Oct 22, 2010
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As Dec. 1 approaches, I thought it would be useful to start a thread on the various factors people will consider in picking a school to attend. I know that people get into a lot of discussions over whether school A is better than school B, but it'd be more useful for everyone to get a list of general factors to consider for any set of schools.

Here are a few to start off the list: location (in terms of appeal during school), location (in terms of where you might want to practice after school), price, grading system, curriculum style...
 
Jul 9, 2010
247
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Unemployment states for the community
The community appeal
proximity to any family
football ;)
 

MrBeans

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I'm looking at the following (if I'm lucky enough to choose):
- Location
- Price
- Curriculum
- Optional Curriculum (research, outreach, instructing, etc.)
- Emphasis (Clinical, research, etc.)
 

SoulPower

5+ Year Member
Oct 4, 2009
391
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Philadelphia
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In probably this order:
1) Student happiness
2) Faculty
3) Curriculum i.e. when they take boards, breaks
4) Facilities
5) Locale
6) Price
 

hoylematt

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Nov 23, 2008
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For me not necessarily in this order:
1) Facilities
2) Location
3) Price
4) Curriculum
5) If my wife can find a teaching Job around there
6) Feel of the campus
 

MrBeans

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I forgot to add,

- Facilities

Although, the places that I interviewed at were all very nice. :)
 

HoustonDAT

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Jun 21, 2008
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The ONLY thing that matters is the cost to be the boss after 4 years.
 

Maygyver

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- Area features - are there things to do outside of class to relax/enjoy
- Price - Decently affordable
- Condition of facilities - I realize you don't need brand new facilities in order to learn to be a good dentist, but it is attractive to me to at least be close to new and in good condition
- Happiness of students - This will be me in a year, so I want to go to a school where students are enjoying themselves (as much as possible) but realize that everyone has different tastes
- Friendliness of staff - I think it speaks well for a school when the staff you will be with for the next 4 years are cheery and willing to help.
- Prestige - Personally I think it would be nice to go to a prestigious school with a lot of history and a good name
 

MrBeans

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-phone call with acceptance offer
-email with acceptance offer
=letter with acceptance offer
Does this mean you will avoid schools that personally give you an acceptance offer?

:laugh:
 

redchesus

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Oct 13, 2007
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Location - dental school is going to be rough... really rough... there needs to be fun diversions or I'll go crazy

Price - self-explanatory

Curriculum - I think I can make it work with any style of curriculum, but there are obviously some that I prefer

Class size - I prefer smaller classes

Facilities - I haven't seen any TERRIBLE facilities on my interviews, but some are nicer than others, would be nice to work in the newer ones
 

prsndwg

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Apr 19, 2009
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1.$
2.Location
3.student's happiness
4.curriculum
5.Facility
 
Feb 6, 2010
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Location: where you don't want to be when you get out. I'm sure this isn't everyone, but one of my bosses, who just became an orthodontist about five years ago told me that after eight years in this particular city... he just doesn't want to be around that area anymore at all!

i thought it was funny, but he was pretty serious.
 

amalgamgrillz

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Jun 24, 2008
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Just out of curiosity, why is ease of curriculum so important?
The easier the curriculum, the easier it is to do well, which will help when applying to specialities. Just like undergrad - go to an easy one to get into dental school.
 

eringer

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Jun 10, 2010
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The easier the curriculum, the easier it is to do well, which will help when applying to specialities. Just like undergrad - go to an easy one to get into dental school.
All dental schools are going to be tough. I personally think that the only way to make dental school easy is to decide on day 1 that you don't want to specialize and then just kick back and not stress. No matter where you go, or how hard your school may be, the national boards are one of the biggest determining factors for getting into a residency. If easy dental schools even DO exist, I would pass that up, because I bet it shows in their students' board scores. Now, going to a school where you think you might be able to compete more? That is a pretty smart idea. Being in the top 10% of your class might be better at a school with 80 students instead of 140+.
 
OP
L
Oct 22, 2010
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No matter where you go, or how hard your school may be, the national boards are one of the biggest determining factors for getting into a residency. If easy dental schools even DO exist, I would pass that up, because I bet it shows in their students' board scores.
Part I boards are going pass/fail, so this won't apply anymore. However, some residency programs may institute their own entrance exams.
 

dentalWorks

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Jun 25, 2009
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Its hard to answer this thread.... I do believe tuition is important, but also the living expense of the city is important too. In the same time, reputation of the school's clinical years is too important to pass up. So its kinda hard to make a single factor the "most" important factor

But I think a combination of cost + clinical reputation are a priority when selecting a school...

As far as the "feel" of the school, you can NEVER tell from a 5-6 hour day of the tour. You can never really tell how you would match up with that class... this is more of a toss up, you matriculate THEN you get to really experience how the school "feels"...... so this is not a factor in my decision making

Also, I prefer lecture based classes over PBL, and I would rather go to a school that is not pass/fail. I dunno how much of a "gunner" I will be, but just in case :laugh:.