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Columbia: are there more pros and cons?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Jabba, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. Jabba

    Jabba beezer
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    From students in this board, it seems that there are more cons about Columbia School of Dental and oral surgery, such as the lack of clinical experience, bad professors, taking courses with med students, overload in course lectures. I am wondering if all these are true since I will be attending Columbia this fall. Com'on guys, give me some feedback.
     
  2. gisele

    gisele Junior Member
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    hi jj!
    i will be attending columbia this fall as well and like you, i was trying to find out as much as i could about columbia. fortunately, i got a chance to talk to a second year student. yes, she had a lot of complaints, but ultimately she advised me to come to columbia. columbia's curriculum is definitely very challenging but according to her, it's very manageable as long as you're organized and diligent about your work. plus, the rigorous curriculum prepares you very well for the boards. through a friend, i also got a chance to talk to a columbia sdos grad who graduated in 2000. he highly recommended columbia's dental program to people who want to specialize. if your goal is to be a general dentist, then he suggested going elsewhere, like nyu. most students from columbia will need to do some kind of residency after they graduate. at nyu, clinical training seems to be the emphasis. however, the dentist that i interned with for 2 years is a part-time faculty member there and she advised me not to go to nyu. it was hard for her to lead me away from her alma mater, but she said that nyu is not the dental school it used to be. according to her, they're trying to do too much with too many students.

    i hope this helps! =)

    -gisele
     
  3. Jabba

    Jabba beezer
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    Thanks Gisele for the info. I see that you are living in NY. I actually live in NYC so getting adjusted to the city environment won't be any problem for me. As for Columbia, the most important thing I hope for is that I will be happy there.
     
  4. StarGirl

    StarGirl .....
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    hello guys
    I am going to columbia (as of now), and recently I talked to a columbia graduate and he told me a lot of "icky" things that I haven't heard about columbia before...and maybe the frustration from this is what provoked me to write that nasty post to "animal" on another topic....but here's what he told me

    the school is incredibly competitive
    the med doctors are actually the nice ones and that the dental profs are the ones that look down on the dental students (i don't really get this...)
    they give VERY FEW A's (only about 8 or 9 per class) and mainly C's
    there are old test floating around that only some people have (because it's been stolen out of exam rooms etc)
    only about 20% really specialize (and the rest go to GPR etc)
    clinical program's not good at all, he said although they teach you the PROPER techiniqes they don't have enough patients or patients don't show up enough for you to get good and fast at what you need to know
    there's a lot of sexism going on there (anyone w/ friends there please find out how true this is!)
    sexually harassement being covered up (anyone w/ friends there please find out how true this is!)

    of course the school was recommended only if you don't get into other "big name" or "large" pool of students that speicialize if that's what you are aiming for....

    there's more but i can't remember, I am planning to call a friend's sister that goes there to find out how true these things are sometimes this week/weekend and I will keep you guys posted...
    if you guys heard anything else let me know please...

    still waiting for UPenn and hopefully UCLA!

    turning down usc today....

    star
     
  5. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    Hey you guys,

    That's unfortunate that you guys are reading and hearing all those negatives from this forum as well as from the current students. About professors only giving a few "A"s, psss...that's because they haven't had the Class of 2006 yet, right?! <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> Also, about your shortage on patients and not having enough clinical exposure, during your third and fouth year, just set up a portable clinic in front of NYU and steal some of their patients! Better yet, NYU has this "Smile Bus" that goes around town to serve the community, HIGHJACK it and you guys drive it around to do more dentistry! <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> Remember, all schools has negatives and positives, it's all up to us as students to make the best of it! Oh one more thing, if any of my patients from Florida goes on a trip/vacation up to NYC, I send them your way for treatment if needed! :) Y'all will be fine with Columbia. I believe in our "class", the Class of 2006!!

    <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  6. gisele

    gisele Junior Member
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    yah-e....

    thanks for the encouragement and support! =) us columbia kids are going to be needing a lot of that i think!

    -gisele
     
  7. gisele

    gisele Junior Member
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    jj...

    where in the city do you live?

    -gisele
     
  8. Stanford Fencer

    Stanford Fencer Senior Member
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    folks.. i know nothing of columbia, but i do think that there's something i ought to share. there's also a reputation of UCLA being a difficult place to finish requirements.. where the affluent surrounding communities yield undersized patient volume. that being said, the student i interviewed with at UCLA said that he's almost done with everything (towards end of 3rd year), and that he has too many patients. in fact, he's referring patients to his friends. when asked how he does it, he told me that the first 2 years, he spent a lot of time volunteering with the profs. when time came for him to be independent, he had the profs refer patients to him. needless to say, he's in great shape, and he even considered at one point to graduate early.

    therefore, whatever the deal is with the clinical population at columbia, i think that there's a way to get around it. and i offer this UCLA student's experience as an example.
     
  9. Jabba

    Jabba beezer
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    Hi Gisele,
    I live in the downtown area.
    How about yourself?
    I chose Columbia over other dental schools because I wanted to be in the city; I didn't want to go to NYU since there were just too many students per class, though the school is respectable.

    well, right now, I am living it up in NYC before I have to go back to school! I would suggest you, people do the same, if the rumor that Columbia's curriculum is rigorous.
     
  10. gisele

    gisele Junior Member
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    hi jj! i'm living in midtown on the eastside right now...i'm originally from ohio but i moved here recently to do research at rockefeller university until june. then i'm off to europe with my family! can't wait! =) trying to live it up before dental school starts! don't think i'll be hitting the bars and clubs as much once school starts again...hehe...

    i had a hard time deciding between nyu and columbia, too. but like you, the ridiculously large class size turned me away.

    since you live downtown, do you hang out a lot in the village?
     
  11. TAL444

    TAL444 Junior Member
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    gisele or jj,

    I want to live off-campus and wanted to know how hard is it to find an apartment in NYC. the upper west or east side would be great.

    i guess the major concern is how do i find a nice place in a nice neighborhood without paying high broker fees. any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  12. Jabba

    Jabba beezer
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    TAL444, the neighborhood near Columbia University is not the greatest, as a matter of fact, I heard that the neighborhood can be dangerous at night. I would suggest staying in Columbia housing since it's closer to school.

    Gisele, actually, my friends and I hang around downtown alot. Say, I have a friend last year who worked at Rockerfeller; we usually went to Brother Jimmy's Rest for Happy hour. The neighborhood there is awesome.
     
  13. Gianuzzi

    Gianuzzi Member
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    To SDOS class of 2006.

    Congratulations on your acceptances to Columbia SDOS. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> Currently I am in the Class of 2005.

    If I may I would like to address some for your concerns

    &gt;Curriculums: For 1st two years, they are very rigorous however they are manageable if you do not procrastinate. Majority of the upper classmen indicated that 1st year is the hardest.

    &gt;Clinical Exposure: School has made some adjustments in our schedules starting with our class so that we will have more clinical exposure at third year. However, class load in the 1st two year have increased slightly.

    &gt;School is currently in the process of acquiring number of "simulators" that closely mimics live patients. {I personally used it and it is a great learning tool)

    &gt;Columbia does extremely well on Board I: this is due to rigorus curriculum.

    Our orientation committee is planning (and working hard to raise $$) lots of fun activities when the class of 2006 arrive in late August. So you may look forward to that.

    Have fun during the summer.

    H.C.

    P.S. Try to acquire a set of scrubs before the school starts (last year when we ordered those scrubs as a class, it took sometime and it was not pleasant for few weeks in the anatomy lab)
     
  14. StarGirl

    StarGirl .....
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    Henkel,
    can you read my post above and tell me if any of the stuff is true to the best of your ability? I am still in the process of investigating!
    I can't wait for school to start! :)
     
  15. space kacy

    space kacy Member
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    There's a resident here who was a graduate of Columbia and he told me likewise that it was very competitive and not to expect help from other students. He also said the area was a little dangerous. He said the students were not very friendly but I think when you get there you will find your own little group and be just fine.
     
  16. space kacy

    space kacy Member
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    I was going to do this bit where I was going to say that there were something like 10 convicts and 12 prostitutes at Columbia so there are more "pros than cons" but you guys sound like a serious bunch.
     
  17. NYNOLE2

    NYNOLE2 Member
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    a little sarcasim never hurt anyone, hopefully more pros either way you look at it
     
  18. Gianuzzi

    Gianuzzi Member
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    Dear Stargirl,

    Here are my 2 cents on your concerns:

    &gt;Competition among colleagues and grade distribution: There are very few colleagues who are very competitive, ironically most of them do not do execeptionaly well on the exams. You will reap your rewards accordingly. I found that those people who have nice study groups of 4 or less do well.

    One has to realize that eventually we will refer patients to each other (the dental community is very close and tight) So if one does not contribute to your colleagues or abstain resources one will get silently marked. And the word travels quickly to upper classmen as well.

    I want to emphasize that vast majority of the colleagues are very helpful and very professional.

    Grades: Since most of the classes are curved only top 10% attains "A" and vast majority of the class receives "B". But don't let the grades mislead you. Many of the upper colleagues who enter Ortho and OMS are "B" and "C" students.

    &gt;Specializing: Due to rigorus curriculum in our 1st two years, we do exceptionally well on Board I. That is why Columbia average "B" and "C" students are able to enter Specialist program. Eventhough only about 20% enter specialty right after 4 years, another significant number enter specialty after their AEGD/GPR.

    &gt;Dental Faculty: You will get the impression that they are coarse however I found that it is true only at the beginning of the course year. If you work hard and act professional I found that they are extremely helpful. One has to realize that we start treating real patients from 3rd year, so from the faculty point of view, it is absolutely critical that we do it right during our 1st two years. For Medical colleagues, they may have warm receptions during their 1st two years however they pay their dues during their rotations and residency. In essence, we pay our dues during our 1st two years.

    &gt;Sexual harrassement: This is news to me. Those are serious allegations and I do not think that the school will tolerate it.

    On the personal note: I did have reservations during the fall however, since I am used to the schedule and atmosphere, I have no reservations about Columbia. Columbia offers exceptional education and if you work hard and take full advantage of it your options are limitless.

    Best regards,

    HC
     

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