HELP! UCSF or PENN?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by applescrapple, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. applescrapple

    applescrapple Junior Member
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    I can't decide which school to go to! I'm not from the eastcoast or the westcoast, so I'm not sure where I would fit in...
    I know UCSF is a great school, but Penn is Ivy league so it's hard to pass up. Which school is a better choice?
    Someone Please help!
     
  2. TanakaJohnson

    TanakaJohnson New Member

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    Easy decision-UCSF. IVY league, basically unwarranted reputation in dentistry. The admin at UPENN, not the sharpest tools in the shed. They take the short bus, if you know what I mean.
    TJ
     
  3. applescrapple

    applescrapple Junior Member
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    So, I'll get a much better education at UCSF?
    Does it matter in the future which school I graduated from? I mean, would patients go more to PENN a graduate just because it's a better known school?
     
  4. SMC2UCLA2_

    SMC2UCLA2_ Senior Member
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    This is the most biased response I have ever seen. It is not an easy decision. UPENN is an outstanding school. Whats the price difference between the schools for you?

    I don't think I would fit in at UCSF and I would personally take UPENN over UCSF. Again, by no means is this an easy decision in favor of UCSF.
     
  5. applescrapple

    applescrapple Junior Member
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    UPENN offered me scholarship that's worth 1/2 tuition for four years (if I maintain the GPA), and UCSF offered me 10K just for the first year. So, if I went to UCSF and become a resident there after the first year (which they say is very possible), I think it would cost me about 20-30K more to go to UCSF.
     
  6. Papa_Smurf

    Papa_Smurf Member
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    You have a difficult though enviable decision to make. Both schools are top tier in my estimation (probably top 5) and will provide the opportunity for a first rate education. The price difference between the two is negligible for you, so that is not a major consideration. The questions are then does one school give you a better feel than the other and Philadelphia or San Francisco. I can’t say which school feels better for you. Having lived in Philadelphia for many years I would say San Francisco hands down. But that’s just me. Good luck with you decision! I'm not sure you can make a wrong one.
     
  7. applescrapple

    applescrapple Junior Member
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    My family dentist tells me to go to UCSF IF I plan on practicing there. Why does he say that? 'cuz of the regional license exams?

    Also, when I visited UPENN, I really liked the school inside, but I kind of felt "unsafe" outside. I was only there for one day so if you could tell me a little about the neighborhood, that's be great.

    Is philly weather just as bad as Chicago weather?
     
  8. crazy_sherm

    crazy_sherm å♪▼æ╬‼▄·
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    I think it would be hard to pass up UPenn from a financial standpoint. I'm not sure how high living costs are in philly, but SF is just below NYC and Boston.
    The weather's not great here, but you don't get any extreme temperature changes. Summers are in the mid-70s, winters in the mid 50s.

    As far as the schools go, they both have great reputations. How are UPenn's facilities? I've only seen UCSF's and thought that preclin was a bit lacking except for the gross anatomy lab.

    Which school impressed you more? Which school do you feel would fit your lifestyle better? Are you a pretty liberal person? Do you prefer dimsum or cheesesteaks? Sourdough or cream cheese? Lotsa things to consider.
     
  9. applescrapple

    applescrapple Junior Member
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    One of the students at PENN told me that their preclinical lab and main clinic facilities are a bit "antiquated". I did see some dentsims while I was there though. Do the facilities make a big difference?
    It's nice that you brought up other factors to consider..such as food. That is important =) I should think about that...
     
  10. nothen2do

    nothen2do Senior Member
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    The UCSF simlab isn't the newest, but it works just fine for me. I would pay attention to the actual clinics, because the full, last 2 years of your education will be spent there. Never been to pennm, but the views from UCSF are pretty great :thumbup:
     
  11. drhobie7

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    Even though I hate hippies, I'd take UCSF over UPENN. I would way rather live in SF than Philly.
     
  12. crazy_sherm

    crazy_sherm å♪▼æ╬‼▄·
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    I don't know if having a sim station makes a whole lot of difference, especially if you're pretty good about keep realistic chair positions, but it is a benefit. I haven't had too much live experience yet, just some perio probing, scaling, and polishing so far. The sim helps with ergonomics as far as knowing seat and fulcrum positions, but it doesn't account for thick cheeks or a tongue getting in the way. Either way though, it's gonna be better than benchtopping your preps.

    As for food, the bay area is awesome. You can find pretty much everything. Only thing I find really lacking that the east coast has way better are decent cuban restaurants and jewish delis. ;)
     
  13. coolraz

    coolraz Member
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    Not to bash Penn, but the facilities are significantly inferior to those at UCSF (I went to interviews at both). The views from the preclinical lab and the main clinic at UCSF are simply amazing! At Penn, you're in the basement.

    Now, as for "prestige" it really depends on what you want to do. If you're going to be a GP or a specialist and that's all, NO ONE will ever care which school you go to. Every dentist I've talked to said they dont really know much about Upenn but knew of other schools on the east coast which are not ivyies (like UMD). Patients care way more about sillier things like how nice your office looks and (more importantly) what other patients have said about you. Keep in mind that dentists get more than half of their new patients by word of mouth and only about 20% from advertising (which is the only time where you would "flaunt" your ivy degree), so in the end it's very insignificant.

    If you're planning to go into research, or more importanlty, academia, then Ivy is the way to go as it does open those doors for you.

    If ivy's really had the equivalent prestige in dentistry that they have in other areas, this would be reflected through their facilities being modern, high tech and prestigious-looking (i.e compare Harvard school of medecine vs. Harvard dental school or Upenn Wharton School vs. Upenn Dental). Of course, that's not to say their education is bad, as they have a lot of excellent faculty and they do teach you well but that the ivy "name" does not add anything EXTRA to your dental experience or to your future as a practioner.
     
  14. Audio

    Audio Senior Member
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    Between Harvard and UPenn, I'd have to say that Penn is a better all around dental school than Harvard. You get a better clinical experience at Penn, the clinics are WAY bigger and were really busy. BUT...I think Harvard will provide you with every opportunity you want. Their match rate is disgusting :eek: Even though the Ivy name doesn't mean that these schools are the best in the dental world, I'd have to say that these are still two of the top schools in the US.

    Now even though I'm saying Penn is a better dental school overall, IMHO, I'd still go to Harvard over Penn for a couple of reasons. Harvard is cheaper. Boston is amazing. You get to live at Vandy for 4 years if you want and it doesn't seem like it sucks as much as Penn student housing. And the main reason, you get to do whatever the HELL you want if you go to Harvard. Pretty sweet. But, if I was going to hire someone after 4 years, I'd pick a Penn grad hands down because they'd be more prepared and they'd still have the capacity to learn like a lot of the Harvard students.
     
  15. nothen2do

    nothen2do Senior Member
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    I think the OP was deciding between penn and ucsf...but now I can see what's going on in your head :laugh:
     
  16. Audio

    Audio Senior Member
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    hahaha, yeah I know but I was responding to the post about how Ivy league schools don't carry that much respect in the dental community. I was trying to separate Penn from Harvard.

    The point was that as far as the dental experience over 4 years, Penn is pretty damn good - better than Harvard (after 4 years, Harvard is probably better).
     
  17. applescrapple

    applescrapple Junior Member
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    I was leaning more towards UCSF before (after reading the first few replies), but now my mind is starting to switch over to PENN dental.....
    Thank you for all those who replied to my thread; it's really helping me a lot in making this difficult decision. It's really making me think...over and over..

    Question 1: I've heard that PENN is in a "bad" neighborhood. How bad is "bad"?? Is it really unsafe?

    Question 2: Are there a lot of fun things to do around PENN? How's the night life??
     
  18. tinker bell

    tinker bell 1K Member
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    I would tell you UCSF is the way to go, simply because I know it well. I don't know UPENN, but I think it's a good school nevertheless. UCSF always have several residents come from UPENN. So, it proves that if you go to upenn, you still have chance going to ucsf later.

    The reasons I like ucsf: P/NP, no ranking system, way so many patients, good preclinical experience, nice clinic, nice city, good weather, close to Tahoe (so you can go skiing in the winter). Only 5hrs fly to Hawaii.

    However, hearing from those residents, they told me that upenn has less patients than ucsf, and they have more pros requirement than us. I don't know what that means to you, but for most dental students, the less we have to involve with dentures, the better. I'd rather go to OMFS externship, doing research, or do anything silly, than setting denture teeth.

    About the nightlife of philly, you have to ask Desidentist. He is the expert.
    Why do you have to worry about the nightlife? While NY is only 80 miles away?
     
  19. kiggar4l2000

    kiggar4l2000 Member
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    Go to PENN b/c
    1) Private school got better facilities, equipments, and instruments
    2) Ivy League > Public school...
    3) East coast education is better different than west coast education
    4) b/c it's PENN
     
  20. Unemployed

    Unemployed Senior Member
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    UPENNs preclinical years are spent in the basement. Pretty un-Ivyish to me...just correcting you that not all private schools have the "better facilities, equipment, and instruments".

    I was also deciding between UCSF, Penn, and UOP. Both are great schools, tough call. Go to UOP :D
     
  21. Audio

    Audio Senior Member
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    That's a whole other debate :D One thing about Harvard is that you get the benefits of the med school for your first 2 years. You're basically a med student and that's kind of cool. It really makes you feel like dentistry is a sub-specialty of medicine, an idea that I believe in. But Penn had better facilities than Harvard.

    In case anyone is interested, I asked my interviewer where she'd recommend I apply if I was her son, she said UPenn, UCLA, UCSF, UConn. Penn was the first school she mentioned. It was very clear to me that they see Penn as their #1 competitor at Harvard. It's mainly because of the scholarships Penn gives, I think they steal some of Harvard's students.

    I was also complimented on my undergrad, the University of Toronto, for how well it prepares students and I was very surprised to know that every year they usually have 1 or 2 UofT students in a class of 35.
     
  22. Unemployed

    Unemployed Senior Member
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    Is there 35 students for each class at Penn?
     
  23. duh?

    duh? Senior Member
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    Nope. 116 for Penn (I think) and 35 for Harvard.
     
  24. Audio

    Audio Senior Member
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    I was talking about Harvard and my interview there. I wish penn had a 35 person class!
     

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