Do you aspire to be a Dentist?
I studied Dentistry in one of the Universities (Centro Escolar University) in Manila, Philippines. Here are some pointers that I can share.
1. How long is the course?
In my home country, Dentistry is a 6-year course. To have an overview, I have given a breakdown of what to expect during the course.
1st 2 years: Preparatory Dentistry. These 2 years consist of basic subject like English, Algebra, Botany,Biology, etc.
2nd 2 years: Dentistry Proper. In these years, we studied the basic Dentistry subjects.
Last 2 years: Focuses on the Clinical years and complex Dentistry subjects as well. The clinical years would require us to find our own patients to complete our requirements. We treat these patients with the supervision of our Clinical Instructors.
2. Where do we source our patients?
There are a number of options on how to find your patients. First, your friends or family members who are willing to be treated (or to be your guinea pig :)) by you. You can also go to those less fortunate areas in your barangay and ask those families who need dental treatment. Most of them will be willing to go with you. In my experience, I find this the most effective means since I would know where the patient lives in case I need him or her to come back for a recall appointment. Another option is to get them from "agents". These agents have sourced patients themselves, students will look for patients from them and pay them instead of looking for patients on their own.
3. What is the cost to study Dentistry in the Philippines?
Since times have changed since I graduated, let me just highlight some of the expenses:
- semestral tuition fees
- fees for school supplies, dental instruments/ equipments/materials
- allowance for personal needs
- allowance to pay your patient's fare and meal (yes! you read it right)
4. What are the schools that offer Dentistry courses in the Philippines?
You may click on this link: www.finduniversity.ph
5. What is next after the 6-year studies?
In the Philippines, to be able to practice your profession as a Dentist, you must pass the Licensure Examination. The exam requires us to pass both Theoretical and Practical categories. After passing the exams, you have to register at the Professional Regulation Commision to get your license to practice.
6. What are some of the Career avenues that you can do after studying the course?
- Practice as Licensed General Dentist in our country
- Go for further specialized studies
- Be a Dental Professor in Dental Universities
- Work as a Dental Assistant (overseas)
- Venture the Business/ Administrative side of a Dental practice
- Sell Dental Materials/ Equipments
7. What is the difference between a General Dentist and a Dental Specialist?
General Dentists: Licensed Dentists whose area of practice are the the general and basic dental treatments such as prophylaxis, extraction, filling, simple root canals, etc. These pratitioners didn't go for further specialiazed studies.
Dental Specialists: they are practitoners who went for specialized studies. They opted to concentrate or narrow their practice to a specialty.
8. What are the Specialized Fields in Dentistry?
You may click on this link: http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/dental-specialties/specialty-definitions
9. What is the difference between DDS and DMD degrees?
You may click on this link: http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/general-dentistry
10. What traits should I posses to become a Dentist?
I would say my top 3 lists are: Perseverance, Patience and Persistence :). I believe that they are also applicable to any other courses you may wish to take.
All the best to all dentists-wanna-be! I hope you picked up some useful information from our list.