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Any advice much appreciated for a life changing decision

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by ti89titanium, May 28, 2008.

  1. ti89titanium

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    #1 ti89titanium, May 28, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  2. blankguy

    7+ Year Member

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    1. Your graduate GPA should compensate for low undergrad GPA. Adcoms will see the whole story and realize you are more mature and competitive now. Graduate GPA will be kept separate from undergrad GPA. You will be a very strong candidate provided you get strong scores on the DAT.
    2. There are schools that tend to send a higher percentage to post graduate residency programs. The exact percentage tends to vary year to year. Schools like Harvard gear students towards postgraduate programs. At this point since you can't be particular as to which school you want to end up, you can't fully control that, I will say doing well in dental school is the biggest factor regardless of which school it is. All schools will give you a shot at that provided you pull the numbers that program directors are looking. It is a bit rash to set yourself to pursue a specialty at this point approach this whole venture with an open mind. Who knows you may decide to be just a general dentist or do some other specialty.
    3. Between now and May 2009 I suggest either volunteering and/or shadowing several dentist. Make sure this is what you want to do. It also gives you something to talk about during the interviews.
     
  3. doc3232

    7+ Year Member

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    What was your MCAT score (any weaknesses in in the 3 parts)?
    Isn't a 98% about a 33-35?
    Does your medical app show that you withdrew early or is there no proof that you did withdrew early and rather just got rejected?
    Not trying to be rude but just trying to show you an outside viewpoint.
    blankguy gave some good advice.
    GOOD LUCK
     
  4. doc toothache

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  5. mss255

    mss255 Grand Master Member
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    Why are you waiting to apply next May? It sounds like you have all required pre-reqs and should be able to do quite well on the DAT (after spending some time to study). Unless there is a reason you're waiting, why not start studying for the DAT, getting your application compiled, having letters of recommendation generated, etc. and apply for the 2009 matriculation cycle. If you're thinking about waiting to start dental school until 2010, you'll be around 31 by the time you graduate. Once you add on another 4-6 years for OMFS, congrats - you'll almost be in your 40s. Although one year isn't too much in the big scheme of things, I don't seem to understand why you don't move forward now instead of standing still.
     
  6. ti89titanium

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    #6 ti89titanium, May 29, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  7. blankguy

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    1. I think taking a year to verify that dentistry is the right thing to pursue is a wise move. Don't rush it is only one year. Trying to rush into it and come to the realization that dentistry is not you thing in the middle of dental school is going to make for a very painful experience and waste your time that you could dedicate for something else.

    2. Have them rewrite the LOR. Just changing a few words here and there is risky. You risk having a letter to sort of alludes to medicine with few words of dentistry mixed in which is not going to sit well to adcoms.

    3. Take the DAT no later than say august. Get moving on your application, transcripts and LOR NOW. The processing and verification of the transcripts and application takes the longest. You are still considered early if you get this submitted now. I'd say if you want to be in the early crowd submit it by July 1st. If you submit late you will be competing for fewer seats for next year's class.
     
  8. fightingspirit

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    It is not surprising that you want to be an OMFS. OMFS is healthcare's ultimate dream career. It is a field that literally takes the best of the world of surgery, medicine, and dentistry in order to create a neat discipline that is easily practiced in both small private clinic settings as well as in major OR settings. Oral surgeons rock! They are the coolest and oral surgery is just cool…..
    There is nothing wrong with wanting to get into d-school just for the sake of becoming an OMFS. There's nothing wrong with liking OS over dentistry and its other sub-specialties. It's not wrong at all. It's just extremely risky and extremely impractical.
    no matter how great your brain is, no matter how high your MCAT score is, no matter how tremendous your desire is, there's no way for you to guarantee that you will do well in d-school in order to be an OMFS. it seems that you're a very bright person (98% percentile on MCAT is no easy feat....bravo!). but d-school is a horribly bizarre experience that does not necessarily reward the bright ones or the ones who study the most. d-school is unlike anything you've experienced or heard of before. also, you must be good with your hands! you must! dont listen to those who tell you that you'll learn hand skills in d-school because by the time you've learned the hand skills, you will have landed a nice chunk of Cs onto your transcript. you will be pulling your hair off due to inability to study for didactics due to inability to finish pre-clinic assignments on time! you will be misearble and you might even develop essential hypertension, in addition to clinical signs of sleep deprivation. you need excellent social skills and you must be interested in bread and butter dentistry because eventhough you want to do extractions, what you will be doing most of the time is preps, fixed and removable pros! none of that is even remotely related to extractions or cardiac physiology! you must also be a street smart person. you know, the type who picks things up right away. the type who knows when and how to boolhsit his/her way and how to sneak out of things. you must be popular to be included in major extra-curricular activities. you must be the type who knows what to study and what to ignore 2 nights before the exam; the type who studies exam trends for every professor to predict the questions that are gonna appear on the exam. you can't just study and understand things because you'll have no time whatsoever! study the textbook and you're guaranteed a C, or a B if you're lucky. be smart and memorize the non-sensical powerpoint along with the question and answers from old exams and you'll get an A. you have to be liked by faculty in preclinic and clinic because everything in d-school is subjective! there are no set standards and the few that are there are not followed. it's insane and painful. can you handle all of that torture? can you live in the wilde jungle that d-school is? do you have that type of personality? can you become like that? like others suggested to you: take a year off. shadow a dentist (not an ortho or an OMFS) and visit d-schools and do find a friend who can take you to d-school to see what students do.

    having said all of that, here are a few pearls of wisdom i can give you:

    AVOID "clinically-oriented schools" like the plague when you apply. these schools will have you do a lot of patients and tons of crowns and dentures before they let you graduate! they will suffocate you with pros, perio, and restorative clinic requirements in a way that makes it nearly impossible for you to pursue OMFS externships or OMFS-related research. you'll be so inundated with patients, crowns, fillings, and dentures that you won't have time to hang out at the OMFS dept to assist! these schools depend heavily on clinic-generated income so they will make you work for them, regardless of your individual OMFS aspiration! on the other hand, schools like columbia, harvard, uconn, will work for you and gear you up for where you want to be! at clinically-oriented schools, where you want to be does not mean a thing to them. they're more interested in how many crowns they can get out of you and your patients.

    before you apply, ask about the OMFS dept at the school. you might be surprised to find out that at some schools, there's not an OMFS dept.....lol...not a joke. for OMFS, i recommend: columbia, harvard, UCLA, uconn.

    good luck.
     
    #8 fightingspirit, May 31, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  9. Brownstain

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    Fightingspirit= Dead On


    Make sure you know what you are getting into here. It's hard to perform well in dental school, some of the smartest kids in my class do things like fail practicals and honestly the minute you fail one is the minute you are out of the whole specialty race. Things don't translate all that well from ugrad or even grad students. I'm personally an idiot, but I can memorize minutia which means I do better than alot of people who are way above me in intellegence. There are some serious whiz kids in dschool. Only wanting to go to dschool to be an omfs is risky. Are you cool with the idea that you may not end up in a residency? Is general ok with you? Do you really want to be 36 and a quarter million in the hole when you start working?

    Most important is look into the REAL omfs, especially if you got cold feet about med school. OMFS is not the make your own hours run a business party know as general dentistry, saying it balances life with work is complete BS, oral surgeons are just as bad as any MD when it comes to being a slave towards your job. It's a ton of responsiblitly!

    You are on call. You are doing exteremly complicated and dangerous proceedures. 1mm to the left = paralyzed face = lawsuit. You are often dealing with some of the worst possible patients on earth. They aren't all teenage girls with soccer moms paying to have their thirds out for braces. It's the old, neglectful, low socioeconomic status, smoking, hypertensive, diabetic, medicaid patient with teeth so rotten that your general wouldn't dare touch their extractions with a ten foot pole. You are digging your general dentist's stupid ass out of trouble when he screws up. That's right, when he puntures a whole root through a sinus, breaks a needle, fractures a mandible, severs an artery with a bur whoopsie, you get to fix it for him. You are being called in at 3am for a 4 hour surgery to patch up a drunken redneck who hit a tree in his F-150...for no compensation because he has no insurance. You are working until the surgeries are over for that day, stuff in surgery can get complicated real quick.

    Observe an OS for lets say...a week. Don't just watch him do a couple biopsies, some implants, and pull some whizzies. Watch the real stuff; neck dissections, trauma, cancer removal, bone grafts, glossectomies, MMA's, it keeps going. You haven't seen anything until you watch someone cut out some smokers mandible.


    Not trying to scare you, but show some perspective. Its a big move, just wanting to go for OS is possibly setting yourself up for failure. Take a look at all facets of dentistry and make sure that there is another niche for you other than OS. Lots of people started in my class on the ortho/os gunner train, that number dropped to about a quarter of the original by the second semester. Its a rough life in dschool, things are competative, and there are tons of things like hand skills and subjective grading that at times are just plain out of your hands. Be prepared to sacrafice to get a leg up for an application. Good luck!
     

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