Jun 3, 2010
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I am having a tough time choosing between Buffalo and Stony Brook Dental. I was wondering if current students could post their opinions on which school is better in their opinion and why? Thanks in advance.
 

ItsGavinC

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I'm not going to be much help, but I'm going to voice my opinion anyway.

I have zero knowledge of Buffalo.

I went to Stony Brook for residency, but not for dental school. Dental school was in Arizona.

From an outsiders point of view, SB was a complete hole. The clinic is old and in my opinion the graduation requirements were very weak. Once again, my view is tainted based on my dental school education.

I felt the Stony Brook students were lacking in multiple areas, including pedo and endo. I think the didactic education at SB is probably very good. Lots of impressive research is being done there and those are the people that will be lecturing to you.
 
Oct 27, 2010
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I am leaning towards Buffalo. I went to Stony Brook undergrad and HATED it.
My friends at Buffalo LOVE it and I know several students who chose Buffalo over Stony and rarely the other way around.
 
Apr 29, 2009
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I am leaning towards Buffalo. I went to Stony Brook undergrad and HATED it.
My friends at Buffalo LOVE it and I know several students who chose Buffalo over Stony and rarely the other way around.
Could you elaborate why you hated it/why the students you know chose Buffalo over Stony?

I also could be joining the buffalo vs stony vs columbia decision party haha...not an NY resident...actually quite the opposite...from Boston muahaha
 
Oct 27, 2010
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Could you elaborate why you hated it/why the students you know chose Buffalo over Stony?

I also could be joining the buffalo vs stony vs columbia decision party haha...not an NY resident...actually quite the opposite...from Boston muahaha
Congrats, which school are you leaning towards?
stony brook is in a secluded location... middle of nowhere... the students arent friendly either... very clicky and also VERY competitive
buffalo is a better school overall... more "family" oriented students... they produce better dentists
i am leaning towards buffalo
 
Apr 29, 2009
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Congrats, which school are you leaning towards?
stony brook is in a secluded location... middle of nowhere... the students arent friendly either... very clicky and also VERY competitive
buffalo is a better school overall... more "family" oriented students... they produce better dentists
i am leaning towards buffalo
Thanks, likewise congrats to you! I'm not leaning in any one direction.

In terms of location, I actually thought Buffalo (the area around the school precisely) felt barren and empty. Loved the people though. To be fair, I did not venture into the city so I can't comment on that. The area around stony brook was very much like home for me. I live in the suburbs. I'm still trying to debate in my head how much surroundings should factor in considering we'll be at school so much rather than around it.

This competitiveness and clickyness, are you talking from an undergraduate perspective? I also think its probably an issue everywhere whether students admit or not...

Haha you seem to be very pro Buffalo (makes sense since you're leaning towards it). What makes you say Buffalo is a better school and produces better dentists? I find it hard to say one school is better than the other cause everything seems very subjective.
 
Dec 1, 2010
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I wasn't that impressed with anything at SB, especially the location. My tour guide kepts gloating about his residency at UMDMJ (?). 4th yr I was paired with in the clinic appologized to the patient for my presence, saying something along the lines of 'they've been having applicants do this all week.'

I don't know, nothing "wow'ed" me. Not the staff, the students or the faculty. I couldn't get either interviewer to shut up about their accomplishments. It's 'cheap,' but I felt that going there would be expensive in other aspects.
 
OP
H
Jun 3, 2010
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I attend Buffalo now as an Undergrad and I can tell you that there is much more to do around here than Stony Brook...Also, the class as a whole throws parties after each test (not that this is your primary way of choosing one school over the other but it gives you a sense of being part of a family)...Also, Stony is very very competitive and is mostly filled with gunners. Yes, you will destroy the boards if you are at Stony, but now that they're pass/fail it doesn't really matter for the most part. Also, friendly competition is good but I don't want to be killing myself to compete for a tenth of a point since all of us are in this together. That is why Stony is not very appealing to me as of now and I am strongly leaning towards Buffalo. I have talked to friends at both schools and people just seem to be more happier in Buffalo. That being said, Stony is much more state of the art with it's new simulation labs and it's clinical experience is better than that at Buffalo from what I have heard. Also, I like a relatively big class which is why I am also for Buffalo. Since Stony only has around 40 students, it's tough to be close with people especially if there are cliques. Let me know what you guys think or if you have other opinions based on what you have heard from students or personally seen.
 
Dec 1, 2010
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Hova- I got the same impression about SB too. I got the feeling that I'd be potentially isolated in all senses of the word. The big differences between Buffalo and SB, IMO, were the class size, location, and competition factor, so it depends on your preferences.

As you said, there seemed to be a lot of competition at SB, and with boards going pass-fail, there is probably going to be even more competition to be top 10%, which is what, like the top 5 students?
 
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Jun 3, 2009
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I went to Stony Dental and just recently graduated. there's been a lot of changes in school, and i think for the better, administration has become more responsive to students and the new dean is very involved with the student body. If you are coming from a big city like I am, then at first it may seem like it's in the middle of nowhere, but as you get used to the area and get to know it, you'll find that there's plenty of things to do, lost of great places to dine, drink and shop. I had a choice between all 4 schools in NY state and I chose Stony, and would do it again.
Strengths of dental school: basic science classes are taken with med students, you get a great basic science education that prepares you for the boards. The education is comparatively cheap (this may seem like a secondary aspect to some people, but considering living expenses you'd get out of school with a debt which is half of the amount of Columbia or NYU). Clinical experience is very strong, you start seeing patients in second year in October/November. I would disagree with Gavin, I think we had a great exposure to pedo, even though there was a post graduate program, most of my classmates that are doing GPR and seeing children say that they are far more advanced than their co-residents from other NY schools. Dental Science classes are great, a lot of research is coming out of Stony and these people will be your teachers. Oral pathology is very strong, you'll get a lot of oral biology courses, so if research is something that you interested in, there's always a lot of opportunities to do it. The class is small, so you get a lot of attention (some may actually consider that a negative aspect, but i really liked it). School organizes missions to underserved areas (Madagascar, Chili, Reservations in South Dakota, Virginia). As for social life, we had a lot of parties after exams, holidays, formal, halloween party, cruise on the sound (aka booze cruise). This is probably the only School in NY that can accommodate a party for the entire student body, so all the classes stay connected.
As for weakness's, i'd agree with Gavin regarding endo, this is probably the weakest discipline (don't get me wrong, you still get to do endo, but i felt that i didn't get enough experience).
Just like I said, i picked Stony over 3 other schools in NY and I'd do it again.
Good luck everyone, you are about to embark on the most interesting and yet difficult experience of you life (no matter where you go), but there's a lot of opportunities for other fun stuff. The profession is great and very rewarding, in all the meanings of this word. Good luck everyone!
PS make sure you enjoy your summer before dental school!
PSS the guy that was blabbing about his great residency (described in one of the previous posts) was probably talking about UNC - when you get into a residency of your choice you won't be able to stop talking about it for awhile as well, so don't hold it agains Stony Brook :)
 

Streetwolf

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No one here except the poster above has posted an accurate description of the SB experience. Rather than list *everything* (which actually bkboy did a good job of doing), I'm just going to say that it's pretty much the opposite of all the bad things posted above. Here's a couple things that bothered me most:

We are not competitive with each other and I know my classmates would definitely help me out when needed.

I do feel bad for anyone touring the school who gets stuck with someone who only talks about their residency or their work if it ends up compromising the quality of the tour itself. Don't let that turn you off from the school... you'll miss out on something good. I am 99% sure I know who the above poster was referring to. He's a good guy but is just very excited about where he got in.

This is also the first year that they are bringing pre-dents through the 4th year clinics. Just bear with us as we get used to it. I personally enjoy it and will happily let anyone watch what I do and explain it as I do it. Others in my class are not as thrilled. I know they let people watch the most interesting cases going on and unfortunately those might be with students who don't enjoy having pre-dents observe. Just get the most you can out of it. You aren't there to learn dentistry, you are there to see what we do as students.

Gavin - I think our pre-doctoral peds program is stronger than a lot of other programs out there. I certainly cannot say the same about post-doc and it seems like you've made your point about it. I agree that endo needs some work but it's probably like that at most schools. As far as other requirements go, I think we are better than other schools. I have heard students at other schools in the area say they need 10 crowns total while we do 25. They do 5 denture arches and we do 15, etc.

SB has an amazing dental program and after being on a few GPR interviews (including in NJ) I can see that other dentists agree.
 
Dec 1, 2010
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I felt a stronger sense of community at Buffalo. At SB, there were some 3rd and 4th yr students talking to each other, but most of them seemed more like the independent types. The secretaries at SB were friendly, but the admissions staff itself seemed like they were tired and couldn't really care less, fairly devoid of personality. But then again, they acted like it was the only school in NY that was cheap and you'll go there solely for that reason (and talking to some of the students, the administration was right).

The lunch wraps, which were plain nasty, confirmed my observations.
 
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Dec 2, 2010
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wow--sounds like SB was a fail this cycle.

As an OOS (yeah, I know...), I had high hopes. The day before the interview, I spoke with some of the local folk, and they had high regard for the school. Always a good sign.

The day turned out to be really bland. As I tried to find the admissions office (the school had a VERY awkward/confusing layout), two students passed by me and said "no comment," which I thought was pretty obnoxious coming from potential classmates.

From the staggering of interviews to the clinic time to the interviews itself, everything was just...blah.

It was the type of place that, when I left, I just had to let one rip, cuz I knew I'd probably never be back.
 

Streetwolf

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wigglytooth

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Everything that bkboy and streetwolf has said (even the Chock Full of Nuts thing lol). Some things that haven't been discussed: mix of patients (patients have told me everything from money doesn't matter to medicaid), push to start letting 4th year students place implants (after some observations and our implant course and starting when I am a 4th year - next year - yay!), gearing up to start new prosth specialty program. I got lucky with patients and I'm probably going to restore implants by the time I leave here (depending when exactly he gets his placement done). I spoke to some people at GPR fairs and it seemed like they didn't even get to go near implants (placing, restoring) unless they were an OS/Perio or if they did an extra year as an implant fellow. I know I seem to be talking a lot about implants, but their role in our careers can't be ignored and the other guys did a good job of addressing some of the misconceptions on this thread.

We also get so much help from upper classmen it's not funny. There are paid tutors you can go to for both didactic and preclinical courses, the random people you bump into the hallway for quick questions, the people from other years hanging out with lab work, and this mentor program that our year 2 clinic director is developing. Basically her program is student driven, where the 2nd years and 3rd years basically make a list of things we think will be help to review in order to aid the new guys in navigating through the 2nd year clinic experience. Then the 3rd years make presentations, volunteer to hang out at clinic to answer questions.. etc. If I'm really in a pinch, I do not hesitate to ask a classmate and I would do the same for them. The sense of community is there, it just might be hidden because we're always running around to get stuff done during clinic or in class from 8-5. We work on getting complaints ironed out together, some of us live together, and there is plenty of celebrating together.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to choose from many schools (NY schools + NJ) and after comparing notes with students from those other schools on ASDA trips, I wouldn't change my decision at all. I like that they're letting the interviewees shadow in the clinic and it was great meeting one today. It is unfortunate to hear that some interviewees got the brush off from some students, but I can't speak for what was going on for them that day (they might have just stepped out of a test or something of that sort). If you're not interested in SB after your interview, then that's just one more spot open for someone who truly is.. no big. There are postive and negative aspects of each school and students with good and bad days. It is only a matter mulling it over and trying to come up with what might be the best fit for you. Good luck everyone on your interviews and those making these life changing decisions!!

ps if you look at some of my past posts, you'll pull up a few SB vs Columbia vs Buffalo threads from over the years. Feel free to resurrect those oldies
 
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socratese291

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My wife and myself are both currently SB 4th year students. We both were accepted to Columbia, Buffalo and Stony Brook. My father graduated from Buffalo dental. That being said I choose SB not for the friendly atmosphere, not for the amazing location, not for the price, I chose it because when I went to the Saratoga Country dental meeting I asked the dentists present which school produced the best clinicians in NY. Answer : Stony Brook. The aforementioned posts are in all likelyhood correct, Buffalo and NYU would probably be more fun. You can hide in the numbers, not show up to class, go out drinking with your friends more often, and graduate. But the main difference between us and them is that here you can't hide, all the faculty will know you on a first name basis, you will know the material cold, you will become clinically proficent whether you want to or not and if you need a hand you can schedule one on one sessions with the faculty who are more than willing to help. Other schools will let you fail, here, once your in you basically have to try to fail to be removed. Something I didn't see mentioned in any of these past posts is the fact that Stony Brook DOES NOT RANK ITS STUDENTS... Top 5%? top 10%? LOL you won't have a clue where anyone is ranked!!! But it is true that we are very competetive, class A persontalities across the board but when one of your classmates asks for help you give them a hand. We discuss eachothers cases throughout the day and learn from eachothers experiences. For the last 3 and a half years we have taught eachother, supported one another, and in 6 months will graduate together. I even ended up marrying one of my fellow students just this past October. (Which I may add is not all that uncommon here). If you're not afraid to work and you want to be the best clinician possible the choice is Stony Brook, if you want to go out and just be one in a number go to Buffalo or NYU.
 

NyCzPeter

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lolbbq at all the negative comments by those who spent 5 minutes touring the school.

Second year student here and I just got my butt whopped starting clinic this semester. Real exciting time. I must admit though, when I get my ass handed to me by med school classes or practical exams, I do think about what life would be like if I had went to NYU or Buffalo. However, getting your ass pwned is what turns you from a boy into a man. Matter of fact, somedays the pwnage here is so bad, we even turn some ladies into men. One thing is certain though, when I'm done with this place, I'll never have to regret taking the easy way out. Now, if you got serious cashflow and want chill time, go to NYU. If you don't have cashflow and want chill time literally, go to Buff. But if you want a top notch school that will challenge you physically and mentally everyday, and push you to your breaking limits, theres only one place here in NY, and thats Stony Brook.

See what happens when you have too much chill time at NYU?
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=779001
 
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Streetwolf

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It isn't. Being "busy" doing "stuff" doesn't mean you are actually learning any skills that are valuable.
Can you elaborate on what you consider valuable vs just doing stuff? I felt like I got a lot out of the peds program and I'm actually doing the 4th year elective clinic in it now (yes I remember you teaching us back when I was a 2nd year).

I have to say, I have noticed a HUGE difference between 2nd/beginning of 3rd year and now with regard to my skills in both performing the procedures and patient management techniques. I doubt it's solely a result of just being busy doing procedures.