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1334 Connecting Students & Doctors with Laura Turner & Riley Edmister of Student Doctor Network (SDN) : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1334 Connecting Students & Doctors with Laura Turner & Riley Edmister of Student Doctor Network (SDN) : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1/16/2020 3:00:00 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 72
Laura Turner attended the University of California at Davis, graduating with Bachelors of Science degrees in Aeronautical Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Following completion of her undergraduate degree, she completed a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Los Angeles. Laura worked as a software and information technology project manager in Southern California. Laura currently serves as the Executive Director for the Student Doctor Network, a non-profit family of websites that help students become doctors. In this role, she coordinates a network of remote employees to build online tools and resources which are provided for free or at-cost.
Riley Edmister is a soon to be dental student, currently finishing up her undergraduate degree. Riley works as a Student Consultant at Student Doctor Network. She spends most of her time studying, volunteering, and shadowing dentists.



VIDEO - DUwHF #1334 - Laura Turner


AUDIO - DUwHF #1334 - Laura Turner


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Howard: it is just a huge honor for me today to be podcast interviewing Laura Turner she's the executive director of the student doctor Network and she's sitting next to Riley Edmister who is a dental student currently finishing up her undergraduate degree and she is a student consultant at student doctor Network and I am my gosh I am so excited to have you guys on the show because I was born in Wichita Kansas and student your network was born in the Kansas State University or University Games or Kansas State

Guest: I believe it was Kansas State 

Howard:  I feel like I feel like worse if two people were in Kansas one did it for dental students one did it for dentists and we've been doing it for 20 years two proofs in the pudding but Laura Turner attended the University of California-Davis graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees and aeronautical science and engineering and mechanical engineering a master's following completion of her undergraduate degree she completed a master's science and mechanical engineering a University of California Los Angeles Laura worked as a software and information technology project manager in Southern California and serves as the executive director for the student doctor Network which is a non-profit family websites that helps students become doctors she coordinates a network of remote employees to build online tools resources which are provided for free or it cost student dr. Network was founded in 1999 same years dental town by medical students and residents applying to help professional school which back then was a challenge without social media or a centralized resource to gather information students were left to simply hope for the best today's SdN brings together thousands of current and future healthcare students and professionals into one community to share information offer guidance and provide encouragement with nearly 700,000 members and 19 million posts covering all areas of health care and education process and then next to her is little young Riley's who graduated from dental school I'll graduate from college right in May in May okay and and then you're gonna be you're gonna apply to dental school yes have you got accepted yet yes Oh which one we'll see were they all in Texas no no Texas yet okay well the answer to which school you go to is the lowest cost school so you just line them all up by cost and you're done with that and if you have any other questions or thoughts see money's the answer what's the question so you're the so you're the the target market of who they're trying to focus on students becoming doctors so Laura my gosh are you my sister or what

Guest: really has a similar path that student doctor Network had a similar age and really new you know new thing back in 1999 when we started the whole idea of putting information on the Internet and now you wouldn't think of really doing your research for four schools anywhere else besides going you know starting with the Internet so definitely I think we have there's a lot in common there so when student doctor network was founded there wasn't a lot of information online and so there was an attempt they worked with the student doctor network forums were founded as you mentioned in Kansas and then there were a number of other different sites that are found early Burnett had brought together and created this network and originally the thinking was that some of the other informational content was going to be the primary driver of the site but definitely the forum's are probably the best-known and largest part of the student doctor Network now you say you said the founder was Lee Burnett yes that'd be you are in ett be a RN ET t bu RN e TT and he was was he from no

Guest: no he was at the time an osteopathic medical student at the Western University of Health Sciences which is out there in Pomona California so but he there were a number of different folks putting different sites together and Nancy and in Kansas was the one who originally she was a librarian at Kansas that had created the Forbes originally 

Howard: Wow and she still I'm doing that is she's still involved um she is not active with the site anymore now huh yep there it is physician co-founder and volunteer director Lieber summarizes our vision we founded site to provide free independent unbiased information to students that's so cool so so how has it changed in all these years 

Guest: used to be there wasn't a lot of information online so looking at the admissions process back in the late 90s early 2000s there wasn't information out about what's your process that you have to go through and this is for a lot of the different Health Professions we target a bunch of different ones medical dental veterinary psychiatry psychology rather Pharmacy so a number of different areas and there just wasn't a lot of information out there and some of the different for example like the Medical College groups and things were actually very opposed to having information be available to students and so at that time that it was a little bit radical to make this information available so that students who were non-traditional who maybe were coming into it from being taking not directly out of undergraduate or who were at a school that didn't have a really good advising program for pre-health students could get access to the information that they needed in order to be successful as time is going on obviously now there's a lot great resources online and there's a lot of different options for students and information out there and certainly a lot of the groups like the American Association of medical colleges and others have a lot of great information available now for students whereas before they were very reluctant to put information on so I would say that information availability is probably the biggest change that has gone on over time so that's that's the primary thing I think I've seen change over the years and

Howard:  what about um what other changes I mean when I think of a community I mean like like today I mean I mean um really the 5,000 year history of humans you know they had Wars and battles and all this crazy stuff I it's hard to have a community when you have a bunch of humans involved so what is your biggest challenge having all these humans where everybody's an expert and you couldn't get any of them to agree that today is Monday it has gotten

Guest: I would say probably a little more contentious over the years and that is something that we actively work to combat is some of that not not necessarily contentiousness it's it we don't want to dissuade people from having open discussion and we think that's important because it's too easy to get into a thought bubble if you aren't hearing dissenting opinions but we do have a number of initiatives that we've done to try and limit the people who are on there just to troll or cause trouble so we've enhanced our registration over the past year so now every registration that comes in is reviewed by an actual human being and people have to provide information on why they want to join as well as we have gotten a little more aggressive in duration I would say probably you know 10 15 years ago this site was a little more collegial and tone but as more people come onto the internet I think the comments and as you can see in the comments section for like any newspaper or online people I think get emboldened by the anonymity of the Internet and so we we have been working to enhance our moderation to make sure that we're keeping it the collegial friendly community that we have strived to make available 

Howard: well you know when you look at the fact that a human has more muscles in their face individual unique muscles than in their gluteus maximus which is in charge of carrying us around the whole surface it's all part of this communication I remember back in the early days before emojis were invented you'd say a joke but the guy didn't know it was a joke and we go ape ballistic so they've had to augment with all these emojis and things like that but that poor sapien if he was in your face he'd be getting all this continuous feedback which would tone him down because he doesn't wouldn't want to have a violent conflict but when he's sitting there on his laptop in his mancave they can just be overly toxic can't they something that we continue to try and

Guest: and work for a collegial professional community so that would be your second biggest challenge or what would you say

Howard:  what was the first problem you said the biggest change what was that there's a lot more information Jets just a change in the environment that there's what used to not be available in a 

Guest:lot of places there's a lot more availability of information now and the groups like the school groups like the dental school groups sit there they're not resistant to having information online I think dental is always a little bit ahead of the curve on that but I know like the medical folks tended to be a little more hesitant about one you put information online and that right to see a little more conservatism in that area 

Howard: so then so then when your neck so what your next biggest challenge be colleague colloquy illness being nice to each other

Guest: I would say that's probably something that we definitely work out quite a bit and make sure is because we want to be an open and welcoming community we want to make sure that the environment is is open and welcoming yeah and I and I

Howard:  I don't think toxic people really know they're toxic because they only know them and we we have to ban someone about once a month but we play baseball we give them three strike strike one strike two all the all the people who ban are volunteers so it's not like they know the owner anybody has an axe to grind and my god you just sit there and think how do you not know that you're toxic and nobody wants to be in that environment but they think they're entitled like I'm a dentist I should be able to go on dental town well done old town is private property it's my house and freedom of speech is between you and the government you don't have freedom to come in my house and start being toxic I in fact I had the freedom to shoot you the minute that happens and so so yeah ban yet and then or a second biggest challenge we have why everybody has to register when we have know who they are is because of that spam has gone stealth so there there doctor you know smiles but they don't say that he's you know that he's a paid spokesman and I wish healthcare would follow NASCAR that every time you go to a lecture instead of the doctor up there wearing a suit and tie and looking all prestigious and nice you know it's all crazy but he had to wear a patch from everybody who's given him $1 or more so you could stand there and say oh okay so he's paid and bought for by these three companies okay great that's fine I don't think those companies are evil and need to be shut down all that I just want that to be transparent and they just I am people whenever you don't want to be transparent then Poland should look out for the Blitzkrieg coming around the corner I mean you always want transparency I remember raising four boys whenever the only time my four boys are going to one room and shut the door so like okay that never ever happens why would they all go into one room and shut the door and sure enough it was never a good idea you know so so so do you have that issue with train non-transparency trying to spam

Guest: yeah definitely is you know issues of folks sometimes trying to manipulate discussions and you know similarly that similar to what you've seen as well but it's I think to some extent that you know one of the  things that students you know of Riley's generation and others is learning how to discern what people's motivations are is a skill that frankly everyone needs to learn and particularly folks who are going to be growing up is these digital natives that they are seeing a lot of that and just I think that that's that's a skill a skill set that's students really do need to learn as part of their education we do you know we do fight the stealth spam and stealth marketing activities as well that's definitely and something else that we see on our site as well 

Howard: so where does a solely Burnett MD he was a founder is he still a practicing physician and see around in Kansas her he's still around so busy practicing so oh he's your husband oh no Lee Burnett was your husband yes yeah oh well how did I not put that together yeah I'm sorry oh well you have a different last name yes so you know Laura Turner you're the executive director and he is Lee Burnett he was the original founder yes that's correct 

Guest:so that's how my entree was into obviously helping helping out with the site it just got to a point where it was really something that he ran as a hobby for quite a while and then it got to a point where it needed more TLC and used somebody to spend more time with it so I ended up but my background was in software development so it was kind of a natural fit for me to start taking on more of a role with student doctor Network 

Howard: Wow that is that mm-hmm that is very cool um did you ever think it would turn out like this I mean was he this uh this initial vision match today or is he kind of shocked that it all happened it was any idea that it would be 20 years later and it would still be going on or that it would be as large as it has become so so um Riley um how did SDL help you on your journey to be a dentist oh 

Guest:I started using student doctor network my freshman year of college and I would just browse the forums and it really helped me understand what the future would be like for the application process and what it took and my undergrad to be successful in my application so I the best piece of advice I learned from student dr. Network starting my freshman year I would start logging all of my volunteer hours and all of my shadowing hours so once I got to my application I had a huge excel file with all of my information which made it much easier so little things like that and big things that I took from STN helped me a ton when I got there 

Howard: so did you meet any so did you ever meet people on as you call it sdn student is that the lingual for sdn and set a student doctor network as everybody calls it yes as sdn they do that on downtown a hometown stn did you ever meet people online where you later met them for real in a cafe or whatever I

Guest: but a lot of people in my prevent organizations also use pseudo dr. Network so we can form a smaller community and real life through that cuz

Howard:  Lord we used to do that we used to meet every year in Vegas because you know you talk to these people all day long and you couldn't pick them out of a police lineup so you know we had an annual meeting but now I'm with face time and there's so many other ways of me but did you ever do the annual meeting thing we do all meetings 

Guest:we have over time there have been people who there been me ups that are more driven by the community so community has had some meetups and put together things we have had sometimes occasional get-togethers of moderators and our moderation folks and but again not so much recently for the same reasons that you identified that with internet communication and having video communication that doesn't seem to be as necessary to try and physically meet up together in person but certainly there have been lots of folks who've gotten to know each other through the site we've heard rumors that people got married because they met on the site so it's it's pretty fascinating to think about whole communities that have sprung up because of this site 

Howard: yeah we've celebrated some dentists that have gotten married are so in fact I went and became I got my license to be a minister so I can marry a couple dentists at our annual meeting oh wow yeah and my gosh I just I just cannot believe that marriage is still working I mean I've only married one couple and it was me and it was and it's still working maybe it's the inverse or something but uh so um Riley were there other substitutes in the marketplace for this online community for pre dental students or it was just the most unique er were 

Guest:there Facebook groups er what was unique about SDL there there are some Facebook groups but I feel what it makes soon Dr. Network unique is that you can really trust them because you're not getting your they're not trying to trick you they're giving you the real information and you're getting information from people who are volunteers and people who want to really help and who just think it's fun to go on the forums and answer questions and be a part of the community so I think it's really unique to have a website like that 

Howard: so I'm guessing you're 20 - okay I'm 57 and I know girls aren't gonna tell I know Laurens not gonna tell me but her age but is 22 year olds is Facebook group is Facebook the hip thing or did it moved to Instagram and then snapchat where's that what school the 22 year olds because I I've heard that once or and parents get on 

Guest:Instagram is the most popular but I can see I can see people my age moving towards Facebook groups and finding communities and those groups but for the most part I would say Instagram and yes

Howard:  so that was one thing we did on dental town that's a new thing we did and where you can set up your own private groups and that's been that's just been huge so so but I'm gonna go back to that deal yeah it's called um where do they call that my yeah so you go on dental town you can set up your own group but wait wait what did you not trust about Facebook or what was the issue its face what you said

Guest: it's kind of different for example I was in two different dat study group Facebook groups and they were a little competitive and one would say the other has all sponsored content and all ads and other would kind of say the same so on sooner dr. Network I just felt like I could trust what the information there and that it wasn't it's not an ad people weren't trying to sponsor me in different ways since yeah it's all it's all money and advertising lor did you consider starting private groups on your SD oh we haven't considered doing doing private groups I know in over do we have previously occasionally had chat available as an option but ended up being something that was just challenging to moderate so we do offer a private messaging function so if you can create potentially a group conversation there but part of our nonprofit mission is really to get information out to as many people as possible so our purpose is really to try and have most conversations be public so that people are able to benefit from those conversations so everybody has their own unique situation but there's a lot of similarities to other situations and certainly since there's such a history of information on the site and you probably have this on dental town to where if you do a search on dental town for a particular topic there's probably other folks who wrestled with that same issue so our goal is is well I definitely see the benefit of having some of the private groups as well it's not something that we have really looked at in detail

Howard:  yeah we had that same reserve where you know the user is generating the content is why everybody goes there so putting it behind a private group was you know it seem counterintuitive but we did it anyway and it turned out to be a huge success they go back and forth they just they just humans what we see it in study clubs so everybody that's in the study club business like say MTS Monge with Scottsdale Center when they set up City clubs and it's the magical number is somewhere between around 7 if it's 7 who bless the dentist show up they bring their case they they're transparent with her failures asking for help and somewhere at eight or nine everybody shuts up and it's  classroom style and they cross their hands they listen like like I know so many dentists who like every year they meet three guys in their dental school they go somewhere they golf for four days but that's their that's their trusted group where they you know everything that's going wrong in their life and  some people can do that in front of a hundred thousand people and other people just can't and so we did that private group and what we're finding is that there is that they're real small groups but that's their real confiding stuff and they just want total privacy and but I so what are your other challenges 

Guest:big challenges is we're really looking at where do we see student doctor Network going in the future and you know we have the forums and those are  thriving and people like to participate on them but we want to do more to help students and certainly I know that in dentistry you've probably seen the same thing as well as that the barrier to acceptance to getting into dental school as well as medical school in some of the other schools just seems like it keeps growing and it has become such an expensive process to get into school to get through school you see these students coming out with these massive debt loads and so we want to try and do more to both help students with the process and particularly focus on students who might not otherwise have the resources to get through that process on their own so we're looking at some different things and different initiatives to try and do more for students who are coming from underserved areas whether that's an underserved rural area so students coming from rural areas and/or students potentially coming from an underserved area like in an urban area across the range of different underserved areas because students who are coming from for example a rural area are much more likely to go back to a community if it's not their own community a similar community to theirs and likewise students were from an underserved community you know like an underserved urban community are much more likely to go back and work in an underserved urban community in the future so some of the things that we're looking at are initiatives in that area and seeing what we could do to potentially help drive that pipeline so that students from all stripes from all backgrounds are able to get get what they get the tools that they need in order to get into the health professional program of their choice that that's interesting because

Howard:  your  concern was the  rural the poor right and the underserved yeah and my um the other concern is wondering what the children today are wondering about the amount of debt they're gonna go into to become a doctor and delayed earnings I mean you know so you're not gonna earn four years of college four years ago so you're not earning money eight years you're going and debt yeah massive debt it's just history repeats itself it's the return of the indentured servants but instead of the guy transporting you it's the  government education system and so you're gonna have to give up a decade of your life so that the government education system can have their job in their class and their elite structure is that becoming more of a challenge that you see on the student doctor Network

Guest: well I definitely agree that you look at the costs of going of attendance for the health professional schools as just it's just skyrocketed and you know and it's you're seeing at least in medical I you know and I'm sure the same thing happens in dental is that you're really starting to see more and more student only students who are coming from privileged backgrounds can afford to get through the process to get into these schools so you're  really kind of limiting your your subset of folks who are able to to attend and the cost is just it here it's impacts all your decisions down the line if you look at your you know practice you know are you gonna go practice somewhere that might not be as financially you know beneficial to you coming out of school or are you gonna say well I have these hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt I need to take my best offer possible in order to make as much money as possible so that I am NOT you know going to be burdened forever you know might you know I'm not going to be burdened through all of my working years by this incredible debt and it's I think I think the debt issue is one that well you know I think we you know certainly there's a lot of discussions of it in at the undergraduate level but the graduate level debt is it's just crazy as well as the costs to apply for schools is has just kept on going up and up and then we are also seeing a lot more now of folks who are providing services like admissions consulting services so certainly the varsity blues scandal but there's a lot of Admissions consulting services out there and I think that they're preying on people's you know concerns and fears about not being able to get into school and so that's just become this whole industry of people providing feedback to students on their attempts to get into professional school 

Howard: so let's go back to the beginning why do you think the price of school went up so much 

Guest:I don't think that the price of professors has gone up much I mean you gotta look at is it the price of administration is it the you know are they adding more amenities you know and some of its that they have to keep up with the technology you know but I it certainly seems that I would think administration and some of the overhead in that area is probably part of the reason that some of that's going up I don't know what  are your thoughts as far as what do you see for why schools have gotten so extensive 

Howard: oh my gosh I mean it's always the same thing it's it's you the it's always the government regulation government will always I mean starting dentistry go 200 years ago when is GV black all the way to I mean appear for chard in France 200 years ago it started this profession GV black um it was apprentice I would go work for you and you would maybe after five or six years of working with you I would be a dentist and then and then the government says no  kids should not work no child should work but they don't talk about the fact that well what if what if the child is now rummaging through trash I mean isn't wouldn't it be better if he was working instead of eating out of a trash in and then they they say you can't work until you're 16 and so when your dad owns your own business or farm like me and my friend John lease who's now a dentist we go work at my dad sonica age 10 we'd worked the whole day and he'd give us a roll of pennies and then we got to 12 he'd pay us a roll of nickels those are all the dimes but we were at work we were learning we were productive we weren't home doing all these crazy things while her parents were at work and so it's just this education system where we're not gonna legally let you work and we're gonna train you for this all-purpose job and it's gonna take forever and then you're gonna be so productive you'll pay it back like four years of undergrad like okay like here's a class sample right well you went to four years of undergrad what did you learn about dentistry that you couldn't have learned in two years I mean you spent four years why not two years I mean just go for that so you could have cut your costs in half if you just would have needed half you know this stuff well what do you really think it took four years to learn what you learned 

Guest:science wise I think actually I don't think I could have handled that much of a science load for the prerequisites that are required and only two years so for the sciences you agree I think the science classes that I did have to take will help me a lot in dental school

Howard:  and a lot of the kids when you're on SDL are a lot of the kids concerned about getting all this debt 

Guest:I see a lot of people asking questions about and we don't really learn anything about the financial aspect of going to dental school you have to do all of that research for yourself so a lot of people do go to student doctor Network to try and figure everything out and 

Howard: did it make them start thinking or rethinking of that career versus another career 

Guest:in some cases I think it can but I think if you want to be a dentist that you know what it takes and I would never I want to be a dentist so bad I would never let anything stop me and I think that's how a lot of people feel and 

Howard: where did that drive come from what why did you want to be a dentist so bad

Guest: growing up as long as I can remember I wanted to be a dentist I remember my his third grade science fair project I tested are the boys Mouth in my class figure or the girls and I partnered with my dentist and she helped me take impressions of everyone in my class and it turned out that girls mouths were bigger I think from my class and just and she displayed my science fair project in her dental office and ever since I can remember and then growing up I got involved in ASDA and I really liked the that side of it with the advocacy and everything and now just being in the student doctor Network world and undergrad with asta I have really just solidified my passion for dentistry yeah 

Howard: I saw your article on your interview with Aza's so as is American student Dental Association yeah and is that a really close thing with SDL 

Guest:we have partnerships with as for awhile we've had for example articles that they've provided to us to publish on the site so we do partner with as doin some of the other organizations out in the the pre health professional space and and is is dentistry even a big at the STL I mean most people 

Howard: when you say student doctor Network I there's a million MDS is your your husband's an MD you said so there and those are in fact those are the ones I'm starting most the new dental schools like the new dental school in Arizona 80 still is an osteopath dr. Spath but there's isn't there like five videos for every DDS

Guest: DMD pre-medical is our largest community and its dental is our second largest community so if you look at what are the biggest areas of our site you know that the pre medical and medical is definitely larger but dental is the second largest so it's still a pretty significant it's pretty significantly sized community and 

Howard: where is the MD vs. deal when the students are talking about where they want to be an MD or a do what what is them attracting the two might different young kids well

Guest: I mean it's really students want to become physicians so they want to become you know medical doctors to take care of patients the osteopathic track or a schematic positions the schools historically have been a little less competitive the osteopathic physicians were more common in the Midwest and in some areas than in maybe a coastal areas so you see more osteopathic physicians in the Midwest than you do in potentially in other areas that being said because the medical school admissions have gotten so competitive it's no longer the case I would say that it is very competitive now to become an osteopathic physician as well as a you know a medic MD or Alabama position and so there a lot of students it's the the bar is pretty high so you know a lot of students look at both look at and applied to both allopathic MD and osteopathic do institutions so there's there's multiple options out there there are a lot more osteopathic schools now they're there they're growing and yeah I may have been opening some so some additional health professional schools I know like you said the dentist AT still dental school in Arizona and then a few others as well but there's still there's a lot more medical schools out there than there are dental schools in the United States

Howard:  and what about the what about the lower price Caribbean I every time I lecture down in the Bahamas or Bermuda or you're fishing down in Mexico whatever there's just a lot of people that were down there that I met that said you know it was gonna cost me $100,000 a year for four years to go to medical school at U of A I didn't get accepted and so that was the end of that then I realized I could go get my same degree down here for one-third the price and then they come back here and they take their boards exams and they're good to go have you been seeing more of that lately 

Guest:not really I think it's actually gotten more competitive that the issue isn't really with the medical getting the medical degree it's now that the issue is with obtaining a residency so in order to practice medicine in the United States you pretty much you have to have completed a residency so you know either those can go from you know three years for family medicine all the way up to ten plus years for something like neurosurgery and it is becoming increasingly difficult for graduates to the Caribbean schools to obtain resins residency positions so it's the and and as well as attending a Caribbean school is not usually any cheaper than attending a us-based medical school whether allopathic or osteopathic I can it's really expensive they have they can have fairly high board failure rates they're their models they really need classes and they expect some chunk of those people to kind of fail out and so then you're you know you've got a big debt load that you've put on you can't and then you can't get into you can't pass your boards in order to try and get a residency in the United States so you're kind of just holding debt and you can't work in the profession that you've been trained in so it's it's you know are it really varies but you know I think the general consensus or opinion on the site is is not very Pro the Caribbean institutions 

Howard: interesting and what Riley what have you heard about substitutes I mean why or white why do some people want to be a dentist and why others physicians you see you see a lot of students wrestling with that decision I remember when I went to those I'll just give you a point Itold my father McGloin that I'm gonna be a dentist and I was so dead set he says what's your backup plan I said I have no backup plan he said okay well you for your I want you to work at the emergency room at st. Joe and he made me work there on the student oh it was some program where you got a a student job and they pay you minimum wage 15 hours a week and he made me work in the emergency room because he wanted me to be it's those other stuff do you see students wrestling with do I want to be a vet a dentist do an MD

Howard:  a little bit the beginning I think whenever I'm still trying to figure it out but for the most part I feel people in dentistry are kind of sticking with it and what and

Howard:  I saw your interview the American a certain student Dental Association I'm I was really surprised at how you seemed to be involved in the community the politics I mean I could see already being interested in the American Dental Association and you haven't even

Guest: started an old school where does that come from and once I saw organized dentistry I really loved started loving dentistry even more because of that it's just so important to be informed on what's going on in the profession and being in communities like that is such an easy way to be informed that is first of all 

Howard: I've always had a problem with asda I'm an Arizona dental associates oh as de I always think talking about the Arizona Dental Association so whenever I hear that word I I never think of the American student Dental Association I always think of the Arizona that that's a rare behavior it seems like only about 14 15 percent of Americans are in the kiwanis the rotary their church group there's only 15 percent or joiners where do you think that is was that learn from your parents do you think it's a personality trait you're just born with that you that you like working with social groups like that 

Guest:oh I probably does stem from my parents that I've always been that way I always wanted to be involved yeah I just I've always liked it 

Howard:Lorie you always like where you like to have were you always in the joiner group definitely you know my my 

Guest:my mother in particular always emphasized service and doing you know doing service working with service organizations Scouts and entered church so I do think to some extent it is something it's a learned behavior from childhood but certainly I would say that the cohort of students who are going into Health Professions probably as a group that's self selects that wants to provide service I mean I don't believe that most folks would go through that level of pain and suffering and hoops you have to jump through if they didn't want to try and give back at least in some fashion to the community at large it's just there's yeah it's it can be a fairly you know financially lucrative profession but there's a lot of ways that people can earn lots of money these days and and I think there's probably easier paths if if you're rather than being a health care provider of some kind of physician or a dentist or what have you 

Howard: yeah huh so Woodham what other resources you are your people you always talk about a how many free resource available you have available for the student doctor network what resources do they like the most what do they consume the most what are they asking for mostly

Guest: I can take this one well the big thing we have a couple of things one we have a free publication that was written for us by a current dental student called how to get into dental school and so that really has a breakdown of the whole admissions process of looking at what is included in the application what goes into studying for the dental admissions test a little information about each school and a little background and things to look for in your interview items like that that's one of our more popular items additionally we have a tool on the site called interview feedback and that's something that lets you look at questions and interview questions that other students have received when they were out interviewing so students can take a look at what are the common questions that get asked at dental school interviews and then finally we have one other tool called ideas applicants where you can look at other students application and see how that compares to your application and what areas which schools were they successful or not successful in those are the key ones that I think people use the Rileys there anything else that I've overlooked there this study schedule is very helpful but it allows you to make study schedules for studying for the DAT or MCAT or whatever you're taking I think that the dental interview guide is so helpful and can really calm your nerves during interview because you can see questions from each individual school like Laura said popular questions how the overall interview felt to people how what you would change and it just provides some really valuable information that can kind calm your nerves before you go into that interview and just give provides a school review that you can look at

Howard: Laura's something you were saying that the environment is getting more competitive that the prices it's harder to get into these residences if you went to the Caribbean did you you think despite how much money that the price has gone up and

Guest: how much student loans you're gonna have to borrow that it's even becoming more competitive and more expensive yeah I mean the cost I'm gonna be frank here my understanding is a little more on the medical side versus the dental side the cost of applying to medical school because students now are having to apply to a lot more schools than they used to in order to get an acceptance only 40% of students who apply to medical school receive an acceptance and so students are applying to more schools they see that number again forty only forty percent of students who apply to medical school receive one or more acceptances only forty percent yes and and most students now are applying to fifteen to twenty schools each school has you know there's the cost of taking the MCAT each school as a secondary application for medical school at least that runs 100 dollars roughly per school 100 to 125 so just to apply to 15 schools you know that's fifteen hundred dollars there plus your MCAT costs then if you're lucky enough to get some interviews then you have to bear the burden of all the travel costs of going out to these different schools to interview so it's it's an expensive process it's it's really and I think that something students aren't aware of and that it really does add up so it's I do believe it's gotten more expensive over the years just because it has become increasingly competitive and if you're applying to more schools that adds more burden of cost burden of dealing with another application it's it's a just a challenging situation all around 

Howard: so what kind of GPA do they have to have these days well if you look at like the AAMC data most you know they break it out by the GPA ranges

Guest: if you look at it like if you have a three eight to a 4.0 then almost everybody who applies in that area is going to get in when you drive which you like at the highest levels you know three point eight to four point oh but you don't drop much below three you know people who are down in like the 3/5 range are not probably competitive for top schools so it's it's it's pretty a pretty intense competition Riley what's your I think that you're spot-on on that and if you do have a lower GPA it's important to have an above-average dat score I would say so it just depends and I do think they take a pretty holistic look at it what you're involved in plus your dat score plus your GPA of course so if your GPA is lacking a little you want to make sure and have a much higher dat score and vice versa 

Howard: interesting um and where do you where do you think um we're when is this gonna reverse I mean obviously the next generation they just can't make dentals medical school dental school twice as expensive as they got the last generation I mean I mean it's mathematically impossible at the rate it's going the the bet is the best giveaway for me is you look at how the price has pulled away from inflation so you know you look at housing and cars and autos and food like food costs and when I was a kid thirty percent of your disposable income went to food now it's 10 percent everybody's all complain about what Americans eat and they're getting fat and eating too much salt but they never talk about wait wait a minute we solved that first used to take 30 cents of a dollar we got it down to 10 so you're just like yay be happy and now let's with a good attitude fix the next problem but they always but too many times they always think that our generation did everything wrong and we lowered the price from thirty ten but the way medical school the way education is going you don't have to go out very far and it'll consume 100 percent of all the money in America so so what will be the tipping point well we'll make it turn around 

Guest:well we're starting to see for medical school particularly you're starting to see schools provide free tuition so there's a number of medical schools now there's a New York University no longer charges tuition there's a new Kaiser school in California which I think I believe also is covering all tuition for at least their first year so I think you're you're going to see more schools particularly ones that have these large endowments start to say you know what we're gonna start spending some of our endowment on covering the tuition charges for students now a immediately New York University became one of the most competitive schools in the country because who wouldn't you know take the opportunity to get free tuition and I think you're also seeing and potentially the undergraduate as well as a graduate school levels is just as you said at the beginning of early on if you're gonna apply to you know if you get into multiple dental schools what you should the way you should choose the one you want to go to is the cheapest one what's your cheapest one that there is equivalency between those degrees and and so it's I think that that potentially is an area where I don't think that yeah I don't think that we can continue to support ever-increasing costs of schools that's just not gonna it just won't be sustainable right

Howard:  right absolutely won't be sustainable crazy crazy crazy so um we talked about dentists cold do what's your third biggest group 

Guest:pharmacy is probably our third biggest group we're pretty we look at some where there are large areas veterinary is pretty pretty active you know if you if you want to look at folks who get charged a lot of money and don't make a lot that's their there  is probably in much worse shape because they make about half what a physician makes but have similar debt loads coming out so it's that they're very challenged so those are kind of the biggest areas physical therapy is one where we have a fair number of folks who participate in that area as well so doctor a physical therapy were pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

Howard:  I always see you guys on dental town on this guy it's dat and GPA scores she says you know trying to get accepted in dental school and everything and the first thing someone says go to student go to your website that is so interesting and then when he got accepted dental school he came back anything to sauna on dental school that he got in yeah but Marian's the toughest because the they decide when there are little kids there romantically in love with their dog or their cat and it's like 80% of humans live in north of the Equator and between about 20 and 40 degrees and if you're closer to the 20 degree you have dogs and you're close to the 40 degree you have cats and they decide real early in life that they want to spend their whole life so then when they grow older and start becoming aware this is really a bad idea it's really expensive you're not gonna make any money go home and eat your cat this is not gonna work out well but it's too late they're already emotionally involved and then on television all the television shows are about medical emergency rooms hospitals so then everybody that wants to treat the human-animal they all go to med school and it's kind of left dentistry this and this kind of like island out there on its own and I I think one of the reasons it's been a better if not the best economic bet is because there's no marketing note you're not gonna have a show about root canals but a puppy or a kitty or an emergency room or saving grandma before she dies III think dentistry is just a hard story to sell 

Guest:yeah I guess you know like Riley certainly you know you you wanted to do it since childhood but it probably is not as common you know it's definitely not as calmness like you said like veterinarian or physician wanting to do those  areas well 

Howard: I've noticed that whenever that that when you study careers it's still a family thing even our last names come from careers you know black smile blacksmith on all these names and it seems like about a quarter of the any class you go into all the way up to a third has somebody in in dentistry in their career now Riley your dad is in dentistry right it's what Andy yeah and Andy  how long's he been in dentistry your whole childhood yes my whole life he wasn't device sales and now he is a partner with DDS match and also has his owns his own practice called hub City dental 

Howard: what does them and did you do you think that is probably one of the biggest reasons why you're interested in dentistry 

Guest:yes he's given me a lot of cool opportunities to have an insight into the profession like I said my dentists from when I was younger with my science fair projects and I've had opportunities to go with him to TDA the Texas Dental Association yearly meetings with him and I've been able to meet a lot of really cool and inspiring people through that 

Howard: so you said he's got a Hub City Hub City dental family family dentist in Lubbock so is he the dentist or he just owns it he owns the practice that is a that is also something very interesting so in a lot of them stay you can't do that in medicine or dentistry but Arizona you can so in Texas he can your father was in dentistry and now he owns a dental office yes that's uh that's that's a pretty cool deal what's what's he think about that okay 

Guest:he really likes it and he has an awesome time in DDS match being able to connect with dentists that are retiring and dentists that are just getting out of school and connecting them to have their own practice with all of the patients

Howard:  huh well tell your old man that you were on the show before him so you one up him on that but I would love to have him come on the show and talk about what he's doing now used to not even be legal anywhere you had to be a doctor to own a doctor's office and then they've they've started changing that and that's uh there's a hygienist in Phoenix who got sick of working for other dentists and she's about my age and it really annoyed her and they passed that law and now she owns eight dental offices and now the dentist's work for her so she now she has the perio program she always wanted because she owns the business so interesting times you live on Laura is there anything that you thought we would talk about today that we didn't her no I appreciate the opportunity to come on I'm always excited to talk about the stuff that we do at student doctor Network and it's been really interesting to learn more about dental town and like you said it's sort of the parallel paths 

Guest:so thank you again for inviting us to be on the show and letting us take part in this conversation and tell your husband that he started this that was he from Kansas no no he was from California so we just met like over the Internet I think they admit they might have met at like an osteopathic student conference I don't recall how that the initial connection got made I it's just a whole new world because I remember last July

Howard:  I started this and I got the idea in 98 but it said till 99 to launch and back then Riley how old were you in 99 - okay so back then when I told people my idea they thought I was absolutely crazy and it has changed so much back then so now fast forward to last Christmas my granddaughter's 3 she's sitting on my lap she couldn't brings me she comes to my that takes away my iPhone and says play me Rudolph or whatever so I go to youtube and I type in Rudolph the red-nosed in there I pull up the song and we're looking at it and she goes no grandpa and she takes her finger and she smudges up the screen pulls up something throws over like you know gazillion videos and lands on the one I'm like the hell did she just do she's three I don't even know what she did so what's so amazing is that what we did in 9899 what was student doctor network and dental town now with nobody could get behind the idea back then and now today three-year-olds are like come on dude come on they're more fluent than I know I will ever be and so totally congratulations thanks for all the good work and it was just an honor to have you guys come on the show great thank you have a great day.  


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