Determining Dental Class Rank... the understood, the confused, and the wierd

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
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I understand most dental schools rank their students. Some do it right away, some make you wait till you are finished with your first year or 2nd year until they tell you. But overall, most dental schools have a way to rank their students.

What confuses me is, how exactly this rank is determined. So, I have been looking around, and it seems like most schools rank students based on their performance on the didactic courses (Okay that makes sense).... this rank I speak of also includes the pre-clinical stuff (fine, that makes sense too, depending how good/clean your workup is, you get a grade).....

BUT WHAT I FIND WEIRD is the class rank (at the end of the 4 years) also includes the clinical years. Thats kinda strange to me, I mean, when you are working on a live patient, its not like you can grade them A/B/C/D lol, you either did a good job for the patient (A) or you have to repeat your work (F) lol. Its not like you can do a "somewhat okay" job and earn a B lol...

I was speaking to my sister about this, she earned her dental degree back in 2000 from detroit mercy, she said the final class rank, the first 4-5 spots went to the international dentists because they were rocking the 3rd and 4th year with the clinic. She said "they were earning soo many points/credits (whatever that means) that it brought up their class rank, even tho they didn't do too hot in the didactic courses"..... This didn't make sense to me, how would working in the clinic raise your overall class rank?

so my ultimate question is, what is this class rank, can someone explain to me how exactly its determined. Thanks in advance
 

armorshell

One Man Freak Show
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Many schools rank differently, and you'll have to find out from each individually how they do it. Some go by purely by GPA (e.g. no difference in rank between someone who gets a 99 and someone who gets a 93 average), some go by individual class scores (99 ranked higher than 93).

As far as getting clinical grades, yes you will get clinical grades. At my school you were given a grade based on: number of procedures completed, faculty rankings and test cases. During test cases you did a procedure, on a patient from beginning to end and were graded on it on a 9 point scale: 8/9 - A, 7 - B, 5/6 - C, <5 - F.

Not sure why that seems weird though.
 

OG1

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Armorshell is exactly right. I killed myself to get the highest grades possible my first year, only to realize that rank was purely GPA based. 90 and above would have been fine. This will depend on your school, though, as some will rank based on scores in each individual class.

At my school, clinical grades 3rd year were a combination of test scores and clinical volume. Usually it was about 50%. Procedures were graded as Honors/Pass/Fail, and Honors got more points than Pass. It was hard to get a Fail but I think you could get a failure for ******ed things like not wearing your name badge if the faculty member was a bitter, miserable soul. 4th year grades were based purely on volume, which can be tricky since patients are luck of the draw. Once I matched into ortho I checked out and didn't worry about volume. My grades and ranked suffered big time, but it makes absolutely no difference now.
 
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dentalWorks

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
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Thank you guys. that kinda explains a lot. So.... the more cases a student does (3rd and 4th years), the more likely they'll be able to increase their rank....