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Harvard vs UCLA vs UCSF

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by calguitar, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. calguitar

    10+ Year Member

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    Hey guys, I wanted to hear from some of you about these three schools, especially if you are currently attending the school. I have gotten accepted to Harvard and UCLA, and still am waiting for UCSF to get back to me. My first deadline is Jan 15th.

    I'm from California. I'm not set on specializing although very open to it. I appreciate any comments/comparison/feedbacks. Thanks.
     
  2. Amalgam4U

    Amalgam4U FIERCE!
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    This is why I'm grateful that I'm at UCLA (in no particular order).


    1. Location
      1. Weather - it's nice. southern california = 72 and sunny. Unless you like the cold...
      2. Entertainment - westwood has a lot of nice stuff close by. Lots of stuff to do. A beach you can use. Magic Mountain, Knotts, and dare I say...Disneyland?
      3. If you're already from CA - it's close to your family and you won't have to buy all new clothes. ;)
    2. Program/UCLA specifics
      1. it's a new curriculum - finals are down in number about half, with not as much repetition. Upper classmen are jealous of us. We'll be jealous of you because your curriculum will be more streamlined (we work out all the kinks). But that's given us the opportunity to interact a lot with the faculty and they're very flexible, understanding and responsive.
      2. We have good board scores (unlike those guys across town) and very good match stats.
      3. We have SCHOOL SPIRIT! Complete with a football team and basketball team that will be very good in the coming years. Not to mention nice undergrads. And Wooden.
      4. We're cheap! Well, same price as UCSF, but way cheaper than Harvard!
      5. Focus on being scientifically sound practitioners - i.e. a good balance between science and clinic. I feel like I know more right now after my first quarter than I have ever known in my life (as I think I will continue to do during each progressive quarter)
      6. Cool faculty dedicated to our education.
      7. Lots of research opportunities (we get a lot of money)
      8. Lots of service opportunites/other ways to get involved. There are a lot of clubs/stuff. Plus you can join undergrad stuff.
      9. Cool classmates!!! The adcom's do a good job at picking well balanced, cooperative people who also happen to be super smart.
      10. UCLA - those letters just sound cool when said together. It generates a little something different than most schools when you say it. :thumbup: Nothing pretentious, just cool. ;)
    I think there are more...but I'm sleepy. Some negatives you may want to consider are traffic (LA traffic sucks) and that in my experience the new cirriculum is new and sometimes frustrating to have no resources from upper classmates for guidance...but we're working out those kinks for you and we'll be your resources should you choose to attend. ;) Also there's been a little bit of drama here, but you can expect that in any small group of people you spend a lot of time with.

    Congratz on your acceptance and good luck with your decision! (go Bruins!)
     
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  3. Maregbe1

    2+ Year Member

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    I understand your difficult decision. If you plan on living or moving back to Cali for the rest of your life, I would consider going to a Cali school so that you can build connections and have a network in the area, if not throw all this out the window. UCLA is an amazing school. They have the stats to back up their claims. Honestly choosing between harvard and UCLA comes down to where you wanna be and where you prefer because pretty much these schools are evenly matched in every category. But I feel UCLA provides a better sociableness environment: being Football, beach, nice weather, and everything SOCAL has to offer.
     
  4. Doc Ock

    2+ Year Member

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    Hey I have a question for you, I just looked at the HSDM curriculum site.http://www.hsdm.harvard.edu/asp-html/dmd-curriculum.html
    There seems to be a paucity of preclinical dental courses in the 1st two years. Where or when do you learn your "hand" skills? Does this mean HSDM is indeed a reseacher/educator school and not a clinician school? Of the three schools, UCLA has more clinical emphasis, UCSF has both clinical and research emphasis, Harvard is academic / research emphasis. What are your looking for? Less or more clinical focus? Less or more research focus? Being a community practitioner or an academic?
     
  5. Bruinlove

    5+ Year Member

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    All three are great schools. Go to Harvard and make your parents & grandma proud. ;)
     
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  6. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Tooth Rehab Student
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    I think I'd go to LA. People who go to Harvard usually go for the name. If you're not into name, you should go there if you're absolutely sure you want to specialize. The absense of a pre-clinic really does hurt, since there are some skills that really need much time to hone, namely the mirror. There are numerous upperclassmen who struggle with the mirror still, so that means that the 2 years you have to practice at Harvard may not be enough. Developing hand skills isn't hard, but thinking inverse is. There are numerous other skills that need time to mature. Harvard's training is short in clinical.
     
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  7. AngeMay

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    So I'm currently a Harvard undergrad (originally from LA) and know some Harvard med students and would like to think I have some gage of the atmosphere there.
    I will say that I am very much not a fan of the medical school but I have a very strong clinical bias.
    I think they will train you well, like any other medical school, but it is HEAVILY research based. If this is not your thing, you will feel like you are fighting against the current the entire way through as I've felt even throughout my undergrad.
    I do think it's an experience to make it out to the east coast, but it is financially challenging, weather is a completely different story, and something that would worry me is that unlike with undergrad, medical school is not transferable. I would visit again and try to meet more students, I've heard the interviews at Harvard are not all that friendly and conducive to getting a better vibe of the school, but honestly, maybe it's the east coast, or it's Harvard, but it is a cold place, socially and literally. :) If the name is what you're interested in, I think you have a better and happier bet in Cali, with either UCSF or UCLA, both amazing schools!!!
     

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