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Thursday, November 21, 2013

To indulge your sudden interest in dental schools . . .

There's this 2009 Slate piece.  Some interesting facts:

  • "In the early 1980s, U.S. dental schools produced about 5,750 new graduates per year. In 2007, with a population that's nearly one-third larger, there were about 4,700."
  • "In 1980, the United States had 60 dental schools; today there are 58, and class sizes are smaller."
  • "Unlike medical schools, where students do their clinical training in teaching hospitals that bear the costs of such practical education, dental students get their training in clinics run—and paid for—by the universities."
  • "Currently, about 600-800 more dentists enter the profession than retire from it each year, but starting around 2014, as the baby-boomer dentists who graduated in larger classes start to retire, the number of practicing dentists will decline while the U.S. population continues to grow."

Then there's this response in the Awl, which points out:

What has happened over the last sixty years? From 1950 to 2009, the population of the U.S. almost exactly doubled. So did, quite nearly, the number of people enrolled in dental school.

What happened to dentists' income? As of 2004, their "average net income has increased 117% since 1990," according to the American Dental Education Association.

So actually we have the same ratio of dentists to Americans now that we had in 1950. Except they just make a heck of a lot more money now.

This brief story discusses an article from the Journal of Dental Education describing a shortage of qualified dental faculty.  However, commenters Red Stripe and Sea Dentist complain that schools are looking for the wrong qualifications.

Finally, go here if you are looking for dental student angst.  Some of the arguments and counterarguments may seem familiar.

Posted by Matt Bodie on November 21, 2013 at 01:00 PM | Permalink

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Comments

So, right now there are something like 40,000 more lawyers entering than leaving. Time to shut down the law schools.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 21, 2013 1:51:03 PM

But bros, you forgot the tuition and the debt.

Posted by: Bobbo McBobertsonton | Nov 22, 2013 6:37:21 PM

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