educate the patients needs and wants to them and have compassion when need be. My office is and I have always been a very very successful dentist. I thought everyone was. But, I focus on communicating with, and not to, the patient. I already know how to cut a crown, do a filling, extract a tooth…these are not the things that make a dentist great..unless you learned how to do it WITHOUT HURTING PEOPLE…GOOD GRIEF…STILL THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH DENTISTS. I built a $1.6 million dollar practice in the middle of ‘nowhere Texas’…reason being, I built it on all the patients from other doctors that were 1. Still hurting people. 2. Not numbing patients. 3. Not explaining what is going on and why. 4. Not giving them a full treatment plan but taking orders from the patient like a short-order cook to be their friend..who knows. 5. Talking down to women that are in their middle age..this is a NO NO…don’t pinch their nose and wiggle it and say, “NOW YOU KNOW THAT DIDN’T HURT!” Especially when they are hanging onto the chair and crying…I saw this myself while visiting a neighboring doctor here in good ole boy country. Dentists need to get over themselves, be human, be humane, be respectful, do great work, pay for a great lab, don’t give the lab crap products and expect a miracle and then blame the patient…oy vey! Male dentists need to GROW UP! OR STAY OUT OF DENTAL SCHOOL….I have more patients than anyone in this town of 50 docs because of all of the above. I could train a dentist how to be real, but this is only taught to them if they want to get it. I don’t know what they are thinking when they cry that they don’t have patients and they are still HURTING PEOPLE WITH THE ANESTHESIA! My patients nearly faint because for the first time in their lives THEY WERE NOT HURT…THEY GO TELL ALL THEIR FRIENDS, FAMILY, ENEMIES, EX’S…YOU NAME IT….This IS taught in dental school, I read the book and took the test and remember what to do to NOT HURT ANYONE…but of course I am only a WOMAN…WHAT DO I KNOW? But I did observe a lot of cheating in dental school, drinking, stealing, and chasing the hygiene students….young males are not mature enough to come out and be REAL…BECAUSE THEY, ARE NOT REAL OFTEN TIMES. I am 57 years old, have the largest producing office in San Angelo, Texas. Only have 6 employees, one doc “me” and we still produced $1.4 million last year without a hygienist most of the time. I must know something that the guys do not know…you think?

    I probably should give speeches…would it work? Probably not, but on the other hand I did sit one dentist in this town down and let him know what he was doing that was running all his patients over to my place. I helped him and he doubled his practice because of it, his name is Dr. Rick Williams, still sends me his root canals on occasions. Now when I met him he was producing $15,000 a month. That same month my office produced $110,000, same town, same dental degree….go figure…something major is out. I was looking online the other day to see what practices are selling for…1/5 to 1/4 to 1/3 what my practice produces…and it’s just us little ole girls over here….just know our manners, and we’re mommas and love our patients and take care of them. I also have a phone on me 24/7 and an ANSWERING SERVICE THAT CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH ME SO MY PATIENTS KNOW I CARE AND KNOW I AM AVAILABLE…but because they know, they don’t call…AMAZING…but the other male docs in town…usually have an answer box that says..LEAVE A MESSAGE…or they don’t have anything at all..in other words their message to the public is ..’LOOK, DON’T BOTHER ME, OKAY..I’M A BIG TIME DOCTOR HERE AND I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING ON THE WEEKEND, OKAY, BUT YOU BETTER NOT CANCEL YOUR APPOINTMENT OR ELSE..” What is it that these male docs don’t get? Now, my friend, I have a real business, I don’t know what these other docs are doing because I am doing their business.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Deborah Boudreaux

  • MaryLynn

    Schools today care more about test scores, grades, etc. than about really preparing students to offer their patients the best care. Students graduate and owe so much money–and consequently practice to make the most money to pay back these loans and what it costs them to set up their practices. The brightest and best don’t necessarily make compasionate and the best business-minded dentists. These students need to have more than just one general business course to be prepared!

  • Robert E. Macomson, DDS

    Regarding recent dental school graduates’ comments; I graduated in 1975 and the comments today are the same as then. It is interesting to note how “practice management” is used interchangeably with business management. There are tons of practice management courses out there but very few business management courses. There is a big difference between practice management and running a business. This was brought home to me when I took “How to Start A Small Business” course at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. I had been in “practice” for 25 years but hadn’t been in “business” at all! Be it a beauty salon, funky clothing store or drive through beer/wine store (my classmates’ plans) or a dental practice, there are certain business principles to which you must adhere or your practice will be a rocky road. My instructor was amazed that I was amazed by how much I had missed my target. “But you’re smart enough to be a dentist. You should know how to run a business.” My reply? “I was taught dentistry, I wasn’t taught business.” Dentistry is changing and we must change with it. Business is still business and we need to learn how to do it.
    Robert E. Macomson, DDS
    Clinical Faculty, Dental Programs
    Central Piedmont Community College

  • Clarence

    Debbie-
    Your offensive and emotional post is filled with insecurities.

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