AT Still (ASDOH) versus Midwestern AZ: my perception after interviews

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by woodwcr, 09.19.14.

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  1. woodwcr

    woodwcr

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    I just interviewed at both AT Still and Midwestern dental schools in Arizona and I wanted to let people know my perception about both of the schools. I won't bother talking about their interview questions (AT Still won't allow me to), but I will tell my perception of each school.
    I was very impressed by both AT Still and Midwestern, but I don't think I could have found two more opposite schools. AT Still was very focused on service and seemed to me to have a high emphasis on preparing dentists to work in community health centers (only 30% of their students actually go to community health centers, but this is more than any other school). They talk a lot about serving the underserved, including not only economically underserved but also physically and mentally disabled people. They also pride themselves on training American Indian dentists. I was very impressed by the overall cheer and feeling of unity at the school. The dean, Dr. Dillemberg, was a funny, nice, and very casual dean. He is all about public health and serving the underserved. The school has a very nice campus. The classes follow the modular system (only one class for 1-3 weeks) for the first year. The second year you are in the SIM lab almost all day every day (it seemed to be only an hour or so of lecture/tests all week). The third and fourth year you are in the clinic. The fourth year you do four rotations, each of 4-6 weeks. They have 18 rotations in Arizona, 8 in Washington, 6 in California, and many others all throughout the country. You must do one rotation outside of Maricopa County (the county Phoenix is in). They provide housing for rotations, which is sometimes co-ed, so this could certainly be complicated for married people. They will not provide housing for your spouse. During rotations they see many people in a day (they estimate 8-12, though that seems high). In the clinic on site they see 2 patients per day very consistently, but never more (it is not allowed). The professors seem very friendly and the campus is very nice. They have no research. They do some cool annual service activities and you can go on a mission trip, at your own expense. The class size is 76 and there are no residents to take the advanced work (except for orthodontics).
    Midwestern's focus seems to be making you into the best dentist you can be, and I think they can do that. They base their school off of private practice, so I think they are trying to prepare you for private practice. They do certainly value service and do annual service activities, but it is not so much talked about as at AT Still. The dean, Dr. Gilpatrick, is very different from Dr. Gillemberg. Dr. Gilpatrick is softspoken, professional, very kind, and has a near photographic memory. He knows everyone's names, including near all of his students. He has a big focus on training students to be able to keep up with the pace that exists in the real world. He focuses on quadrant dentistry, meaning working on all problematic teeth in one quadrant of the mouth during one visit, instead of just one tooth per visit. This means you learn how to work faster, though certainly with no sacrifice to quality. Dr. Gilpatrick supports an integrated systems approach for lectures, meaning instead of taking a straight physiology class, a straight anatomy class, and a straight microbiology class you will take an integrated basic science class that will cover all of these topics as they pertain to the ciruclatory system, then the digestive system, then cancer and genetics, etc. They also do not try and teach you things which don't pertain to dentistry (ex. minute, unimportant details about the Krebs cycle and facts about leg anatomy). They have mentor system between the 1st and 2nd year students and the 3rd and 4th year students. This means that as a 3rd or 4th year student you will always have an assistant (AT Still also has a mentoring system, but it is less involved so that you do not always have an assistant, or so I understood). Midwestern has extremely current technology. For example, they had four CADcam machines (like a Cerec) that take pictures of teeth prepped for crowns and mill out a crown right there. This is a huge development for private practices and it is great that a school has this technology. The biggest benefit of Midwestern is their clinic. The 3rd and 4th year students usually see between 2 and 5 patients a day; no other school that I know of can match this. They learn how to work fast and with an assistant. Moreover, they get to do advanced work. Many schools only place 5 crowns before graduation; recent Midwestern graduates have placed anywhere between 32 and 64 crowns. They get to place implants, practice simple orthodontics, and if you are good enough even help with full mouth reconstructions. They have no residents to take their advanced work (this is also true of AT Still). There is a 5.5 to 1 student to professor ratio in the clinics, so the professors are definitely there to help. Moreover, if the professors are not focused on the students the dean will fire them, and the professors at Midwestern are the highest paid in the country, so they don't want to get fired. The students at Midwestern were very friendly, though the class size is 140, twice the size of AT Still. There are mission trips done by students of Midwestern, often through the Academy of LDS dentists, though these are not school associated.
    Both AT Still and Midwestern had very nice schools. I was very impressed by both. They both have very friendly environments and nice campuses. They both quite expensive, though this is especially true for Midwestern (currently $76,000 including fees). Personally, I would say that if you want to go to a community health center, go to AT Still and if you want to go into private practice, go to Midwestern. Midwestern will certainly let you leave dental school and come out swinging (you will be a very competent dentist).
    One last note, I did not make it into AT Still. I got a 24 on the DAT, 21 perceptual ability, with a 4.0 non-science GPA and a 3.97 science GPA. I had around 250-300 service hours and I served a 2 year mission to Chile. Maybe since I am a white male I am not diverse enough. Maybe I appeared to business like. I am okay with this though.
     
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  3. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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    Wow! Super detailed and helpful. Makes me even more excited about my interview with Midwestern-AZ.
     
    ddsDreamz likes this.
  4. djwon1

    djwon1

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    This is awesome. Thank you so much!!
     
  5. ddsDreamz

    ddsDreamz 2+ Year Member

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    Same here!!! So excited now that I know a little more about what the school has to offer :claps:
     
    Daneosaurus likes this.
  6. predentHoo22

    predentHoo22

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    "One last note, I did not make it into AT Still. I got a 24 on the DAT, 21 perceptual ability, with a 4.0 non-science GPA and a 3.97 science GPA. I had around 250-300 service hours and I served a 2 year mission to Chile. Maybe since I am a white male I am not diverse enough. Maybe I appeared to business like. I am okay with this though."

    What do you mean you didn't make it into AT Still? Didn't you just interview with them?
     
  7. mkhan27

    mkhan27 2+ Year Member

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    Hahaha, I was going to ask the same exact thing because don't we have to wait til December to get the first decisions. I thought I misread something at first.
     
  8. Rambunctious

    Rambunctious 2+ Year Member

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    It think he is saying he was rejected post interview.

    You can get rejected prior to December.
     
  9. syap

    syap 2+ Year Member

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    I was rejected without interview at ASDOH last year, in like July-August...no worries though, I got in somewhere a little (10k/year) cheaper, more than 10 minutes from my house (which I was ready for a change of scenery), and that doesn't emphasize public health (one class of that a semester is more than enough).
     
    Last edited: 09.19.14
  10. Weakfart

    Weakfart 2+ Year Member

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    So uh, you want to do one of these for all the schools you interviewed at? They are incredibly helpful and interesting to read.
     
  11. syap

    syap 2+ Year Member

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    Weakfart: Huh? Sarcasm?
     
  12. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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    Syap isn't the OP.
     
    syap likes this.
  13. Incis0r

    Incis0r 2+ Year Member

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    woodwcr,

    Thank you so much for making this!
     
  14. Weakfart

    Weakfart 2+ Year Member

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    My bad, wrong person lol.

    Woodwcr, more schools please!
     
  15. jeffity

    jeffity 5+ Year Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: 12.05.15
  16. mkhan27

    mkhan27 2+ Year Member

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    Oh yea I totally forgot about that. No I was really confused because he just interviewed there he said. I wouldn't expect them to make a decision that quick considering he has a really good GPA, DAT scores, and is an active volunteer.
     
  17. predent9000

    predent9000 2+ Year Member

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    Any other insights?
     
  18. woodwcr

    woodwcr

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