Has anyone considered dentistry instead of finance? How hard would it to go from the former to the latter?

I am an upcoming Junior at a semi-target school majoring in finance with a bad but rising GPA and no major extracurriculars. I've suffered through major depression for the past 2 years but have mostly recovered. If I get good grades for the next 1.5 years (which I am more than capable of doing), I would boost my GPA up to around 3.4/4 or so by the end of the first semester of Senior Year. However, investment banking seems to not be an option at this point and I don't know if I should even try. Would an investment bank ever hire someone with a GPA slightly below 3.0 for an internship, especially a fucking finance major (maybe if my major was something like chemical engineering they'd be a little more lenient)? I could've easily gotten straight A's for the past 2 years. The classes were much easier than I thought they would be, but I've suffered from a lot of mental problems.

Finance and investing are my biggest interests, but I am not sure investment banking is for me. It's just playing with Excel for 100 hours/week and the work as an analyst has very little to do with finance. And it's not a recession-proof industry. I am by no means a risk-adverse person, but it would be nice to have something to fall back on. And even though it is by no means a requirement, ample time outside of work would be nice. I have many hobbies and would love to be able to pursue them at my own pace. 

I've been looking through alternative careers and am considering dentistry. It's the highest paying career with the lowest hours per week. Dental school is 4 years and one can make $100K-$200K working around 30 hours a week. That leaves plenty of free time and disposable income to pursue hobbies on the side. I could start my own investment fund on the side and make even more money (I've done a lot of researching on conducting leveraged buyouts on small businesses). However, I am not interested in dentistry at all. If I pursued dentistry, how hard would it be for me to break into finance afterwards if I change my mind? Could I go to dental school and break into healthcare and/or general PE/VC? The dental school would provide something to fall back on if finance doesn't work out. But even just working as a dentist would leave me with a lot of free time and money to pursue investments. And the business aspect of starting a dentistry practice is very intriguing to me. 

Comments (6)

  • Intern in IB - Gen

You should read Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb. Dentistry is the archetypal randomness resistant profession. I think it sounds like a great deal, but I can't stand the idea of having my hands in people's mouths all day.

dwenceri, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There is absolutely no harm in applying. I am from a non-target and knew no-one at the top BB I summered at, just was plucked off the online app. Definitely very fortunate, I know how rare this is though. Point is no harm in applying. (To be fair, I did have very good internships prior in my first two years at school)

Most Helpful
ChrisQQ, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I know some individuals who have made this change. 

Things to consider: 

Total Cost of tuition, equipment rental and living costs during those 4 years. This is in the range of 400-700k depending on the school.

Lost wages for those 4 years

Do you have a real interest in all the areas of dentistry? If one area is of more interest, that would require an additional couple years of training in the form of a residency.

Are you prepared to be in class 40 hours a week and study 10-40 hours a week depending on the exam schedule.

Starting wages for dentists in major metros is around $500-600 a day working for a corp. Buying your own practice can range from 200k-2m if you want to be on your own and have the skills to support that. Servicing 500k of student loan debt on 500-600 a day is not conducive to savings/retirement or even enjoying the life you think you'll lead as a dentist.   After a few years, 200k on 4 days is def possible but you need to be an excellent doctor in a good situation to achieve this. 

It is a very stressful job I've heard. No one wants to see you and not many people value the work you're doing. You also have a target on your back for lawsuits. The high end TV smile makeover doctors are a very small proportion of what the field is really like.

It is physically demanding on the neck back eyes and ears. You're also exposed to chemicals and bio hazard on a constant basis. 

If you love it, give it a go! If you think its easy money, I'd look elsewhere. 

Regarding moving back into banking, It is possible with a degree from an elite institution (Same targets apply) this is generally for the MD side of things, but there are PE funds that focus on dental practice acquisitions. I cannot speak to the pay or prestige of these firms. 

Best of luck 

  • Business School in CorpStrat

Ad nihil dolores inventore est non accusamus id pariatur. Perspiciatis molestiae cum voluptatum quia. Nesciunt quia assumenda consectetur deleniti non porro fugiat.

NickJordan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Exercitationem iure qui sit dolore eaque totam. Deserunt adipisci deleniti corporis. Laborum esse ut doloremque a reprehenderit cumque corporis. Aliquid et sit nulla quaerat voluptatem. Reprehenderit sed libero perspiciatis laborum natus quisquam. Veniam sed iusto quisquam nemo dolor sed.

Voluptatem dolores ipsa adipisci id est reprehenderit error omnis. Quod nisi qui ex cupiditate. Beatae eligendi quia occaecati fugit asperiores quidem. Soluta est pariatur velit et et voluptates maiores voluptas. Nulla est velit voluptatem aut nesciunt odit quam. Quis quo blanditiis a et non in aut.

Est non maiores eum culpa. Saepe sit sed incidunt exercitationem ut aliquam. Ad et doloremque voluptatum dicta ut qui. Consequatur ducimus occaecati tenetur.

[Comment removed by mod team]
Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

March 2023 Investment Banking

  • Lazard Freres (+ +) 99.5%
  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.1%
  • Jefferies & Company (▽02) 98.6%
  • Financial Technology Partners (▽01) 98.2%
  • William Blair (▲11) 97.7%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

March 2023 Investment Banking

  • William Blair (▲05) 99.5%
  • Lincoln International (▲11) 99.1%
  • Canaccord Genuity (▲17) 98.6%
  • Stephens Inc (▲10) 98.1%
  • Financial Technology Partners (▲04) 97.7%

Professional Growth Opportunities

March 2023 Investment Banking

  • Financial Technology Partners (▲05) 99.5%
  • Lincoln International (▲01) 99.1%
  • Lazard Freres (▲14) 98.6%
  • Jefferies & Company (▽03) 98.1%
  • William Blair (▲03) 97.7%

Total Avg Compensation

March 2023 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (6) $592
  • Vice President (27) $425
  • Associates (141) $260
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (9) $194
  • 2nd Year Analyst (86) $170
  • 1st Year Analyst (265) $170
  • Intern/Summer Associate (45) $165
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (194) $92