Am I being selfish or lazy?


Am I being selfish and lazy?

I have just recently been accepted into dental school, and will start in August, 2014.

I have been feeling a little worried that I might not be doing God’s will in my life. I feel that I might have chosen dentistry out of laziness or selfishness.

I want to list the reasons why I chose dentistry and ask if you think that I am being lazy or selfish in my motivation to become a dentist.


*]~My grades in college were not high enough for entry into medical school, and getting accepted into dental school was a little easier than getting accepted into medical school. So I decided to change my career path from becoming a doctor to becoming a dentist.
*] ~The lifestyle of a dentist is much easier than the lifestyle of a doctor. Dentist work a normal 9am to 5pm job. Doctors can sometimes work 38 hour shifts and not get to go home at night, especially when they are “on call.”
*] ~If a doctor does something wrong, the patient will die. The stress of being a doctor is much heavier than the stress of being a dentist.
*] ~After graduating from four years of dental school, I can begin working immediately as a dentist. However, after someone graduates from medical school, they cannot begin working as a doctor. Only after an additional four years of residency and possibly 1 – 3 years of fellowship can that person begin working as a doctor. This means that the person has to do extremely well within medical school in order to get accepted into a competitive residency such as radiology or dermatology or surgery.
*] ~I love the fact that dentists are still considered “doctors” but don’t have the work hours or stress of a medical doctor. I come from a family where we value honor/prestige very much, and becoming a “Doctor of Dental Surgery” will bring great honor to my parents.
*] ~Even if I do badly or mediocre in dental school, I will still be able to become a general dentist, which is great! But if I do badly in medical school, then I will not be able to apply into a competitive residency such as radiology or dermatology. The pressure for medical students to match into a good residency program is something that I do not want to go through. I don’t want to go to medical school and fear the possibility of getting rejected from a residency program. I don’t want to constantly be afraid of doing badly in school.
*] ~Most importantly, the reason why I chose dentistry is because of the comfortable life style. Working 9am to 5pm? What more can I ask for? That’s the perfect life. I could have the rest of the day or the entire weekend just to rest and relax and pray.

But the thing that I worry about is being lazy. Do you think that my desire to become a dentist because of the easy “9am-5pm” work life is lazy? I feel so selfish saying this. But it has been my dream to become a dentist ever since I was in junior high, and I have been working really hard – just so that I can live a comfortable lifestyle and be able to rest when I get home. Is that such a bad thing?

In my mind, the life style of dentist (9am-5pm) seems so perfect and wonderful – it is my dream to live that life. Am I settling for a really lazy life?

Am I settling for a really comfortable life? Is it a bad thing to want to live a comfortable life? Am I being lazy?

I work so hard in school, and now, I just want to rest and get out of all that drama and stress. I’m so tired, and I am only 22 years old. Is that being lazy?

Sometimes I watch the news, and I see poor children in other parts of the world who are dying of starvation and cancer and disease – and I feel so horrible because I know that after graduating dental school, I will have a really easy, comfortable life. I feel guilty because everything in my life right now is going so perfectly. My dream finally came true! I finally got accepted into my top-choice dental school! But I feel so guilty.

I don’t know what to do. Please help me.


I, too, am thinkign about becoming a dentist. This year, I will be a senior in high school, and then I will be off to college (most likely Fordham! :D). I want to be a dentist for many of the same reasons you do, plus the fact that I will be able to help people by what I do. So, no, I absolutely do NOT think that you are being lazy or selfish by wanting to live comfortably. Isn’t that what people go to college and get an education to do?

As long as you feel God is calling you to the vocation of dentistry, then I think that it is perfectly fine. Plus, you will have a lot of time to spend with your love and worship of God alone through the Catholic Church, which we both know is the number one most important thing in our lives. With your free time, you may even be able to join a Church apostolate and do some special work that way: volunteering, etc.

So, therefore, I think that you are perfectly fine in the path that you are headed, and as long as you feel that this what God wants for you, then go for it!

May God bless you abundantly now and always! :slight_smile:


It sounds like you know your limitations.

I wouldn’t say you are lazy, I would say practical. And you realize that you are more than your profession. Being a dentist will give you the free time that is important to you.

I wish you all the best in dentistry school. May God bless you and guide you.


As anyone who has had toothache will tell you, dentistry is an honourable calling as it is aimed at relieving pain. Sure, you might not kill as many, but you can still kill so be careful.
A nine to five workload can be just as stressful, and just as tiring.
If you get through give some of your work to the poor and possibly the poor in other countries and God will love you as a doctor. Hee! Hee!
Being a dentist is a good profession.


A lot of people work 9-5 jobs. We don’t all have to work grueling hours in a stressful job just to “prove” that we are not lazy.

That said, sloth is a sin that we all have to watch out for. And sometimes sloth can manifest itself as being a workaholic. The key for us is to give due time and attention to God.


you are going to dental school that is far from being lazy. If you are tired that is probably because you are dealing with a lot of stress and busy days, not because you are lazy.

If you believe that you can be a good dentist but it won’t bring as much stress as going to medical school than do it. There is nothing wrong with choosing a life that is less stressful.


one of the struggles I have is giving my time of leisure over to God. But God wants us to rest, relax, and have leisure. For those who are growing in holiness the evil spirit will bite our conscious trying to unsettle us. I think those who are growing in holiness and have a tendency to enjoy their leisure time and a lot of times simply do nothing, many times they may think oh man any down time is not good time. Of course you have to control your time and not become slothful, but if you had a hard day at work, there isn’t in the house that must get fixed or cleaned, there is nothing wrong with sitting down for a few hours and just watching TV trying to relax and do something that requires no effort. Now if we spend the entire day watching TV that is something different, but there is nothing wrong with when we are exhausted to sit down and do nothing other than watch a movie, play a video game, surf the internet, watch tv, etc.

Of course all things in moderation.


Right. We don’t want to get scrupulous about every time we sit down and relax for a bit. Moderation is key. Even Jesus had to take his leave from the crowds every once and a while. :slight_smile:


I think you are using reason to go through points to make a good decision, very practical.

Doctors have a hard time meeting people, getting married and supporting a family because of crazy work schedules. Dentistry allows a person to have a stable income, those hours are good for married and family life. You will have an income that can bless others, you will have employees that you can be a fair and kind employer. As you grow into this vocation and come into running a business and having a family, there will be much opportunity to be selfless and generous.

God guide and help you to remain faithful and be a witness to his love as you go through these difficult years where many abandon their faith. Stay plugged into his love during these years and continue to walk in his blessing!


I don’t think so at all. You’re looking at what you feel you need in a job to be comfortable and secure. If your desire is to help people, and not so much the honor of a prestigious title, then you’re on a good path to help those in need. I think some people are meant to live in very hard conditions - like some of those in ministry, but I also believe that someone has to take all forms of jobs. The important thing to remember is that regardless if you’re a doctor or whatever, you’re not any better than someone who may not have a high school diploma and has to empty your trash for a living. A doctor serves the needy and a good one does it because they want to help. The title and money helps though.

I think God wants us to serve and love those we serve, rather than looking for a type of job. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t aspire to great academic heights either though.


There is nothing at all with your line of reasoning. Many people choose careers because of other factors, including the desire to have a family.

Me, I am a former pre-med, switched to pre-dent (because I was not really interested in the other half of the body), then returned to pre-med. I aspire to be an ophthalmologist, for a combination of humanitarian and “selfish” reasons, including the desire to work with patients with cancer and/or trauma of the eye and the bony orbit…as well as the desire to raise a family (ophthalmologists do not take call as much as general surgeons or oral and maxillofacial surgeons [DDS/DMD]-----I considered becoming an OMFS until a dentist who visited my university pre-dental society blurted out that the only OMFS he knows are all divorced, and let’s face it, I never really had an interest in dentistry save for surgery. That is not the only reason, but let’s not get bogged down in details, shall we?).

The end point of all this is do not be overly scrupulous. Remember that as a dentist, you exercise your work on behalf of His Majesty the King and God, who is the Divine Physician as well as both the commander-in-chief and the surgeon general, to use a military analogy, over His own medical department (of the Church Militant, that is the faithful still in this life), just like a medical or dental officer in the U.S. Army holds a commission on behalf of the President of the United States and serves on his authority. So, always keep Him (our Lord) in mind when you are in the clinic, as you will answer to Him at the end of your life, but do not concern yourself with the fact that you chose your career over supposedly “selfish” reasons. That is the Wicked One, not the Lord, who is trying to wreck your career.


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