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6 Year Programs

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Minty Fresh, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. Minty Fresh

    Minty Fresh Member
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    Both the University of Pacific and Case Western offer 6 year combined dental programs. I have all the qualifictaions for both programs and have wanted to be a dentist since 8th grade. can anyone offer some suggestions on the programs or have any other observations about the schools.

    thanks,

    brett
     
  2. steiner19er

    steiner19er Senior Member
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    There are several schools that offer these programs. Univ. of Illinois at Chicago ( called the GPPA), where you have to be an Illinois Resident, and S. Illinois U, as well as Marquette, which will allow you to apply for it anytime as a freshman at Marquette.
    The best advice I can give you is to do well in high school. Make sure you have good letters of rec, from your high school teachers. These applications will probably require an essay, so do well. But most important is a good SAT or ACT score, whichever they require and a bitching high school gpa with tons of extracurriculars and volunteering. Pretty much you have to present yourself as a good student, a well rounded student, and motivated, 4 years before anyone else does. Good Luck
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Minty Fresh

    Minty Fresh Member
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    I already have all the requirements and scores and etc. I have spoken with the admissions officer at UOP and she said that it is no problem to get it with my scores.

    My real question is would you recomend it or do you see any problems with 6 years instead of 8.
     
  4. steiner19er

    steiner19er Senior Member
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    do it. You can always change your mind later, if you realize dentistry isn;t for you. You will be the envy of the other pre-dents at UoP. I will admit that me, along with every other pre-dent, wishes they were in your shoes. Take advantage of it. Also if your grades are good enough you can always apply to other schools, if you later decide to go somewhere else. But you have a guaranteed spot, so do it.

    The 6 vs 8 year thing is up to you. I think they also give a 7 year. Its a self evaluation, if you think you will be mature enough after 2 years of college do the 6 year deal. If you think you need some growing up to do take the 8. Also with the 6 year plan you have less time to do the pre-reqs. So you have to realize that you will have to juggle chem, orgo, phys, etc.... in two years as opposed to the 4 years
     
  5. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Hello Minty Fresh, I will be starting my third year of dental school in the fall. I did a seven year program (so this will be my sixth year) with SUNY Buffalo. I would definitely recommend it. In retrospect, these are the benefits I have seen. I never took the DAT, so that was one less stress I had to worry about while my friends were all freaking out about the MCAT/DAT junior year. I did have to take a PAT specially administered by the school and score at least 17, but I did that by Feb. of my sophomore year, so my junior year was really worry free. I also never had to go through the whole application process and interview process. Every activity I did in college was because I wanted to, not because "will this look worthwhile on my resume and convince the adcom of my passion for dentistry." Pre-dents are always asking me for advice about applying and the DATs and I never have much to say b/c I didn't have to experience either.

    My first year in dental school would have been my senior year in college. I am so glad I got first year done rather than sticking around in college and taking courses like ornithology and marine biology, classes that have no relevance to dental school whatsoever. At this point, I am getting really tired of being in school and being a student (I am 22 years old). I really want to get out there and start having a life and not having to come home every night and worry about some exam. (I get really irritated every time I hear how another one of my 22 year old friends is living it up with some impressive-sounding job in a cool city while I'm still slaving away in school). It feels a lot better to know that I only have two more years to go rather than three. Also, if I want to specialize, I know I have time on my side. I will be a dentist when I am 24 so I can work first and make some money before jumping into a specialty and really decide which one I want.

    I really like dental school. I am actually enjoying all the classes we take and the stuff I learn such as Endo, Pedo, Fixed, Path, Micro, etc. Once you start dental school, your brain is crammed so full of stuff, you forget everything you learn in college anyways. I just finished studying for the boards; I glanced at some of my college notes for a few things and I can't believe I actually knew the apoptosis pathway in agonizing detail in college cell bio because I don't anymore, nor do I care.

    Sometimes I wonder what if I had applied to other dental schools. I could have - while in college, I had the shadowing hours, decent extracurrics, published resarch, 3.9+ GPA. All that was missing was the DAT score. So if you do go through with one of these programs, I would definitely recommend taking the DAT to leave your options open. But then again, I did have a choice of dental schools when I was in high school b/c I had gotten into two seven year programs - SUNY Buffalo or Univ of Penn. I could have been in the class of 2004 at Penn right now instead of Buffalo, but I choose Buffalo b/c I am a NY resident and I didn't want to be 250K in debt from Penn when I graduated. And I'm glad I did b/c I now realize that the name of your dental school means very little except for alumni purposes. Dental school is all about your efforts and experiences, no school is going to spoon feed you if you want to be at the top of your class. That's something to think about since Pacific is a very pricey private school in an expensive location.

    As badly as I want to get done, I do think three years of college was important rather than two b/c it took three years to really form true friendships and have a normal college social life. Two would really cut that short b/c once you start dental school, your college friends won't understand at all what you are going through. They complain about some "big" field ecology exam coming up in two weeks. During those same two weeks, you have Biochemistry, Histology, and Gross Anatomy exams, numerous quizzes, and not to mention that you are in class all day while they get afternoons off. I had considered leaving to start dental school after two years of undergrad, but my junior year of undergrad was really my best year in terms of GPA, research, extra-curriculars, and social events, and it was the year I have learned the most about friends and people and living with horrid roommates.

    The graduates of the seven-year program at Buffalo are all very successful and usually graduate at the top of their dental class. None of them regret missing the fourth year of college. I also met a graduate of the seven year program at Case who is now an orthodontist and speaks highly of the program. E-mail me if you have any questions. Good luck!
     

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