Becoming A Dentist Or GP: What’s Better?

By on January 2, 2013

Whether an aspiring healthcare professional chooses to pursue a course of study to become a GP or a dentist in the UK depends on several different factors. Certain decisions have to be made when a prospective student wanting a career in the medical sciences is still in his early to mid teenage years since the specific post-secondary formal academic training he is required to study is so crucial to him becoming a successful professional practitioner as either a GP or as a dentist in the UK.

Different Academic Requirements
In the UK, there are only sixteen schools of dentistry. This is an incredibly small number of dental educational institutions to have in an entire country as big as the UK. On the contrary, there are over one hundred medical schools in the UK, which is not as many as in the United States, but still is a high number. Moreover, the academic requirements are extremely different. To become a dentist, either obtaining a BDS or a BChD degree from an approved/accredited dental school is necessary, while becoming a GP entails a much longer course of educational training. It consists of five to six years of undergraduate-level medical training, a one year hospital internship and a two year hospital residency. In the UK, the Clinical Aptitude Test is also required for admission to both dental and medical schools.

Competition
Since there are so few UK dental schools, the competition is much greater to get into one of them and actually become a dentist than to get into one of the many more medical schools to become a GP. So, for this reason alone, a fledgling health professional has a much better chance of becoming a GP than he does of becoming a dentist. Only the students with the very highest grades, the best scores on the entrance examinations, and the widest variety of pertinent extracurricular academic involvements will be allowed entry into one of the few dental schools.

Costs
Since the GP gets paid an annual wage during both his internship and hospital residency after graduating from a medical school and getting licensed to practice medicine as a GP, it’s actually less cost prohibitive to become a GP in the UK than it is to become a dentist. So, if cost is a major factor, a student is better off pursuing the GP profession rather than the dental profession.

Comparing Career Skill Sets Required
Unlike the GP, dentists must possess an exceptionally high level of manual dexterity to be able to properly and efficiently manipulate the dental instruments such as the drill, tooth extraction pliers, and Novocaine syringes, for example. The GP does not require these expert level, hand-eye coordination skill sets. Nor does he have to be able to focus and concentrate on any major physical medical task for prolonged periods of time like a dentist does, so the GP’s eyesight doesn’t have to be nearly as strong as the dentist’s does. For these reasons, more students have the potential for success as a GP than they do as a dentist, since only a handful of individuals possess superior manual dexterity.

Author Bio Shelley Jones is a recruiter for dental jobs Australia and knows a thing or two about the Australian job market. When she is not busy writing about Australia’s top jobs and head hunting the right person for the right job, she loves DIY and spends most of her weekends experimenting with her DIY projects.

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