The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

A Dentist’s Transition to Medical School

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Justin Middleton, who is an oral and maxillofacial surgery resident at Boston Medical Center. They talk about the differences between dentistry and medicine, and how to find your specialization in either field.

  • [00:50] Introducing Dr. Justin Middleton
  • [02:27] Dental School VS Medical School
  • [04:49] Oral Surgery Training
  • [07:24] How to Find Your Specialization
  • [11:33] What Dr. Middleton Would Change About Healthcare

Training to Become an Oral Surgeon

Dentists who aspire to become oral surgeons must go through training and residency. This is a general overview of what those four years will entail. The first year is regarded as the intern year, where dentists see and triage patients. They also assist in case planning and in optimizing patients for treatments.

During the second year, dentists spend most of their time in general surgery, and then in anesthesia. Finally, in the third and fourth year, oral surgeons-to-be start to work on bigger cases with the attendings.

Find Your Specialization in Medicine or Dentistry

Before choosing a specialization, think of your values. Find out what you enjoy and what fulfills you. Envision the life you want to live. For Dr. Middleton, he absolutely loves making patients feel better after they come in for a dental visit. He also chose to become a dentist and oral surgeon because he likes to work with his hands. It’s helpful to ask around to get a picture of what a certain field or practice looks like. And remember, there is no harm in changing paths if you discover a new one that works for you.

You can reach Dr. Justin Middleton by sending an email to [email protected].


To learn more about how MedSchoolCoach can help you along your medical school journey, visit us at Prospective Doctor. You can also reach us through our social media:


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Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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