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Canadian Vs. US Interview Process

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Dr.BadVibes, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Dr.BadVibes

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    I was meeting with a faculty member at UofT's dental school a couple of weeks ago, and we got on the discussion of the Canadian interview process. After learning about the selection process for Canadian dental schools I expressed my utter disgust with the process to him. I told him that the US system is so much better.

    In Canada, there is a high emphasis on grades...HIGH EMPHASIS! And I think this is wrong. For UofT's application, there is no essay, no space on the application for extra-curricular activties....nothing non-academic. Its only application fee and transcripts. From the dental students Ive talked to (both American and Canadian) and dentists, dentistry is not really that difficult where you absolutely need a 3.8 GPA to be successful. Look at the process in the 60s...the norm back then were lower GPAs to get into dental school, and did they produce bad dentists? No.

    Dentistry is a profession where I think personality and life experiences leads to more success than being only academically superior.

    Of course academics should obviously play a factor in the selection process, but not with such a high emphasis. This is why I value the US application process. Besides academics, the school really gets to know the entire applicant to get an overall picture of the person.

    Can you get this picture by only looking at someone's transcripts and asking them some ethical questions during the interview? I think not.
     
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  3. Yeah it is a bitch. They care a lot about marks and don't really care too much about the DAT. But then again I can argue that even with such requirements, good dentists are still being produced. I think the high mark cut off is to limit their selection of such a large pool of good people. You assume that people with high GPAs aren't as personable and don't have as much life experiences as those with lower. That is not true at all.

    People in my program most of them have a 3.7-4.0 GPA, most higher than 3.75 and have TONS of life experiences (many of them volunteered overseas by their second year!!!) and get involved with a lot of activities. So when you have so many qualifed applicants with good marks, how can you refuse them?
     
  4. Dr.BadVibes

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    When did I assume this?

    Why would I want to refuse them? I think these people should have the pick of any school they want.

    My point was is that Canadian schools dont seek these students within their application process. Will they ever know that these students volunteered overseas? That amazing student in your program has a 3.7 which is an amazing GPA, and on top of that has amazing life experiences but never gets to showcase these experiences and loses out to the person with no experiences but has a 3.75. Get it?
     
  5. Sorry it just seems like the way you write it comes off that there is a bias with you and high marks and its implications



    But in the end if you think about it, you are applying to an academic institution. When the demand is so high for such a limited number of spots you want to lessen your work as much as you can. I mean look at med schools. THey care about high marks and MCAT. There are lots of great people who would make great doctors that don't have the marks. At the same time I think U of T doesn't want to seem like their dental school is subpar to med school. It's probably just also an issue of not having dental school be viewed as a back up for medicine.

    Having said that, you know now one of the reasons why I don't wanna attend a Canadian school if accepted
     
  6. Dr.BadVibes

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    Perhaps your right, so I guess my rant extends to the Canadian med school application process as well. If they both changed, then this "trying to keep up to med school inferior complex" would not be a problem...

    And when you talk about "not having the marks", its so sad that this is basically saying a .05-2.0 differential. Cmon...is there a big difference between a 3.5 or a 3.7? You can conclude that both of these people are more than enough academically inclined to complete dental school with no problems. But if the 3.5 was a much better individual as a whole, they dont get picked...I just dont get it.
     
  7. the big wand

    the big wand Senior Member
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    I agree with all that has been discussed, but I also have to tell you that not all dental schools in Canada ignore extracurricular activities. Take UBC for example. The followings are questions that you have to answer on the application form. It's a lengthy application, required "several hours" to complete. Each question itself can easily turn into a mini-essay, if you really want to impress the admissions committee. You can use item-listing format to answer the quesions, but that will not help the committee to know you as a whole person. In another word, you simply have to write several essays on one application form, so that they feel like they know you when they read your answers. Again, you don't want to replicate your answers in all questions, so you have to plan ahead what to write for each question so that they're not overlapped. This will test your organization ability in your writing skills. There are also word limits, and this will test your ability to be concise, yet effective in expressing yourself. Those questions are just a portion of the application form; there are more to fill out on the form.

    If you're interested, you should have tried applying for UBC. ;)

     
  8. the big wand

    the big wand Senior Member
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    I think there has to be a cut-off point. You can easily extend this analogy to 3.3, 3.0, 2.8.... If the 3.3 was a much better individual than the 3.5 which is a much better individual than the 3.7,...then would you choose the 3.3.? If the 2.9 was a much better......blah blah blah,.....this will be never ending, you know. ;)
     
  9. Dr.BadVibes

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    Ok I never knew about UBC's format, but how much emphasis do they put on this part of the application?

    I think you missed my point. I used the 3.5-3.7 difference, because I think these are both excellent GPAs....so to me, academic wise, both of these students would be successful in dental school.

    I am not in dental school yet, so I dont know how hard the material is. So only you could tell me what a suitable cutoff was for people. Would someone with a 2.7 be able to complete dental school with just as much ease as someone with a 3.5?
     
  10. SeaBass

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    I go to a school in Canada. U of T was the only school that didn't interview when I was applying. The rest of the schools held interviews and in order to get one the academic/Dat criteria really wasn't that bad. During the interviews there are plenty of questions that pertain to character and personal interests during which the schools can weed out those who may not be suitable.

    So I would recommend applying to some of the other schools if you plan on applying here. The majority of students at my school are quite personable with many interests and life experiences. Unfortunately because there are so few schools, they need to use some criteria, so often it comes down to grades and that useless DAT.

    Best of luck
     
  11. The Musketeer

    The Musketeer Guardian of Justice
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    Just to let you know, U of T only started having interviews 3 or 4 years ago. Before that, it was just the GPA and DAT that they look at! However, even now I believe that their interview process (as well as med school's) is a bunch of B.S. I know that you can still get in even if you bombed the interview, just as long as you have an extremely high GPA.
     
  12. LestatZinnie

    LestatZinnie Senior Member
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    i'm first year at Mcgill and believe me, dental school is no joke. I'm doing 10X more work than I did in my Biochem honor undergrad. I think if people get 2.5 even when they're putting in max. effort, they will struggle alot in dental school, at least here in Mcgill.

    To those people that complain about how hard it is to get in professional school in Canada- well, too bad, so sad. C'est la vie. If you want to get into the game, you have to put in the effort to pull the grades that will get you in. If the private schools in the US all close down right now, you can bet also that the remaining schools will only take the ones with the grades to cut it.

    Life is unfair. get over it. at least you have the $$ to go to a US school. that's not even really an option for me if i didnt get in US school. So, my CND colleagues and I had to work my a$$ off to get into CND school while some others cruised along with a 3.2, go the US instead, and then come back to Canada and compete for our jobs.
    Should we complain about that too?
     
  13. Bickle

    Bickle future NYC taxi driver
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    I dont want to come back to Canada. I'd rather live in Washington State and make more money down there, while living in a beautiful environment.

    I guess I should bow down to you because you "worked" your ass off in school. Wow, the almighty LestatZinnie, how should I worship thee?

    Should you complain about it?? It sounds like you're bitching already.
     
  14. LestatZinnie

    LestatZinnie Senior Member
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    wo....lay back the hostility. Never in my post did I say that people who work hard in school are superior or who should bow down to who. Just merely stating the fact that admissions in Canada considers GPA strongly, so why not just play along rather than complain?

    As for people coming back to Canada to work, it's a counterpoint to the fact that just as some students may feel that Canadian admission sucks, some students here also feel that it is 'unfair' that someone can just waltz back to Canada and work here. But sorry, I won't complain about that- I'll just work twice as hard to drive you guys out of business :cool:
     
  15. Nilez

    Nilez Member
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    LEstatZinnie...

    not sure about ur post there... there are tons of people that worked just as hard as you i'm sure and still did not get into Canada... the anger and complaints come from those people including myself coming from UT where getting 80+ in a class is cause for celebration... the good marks are not easily given out...
    then u take a 40 minute drive over to York where u can pick your nose all day long and come out with a stellar gpa... when people like them are getting into Canadian institutions particularly those ones such as UT who end up bypassing their own undergrands whom they killed for four years to take on students who did not have to work as hard to get the good grades or whos schools had class averages that were much higher... then there is a damnwell good reason to complain.... it's frusterating to have to leave your own school let alone your own wonderful country to pursue a career after working so damn hard .... a lot of the times your marks are shining within the walls of UT ... GPA's that aren't crazy high will still put u in the top 10% of your class because the marks given out are not so high... once u remove the UT student and stick their gpa in with a bunch of students from some other schools in canada ... thats when the frusteration kicks in.... and yes life is unfair...and yes u gotta deal with it... but its natural to be angry and complain about a situation like this... maybe you didn't have to deal with the issue yourself... but a lot of people have lost life dreams because they couldn't get into canada and lacked the funds for US private schools.... easy to just shrug off for you... but is life altering for others... have some compassion and think about that... ...
     
  16. LestatZinnie

    LestatZinnie Senior Member
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    ok I understand where you're coming from. I also feel bad for those who work like heck but just can't get the marks due to a cut-throat academic system such as the one they have at UT. But for those who decide to take it easy or "enjoy life", they don't really deserve sympathy because they know what they have to do to beat the system but simply choose boozing, partying, traveling, etc as their priority rather than school.

    Goodluck to y'all
     
  17. Nilez

    Nilez Member
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    well ya that's just common sense right... don't think anyone would dispute u there...
     
  18. the big wand

    the big wand Senior Member
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    That's the problem with any education system....everything is graded.
     
  19. Lestatzinnie, don't make assumptions. Hey I got the marks, I got the DATs, I even got an interview coming up. I'm just not choosing to go to Canada just because of all the bull**** they made me go through. As for competing with you for jobs, you can take it, coz I'm planning to stay in the USA. I've partied and boozed, what's wrong with that?

    You need balance in life. Life is not only about school, this I have to agree with Avingupta.
     
  20. Dr.BadVibes

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    Whoaaa Zinnie...Im sorry dude, but you sound like a former UofT gunner if you ask me. Take it easy. You kinda got off the topic I was intending....are you against what I was originally saying that people with high enough GPAs (imo 3.3+) but with much more life experience or non-academic potential should get into dental school rather than the cut-throat gunners who read a book for 4 years? You said that "if you want to get into the game" you have to put the effort to pull the grades you need to get in. THIS IS MY EXACT POINT.

    Predents (in your case former) like yourself know that you need a 3.7+ to get in, so you have to study your arse off for it. Thus, with such a high emphasis on academics, this does not leave room for other things in life that I think are just as (or sometimes even more) valuable.

    People can get a 3.3+ with doing relatively a decent amount of work, and be able to be successful in dental school, and it would also give them more room to do other things non-academic which will allow them to grow as a person (and make a better dentist imo) much more than a biochem textbook. However, when it comes to admission time, the 3.7 gunner/loser gets in. Something is definitely wrong here!
     
  21. LestatZinnie

    LestatZinnie Senior Member
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    I agree with you that life is not all books. However, not all people with 3.7 are devoid of social lives as you imply. I don't know which Canadian dental schools you applied to give you such bias, but as far as I know UT is the school which is the most famous for accepting only students with high GPA. I knew a high school classmate who had 0 personality, refused to help anyone with questions but got in UT Med because she had a 4.0. However, when I applied to UBC and McGill, extra-curricular components counted quite alot as reflected in the application essays reference letters and interviews.

    Anyway- I know you UT guys really had it tough for undergrad, but at least you're all in dental school somewhere. The emphasis on academics is depressing, but you'll still continue to see it in dental school. Whenever a research/scholarship opportunity comes up, the faculty tells us to apply if we have good academic standing. After graduation, GPA will also play a large role in determining whether you'll get in specialty or residency. So, like it or not, we'll still have to play the numbers game for quite a few years yet.

    goodluck
     
  22. Dr.BadVibes

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    Once again, I never implied this. See my quote from one of my earlier posts on this thread:

    Woodsy said:
    People in my program most of them have a 3.7-4.0 GPA, most higher than 3.75 and have TONS of life experiences (many of them volunteered overseas by their second year!!!) and get involved with a lot of activities. So when you have so many qualifed applicants with good marks, how can you refuse them?

    avingupta replied:
    Why would I want to refuse them? I think these people should have the pick of any school they want.

    My point was is that Canadian schools dont seek these students within their application process. Will they ever know that these students volunteered overseas? That amazing student in your program has a 3.7 which is an amazing GPA, and on top of that has amazing life experiences but never gets to showcase these experiences and loses out to the person with no experiences but has a 3.75. Get it?
     
  23. Dr.BadVibes

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    I actually didnt apply to any Canadian schools, because I didnt have the necessary GPA (as you could probably decipher)....and also I have a greencard so I gotta stay in the States in order to keep it.....but I know damn well that Ive had much more non-academic experience than most people with a 0.3 better GPA than myself, so in my opinion I know I would make a better dentist.

    However, I also understand that there are people with a 3.7 GPA and have just as much experience as I do, and of course, they deserve to get in more than me.

    Regarding schools, I know for sure UofT is ******ed, but I was also under the impression that Western and Alberta play along the same line.
     
  24. Wow this has gotten messy real quick. Let's all forget about it and move on. We're all gonna be dentists. Who cares. I should have been more relaxed about the whole situation rather than let my pride get into the way.
     
  25. the big wand

    the big wand Senior Member
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    A very good discussion....to clear up some misconception.
     

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