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Once training to be an orthodontist, how does one make a living while attending school for so many years?

Seems like a lot of school. How do you pay the bills during that time? Is there clinical where you earn money while learning? #orthodontist #orthodontics #medicine #college #career-counseling

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Michael’s Answer

You're right, it is a lot of school! 4 years of undergraduate for a bachelors degree, 4 years of dental school for a doctorate, and 2-3 years of what is called "residency" to specialize in orthodontics. All that school means A LOT of loans.

Like those students who cannot afford undergraduate, most people training in orthodontics take out federal loans (if a US citizen) to cover tuition and other expenses. Just like the loans that cover undergraduate and graduate school, during residency the US federal government allows you to take out loans that not only cover tuition but also cover living expenses. These living expense funds are dispersed as "tuition refunds" each semester. While not enough money to live lavishly it is certainly enough to pay rent, eat well, and make things work. It is always advisable to take out enough loans to cover only what you need of course. How much you need and how far it gets you will vary based on living expenses in your area but if I could make it work in New York City during dental school then it can be done anywhere if you spend wisely!

To help supplement these living expenses some orthodontic residents choose to practice as a general dentist on weekends. However, training in orthodontic residency is a full time gig so there is not nearly enough free time to work the hours it would require to pay tuition.
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Anthony’s Answer

Most people will not be able to keep even a part-time job and get good grades.
Unless, you have a photographic memory or are extremely gifted.
Any part-time job WILL effect your grades, especially for a really hard degree, like Medical.
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