Dental specialties

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by budfrog, Jan 10, 2001.

  1. budfrog

    budfrog Member

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    I am interested in specializing in one of the dental specialties - probably Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Does anyone have any information regarding specializing? What are the best dental schools to go to if you want to specialize? Is there anything I need to do before I get to dental school if I am interested in specialties? What about when I get to dental school?
    Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone!
     
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  3. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor

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    I looked into OMS a while back when I was in college. It's a really tough program with a very limited number of spots. Only the top dental grads get an OMS spot and you have to score wildly high. Something like the top 5% of the country's dental students will go into OMS.

    As with anything in academia, a school's reputation can carry you into fellowship. So I'd go to the school with the best reputation if OMS was in my future.


    Tim W. of N.Y.C.
     
  4. Sterichind

    Sterichind Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I must beg to differ a little with Tim. Let me just say that each dental school has alotted to them a certain number of positions in each specialty, and the top students of each class at each dental school get the positions. Now lets analyze elite students, they think the same. They all decide to go to Harvard, Columbia and other top rated and ivy schools because they believe that they have more positions available for specialities than another lower rated school. Maybe because of their class size it seems that they are sending more students but the percentage is usually 20% of the class. Now Harvard and the other top schools trick these students with broad wording into thinking that they have an enormous amount of positions available to them because they are who they are. However, I believe there is a standard agmonst the schools probably from the ADA that says that only a certain amount of their students will go to a specialty. So what I would tell a student considering dental schools and strongly desiring a specialty is to weight yourself agmonst your peers at the schools of your choice. Yes, you could go to Harvard or another top rated school and compete with the rest of those blood-thirsty gladiators or you could take a step down to a school where you have a better chance at the specialty of your choice. It is quite possible for a student at Harvard to have a higher GPA and NDB score but not get a specialty while a student in a lower rated school will have a slightly lower GPA and NDB score and get a specialty because his school has positions available. See if the school gives you a scholarship. This usually means that they believe you will get a specialty from their school in four years and represent their school as you try to get jobs. Do not get me wrong! If you do go to a top rated school and get a specialty by being on top of your class you will be very much wanted and probably very well paid. However, if you feel any uneasy feelings at a top rated school about your ranking compared to your peers then don't go there to try to get a specialty. What will happen is that schools like Columbia will tell you since you are #20 in your class of 75 students that you have no chance and will not get a recommendation to a specialty. Stay strong in a top rated school (in the top 20%) and you have a great chance at a specialty. However, be careful in your choice of school.

    I would also like to say another thing. I didn't like the way my school's name was insulted when I was at a interview at a top rated school. We were sitting in a circle naming to the host where we came from and, the host would interject about how great that school is and so and so. The host brushed off my school's name. O.k. so my school's name is not so well known but he should not have brush it off (Which I'm not going to mention for my reasons). However, I think a host at a interview should think twice before saying anything about anyone's undergraduate school. It is insulting to here about how great someone else's school is and nothing about yours. It kind of says to me that you believe I made a wrong decision in where I went to college. Well, I wish I could tell that idiot that I should get the applause. I went to a small undergraduate college with very little resources for financial reasons and scored a 96.8% on the DAT's. Yes, the other students at well-known schools scored about the same as me. However, they had more resources available to them and opportunities to spice up their resume than myself. I worked with what I had and got to the same place as they did, an interview at a very competitive school. I'm going to say it is like comparing two drummers. One drummer has a small 5 piece drumset and the other has a hugh 10 piece drumset. Yes, the person with a hugh drumset with sound great because he has more resources, but it is quite possible for anyone to sound great on that drumset. Now the person on the small drumset has limited resources but thinks about all the beautiful musical patterns he can make and succeeds. Here we are again. I may have made excellent music with my small drumset, however the person with the large drumset gets the applause. I could care less about it all now, but I just wanted to point out my anger to an pompous host.

    Later
     
  5. budfrog

    budfrog Member

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    Thnaks for all the responses....I was seriously looking at some of the Ivy League schools but what everyone said makes a lot of sense. I want to specialize so maybe going to a less competitive school will give me the best chance to specialize. What percentages get to specialize...the top 10%, top 20%,...? Just curious if I am even in a position to consider specializing or if I should just go for the general dentistry. Any rough estimates of numbers would be appreciated. Thanks guys!
     
  6. Pathologist

    Pathologist Senior Member

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    The University of Pennsylvania has a good program. You get your DMD degree. Then, through a six year program you get your MD, a year of internship in general sugery, and 32 months of clinical in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

    [This message has been edited by Pathologist (edited 02-02-2001).]
     
  7. Dr. Pedo

    Dr. Pedo Senior Member

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    I, too, agree with everyone. You definitely need to be one of the top in your class. You wanted to know in your original post---Is there anything I can do before dental school that will help me-----Yes----- first enjoy your undergrad years--you'll have plenty of time to be stressed later. Second, get good grades. (you won't be going anywhere with a 2.4 [​IMG] Third, start getting prepared for the DAT----by having a good DAT and good grades (although only part of admission) you'll have the option to choose the school you want to attend (not have TO attend). Fourth, take part in some research (it is a big part of becoming an OMS---at my school) and start taking part in leadership activities and meeting professors to help with recommendations. Fifth, it is great to have a goal of specialty----but allow yourself the latitude to enjoy dental school, especially the 3rd year when you get to see all the specialties in action----who knows by then you might find another area more interesting!!!
    So-- have fun, work hard (grades/DAT), and make yourself competitive so you can have choices.

    [This message has been edited by Dr.2b (edited 02-03-2001).]
     
  8. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    Here's a little insight from someone who not only has gone through it, but also has some experience from the academic side of it at my alma matter/school where I teach(UCONN) In the match results that just came out this past week, the graduating class this year of about 40, placed 8 into OMFS residencies and 3 into Ortho residencies. Roughly 25% of the class into argueably the 2 toughest residencies to get into. True, board scores and academic performances open doors, but as someone who has read many applicant essays/ reccomendations, they go a real long way and will make or break the canidate. True story, in my graduating class, someone with an 87 on the boards got into an OMFS residency while someone with a 99 on the boards didn't! Why, the guy with the 87 is a great interviewer with outstanding reccomendations/ activities, and the guy with the 99 was the complete opposite. The want too do soomething and the drive/passion behind it can make up for numbers in alot of cases.
     

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