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Help from Dental Students- UT Houston or UT San Antonio

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by rooney09, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. rooney09

    rooney09 sardines in the sea
    7+ Year Member

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    I'm having a hard time deciding between the two although I'm naturally leaning towards Houston because that's where my family lives...

    Can anyone please give me insight into the pros and cons of both?
     
  2. rooney09

    rooney09 sardines in the sea
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    Where would you go and why? Pros and cons of each besides the location?? And why is SA ranked the highest out of the three schools?

    any help would be v much appreciated!
     
  3. mamelons

    5+ Year Member

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    I am a DS2 at San Antonio.

    PROS
    laptop curriculum -- we still get printed manuals in our classes to read from, so if it's not your thing, you still have hard-copy materials to study from, and you can always print stuff off, it's so much better than having to bring all your textbooks to school if you plan on studying at the library in the evening or using them to refer to stuff during class
    clinic bays -- every student is assigned to a GPG that has DS3 and DS4, every student is guaranteed a chair during clinic time
    instrument leasing -- no need to worry about paying a huge sum of money when you start school to buy instruments you probably won't use after you are graduate
    rotations starting first year -- assist in the clinic, learn to take x-rays, learn how to do head and neck exams, health history, charting, perio exams, etc, rotations during second consist of expanding on the ones from first year plus oral surgery rotation where we learn how to give intraoral injections on patients at the downtown clinic, and when you don't have a rotation scheduled, you have the afternoon off to do whatever you want, study, workout, relax, etc.
    faculty -- the faculty are wonderful... especially DS2... some of the operative professors established a tutoring program for the class to practice and get feedback on our projects and skills assessments, and almost everyone has attended one of the sessions, in fixed, the director of our course voluntarily meets with students the night before our skills assessments to give feedback on our crown preps/provisionals, he has been there until 9 at night sometimes, the faculty are willing to help, they want you to do well in pre-clinic so you can be successful in clinic
    students -- my class is great, you are always going to have your gunners, but everyone gets along, shares study guides/reviews, etc
    gross lab tutoring -- upperclassmen who made A's help the DS1 students, by far one of the best investments I made, it was really good to have someone show you structures in small groups and not having to worry about going to the next group like you would during class time
    there is also dental anatomy tutoring available
    CEREC and Invisalign certification electives
    Tons of electives and community rotations

    CONS
    I have not had experience with this yet, but molar endo is not required to graduate, so some see that as a potential disadvantage, however, if you want to do molar endo, you can take an elective during 3rd year that will allow you to do so
    The grading scale in several of our classes this year make it harder to get A's, B's, and so forth (i.e. all prosthodontics classes have a scale of 82 to get a B and 75 to get a C, our perio class was 93 to get an A, and maybe 84 to get a B, I don't remember), so it makes it a little more stressful depending on how you want to do, whether you want to specialize, etc
    Burs and teeth -- for fixed prosthodontics we don't get extra teeth supplied to us to practice for practicals, so we have to buy them on our own at $2 each, we only have what is required to complete the daily assignment, and beyond that, we have to purchase more on our own, in operative though, we always get 2 extra teeth to practice for the upcoming skills assessment :) and burs... we are given a bunch at the start of the year, you find ones you like to use for certain things, and you obviously use them more than others, well they tend to burn out pretty quickly on plastic teeth, so you end up buying more burs throughout the year

    That's all I can think of right now.

    Oh yeah, and I had a difficult decision between Baylor and San Antonio for the same reasons... my family is from Dallas, I grew up there, etc. I would have been happy at any of the 3 schools, but I am really glad I chose to go to San Antonio. It has been a good experience thus far, and plus, there is tons to do when you do get free time... and you will. You just have to make time for yourself. And cost of living is cheaper.

    Hope it helps. Good luck in making your decision and maybe I'll see you around next year :)
     
  4. mamelons

    5+ Year Member

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    Dental schools are not ranked anymore. The only reason San Antonio is regarded the highest out of the other schools is because the last time rankings were done was back in 1998 when U.S. News and World Report published the list. Since then, there has been no ranking of dental schools. Don't let that be the determining factor as to where you choose to go or not. I mean yeah, it's cool, we were ranked #1 when I was in middle school... but those rankings have no bearing on anything anymore. All the schools in the U.S. are great, they will all afford you the degree to practice dentistry. So choose a school based on other reasons (cost, location, and the things you liked about the school).
     
  5. iverson3504

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    mamelons, thanks for all the great info about SA!! I am in a very similar position to you when you applied, as my family is in Dallas but I really liked San Antonio..

    I was just wondering if you ever regret leaving "home/dallas" and going to San Antonio. How do you like living in SA? I think Baylor had a really fun area around the school with the West end, deep ellum, mavericks, fair grounds, etc... Does SA offer the same sorts of entertainment close to where students live? THANKS!
     
  6. mamelons

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    I don't ever regret leaving home and not going to Baylor... truth is, I left home after high school, and came down to San Antonio to attend UTSA and play basketball, so I had already been down here for 4 years. There is plenty of entertainment and the like to do in San Antonio... but in all honesty, there really isn't as much time to do all the things you want to do during first and second year. I mean, we do get some weeks where we don't have any exams or a free weekend, and people go out then, but dental school is not like undergrad where you don't have class on Friday and can go out every Thursday night and on the weekends. With that being said, there are tons of things to do in and around the city... San Antonio Spurs, college sports, First Friday (downtown art thing), rodeo every February with tons of live music, tubing the rivers every summer, lots of places to go hiking/camping (i.e. Enchanted Rock, Guadalupe River State Park, Lost Maples park), hill country wine trails/tours near Fredericksburg, the River Walk, great shopping, phenomenal Mexican food, etc. San Marcos (Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas) is a short drive with good food and live music, Austin is a short drive, and then Corpus is about 2.5 hours away. You have your typical bars and clubs too if you like to do that... Flying Saucer is down here as well, and they are opening up a new bar at La Cantera mall that has 135 beers on tap, I don't remember the name though. So, yes, there is plenty to do when you have the time, it just depends how you want to do in school and how easy/hard it is for you. As far as choosing San Antonio... for me, it was difficult because if family, and I had a scholarship offer at both schools, plus both schools were great... all 3 in Texas are, and I would have been happy anywhere. But the one thing my parents told me was to take family out of the decision... they said it is very possible that you would see us as much in San Antonio as you would in Dallas, so don't factor family into the decision and your gut feeling will tell you where to be. I don't know if you have scholarship offers anywhere, but my parents also told me to take money out of the decision as well because no scholarship, unless it is full or half tuition for all 4 years is going to make that much of a difference. After doing that, the decision was easy for me. I mean, there are great things about both schools, but there were just more things I liked about San Antonio. Another thing I told someone else on here is that you should really think about the people you interviewed with and the people already at the schools... these are your peers, and they are your potential classmates and people to help you along the way. They are who you are going to be studying with, eating with, hanging out with, sitting in class with, etc. So think about how you interacted with who you interviewed with, but also the students you met on campus. For me, I just felt like I fit in with the people at SA. Faculty and everything else are all important, but faculty can come and go, but the students... they are the ones that are going to be there. Sorry to ramble on, but I hope it helps. Maybe I will see you in SA next year. Good luck!
     
  7. Clubby

    2+ Year Member

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    Hate to bump this thread to the top, but I was hoping someone from Houston could chime in on their experience to the extent mamelons has (thanks for all the info btw).
     

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