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Dental school at home or dental school across the country? 2 cents appreciated!

Discussion in 'Dental' started by yayforcoffee, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. yayforcoffee

    2+ Year Member

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    Future Doctors of America, pretty much the biggest decision I've had to make in a while involves whether or not I want to go to the perfect dental school in my home city or go to the perfect dental school across the country. To make it quick, here are the pro's and con's that I've identified with either option. Any quick comments or sharing experiences would be really appreciated!

    Staying at home:
    - Pro's: classmates will for the most part practice in my region meaning colleagues, friends and family, I'll be able to keep in touch with most of my dental school classmates (hopefully) for a long time!
    - Con's: I'm 21 and don't want to regret not leaving my home state for only four years. I'm worried that this is the last chance I have to experience the East coast before I go home to practice!

    Going across the country:
    - Pro's: Get to live in an awesome new city for four years, experience the pain of legit seasons, I feel like going away will make me grow up a lot more than staying near home would
    - Con's: Pretty much none of my classmates will go back home with me (meaning less colleagues and less post-dschool buddies at home), experience the pain of legit seasons, harder to keep in touch with college and high school buddies

    I know that I'll be happy with the education at either school (UoP v. UPenn). Money isn't really an issue, it's all too expensive. I'm pretty much weighing whether or not I want to experience the East Coast more or establish a group of dental school buddies for life at home.

    Any experiences, opinions or advice greatly appreciated, and thanks in advance! Hope finals went well, Happy Holidays.
     
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  3. sajjy

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    It all depends if you want to keep the specialization option open or not? If yes then Penn would be better than UoP. Otherwise get done in 3 years.
     
  4. ou_jay

    ou_jay Junior Member
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    I'm not sure what specializing has to do with it. I'm reasonably sure that UoP students get into specialty programs too

    You left out the most important pro: THREE YEARS

    Go to the three year school. It's not even a question. Dental school is long enough without having to be a year longer.

    Don't worry dental school will force you to grow up a lot no matter where you are.
     
  5. yayforcoffee

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I guess I made a mistake by naming the two schools I'm deciding between -- I'm not conflicted between the two programs!!

    It's the issue of going to school at home versus learning in a new environment that I'll otherwise never really get exposed to. Essentially, for me this debate boils down to whether or not I want to develop close dental ties at home (UoP) or sacrifice this in order to experience living in the East coast for four years (Penn) before moving back to the Bay Area.

    I'm not trying to compare programs, but rather see if anyone has input on making the choice to study at home versus study in a brand new environment with the knowledge that it's only temporary.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Chrono1984

    Chrono1984 Member
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    Unfortunately, Dental school is not the greatest time to 'experience' another world. College would have been better for such an endeavor. You will quickly find that you don't really have time to do much else aside from dental school itself.

    A major con you failed to mention is that you will have to take a completely different liscensing exam if you plan to practice out west but go to school in the east. Finding the ideal patients for these exams will be a royal pain in the ass if you only have dental connections on the other side of the country.

    Obviously you can work around all of these things if your heart is truly set on moving away, but I would personally stay where you are.
     
  7. danhook

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    Everyone that says you wont have time outside of school is an idiot. You would get to experience the big city if you were to move to the east coast... Also while three years would be great because you could make some cash a little earlier, I would not feel comfortable if this was my final year(I am a junior). Dont worry about missing an experience or how many friends you will have in your area, go to the school that will make you happiest.
     
  8. loved

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    Your thoughts sound just like mine, when I was applying to dental school. I had always wanted to experience life on the east coast. Before I moved, I had spent my entire life in southern california and needed a change. There are things that you will have to cope with, like-

    1) the area around UPenn is not very safe (i.e. the city. the campus, itself, is very safe). it is in the middle of downtown. be prepared for this.
    2) 4 legit seasons - yes, I am experiencing it right now, and I love it. But I did have to fork out cash for an actual umbrella and a jacket.

    Hmmmm.. I can't think of any more. I really enjoy it here, and sometimes entertain the idea of moving here, instead of back to california. HOWEVER, YOU GOT INTO UOP! Its only 3 years. When you graduate, you can do a residency program or CE courses on the east coast. The perks that I have found in living on the east coast, does not out-weigh the UOP factor, I am sorry.

    In dental school matters, your career comes first, right? If you plan on going back to California to practice, UOP makes more sense, IMHO.
     
  9. ou_jay

    ou_jay Junior Member
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    Here's a thought. Go to UoP. Get the benefits of finishing in three years and making connections in your home state. Then go to the east coast to do a GPR or AEGD. You'll learn a lot more in a residency than a 4th year of dental school (ds is about doing busy work, residency is about doing dentistry), and you'll have more free time during a GPR to enjoy the city.
     
  10. thedudeabides6

    thedudeabides6 Junior Member
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    here are my 2 cents: if you wanted to eventually practice in the bay area, then i would choose pacific without a doubt. by staying in the bay area, you will be able to make a lot more connections, not to mention that pacific has an amazing alumni association. also, at pacific you will be able to get involved in organized dentistry in the bay area, such as the california dental association and the san francisco dental society. like a previous poster said, you could always do a pgy-1 somewhere on the east coast, then come back to the bay area after that. lastly, to one of the posters that said choose upenn if you want to specialize, there are plenty of pacific grads that specialize, so i wouldn't worry about that.
     

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