Can a school hurt specialty chances?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Members don't see this ad.
Now I dont mean that going to a particular school will prevent me from specializing, but there are certain schools with reputations of being better at getting ppl into specialty programs.

I know there is another thread right now with a similar topic, but I'm just hoping someone can shed some light on my problem of trying to decide between which school to attend.

My future goal is to specialize in Oral Surgery. I cannot decide between Columbia and UBC in Canada. My question is, can going to UBC hurt my chances of specializing?

I'm still confused over the debate if one needs to attend a particular school to better their chances of specializing.

I truly believe dentistry is what you make of it, what you get out is what you put in. However, the reality is "sky is not the limit". The opportunities and tools offered by schools will vary, and I know I will bust my a$$ in dental school, but there are limitations that exist as well as one cannot measure the competition that exist in the school.

I would love to attend UBC and to save the money from going somewhere in US, but if going to Columbia will better my chance, I would need to seriously consider this.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2004
Reaction score
contact the heads of the oral surgery programs in which you are interested.

i'm interested in pedo, so i emailed about a dozen of the heads of pedo programs, asking the exact same question (regarding school's effect on specialty chances) and about half of them actually responded to me.

also, call UBC and ask them how many people have applied to oral residency programs each year, and how many have gotten accepted, and to where. try to get data for at least 2 or 3 past years.


inthuhhisows: Thanx for your reply. I already contacted UBC but they still have not gotten back to me. Calling them didnt help as the person there did not have the info handy. One thing that was bothering me that led to my qxn here that I posted, was that I did not feel UBC's curriculum could compare to the US schools that I want to go to.

But thanx for the idea of emailing schools with the speciality programs. I will do that ASAP.


Full Member
20+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2002
Reaction score
Do you live in British Columbia? From what I recall that's where Vancouver is and it's supposed to be a big city. Get a phone book, call a bunch of the oral surgeons in the phone book. Ask them where they went to dental school and where they did their oral surgery training. Even if they aren't recent grads, they would know more about being an oral surgeon in Canada b/c it's likely they know younger Canadian OMS colleagues who have just finished. It's hard to believe that there wouldn't be any oral surgeons in the entire province of BC.

I saw your post on dentaltown and here's something else to consider. Just b/c a school has an oral surgery post-grad program (like Columbia) doesn't mean you have a better shot at it than if your dental school doesn't offer OMS. There are lots of places that have oral surgery as a post-grad program that don't have a dental school affiliated with it. Let's see - in New York City there are 2 dental schools, Columbia & NYU, each of which have OMS programs. Also in New York City, OMS programs are offered by Cornell, Mt. Sinai, Albert Einstein/Montefiore, Brookdale, Long Island Jewish, King's County, St. Luke's Roosevelt, Westchester County Med. Center, and more places that I can't remember. None of these programs have dental schools yet they have 4 or 6 year OMS programs that fill every year, so someone must be attending them. Look on, they have a list of all US programs on there somewhere, maybe also Canadian schools too.