So, you want to be a dentist? This is a great career choice and there are a few different paths you can take to achieve this goal. While pursuing a dentistry course is generally a straightforward process, the addition of SHS strands has made it a bit confusing for a few SHS students. If you’re one of them, we’ve come up with the best answers on what SHS strand you should choose to get the best preparation for dentistry.
What Is Dentistry and What Does a Dentistry Degree Entail?
Dentistry is the study and practice of preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases and conditions of the teeth and gums.
A dentistry degree typically involves six years of tertiary education. The first two years of dentistry consists of general knowledge courses that serve as an introduction to the basic concepts of dentistry. After two years of preparatory education, dentistry students are then trained in more advanced courses, including oral anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, oral surgery, and more. The last two years will consist of more on-the-job training, with dentistry students participating in clinical training and duties.
Dentists can specialize in a number of areas, such as pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, or oral surgery. They may also choose to become general dentists, which allows them to treat a wide range of dental conditions.
However, now that the K to 12 program is in place, dentistry education can start even in senior high school through the various specialization strands. High school students can get primary courses that can help them achieve their goals of becoming dentists in the future.
Understanding the Different SHS Strands in the Philippines
Now that you’re familiar with what dentistry is, it’s now time for you to understand what SHS strands are available, whether through online distance learning in the Philippines or through face-to-face classes. There are five SHS tracks offered by educational institutions in the Philippines today: General Academic Strand (GAS), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL).
Each track offers a different path to college. The STEM strand is best for those who would like to pursue a university degree in engineering, technology or sciences. The general academic strand offers more general education and can be used to pursue any field of study. The technical-vocational-livelihood strand aims to produce employable SHS graduates through job-ready skill acquisition. ABM Strand are for those who dream to be part of their dream company or may be even manage their own. Lastly HUMSS are for those who would like to pursue a career in social sciences.
Aspiring dentists, however, will need to pursue a strand that will help you master the foundations of dentistry or any science course and be proficient in science and biology.
What Senior High School Strand Should Aspiring Dentists Take in the Philippines?
If you want to become a dentist in the Philippines, the best strand would be the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) strand in Senior High School.
The STEM strand will give you the foundation you need to pursue a dentistry degree. It will also prepare you for a career in science and technology. The STEM strand will give you a strong foundation in the sciences, which is essential for any medical profession. You’ll also learn about the latest technologies and how to apply them in a dental setting. And with a focus on engineering and mathematics, you’ll be prepared for the challenging math and science courses you’ll need to take in university.
The other strands – the Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) – are not as relevant to dentistry.
What Are the Benefits of Pursuing the STEM Strand for Dentistry?
For those who want to pursue dentistry, the STEM SHS strand may be the best choice. The STEM strand requires students to take a variety of science-related subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics. This will provide you with a strong scientific background which will be essential for succeeding in dentistry.
Additionally, the STEM strand also has electives that can help prepare you for further study in dentistry, such as anatomy and physiology. By taking these classes, you will gain knowledge and skills that will make transitioning into dentistry much easier.
What Other Considerations Should You Have When Choosing an SHS Strand?
Aside from the academic requirements, you also must consider other factors when deciding which SHS strand to pursue. This is highly important for students who are not yet 100% sure of the career that they would want to pursue after they graduate. To help you, here are some considerations and a few tips to assist you in choosing the best SHS strand:
- Consider your interests and skills. Do you excel in science and math and want to build a career that’s built around that? Or do you have an interest in the medical and healthcare fields? Before choosing your SHS strand, whether for dentistry or for arts, you should first consider your interests and skills to ensure that what you’ll be pursuing will be in line with what you’re passionate about. This will help you better enjoy the courses you’ll be taking during and even after senior high school.
- Research the career paths available in each strand. Before choosing your track and strand, do your research on what careers and occupations you can pursue after graduating from SHS. For example, if you complete a STEM curriculum, you can choose STEM strand jobs specializing in the medical field, dentistry, engineering, accountancy, and much more.
- Look for internships or volunteer opportunities. The best way to choose your SHS strand is to have in-person exposure to the career you’re planning to pursue. Look for possible internships and volunteer opportunities to help you get a rough idea of what a career in that industry will look like.
STEM Strand: The Best SHS Strand for Aspiring Dentistry Students
The path to becoming a dentist in the Philippines typically starts with completing a four-year bachelor’s degree in dentistry. Students interested in becoming dentists can choose from a variety of different educational programs, including the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) strand, which is offered at many schools across the country.
The STEM strand is a good choice for students interested in becoming dentists because it provides a strong foundation in the sciences and mathematics, which are essential for success in dentistry. Additionally, the STEM SHS strand is typically more challenging than other strands, which can better prepare students for the rigors of dental school.