Through: Savannah Craig
Taking a one- or two-year GPR or AEGD program after graduation from dental school is just one of the many options available to new dentists.
Should You Take a Dental Residency Program?
There are many reasons to choose a residency program. Here are a few worth considering:
Road to Licensing
One reason to pursue a GPR or AEGD is that it is a pathway to licensing in NY, OH, MN, CO, CA, and WA.
In New York State, dentists must have completed a one-year residency in order to apply for a first license in the state. The other states will accept a PGY-1 program as an alternative route to licensing rather than completing a clinical trial like the CDCA.
Compile your resume
Another reason to take a residency program is to support a special application. Dental specialties can be highly competitive and adding the experience of a GPR/AEGD program can make a candidate more competitive.
In addition, a residency program can give applicants greater exposure to specialty programs and help them determine whether specialization is the right career path for them.
Gain valuable experience
Residency programs allow dentists to gain more experience. It is an additional year of hands-on training in many aspects of dentistry, including restorative and fixed procedures. Many residency programs also allow residents to complete more complex procedures than are offered in dental schools.
Dentists undergoing residency training have the opportunity to complete more procedures than during dental training while still being supervised by the faculty. This can give new dentists the confidence to know they have someone close by to help them.
Dentists in residency programs also have the opportunity to increase their speed and experience without financial worries. Residents receive an allowance and benefits from their programs that can remove the burden of concerns about their production. Many recent graduates are slow to get out of dental school, and a residency program provides new dentists with a controlled environment to increase production while still having a guaranteed income.
Learn your preferences
Residency training can also give you the opportunity to discover your niche in dentistry. Just like in dentistry, you can go into residency with a preconceived idea of what you would like to do in your future career.
Perhaps you entered the residency hoping to gain more experience with surgical extractions so that you could add more surgical procedures to an office in the future. However, you might find that you really enjoy molar endodontic procedures and can add that skill.
On the other hand, you may find that you don’t enjoy implant placement as much as you thought. You could be grateful to have had these experiences in a residency program rather than paying for CE out of pocket.
Finding mentorship is another benefit of residency. Each program has a unique mix of teachers present who supervise residents. Some programs have full-time tutors who work only with that program. Others have part-time counselors who work in their own offices in addition to the residency program.
These faculty members have chosen to work with recent graduates to share their experience and wisdom. There is an opportunity to build relationships with attendees who have different experiences, perspectives, and skills than the teachers you encountered in dental school.
In the ever-changing world of dentistry, it never hurts to have more mentors to work with and ask for help throughout your career.
Next: What every dentist should know about participating in a DSO or OSO
photo by Karolina Grabowskac