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Skills Of A Dentist: More Education Required Than You Think

When I started this blog, I was a pre-dental student.  Now that I’m a dentist, I’m still learning everything I can about dentistry.  If you’re on my mailing list, then you already know that I had a tough time getting through my pre-dental science curriculum and doing well on the DAT.  And in dental school, those things were still challenging.  Now, I’m learning that being a dentist also requires a huge business skill set.

One of the things dental school courses don’t talk much about is the business of dentistry.  But I have good news for you… great news, in fact.  That’s because Dr. Ahmed Ezzeldin, DDS, who runs a practice in Gainesville, Virginia decided to break down the secrets of running a successful practice for all the students on dentalDAT.  Dr. Ezzeldin is the real deal, and a really great guy.  Over the course of two months, while running his own practice, he made extra time and asked 21 veteran dentists to reveal their biggest career mistakes, along with their advice for pre-dental and dental students.  A lot of what they said was a complete surprise for me.

So without further adieu, I present Dr. Ezzeldin’s “21 Veteran Dentists Finally Reveal Their Secrets On Building A Successful Dental Career.”  I know it will definitely put your career plans in perspective, and for those of you who aren’t yet in dental school, help you to put the whole picture together of what your options are and what to expect.  Leave a comment if you have any questions, and be sure to thank Dr. Ezzeldin for the great resource!

is dentistry a good career for the future infographic

If you would like to contribute to dentalDAT.com, feel free to contact me with your ideas.

Top 3 DAT Biology Study Materials

You have probably seen the article “The Hottest DAT Study Material 2017” which ranks the Top 10 DAT study aids. However, the best study aids do not necessarily translate into the best resource for each section. This is why it is highly recommended that you take the time to find the right combination of DAT material for you. In order to help you find the best materials for the biology section of the DAT, I have put together a Top 3 list of materials. I did not do a Top 10 or even a Top 5 list simply because the Top 3 materials that I am going to list blow the others out of the water. Yes, in my opinion, and many others these are far superior study materials for the DAT biology section than any of the others.

#1- Cliffs AP Biology

I have written several articles now about Cliffs AP Biology. I cannot say enough about this resource. It outlines, in an easy to memorize fashion, just about everything you need to know for the biology section . The book isn’t written on fancy paper but the simplicity and content that is included make up for that. Oh, did I mention that this book can be purchased at Amazon for less than $10! I do have to warn you that Cliffs AP Biology does lack a little bit in the physiology portion and maybe a few other small areas.I would recommend checking the ADA specification outline to be sure you covered all the material.  Check out my full review of Cliffs AP Biology: The Rave.

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#2- DAT Destroyer

DAT Destroyer is another one of those that you cannot go wrong with. This actually supplements Cliffs AP Biology very well. The thing that separates this from many of the other typical study materials is that it is just a bunch of questions. Believe me, these questions will “destroy” you your first time through. Just remember it is not about getting the questions right or wrong it is about learning from every question. Thankfully, the DAT Destroyer has very detailed answers in the back and this is where you learn.

For a comparative review of this and other resources, check out:
The Hottest DAT Study Material 2017

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#3- TIME

Alright, I know time is not a material but reality is I couldn’t choose a third resource to put in the #3 spot. If you know Cliffs AP Biology and work your way through DAT Destroyer (more than once) you can land yourself at least a 19 in the biology section. So my advice is to go out and get the 2 best study materials and start studying. You can spend hours debating on which study materials to use but the reality is, you just need to put the time into studying.

Honorable Mentions:

Top Score Pro

Test yourself using this DAT simulator software. Probably one of the most accurate software programs that you can buy. If you want to know what you will score on the real DAT take a couple of these tests. You will probably score a point or two lower on the biology section in comparison to the real DAT as they do put in a few extra taxonomy questions.

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DAT Achiever

Test yourself using this DAT simulator software. Don’t be discouraged if you end up with only 15 or 16 in the biology section as many of these questions are far more difficult than the real DAT. This will be a good 3 to 4 points lower than what you will score when you get to the real test.

 

Kaplan Blue Book

Often times Kaplan gets negative feedback on their material because it is too easy in comparison to the real DAT. However, they do a pretty decent job in the biology section. This will definitely pick up anything that is lacking in Cliffs AP Biology.

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Conclusion

Hopefully, this saves you some time and helps you to get a higher score on the DAT. The study material that you choose can really make a difference. The Top 3 materials that I have presented to you today are materials that have been used by thousands of pre-dental students to get high scores on the DAT. Good luck to all! Just remember… IT’S WORTH IT!

Becoming a dentist: Is it worth it?

Many of the viewers here at DentalDAT are students who are thinking about becoming a dentist, just getting started on the path to becoming a dentist, applying to dental school,  or dental students. Throughout this entire process, where ever they might be, the question that is in the back of their minds remains “Is it worth it to become a dentist?”

Becoming a dentist is what I’ve wanted to do since I could remember. I never doubted my desire to become a dentist but throughout the process, I did ask myself if it is worth the time and effort. I never was able to come up with a good answer. Many dentists that I spoke with “liked” their job and didn’t regret their decision to become a dentist. I’ve occasionally come across a dentist who wished they would have chosen a different career but that was few and far between.

In all truthfulness, the answer to this question is going to come down to your definition of “worth”. A dentist graduating 20 years ago could come out of school with $60k of debt and get it paid down in a reasonable amount of time and begin saving. Nowadays, you are looking at between $200k to $550k on top of your college loans. At a 7.1% interest rate, this begins growing rapidly.  Payments ranging from about $1k to $3k+ a month can be daunting and overwhelming for some.

So what does “worth it” mean? To me “worth it” means being involved in a profession that has prestige and that allows for me to impact the lives of others. Every day I work with patients who gain functionality or increase esteem because of the dental work performed. Whether it is an esthetic case of anterior crowns, delivering a set of dentures or extracting a tooth that has been hurting. I am continually studying the art of dentistry so that the results my patients receive are high quality. Dentistry allows for me to be involved in a profession that encourages a lifetime of learning and continual practice to improve skills.

Despite the satisfaction resulting from patient care, “worth it” also means being able to provide a comfortable lifestyle for my family. Financial rewards (AKA the paycheck) and of course time are both very important. Having only been out of school for just under a year this aspect will be something that continues to change throughout my career. However, even at this very early stage, my family lives comfortably. I am able to spend time with my wife and kids. I am able to treat them to experiences that take many households years to obtain. In addition, I am able to give to those in need without feeling like I am strapped for cash. Despite the large monthly loan payments, I am happy with the financial rewards that my career offers.

Is it “worth it” to become a dentist? My short answer is, absolutely. Is it without sacrifice or compromise? No. If you want to get rich quick this is not the profession for you. It is going to take at least 8 busy years and a lot of debt to get to the point of earning a paycheck. However, if you want a solid and relatively stable career this just might all be “worth it”.