Will Dental School Debt Lead to Future Counseling?

Future dentists these days are being subjected to large amount of loans that are necessary as a part of dental school. This topic has been covered a bit before on this site, see for example http://blog.teethremoval.com/medical-school-student-costs-in-the-u-s-are-affecting-mental-health/ and http://blog.teethremoval.com/medical-students-are-at-risk-for-suicide/. This topic has also been recently discussed on the American Dental Association (ADA) Viewpoint and Letters to the Editor. In an April 18, 2016, letter titled “Dental student loan debt” Dr. Sparkman from Texas said

If most dental students today are borrowing over $200,000 to get out of dental school then I have part of the solution in three words.

Get a job.

Dr. LeMert a 2009 dental school graduate from the state of Washington took issue with this position and found Dr. Sparkman’s position laughable.  He said in a May 16, 2016 letter titled “Dental school reality

Dental school itself was a 60 hour/week endeavor that not only left you physically tired but often mentally spent… Students today might be able to work … but at what personal cost? Physical and mental health, as well as preservation of marriage and family, if that applies, needs to be important to our students if they are to graduate as well rounded individuals ready to take on the challenges of entering the work force.

Essentially Dr. LeMert argues that dental school is just too demanding each week to really be able to work much and make up this money without sacrificing other aspects of their life. Perhaps a dental student wants to have some time to workout and exercise and to have some downtime where they can rest and recuperate. They may also want to date and perhaps get married and start a family. Many people these days get into deep and meaningfully relationships during the time dental school occurs. A spouse or a future spouse may not be able to really commit to a relationship with a dental student who was in school all day and then also trying to work to make back up some of their money to reduce their future student loan burden. Furthermore, if a dental student manages their time such that they are in school and work nearly all the time, this may set up a bad habit in their future lives once they graduate.  These individuals may go on to have problems in their lives and even may require marriage counseling or relationship counseling to try to save their relationships with friends and family. Clearly dental education is in need of some reform so that once dental students graduate they are not overwhelmed with huge amounts of loans and debt as this may affect their ability to be the most ethical dentist that everyone wants.

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