Head to Head Combat- Medical/Dental Schools

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

doc toothache

Full Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
8,514
Reaction score
2,793
A mean GPA comparison of institution that have both medical and dental programs is made. Maybe this issue can finally rest.

Members don't see this ad.
 

Attachments

  • Head to Head Combat-Medical vs Dental SDN-mod.doc
    118.5 KB · Views: 469
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Let me be the first to say, thank you doc!

(although now I'm wondering how many splinter arguments will arise...ah well, some people will never be silenced!)
 
Members don't see this ad :)
At first glance, it would appear that med school has higher GPAs than dental schools. However, if one were to run a T-test or other statistical analyses using MiniTab, they may find that, even though the means are higher for med schools, there may be no statistical difference between the means.

I would run this on my MiniTab software, but I'm not at work right now and don't have the software installed on my home PCs (I'm a Principal Engineer w/Bioengineering degree preparing to apply to dental school this summer as a non-trad, 40-year-old). Based on a cursory glance, however, I would say that the distributions would show a slight statistical advantage for medical school GPAs over dental school GPAs.

If no one is able to do this over the weekend (MiniTab or some other stat software or spreadsheet analysis), I will run it on Monday and post the results.
 
At first glance, it would appear that med school has higher GPAs than dental schools. However, if one were to run a T-test or other statistical analyses using MiniTab, they may find that, even though the means are higher for med schools, there may be no statistical difference between the means.

I would run this on my MiniTab software, but I'm not at work right now and don't have the software installed on my home PCs (I'm a Principal Engineer w/Bioengineering degree preparing to apply to dental school this summer as a non-trad, 40-year-old). Based on a cursory glance, however, I would say that the distributions would show a slight statistical advantage for medical school GPAs over dental school GPAs.

If no one is able to do this over the weekend (MiniTab or some other stat software or spreadsheet analysis), I will run it on Monday and post the results.

Medical schools have a statistically higher matriculating GPA than dental schools.
- Running a Shapiro test, you observe that the Medical GPAs are not normally distributed.
(Medical p-value = 0.002; Dental p-value = 0.080)
- Run a Wilcoxon Sign Rank Test (to try and figure out if there is a difference within school; H0 = no difference; Ha = difference)
(p-value = 1.795e-08).
 
This is silly. Do the job that makes you happy and tell everyone else to bugger off.

Either that, or you have too much free time on your hands.

To acoburn73- props to you! I am slightly older than you and matriculating to medical school this summer.

dsoz
 
Medical schools have a statistically higher matriculating GPA than dental schools.
- Running a Shapiro test, you observe that the Medical GPAs are not normally distributed.
(Medical p-value = 0.002; Dental p-value = 0.080)
- Run a Wilcoxon Sign Rank Test (to try and figure out if there is a difference within school; H0 = no difference; Ha = difference)
(p-value = 1.795e-08).

Thanks for the work.
 
I dont usually involve myself in the dental versus med school debates....but still an interesting thread.
 
If only there were Caribbean dental schools...
 
Maybe I didn't see it but Iowa is missing from this list.
 
Yeeeeeeeah Buffalo!!! :thumbup:

Lol, but in all seriousness, who cares. No one said it's easy to get into dental school. Maybe medical school is harder to get into, but if med students use that as part of their "I'm better than you" trip, I just tell them to get lost. I hate egocentric physicians that think they're better than everyone else in the world.
 
The best part about this list for me personally is that Doc Toothache has listed every school with both a medical and a dental component which is a big help for those of us married to pre-meds.
 
Members don't see this ad :)
Why do people care about this again? Besides egocentric pre-meds or insecure pre-dents, that is?


To get into either medical or dental school, you can't be a slacker and just stroll in. Both take hard work and a .15 GPA difference is tiny...Both professions are respected. Do you really care that somewhere there is a Billy-joe-bob who thinks dental school is easy or some big shot MD's frat boy son who thinks dentists are losers? Educated and upstanding people don't hold these positions. I like most of you guys, have wanted to be a dentist my whole life, and have had nothing but positive feedback.
 
Dang, doc toothache. When do you find time to sleep?

Also, thank you for all of the hard work you do for this board. Much appreciated! :bow:
 
Cool chart Doc, thanks!

However, there is a typo i thought i would point out. For East Carolina there is an actual difference of .3, but you put in .03 as the average. Probably won't affect the overall mean much, but thought i would let you know either way.
 
Where did you get those values? UIC's average GPA is not 3.3...Also, there can be rather significant fluctuations per class (i.e. GPA: .2-3)
UIC has been consistently above 3.5 for example - except for that one year. We are now seeing averages of 3.6-3.7+, not the described 3.3GPA
Up to class of 2016 the mean o-gpas are at 3.5-3.6; there is no 3.7 to be found.


neverrrrrrr

When considering the fact that some people still believe the earth is flat and gravity does not exist, your statement rings true.

http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/
http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm

At first glance, it would appear that med school has higher GPAs than dental schools. However, if one were to run a T-test or other statistical analyses using MiniTab, they may find that, even though the means are higher for med schools, there may be no statistical difference between the means.

- Running a Shapiro test, you observe that the Medical GPAs are not normally distributed.
(Medical p-value = 0.002; Dental p-value = 0.080)
- Run a Wilcoxon Sign Rank Test (to try and figure out if there is a difference within school; H0 = no difference; Ha = difference)
(p-value = 1.795e-08).

Whether or not there is statistical significance to the differences in the mean gpas of medical and dental or between medical and dental school is not particularly significant. There is no need for an F-test; Chi squared test, T-test, Z-test or any other statistical test to recognize that medical schools have consistently higher gpas for both applicants/matriculants and manage to do so at 4-fold the numbers.
Maybe I didn't see it but Iowa is missing from this list.
Iowa was added to the list.


Cool chart Doc, thanks!
However, there is a typo i thought i would point out. For East Carolina there is an actual difference of .3, but you put in .03 as the average.
Thanks. The correction was made.

The vault with talking points regarding admission statistics must be pretty barren. The links might have been impressive had there been a claim that Case commissioned the works of art.
 
Last edited:
A mean GPA comparison of institution that have both medical and dental programs is made. Maybe this issue can finally rest.

Your assessment is not entirely accurate. You cannot make the conculsion that Medical school is harder to get into than dental school because you are looking at a limited pool of medical schools, applicants, and matriculants. There are many more medical schools than dental schools and therefore you need to look at the entire applicant/matriculant pool for both degrees in order to compare them accordingly. I have done that below...



AAMC (MD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.66
2009 Total Applicants: 42,269
2009 Total Enrollees: 18,390
2009 acceptance ratio: 44%

AACOM (DO) 2005 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.44
Could not find acceptance ratio for DO.

ADEA (DDS/DMD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.54
2009 Total Applicants: 11,632
2009 Total Enrollees: 4,067
2009 acceptance ratio: 35%


The average GPA needed to become a physician (when MD and DO area averaged together) is about the same as to become a dentist (DDS/DMD).


*note AACOM website does not have published data for 2009, but given that average GPA did not fluctuate significantly for MD or DDS/DMD between 2005-2009, I will assume the same for DO.
*note this does not include average GPA for caribbean schools which would likely bring the average MD GPA down.

Because the criteria for admission to dental school or medical school involves more than just GPA, and the acceptance ratio is lower for dental school than medical school, it is impossible to say that "medical school is harder to get into than dental school".
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Mine%2BIs%2BBigger%2BThan%2BYours.gif
 
yeah...whenever this topic comes up it's kinda like this

[youtube]f7MFn-3Xu-A[/youtube]
 
Your assessment is not entirely accurate. You cannot make the conculsion that Medical school is harder to get into than dental school because you are looking at a limited pool of medical schools, applicants, and matriculants. There are many more medical schools than dental schools and therefore you need to look at the entire applicant/matriculant pool for both degrees in order to compare them accordingly. I have done that below...

*note AACOM website does not have published data for 2009, but given that average GPA did not fluctuate significantly for MD or DDS/DMD between 2005-2009, I will assume the same for DO.
*note this does not include average GPA for caribbean schools which would likely bring the average MD GPA down.
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=988878
If the numbers work better for you, you may wish to include the medical schools from Eastern Europe and other countries that cater to applicants that could not find a "safety school" in the US.
 
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=988878
If the numbers work better for you, you may wish to include the medical schools from Eastern Europe and other countries that cater to applicants that could not find a "safety school" in the US.

Numbers work better for me? Unlike you, I am not tryign to sway anyone one way or the other. Im just pointing out that your statistics were not accurate. You used a limited population sample for medical schools which are not representative of the entire nation. This is evidenced by the difference in mean GPA from the population you presented and the entire population (which is posted by AAMC as I quoted). I have quoted ENTIRE APPLICATN/MATRICULANT POOL for UNITED STATES MEDICAL AND DENTAL SCHOOLS.
 
Last edited:
Numbers work better for me? I am not tryign to sway anyone one way or the other. Im just pointing out that your statistics were not accurate. You used a limited population sample for medical schools which are not representative of the entire nation. This is evidenced by the difference in mean GPA from the population you presented and the entire population.

Well in that case no statistic can be accurate with p-value = near infinity zero. Should we also use clinical trials on all 1 billion people on this earth? Doc toothache is only one person with a full-time job. If you got the free time to use all medical schools be my guest.

EDIT: I'm on my smartphone and I didn't read your previous posts. I actually agree with your using the previous year's published data if you wanted to compare all dental and medical schools but doc toothache appropriately used a paired t-test in order to compare schools with both medical and dental schools which I think is more appropriate and accurate than a regular t-test. The condition of using a paired t-test is equal sample sizes in both groups. Since there are more medical schools than dental schools, the paired t-test is only valid if you use only schools with both medical and dental schools. Doc toothache's statistics are sound.

I think mean competitiveness of all dental and medical schools are probably not significantly different from each other (requires t-test) but I think in terms of range, the most selective medical school blows the most selective dental school out of the water. The sheer number of these incredibly difficult medical schools to get into also blow the number of the most difficult dental schools to get into out of the water.

Medical schools also attract a different kind of applicant than dental schools do. Most of us just want a lucrative profession with the highest ROI, meaning least schooling, ease of lifestyle, and least stress. There are more "gotta save the world" and intrinsically motivated individuals pursuing MD's.

The more book smart you are, the better physician you'll be. The same is definitely not true with dentistry. Hand skills are a more significant player in the success of the dentist's treatment plan. Coming up with the straightforward dental treatment plan is nothing like coming up with a long-term treatment plan for a patient with an autoimmune disease with multiple secondary infections. This is why booksmarts or performing extremely well on the boards are not significant correlations to how proficient a dentist will be at doing dentistry and managing a dental practice. The same is again not true of physicians.
 
Last edited:
Numbers work better for me? Unlike you, I am not tryign to sway anyone one way or the other. Im just pointing out that your statistics were not accurate. You used a limited population sample for medical schools which are not representative of the entire nation. This is evidenced by the difference in mean GPA from the population you presented and the entire population (which is posted by AAMC as I quoted). I have quoted ENTIRE APPLICATN/MATRICULANT POOL for UNITED STATES MEDICAL AND DENTAL SCHOOLS.

I really don't think, worded however it may be, that people were thinking about DO in this argument.

Should be, MD vs DDS.
 
Well in that case no statistic can be accurate with p-value = near infinity zero. Should we also use clinical trials on all 1 billion people on this earth? Doc toothache is only one person with a full-time job. If you got the free time to use all medical schools be my guest.

EDIT: I'm on my smartphone and I didn't read your previous posts. I actually agree with your using the previous year's published data.

I think mean competitiveness of dental and medical schools are probably not significantly different from each other (requires t-test) but I think in terms of range of the most selective medical school blows the most selective dental school out of the water. The sheer number of these incredibly difficult medical schools to get into also blow the number of the most difficult dental schools to get into out of the water.

Medical schools also attract a different kind of applicant than dental schools do. Most of us just want a lucrative profession with the highest ROI, meaning least schooling, ease of lifestyle, and least stress. There are more "gotta save the world" and intrinsically motivated individuals pursuing MD's.

The more book smart you are, the better physician you'll be. The same is definitely not true with dentistry. Hand skills are a more significant player in the success of the dentist's treatment plan. Coming up with the straightforward dental treatment plan is nothing like coming up with a long-term treatment plan for a patient with an autoimmune disease with multiple secondary infections.

I am both a physician and a dentist, and I have taken care of the sickest of the sick patients in the wards, ICU etc. There is nothing more complex about me following the surviving sepsis guidelines and fluid resuscitating the patient, putting them on pressors, insulin drip, source control of infection etc. They are complex for different reasons. Treating someone in septic shock has a patient's life on the line but not more "complex" than a full mouth reconstruction that requires ortho, endo, prosth, bone grafting etc.

It is absolutely incorrect to say that book smart physicians are better. I have seen top board score earners bag the carotid when putting in central lines, pierce the diaphragm when putting in a chest tube. In fact a recent study showed no correlation between board score an success in medical residency.

Read what I wrote, I will take out the excess stuff for simplicty sake (it is bolded and underlined):

AAMC (MD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.66
2009 Total Applicants: 42,269
2009 Total Enrollees: 18,390
2009 acceptance ratio: 44%

ADEA (DDS/DMD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.54
2009 Total Applicants: 11,632
2009 Total Enrollees: 4,067
2009 acceptance ratio: 35%


Because the criteria for admission to dental school or medical school involves more than just GPA, and the acceptance ratio is lower for dental school than medical school, it is impossible to say that "medical school is harder to get into than dental school".
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
I am both a physician and a dentist, and I have taken care of the sickest of the sick patients in the wards, ICU etc. There is nothing more complex about me following the surviving sepsis guidelines and fluid resuscitating the patient, putting them on pressors, insulin drip, source control of infection etc. They are complex for different reasons. Treating someone in septic shock has a patient's life on the line but not more "complex" than a full mouth reconstruction that requires ortho, endo, prosth, bone grafting etc.

It is absolutely incorrect to say that book smart physicians are better. I have seen top board score earners bag the carotid when putting in central lines, pierce the diaphragm when putting in a chest tube. In fact a recent study showed no correlation between board score an success in medical residency.

Read what I wrote, I will take out the excess stuff for simplicty sake (it is bolded and underlined):

AAMC (MD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.66
2009 Total Applicants: 42,269
2009 Total Enrollees: 18,390
2009 acceptance ratio: 44%

ADEA (DDS/DMD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.54
2009 Total Applicants: 11,632
2009 Total Enrollees: 4,067
2009 acceptance ratio: 35%


Because the criteria for admission to dental school or medical school involves more than just GPA, and the acceptance ratio is lower for dental school than medical school, it is impossible to say that "medical school is harder to get into than dental school".

Regardless, doc toothache's statistics (paired t-test) offers a better, more accurate comparison than using normal student's t-test. But I guess this doesn't matter if you changed your argument to say that the two institutions are incomparable. But then again, why did you critique by suggesting the use of all medical schools if they were incomparable to begin with?

OMFS is nothing in comparison to run-of-the-mill general dentistry. I wouldn't say any dental treatment is complex more than it is technical, as in technical with your hand skills.

As far as your USMLE and residency performance comment goes, here you go.
"USMLE Step 1 and 2 scores along with OITE scores are helpful in gauging a resident's performance on written boards." This is even for a highly-technical surgical specialty (orthopaedic) not internal medicine.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215143/

Shoot! You're right! Dental schools and medical schools are incomparable considering how their criteria for accepting students are totally different. Otherwise you wouldn't see a less competitive matriculate GPA but more selective acceptance rate for dental schools than medical schools. Sorry I could only skim your comments previously when I was looking through my iPhone.
 
Last edited:
Regardless, doc toothache's statistics (paired t-test) offers a better, more accurate comparison than using normal student's t-test. But I guess this doesn't matter if you changed your argument to say that the two institutions are incomparable. But then again, why did you critique by suggesting the use of all medical schools if they were incomparable to begin with?

OMFS is nothing in comparison to run-of-the-mill general dentistry. I wouldn't say any dental treatment is complex more than it is technical, as in technical with your hand skills.

As far as your USMLE and residency performance comment goes, here you go.
"USMLE Step 1 and 2 scores along with OITE scores are helpful in gauging a resident’s performance on written boards." This is even for a highly-technical surgical specialty (orthopaedic) not internal medicine.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215143/

Shoot! You're right! Dental schools and medical schools are incomparable considering how their criteria for accepting students are totally different. Otherwise you wouldn't see a less competitive matriculate GPA but more selective acceptance rate for dental schools than medical schools. Sorry I could only skim your comments previously when I was looking through my iPhone.

here you go:

Abstract


OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the information available about otolaryngology residency applicants for factors that may predict future success as an otolaryngologist.

DESIGN:

Retrospective review of residency applications; survey of resident graduates and otolaryngology clinical faculty.

SETTING:

Otolaryngology residency program.

PARTICIPANTS:

Otolaryngology program graduates from 2001 to 2010 and current clinical faculty from Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Overall ratings of the otolaryngology graduates by clinical faculty (on a 5-point scale) were compared with the resident application attributes that might predict success. The application factors studied are United States Medical Licensing Examination part 1 score, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society election, medical school grades, letter of recommendation, rank of the medical school, extracurricular activities, residency interview, experience with acting intern, and extracurricular activities.

RESULTS:

Forty-six graduates were included in the study. The overall faculty rating of the residents showed good interrater reliability. The objective factors, letters of recommendation, experience as an acting intern, and musical excellence showed no correlation with higher faculty rating. Rank of the medical school and faculty interview weakly correlated with faculty rating. Having excelled in a team sport correlated with higher faculty rating.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many of the application factors typically used during otolaryngology residency candidate selection may not be predictive of future capabilities as a clinician. Prior excellence in a team sport may suggest continued success in the health care team.
 
here you go:

Abstract


OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the information available about otolaryngology residency applicants for factors that may predict future success as an otolaryngologist.

DESIGN:

Retrospective review of residency applications; survey of resident graduates and otolaryngology clinical faculty.

SETTING:

Otolaryngology residency program.

PARTICIPANTS:

Otolaryngology program graduates from 2001 to 2010 and current clinical faculty from Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Overall ratings of the otolaryngology graduates by clinical faculty (on a 5-point scale) were compared with the resident application attributes that might predict success. The application factors studied are United States Medical Licensing Examination part 1 score, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society election, medical school grades, letter of recommendation, rank of the medical school, extracurricular activities, residency interview, experience with acting intern, and extracurricular activities.

RESULTS:

Forty-six graduates were included in the study. The overall faculty rating of the residents showed good interrater reliability. The objective factors, letters of recommendation, experience as an acting intern, and musical excellence showed no correlation with higher faculty rating. Rank of the medical school and faculty interview weakly correlated with faculty rating. Having excelled in a team sport correlated with higher faculty rating.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many of the application factors typically used during otolaryngology residency candidate selection may not be predictive of future capabilities as a clinician. Prior excellence in a team sport may suggest continued success in the health care team.

Then I guess it's dependent on the specialty.
 
Then I guess it's dependent on the specialty.

the study you brought up is specific for written specialty board examinations. Meaning... someone who does well on written tests in medical school will likely do well on written board examinations as a resident.

The study that I cited was looking at how the faculty rated the residents as surgeons and clinicians. It is more applicable to what we were discussing earlier.
 
the study you brought up is specific for written specialty board examinations. Meaning... someone who does well on written tests in medical school will likely do well on written board examinations as a resident.

The study that I cited was looking at how the faculty rated the residents as surgeons and clinicians. It is more applicable to what we were discussing earlier.

Gottcha! I retract my rash, unsupported statement about high board scores correlating to better clinicians. Hopefully this is an internet thing and I won't make rash comments in real life.:slap:

But who knows maybe the faculty opinions are just that...opinions.:laugh:
 
Last edited:
Wow. This may have been the most effective and mature disagreement I have ever seen on the Internet. No name calling or personal attacks.

Bravo.
 
I am both a physician and a dentist, and I have taken care of the sickest of the sick patients in the wards, ICU etc.

ADEA (DDS/DMD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.54
2009 Total Applicants: 11,632
2009 Total Enrollees: 4,067
2009 acceptance ratio: 35%

The applicants/enrolees ratio taking into account all the medical/dental and other professional schools has been included in two previous posts:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=408351
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=988878
As a physician and dentist one would expect that, in the least, you would have verified the information you provided. Since the late sixties, dental school enrollment has been above the 4000 mark except for years 1989 (3979), 1990 (4001) and 1991 (4047)(1). For the 2009 entering class the numbers were: 12,210 applicants and 4871 enrolees. (2)

(1) R.G Weavers, et. al, J of Dent Ed, December 2000 (867)
(2) ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools 2011.
 
The applicants/enrolees ratio taking into account all the medical/dental and other professional schools has been included in two previous posts:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=408351
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=988878
As a physician and dentist one would expect that, in the least, you would have verified the information you provided. Since the late sixties, dental school enrollment has been above the 4000 mark except for years 1989 (3979), 1990 (4001) and 1991 (4047)(1). For the 2009 entering class the numbers were: 12,210 applicants and 4871 enrolees. (2)

(1) R.G Weavers, et. al, J of Dent Ed, December 2000 (867)
(2) ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools 2011.

I should have taken more time to look at the numbers more carefully. In any case here it is adjusted. The conclusion does not change.

AAMC (MD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.66
2009 Total Applicants: 42,269
2009 Total Enrollees: 18,390
2009 acceptance ratio: 44%

ADEA (DDS/DMD) 2009 average gpa of Matriculants: 3.54
2009 Total Applicants: 12210
2009 Total Enrollees: 4,871
2009 acceptance ratio: 39.9%


Because the criteria for admission to dental school or medical school involves more than just GPA, and the acceptance ratio is lower for dental school than medical school, it is impossible to say that "medical school is harder to get into than dental school".
 
I should have taken more time to look at the numbers more carefully. In any case here it is adjusted. The conclusion does not change. Because the criteria for admission to dental school or medical school involves more than just GPA, and the acceptance ratio is lower for dental school than medical school, it is impossible to say that "medical school is harder to get into than dental school".

Here is some info for you.
 

Attachments

  • 2013 DD 3-23-13.doc
    25.5 KB · Views: 95
  • Head to Head Med-Dent DD 3-23-13.xls
    18.5 KB · Views: 89
Last edited:
Top