SDN Forum: “One Man’s Perspective”

Posted: January 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

A potential HPSP student read my blog and started a thread on the Student Doctor Network titled “One man’s perspective.” Apparently my #5 reason for leaving the Army Dental Corps (Culture and Loss of Faith) struck a small chord with Destiny11 and he or she sought clarification. Here is my response (to the responses).

Im glad to see people are still talking about my blog. I started it to serve as a resource for potential HPSP applicants to use to really see both sides of the coin before making the decision to serve as a dentist in the military. I’m continually pleased to see it fulfill its intent.To address the original posters concern with my #5 reason for leaving the Army:

Maybe I was bitter when I wrote the blog post, but I was not one bit surprised I didn’t get into the residency. In fact, I was told point blank that I would never get selected because of my blog. I wasn’t even going to bother applying but my Commander really encouraged me to give it a shot. For some reason I thought that the selection board was objective – only looking at records, letters of recommendation, grades, etc. Not so much…

Now that Im out of the Army and looking back at the blog, I can’t believe I didn’t get fired for writing some of the stuff I did! I should have been Court Martialed and made an example of. Deep down I knew the blog would be a career ender when I sat down with my Dad back in November of 2010 and told him I was going to start writing online about the ups and downs of being an Army Dentist. And not do it anonymously. (And thanks Dad for encouraging me to do it anyway.)

You can’t expect to badmouth the organization you work for and not suffer some recourse. But to counter AirborneDentist’s argument, I wasn’t just some newbie CPT with a 2.5 GPA who wanted to be an endodontist. I was a senior CPT recently selected for MAJ, with a 3.4 dental school GPA, a pretty darn good military record, and who graduated 2nd out of 8 AEGD residents in his class. So I think I demonstrated my academic ability pretty well. But that simply doesn’t make up for being an officer with a reputation for stirring the pot. There was no way someone like me should have been selected for a Dental Corps specialty residency. And I wasn’t.

In hindsight, the Army was a great place to practice dentistry. There are some great things about being an Army dentist. But like I have said many times, theres a lot of downside to it too. You just have to be informed and really understand what you’re getting into.

I appreciate Destiny11 giving me the opportunity to address this. And as always, I’m happy to discuss my experience as a dentist in the Army with anyone. Send me an email at

  1. Sydney says:

    Do you have to be active duty to work as a dental hygienist at an Army dental clinic? I’m a prior service Marine using my GI Bill to become a DH. But, I don’t really want to be active duty again after everything I went through. I have seen a spouse working at the front counter at dental, but it looked like her job was administration.

  2. Kevin says:

    I’m a rising D4 starting next week and planning on seriously applying for the 1yr AEGD. I’ve heard pros and cons but have actually been told by other upperclassmen HPSPs and other army dentists that if you’re planning to get out of the army after the obligation is up, like you, that you shouldn’t do the AEGD. I’d like to do more complex surgeries and have experience with placing implants and full-mouth reconstruction when I get to private practice…but is that actually practical? I was told don’t waste my time with the AEGD b/c I’ll be referring all that out as a GP anyway and I most likely won’t be doing those complex procedures in the Army post-AEGD. I know you’ve only been out in the private practice world for a little bit, but what advice would you have regarding the AEGD since I’m probably wanting to go down the same route you did. Thanks again for your blog and all your advice!! Can’t thank you enough.

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