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Help! USC or Arizona?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by biochemgirl, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. biochemgirl

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    I've recently been accepted to Arizona as of two weeks ago and having a hard time deciding on these two schools. USC or Arizona....Any advice?

    I've been surfing sdn for the past months and know most of you have great advice. Thanks everyone!!
     
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  3. USCbiograd

    7+ Year Member

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    Both schools seem to be comperable. If I where you I would chose the cheaper school, but there are other factors: which school is closer to your family? Do you like a large class or a small class? What state do you plan on practicing in?
     
  4. jim85213

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    USC....please! I'm waiting listed at ASDOH and I will be eternally grateful if you turn down your offer there. It's my only chance....please!

    Was that desperate enough? The above is true but seriously do what you think is best. Both are great schools and they both have a lot to offer. I personally would take ASDOH over USC but I really don't want you to;).
     
  5. philchungski

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    im actually from usc undergrad so i can tell you a lot about the campus, surrounding environment, and people. i also know a lot about the usc dental school and their pbl program because im actually applying for the 07 year and im just waiting for a reply.

    campus is awesome. weather is awesome. football games are awesome. surrounding local environment is scary at night if you're by yourself walkin down a dark alley, but otherwise, its harmless. night life in la is very cool (downtown and hollywood)

    pbl program is awesome in my opinion. many people dog it because its such a new approach to dentistry that there isnt much to be said except the bad things. its a very experientially based program where most of your learning comes from clinical. most of the people i know at sc dent love the program.

    in the end, there are always pros and cons, but it always comes down to your personal preferences. whatever you choose to do... good luck.. if you end up going to sc, i hope to meet you there soon.
     
  6. tylert82

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    Arizona uses no textbooks, but you have about 100 textbooks on your lap top. They strongly emphasize public health, so I'm not too sure what the field is for specializing. They drill you on one course at a time. So for two weeks straight you'll study one subject then test on it. I've heard their dean is a great guy and knows everybody by name. There's a new housing development going up near the school, so maybe you could get a good deal on a house right next to campus. When you sell it your profit can make up for some of the expensive tuition you'll have to pay.
     
  7. tooth decay

    tooth decay science officer
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    From reading previous threads, the answer is:

    For football, USC; For dental school, Arizona
     
  8. tissy

    U.S. Public Health Service 10+ Year Member

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    LA is a great area!! and Arizona has a great dental school by reputation of it's students. There are a lot of rumors about the PBL program so just make sure it fits you. It's not for everyone from what I hear. Anyways, I love the Arizona dental school so I guess you know my answer. But again, USC is in California...that is a tough one but go with where you think will make you a confident dentist...
     
  9. TheNobleTooth

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    USC hands down all the way. Despite the fact that USC's dental program is expensive, probably the most expensive in the nation, and has a problem-based learning curriculum, a lot of USC dental school graduates come out as great clinicians. The downside to USC is that sometimes the professors are jerks, can play favoritism (or your TA who grades your PBL work) and like I've said, the price is too high.

    azdoh, on the other hand, is such a disorganized school. They're still waiting for CODA to get back to them, and the administration there is praying their a$$es off that CODA will give them accreditation. They only show the superficial part of their dental school which are the new dental equipments and the new building. Don't let that fool you into going to arizona's dental program. But it's your choice. In addition, arizona's curriculum is always changing. You study a course for two weeks, then bam, another curriculm the week after. You better pray to God that your professor comes back to asdoh to teach if you need a letter of recommendation from him or her in the future. To the administration at azdoh, it sounds "cool" to fly in professors from other dental schools to teach the students at asdoh. But to me and some other applicants at my interview, that teaching method was a huge turn-off. I expect gavin and asdoh companies to come here to criticize what I've written about their "brand new" dental school. But heck, that's my opinion.

    Anyhow, good luck with your choice. Like I've said, USC in my opinion is a better dental program than azdoh.
     
  10. Manyak222

    Manyak222 Member
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    First off, it's ASDOH. Secondly, they don't 'fly' in professors to teach for x amount of time. If you had been listening during orientation, they fly in guest speakers from other schools, and professors there are on 1 year contracts. Thus, if students like the professor, he will likely stay there (many give up their tenure at other schools to teach in Arizona). This is, in most people's opinion, the best way to get quality, caring professors.

    Also, I'd like to know which schools give you an "in depth" look at their school in the short time you're there during interview day? Did you stay for a lecture at other schools? Did you talk to the entire faculty at other schools? Did you have a 1 on 1 with the dean at other schools? I doubt it, and would place my bet on most schools giving you the "usual" tour and basic curriculum information. All other information can be found out by you, via conversations with other students or faculty.

    As far as the curriculum, again, if you had listened during orientation, you would have known that you are tested weekly (every monday), and that you stay on a topic not for 2 weeks, but for several weeks (please correct me if I'm wrong on this current ASDOH students; this is what I learned from talking to some of you). If this style doesn't suit you, and you would rather take many different, unrelated classes at the same time, then that is your preference. I personally would rather take classes that are related together (I used to hate finishing studying for Ochem and having to open up a physics book).

    Again, to the OP, it's a matter of preference. PBL, california weather and relaxed system, higher tuition and higher housing rates for USC versus integrated curriculum, boards after the 1st year, HOT weather, all books on laptop, lower tuition, and night life not so great at Arizona. Both schools seem to have great clinics and high student morale. I have a few friends at USC and they love it there. I've spoken to AZ students and they love it there. I don't think you can go wrong on your choice. Good luck!
     
  11. Lemming

    Lemming Hello
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    I was actually told the same thing, and I listened quite well. They did say that they bring in profs to teach whatever block you are on for a few weeks. Then they are back to whereever they are from. They sign a contract that requires them to answer emails, phone calls etc. from students in a timely manner for that year. I think NobleTooth was accurate here, but maybe Gavin will clear it up.
     
  12. Denticized

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    Well it depends on you:

    Do you like 100% pbl?
    Do you mind the tuition at USC?
    Do you mind living in Phoenix?
    Do you mind the USC neighborhood (it's ghetto land)?


    Answer these questions and give points to each question and you'll have your answer. Add more questions if other factors matter to you. let us know how you decide.
     
  13. Manyak222

    Manyak222 Member
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    We definitely need some clarification, because from what I heard (or at least understood) from the dean, professors don't teach for a couple weeks then leave to their previous schools. They give up tenure at other schools to teach at Arizona, so why would someone do that for a few weeks to teach at Arizona? Doesn't make sense to me, but maybe I'm wrong.
    I think the ones that are only there for a block are those who received poor reviews from students. Most of the faculty has been teaching there for long periods of times, save for guest speakers/professors, or those who were shipped out quickly due to bad reviews.
    Again this is my understanding, and perhaps Gavin or another student can inform us.
     
  14. RDH2DDS

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    At my interview, they said they fly in top experts within the course and they teach it for a week or two and then fly back to where they normally work or teach. They are available via email for office hours or questions.
     
  15. Manyak222

    Manyak222 Member
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    So are all professors like that? Or is that the exception rather than the rule? I still cant see anyone giving up tenure for a week or two of teaching at AZ. If they all are like that, it would definitely be a turn off for me.
     
  16. Dental Dork 09

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    Go where it is the cheapest.

    Trust me, any other reason you choose is invalid.
     
  17. jim85213

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    NO! She needs to go to USC. That's the best option for all of us...especially me:)
     
  18. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    This is how you should choose unless the costs are very close.
     
  19. CTDent

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    Yes, from what I've learned at the interview, and by talking with some current students, most of the professors for the didactic courses during year 1 and 2, are only there while they are teaching (usually like 1-3 weeks).

    However, we were told that they are available through email for 1 year following the class....And, they fly them all back right before part I of the license exams to review everything.

    The tenure thing, has to do with the "in-house" professors at ASDOH (of which I think there are 15-20?...a current student can correct me). They do not have tenure, and supposedly never will...the dean expressed to us, that this keeps the people there that actually care about the quality of their teaching year after year, rather than becoming complacent after getting tenure. So I think that is what you may be referring to regarding tenure. The "visiting" profs don't loose their own tenure at their home universities...they are only on a 1-3 week sabbatical.
     
  20. Lostinbul

    Lostinbul Pray'n for a letter!
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    CTDent has got things figured out! That is pretty much how it works around here. To clear a few things up let me tell you guys just a little more. At the end of each class the students fill out an evaluation of the course, which is where we can really voice our opinion about the professor. It has happened in the past that professors that receive crappy ratings are not invited back the following year. However, most of the professors we had (I'm a D1) during this last year have been around for a few years because the students really like them. Also, I don't see what the big deal is about not having a certain professor here on campus year round. If the class is only taught 2 weeks out of the year, does it make sense to keep them here for the other 50 weeks? And if they are under contract to answer all emails from the students for the remainder of the year, if you've got questions you'll get them answered. I personally have never needed to email a professor after they left, due to the fact that all their presentations are in powerpoint format and downloaded with lecture notes on all of our computers. If you've got questions just pull out the lecture. I realize however that there are many who feel like their security blanket is being yanked out from under them if they can't ask a question to a face. Well in that case......go to a more traditional school. There are many of them out there. This situation with the professors also only really applies to the first year, and interdispursed throughout a little of the second. The rest of the time you are being instructed by faculty and staff working here on campus and in the dental clinic. Hope some of that helps.
     
  21. gatormichigan

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    USC
     
  22. burton117

    burton117 The Big Kahuna
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    Arizona - $$
     
  23. mint chiclet

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    My friend loves the PBL at USC. He said it has made learning more efficient and fun. He also loves the location. He is close to amusement parks, the beach, and amazing night life.
     
  24. JustInTime

    JustInTime Member
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    It's a tough decision. It depends on your learning style: would you fit more with block schedule vs. PBL? There are advantages and disadvantages to the block schedule system. Plus side is that you can focus on one thing at a time. Down side is that it goes very fast. I don't think accreditation for ASDOH is not a problem anymore. IMO, all that matter are clinical experience and I have been hearing great feedbacks from the D3s and D4s. Hope this helps with your decision.


     
  25. keibee82

    keibee82 Blue_tooth...
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    I dunno much about ASDOH, but as far as USC, they were my last choice from 14 schools that I applied to and I'm from LA. Not only they're expensive, their 100% PBL curriculum totally threw me off. I loved the group projects and working with other students and all when I was in undergrat, but 100% PBL is just too much for me. However, I heard student-alumni connection in USC is one of the best among all schools. But well...i guess i don't have enough SC pride. :oops:
     
  26. tissy

    U.S. Public Health Service 10+ Year Member

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    I actually work with a retired professor from USC dental school and he thinks that the PBL is not that great. He thinks that students do better on boards with traditonal lecture...
     
  27. Columbia07

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    Boards are actually higher with the PBL curriculum than the traditional format SC' had. In any case, just go where you seem more comfortable. Really, dental school is what you put into it. You can go to Puerto Rico and become the best general dentist or oral surgeon the U.S. has ever seen. If you're capable of great success, the school will not matter. Granted certain pedagogies are very unique, so you need to find out what will work best for you.

    Also, there is much more to USC than the weather, beach, and night life. USC prides itself on creating a vast network with its alum and this is definitely evident in the work force. In addition, USC is a very multidisciplinary university. They love a multi-faceted approach to every topic whether it's literature, medicine, dentistry or biology. Additionally, USC is one of the most funded universities in the country for research grant money (I believe it was 8th when I was an undergrad there). So, if research is something you're interested in, this is one place you should not shy away from. Finally, as much as people knock PBL around as being to "laxed" or "unstructured," I think it creates an excellent learning environment. It helps students understand how the basic science courses play a role in human physiology, anatomy and disease. Although some students talk about how they're going to beach and clubbing every night, as long as you're not one of them and you know you're destined for great things, I think SC is an excellent choice (I'm not pimping the school, just trying to enlighten everyone). However, cost is a huge issue. And, every dental school is going to train you to be a dentist. So, if you get into a cheaper school, I would say go, as long as you're going to be happy there. The beach, the sun and the nightlife are really not that important in the grand scheme of things.

    Good luck!
     
  28. DDSY

    DDSY Bright Lights at Night
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    This statement is a bit controversial. Board score did rise immediately after the change to PBL. But I don't know about the years after that immediate year. Medicals schools that switched to PBL had mixed results.

    I agree, it's really up to individuals to determine how well they do in professional schools. Gl
     
  29. Columbia07

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    "A very clear and well-written application of PBL to clinical dental education was contributed by Chuck Shuler and published in 2002 (see California Dental Association Journal 30:435-441, 2002). What is really remarkable are the measured outcomes from Chuck's leadership of our academic programs: the 2001 accreditation by the Commission of Dental Education; the 2002 University Academic Review (UCAR); a three-fold increase in applicants for the D.D.S. program; a four-fold increase in the applicant pool for the ASPID program; remarkable improvements in student performance on National Dental Board Examinations Part I (first quintile) and Part II (third quintile); and improved performance on regional dental board examinations as well as an increase in the number of graduates seeking advanced specialty training and graduate education."

    This is from the "Dean's Report" written in June of 2006.

    http://www.usc.edu/hsc/dental/update/june06/DEANS_REPORT.html
     
  30. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    I don't mean to fuel the fire, but the "report" you just posted sounds very impressive, but fails to provide any actual information.

    3 fold increase? From what year to what year? How remarkable is remarkable? Average scores in the first quintile can range from incredibly impressive to barely average.

    Anyway, the report leaves a lot of room for the imagination. Theres probably more in the CDA article though, anyone have access?
     
  31. DDSY

    DDSY Bright Lights at Night
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    Yep. All of these are 2002 publications. I'm assuming that these are immediately after they instituted PBL after they did a parallel study with small number of people at USC.

    Here it is again (for med school PBL)
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=254894 (note: a medical student noted in this thread that the medical schools that implemented the full PBL curriculum (Hawaii and Drexel [MCP Hahnemann) have/had a number of failures . However, this is only anecdotal evidence and another medical school with a [hybrid?] PBL curriculum, Northwestern, does relatively well on USMLE I)
     
  32. DDSY

    DDSY Bright Lights at Night
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    Bottom line is that people can do well in dental school, despite the curriculum. :thumbup: Just work hard and keep positive
     
  33. seansk

    seansk USC Dentistry Class 2010
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    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11425245&dopt=Abstract
     
  34. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
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    An interesting read, the only thing I couldn't find is whether the students in "test" PBL program track were there by choice or by assignment. It seems theres some definite potential there for self-selection.
     
  35. dentofalltrades

    dentofalltrades USC C/O 2009
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    I would pick Arizona if I were you. PM me if you have any questions or want any details.
     
  36. dentofalltrades

    dentofalltrades USC C/O 2009
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    hahaha.. keep telling yourself that! :)

    But would you agree curriculum makes a major impact on one's success and that certain curriculums are more likely for success than others?
     
  37. accidental

    accidental Senior Member
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    I can't speak about USC but I can only tell you how much I like ASDOH. I'm almost done with my first year and although I have a few minor complaints, we have it so good here. I've posted this on other threads and I'll say it again - I've never once felt overwhelmed with the work load and I can attribute that to the module system. The instructors coming in from other schools should not even be an issue - they come in, teach the class, they leave, and we are tested on it - what's the big deal? I've never needed them after that. If you want to enjoy life while your in school then come to Arizona. Nobody I go to school with has regretted coming here. Arizona is ugly though.
     
  38. Columbia07

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    I agree with you that these comments by the dean are vague. My point was to show that students overall perform better with the PBL system than they did with the tradition system. How much better students perform is left for those to decide. "Remarkable" and "three-fold increase" make it sound like SC' students on the traditional track were failing...:laugh:
     
  39. dentofalltrades

    dentofalltrades USC C/O 2009
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    It is easy to have a large percentage increase for Part I of the boards when the scores being compared to are very low. Let me ask you a question, does being in the third quintile really impress you all that much? That's not even top half. These reports are spun to have as positive news as possible but to the report and it does not come across very positive.
     
  40. dentofalltrades

    dentofalltrades USC C/O 2009
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    I just pointed that out so please do not reply to my comment. I posted my reply before your acknowledgement that the earlier scores being compared against were very low. FYI, I know you're a 2011 and have not attended SC yet, but board scores are USC are still not very good..
     
  41. dentofalltrades

    dentofalltrades USC C/O 2009
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    Keep in mind that if these increases were impressive (e.g. 90% board scores) the report WOULD SPECIFICALLY SAY SO. The fact they DELIBERATELY left these statistics vaugue should tell you a lot....
     
  42. aznxhon3y

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    After visiting both campuses, USC and Arizona, I'd say ASDOH wins hands down. ASDOH students are definitely happier, the facilities are AWESOME, and after visiting it and talking to Dean Dillenberg, I put ASDOH as one of my top 3 dental schools (if you're curious my top #1 was UOP, then asdoh and boston were "ranked" the same)

    but yeah, module learning, awesome facilities, and happy students? that's DEFINITELY a winner in my book, although USC wins for location since it's in LA (although a ghetto part of LA) but still.... you're there to study anyways, so go for ASDOH!!!!
     
  43. DDSY

    DDSY Bright Lights at Night
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    You're a funny guy. :cool:
     
  44. Columbia07

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    The only point I was ever trying to make was that students at USC do better now (PBL) than before (traditional) on Part-1 of the boards. I don't know scores, nor do I care. I know I'll do well on the boards and I guess that's all that matters. I'm not arguing with anyone about the vagueness of the article. I was just responding to someone's post earlier in the day about PBL producing lower Part-1 board scores. In fact, I'm not even making a case for USC over ASDOH.
     
  45. DDSY

    DDSY Bright Lights at Night
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    That's not entirely true. The article is published in 2002 and dated 2001. They implemented PBL in 2001. Based on the article, the students apparently did better in 2001 compared to the previous class. However, the article does not mention how students did afterwards, 2002 and so on.

    Just trying to clarify. :cool:

    The comparison is not entirely valid because the comparison group (class of 2000 or other class[es]) is through time.
     
  46. Columbia07

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    I understand that the info published is from 2001; however, I think, as a dean, you wouldn't mislead people and continue to express that students are performing better with the PBL system than they were with the traditional system (I have no proof though, just speculation). Here is some info about the 2003 class. Apparently they did better than the 2000 class. I will find more information.

    "Our rankings on the National Board examinations have moved from thirty-fourth in the nation (2000) to well above the mean (2003); recently, 30 of our students earned scores above 90 on the National Board examination."

    http://www.usc.edu/hsc/dental/update/october03/index.htm
     
  47. dentofalltrades

    dentofalltrades USC C/O 2009
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    In my opinion, that is an extremely naive assumption.



    Don't you think it is odd that they do not publish the 2005 or 2006 results? USC knows those numbers obviously, but they keep focusing on older years. I know the answer why, but you should ask yourself this question. Hmmm...
     
  48. seansk

    seansk USC Dentistry Class 2010
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    It's funny how such sorts of threads turn into a debate between certain people, and really doesn't answer the poster's question. I am also guilty as charged of doing this in the past.

    I guess me as well as other people just forget to look at the big picture of things. Ya schools have their bads and goods. probably a lot of bads and also many goods...But you know eventually everyone is gonna get educated and become a dentist. We should consider ourselves lucky to have gotten into dental school. We should think about the world and consider to be lucky to have from over 50 schools to pick from, while other country's don't have as big of a choice.

    Maybe sometimes we get caught defending our school and even our decisions to boost our ego's, or feel good about ourselves. Perhaps I have done this in the past too. Or perhaps sometimes we hate the decision we've made and try to "bag" on our school. Whatever the case. Bad boards, good boards, bad clinical, good clinical etc. We all get to graduate and hopefully make a good dentist and contribute to the health of others.
     
  49. dentofalltrades

    dentofalltrades USC C/O 2009
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    Agreed! We will all be dentists. Just some of us will gradate with $400k more in debt with lesser clinical experience than others.
     
  50. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Agreed. As I've said before, undergraduate was more difficult, and I've had MORE time to spend with my family and friends in dental school at Arizona than I did in undergrad.
     
  51. tissy

    U.S. Public Health Service 10+ Year Member

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    Arizona!!
     

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