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How well do these dental schools do in terms of specializing (OMFS)?

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Mr.Scalpel

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Let me start by saying that I am aware of the implications of specializing and that I understand that you CAN specialize from ANY school and people do it all the time and that it depends almost exclusively on you and your hard work and dedication to your future goals. Also, In terms of applying to OMFS, I am aware it also depends on how well you do on your CBSE.

However, just as an extra factor, maybe because of the way that their curriculum is structured or for whatever reason some schools have higher percentages of students being accepted at post grad programs than others?
 
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T

The OMFS

They are all the same. Go to the cheapest school.
 
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Mr.Scalpel

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Thanks for the input guys.

Anybody else has any thoughts on this? It would be greatly appreciated.
 

PaulC

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I tend to agree with the first two responses. Go to the cheapest school. However, if cost of attendance wasn't a factor, I believe some of those schools you listed provide their students with certain advantages.

For example, schools such as NYU don't give students much time off to go on externships and study for additional exams (such as the CBSE) as they place more emphasis on clinical requirements. From what I've heard, other schools provide their students with a few months to study for these exams and attend externships. I couldn't tell you which specific schools allow students to take additional time to perform externships/study but it may be something you may want to inquire about.

That said, students that want to specialize tend to make it work regardless of which school they attend. Some may even argue that you should be able to balance dental school/externships/CBSE regardless of the school you are attending in order to be able to make it through an OMS residency program.

But really, go to the cheapest school
 
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Sublimazing

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I know my argument is never popular on this board...but the cheapest school is not always the best choice for people looking to specialize, especially with OMFS. You can use me as a cautionary tale. I came into dental school knowing I wanted to do OMFS. I got accepted to multiple schools, but had no intention of attending anything other than UIC because it was the cheapest and I knew it was just a midpoint in my training and it didn't seem like it mattered. UIC at the time (may have changed since I graduated) never produced a lot of specialists and neither the curriculum nor my co-students were focused on specializing (2 out of 90 applied to OMFS, 1 matched). By the time I came to graduation I had no intention of doing OMFS...and I honestly attribute my change of mind to my experience at school (and I can expand upon that if OP wants).

Schools like UCSF, Columbia, UCLA, etc are well known for producing specialists for a number of reasons...They have strong reputations with program directors (which does make a difference despite what others may say), accepts students that are focused on specializing (which really has a synergistic impact on others specializing), and have better curricula for allowing their students to specialize (easier to schedule externships, more medical didactics,etc).

I respect the opinion of @The OMFS and @BenignDMD (and it is definitely the popular opinion on this board) but where did they go to dental school? Did they go to an Ivy League that produces a ton of specialists? If they did, them telling you to go to a cheaper school must be taken with a grain of salt, because they don't know what might have happened if they hadn't (and this is absolutely not a dig at them, their opinions are just as valid as mine).

Get as many opinions as you can, and do your best to judge their perspective and validity. I'm sure it is no fun to come out of some of the "specialization schools" and owe 250k+, but is that additional 100k of debt worth giving up a career in surgery? You have to figure that out.

TLDR: Tuition is very important to consider when choosing a dental school, but it is just ONE of many factors which must be weighed. Schools that have a long standing reputation of producing specialists will almost always increase your chances of matching to a specialty, and are even more likely to improve where it is you match.
 
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BenignDMD

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All the above posts have merit. I went to a dental school that is known for producing good general practitioners straight out of dental school, not specialists/research-oriented dentists. I did have flexibility with time off for externships (which is extremely important for OMS). In hindsight, the only drawback from my dental school was not having the mentorship/upperclassman for the application process - to a degree even having classmates applying for the same residency helps you throughout the process. Out of a class of close to 100 students, we had 2/2 match for OMS. Lot's of pedo/ortho though.

All in all, if you have the grades then you will match to OMS. I would have made some slightly different decisions if I had more mentorship along the way, however the end goal would have been the same - matching to OMS residency.

If I had the option of a school known for producing specialists at 60K tuition/year vs. another school at 25K a year, I would pick the cheaper school every single time. Now if that were 60K vs. 45K then I would pick the specialist producing school.

Graduating dental school with 300K debt plus interest through residency, I am looking at ~6K/month student loan payments. That is really coming into play now that I am looking for work. It limits the lower end of salary that I can accept, and the majority of private practices in large cities don't pay well.
 
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capnamerica

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By the time I came to graduation I had no intention of doing OMFS...and I honestly attribute my change of mind to my experience at school (and I can expand upon that if OP wants).

I'm not the OP, but could you please expand on that? What dissuaded you at your dental school from pursuing OMFS? Thanks
 

Mr.Scalpel

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Thanks for all the responses guys, it means a lot.

Of course I wouldn't want to be in an stratospheric amount of debt by the time I come out of the residency, and especially if med school is paid. I obviously weight tuition as one of the factors in choosing dental school. However, OMFS is getting more and more competitive these days and, to be honest, I would not risk my career in surgery for anything in the world. If choosing a dental school that will probably better prepare me to go after what I want (Because it is known to produce professionals in these areas) and improve my chances, then I would and will choose this school over the cheaper one, every time. Just as I would if an OMFS program accepts me even if med school is paid but is known to be an awesome well rounded program. In the end, I know I will do what I love and I am passionate about and will most likely make way more money than if I hadn't matched into that program.

Now, if I had to choose between similar schools or programs that offer similar opportunities and at similar locations, and there is a 50k difference between them, then of course I would choose the cheaper one (no brainer i guess?).

Ps: Good thing you finally followed through and ended up matching @Sublimazing ! And please elaborate on your interest in OS not being nurtured by your school's experience! Thanks

 
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vellnueve

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Thanks for all the responses guys, it means a lot.

Of course I wouldn't want to be in an stratospheric amount of debt by the time I come out of the residency, and especially if med school is paid. I obviously weight tuition as one of the factors in choosing dental school. However, OMFS is getting more and more competitive these days and, to be honest, I would not risk my career in surgery for anything in the world. If choosing a dental school that will probably better prepare me to go after what I want (Because it is known to produce professionals in these areas) and improve my chances, then I would and will choose this school over the cheaper one, every time. Just as I would if an OMFS program accepts me even if med school is paid but is known to be an awesome well rounded program. In the end, I know I will do what I love and I am passionate about and will most likely make way more money than if I hadn't matched into that program.

Now, if I had to choose between similar schools or programs that offer similar opportunities and at similar locations, and there is a 50k difference between them, then of course I would choose the cheaper one (no brainer i guess?).

However, my situation is not hypothetical. I am actually going through the decision process and I am considering the above schools, do you guys have any thoughts on them? lol From what I gathered, UIC is probably not a go-to.

Ps: Good thing you finally followed up and ended up matching @Sublimazing ! And please elaborate on your interest in OS not being nurtured by your school's experience! Thanks

The school doesn't get you in - you get yourself in.

Any of those schools can take you to OMFS just fine.
 
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Silent Cool

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I know my argument is never popular on this board...but the cheapest school is not always the best choice for people looking to specialize, especially with OMFS. You can use me as a cautionary tale. I came into dental school knowing I wanted to do OMFS. I got accepted to multiple schools, but had no intention of attending anything other than UIC because it was the cheapest and I knew it was just a midpoint in my training and it didn't seem like it mattered. UIC at the time (may have changed since I graduated) never produced a lot of specialists and neither the curriculum nor my co-students were focused on specializing (2 out of 90 applied to OMFS, 1 matched). By the time I came to graduation I had no intention of doing OMFS...and I honestly attribute my change of mind to my experience at school (and I can expand upon that if OP wants).

Schools like UCSF, Columbia, UCLA, etc are well known for producing specialists for a number of reasons...They have strong reputations with program directors (which does make a difference despite what others may say), accepts students that are focused on specializing (which really has a synergistic impact on others specializing), and have better curricula for allowing their students to specialize (easier to schedule externships, more medical didactics,etc).

I respect the opinion of @The OMFS and @BenignDMD (and it is definitely the popular opinion on this board) but where did they go to dental school? Did they go to an Ivy League that produces a ton of specialists? If they did, them telling you to go to a cheaper school must be taken with a grain of salt, because they don't know what might have happened if they hadn't (and this is absolutely not a dig at them, their opinions are just as valid as mine).

Get as many opinions as you can, and do your best to judge their perspective and validity. I'm sure it is no fun to come out of some of the "specialization schools" and owe 250k+, but is that additional 100k of debt worth giving up a career in surgery? You have to figure that out.

TLDR: Tuition is very important to consider when choosing a dental school, but it is just ONE of many factors which must be weighed. Schools that have a long standing reputation of producing specialists will almost always increase your chances of matching to a specialty, and are even more likely to improve where it is you match.

@Sublimazing , what you are taking for granted is self-selection bias, ie, people who attend the higher-end schools do so with the intention of specializing. But that doesn't necessarily mean that those schools have much impact.
 

Sublimazing

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@Sublimazing , what you are taking for granted is self-selection bias, ie, people who attend the higher-end schools do so with the intention of specializing. But that doesn't necessarily mean that those schools have much impact.

I'm not taking that for granted, I just didn't specifically address it...I absolutely agree with you. The point of my post was to say that for SOME PEOPLE, the school they select will have a large influence on IF they go on to specialize and WHERE they go on to specialize.

I certainly believe that there are many individuals (and probably the most in OMFS because of how unique it is and the amount of dedication it requires) who would match into their first choice REGARDLESS of where they did dental school. And I think a lot of the people on this board who post are the success stories and the individuals who would've MATCHED it from any school. They confidently tell you "choose the cheapest!" because they could've made it work from anywhere. The cheapest school for these people is the best choice.

But we almost NEVER hear from the people, like myself, who came in knowing they wanted to specialize and then didn't. And, anecdotally, I think there are a lot of these people whose experiences go overlooked. As an OMFS resident, I cannot tell you how many dentists (GPs, Peds, Anesthesia, you name it!) find out I'm in OMFS and tell me right away that they wanted to do OMFS but didn't because _________. I can think of 2 people this week that did this! So there are a substantial amount of dentists out there that wanted to specialize, but didn't...and there are a lot of factors that could have swayed them obviously, but choosing a school based ONLY upon money most likely played a small to significant role.

I'm the confirmed N=1 that chose the cheapest school and regretted it. And I simply want to be the one on this board who suggests to applicants that cost may be the heaviest weighted factor when choosing a dental school, but it shouldn't be the entire basis for the decision.

PS - sorry for the grammar/spelling errors I'm writing this on my ridiculously cracked iPhone.
 
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Sublimazing

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@Mr.Scalpel

I'll quickly respond about my own experience since I now realize you didn't ask for my theories to begin with! :)

1. Strong GP Clinical Focus - My program was an exceptional school for producing grads that could go straight into GP practice, but this meant a lot of focus on clinical skills and less of a focus on medical didactics or the practice of specialists. I HATED GP dentistry, and after the basic sciences ended I realized I hated dental school. I quickly began to believe that if I could barely tolerate 4 years of dental, there was no way I could tolerate 6 more years...and very quickly I turned away from OMFS.

2. Very few classmates wanting to specialize - My classmates (for the most part) had little interest in getting straight A's, crushing boards, learning about what exactly specialists did, or talked about doing externships or volunteering with our OMFS department. Had I myself been surrounded by 11 other people wanting to do OMFS, like at UCLA/Columbia, this would have been a large motivator for me to continue to push myself and to learn more about how I could make myself a better candidate.

3. No help from the school on dominating applications tests - My program recommended we take the boards after a 2 week break. There were no specific classes or reviews for the boards, there was no effort made to provide us with study materials. When I compare this to the experience my wife had at UCSF on how they facilitated taking the boards, it's truly shocking. And now that it's the CBSE, the preparation your dental school gives you for the test can vary DRAMATICALLY from school to school.

Again, these were non-issues for many successful OMFS matriculants, but they definitely had an impact on me.


BUT if we're looking specifically at your list? We can make some fairly straight forward decisions.

Worst to Best

1. BU (very expensive, no significant help specializing, horror stories from graduates)
2. NYU (cost prohibitive to ANYONE who got in ANYWHERE else...regardless of specialization or not)
3. USC (cost prohibitive to almost anyone who got in anywhere else...it's only redeemer is that this is a school that would help you specialize...even for me, however, cost is too outlandish)
4. The rest. UIC changed their curriculum quite a bit after I left I'm told (I graduated with a DDS, subsequent graduates had DMD with a transition to CBL) so don't use my personal experience with this institution as it may be outdated.
 
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hategendent

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Made an account just to ask about this. Sorry for hijacking the thread, OP, I tried sending this as a private message to sublimazing but it doesn't work for some reason. Would you recommend to someone who also hates GP dentistry but is interested in OMFS to stick it out? I want a career treating patients that intimately involves medical care and knowledge and am hopeful OMFS can give me that. I'm just worried about not being competitive for a 6 year program since I'm just at the cutoff for top 30% and have made little to no progress getting to know the program director or chair. Any tips there? I did get a 71 on the Feb 2016 CBSe which was a nice boost. Are my stats too low for a 6 year program?

@Mr.Scalpel

I'll quickly respond about my own experience since I now realize you didn't ask for my theories to begin with! :)

1. Strong GP Clinical Focus - My program was an exceptional school for producing grads that could go straight into GP practice, but this meant a lot of focus on clinical skills and less of a focus on medical didactics or the practice of specialists. I HATED GP dentistry, and after the basic sciences ended I realized I hated dental school. I quickly began to believe that if I could barely tolerate 4 years of dental, there was no way I could tolerate 6 more years...and very quickly I turned away from OMFS.

2. Very few classmates wanting to specialize - My classmates (for the most part) had little interest in getting straight A's, crushing boards, learning about what exactly specialists did, or talked about doing externships or volunteering with our OMFS department. Had I myself been surrounded by 11 other people wanting to do OMFS, like at UCLA/Columbia, this would have been a large motivator for me to continue to push myself and to learn more about how I could make myself a better candidate.

3. No help from the school on dominating applications tests - My program recommended we take the boards after a 2 week break. There were no specific classes or reviews for the boards, there was no effort made to provide us with study materials. When I compare this to the experience my wife had at UCSF on how they facilitated taking the boards, it's truly shocking. And now that it's the CBSE, the preparation your dental school gives you for the test can vary DRAMATICALLY from school to school.

Again, these were non-issues for many successful OMFS matriculants, but they definitely had an impact on me.


BUT if we're looking specifically at your list? We can make some fairly straight forward decisions.

Worst to Best

1. BU (very expensive, no significant help specializing, horror stories from graduates)
2. NYU (cost prohibitive to ANYONE who got in ANYWHERE else...regardless of specialization or not)
3. USC (cost prohibitive to almost anyone who got in anywhere else...it's only redeemer is that this is a school that would help you specialize...even for me, however, cost is too outlandish)
4. The rest. UIC changed their curriculum quite a bit after I left I'm told (I graduated with a DDS, subsequent graduates had DMD with a transition to CBL) so don't use my personal experience with this institution as it may be outdated.
 
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armorshell

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I'm the confirmed N=1 that chose the cheapest school and regretted it. And I simply want to be the one on this board who suggests to applicants that cost may be the heaviest weighted factor when choosing a dental school, but it shouldn't be the entire basis for the decision.

This is the real kicker isn't it? It's easy to reduce things to platitudes like: "Go to Penn if you want to be 100% sure you're going into OMFS" or "It makes ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE where you go to dental school. We all know that isn't really the case, that individual schools, if you could do the cosmic math and take every factor into play, probably do add or detract something from and individuals CV.

What we're really arguing about is magnitude, and for me cost isn't just another factor, it's at the heart of it. We can't consider cost separately because it seems school which represent themselves as being "specialist mills", also seem to feel like they can charge a premium for it. So to dig deep into it, what is that premium worth? How much are you willing to pay for what benefit. How are these places proving to you they're going to beat your cheap state school? Let's look at some examples:

1. Match lists: "10/10 matched into OMFS in 2014, 14/15 pedo." Dreck. It's well known the best predictor of future academic success in almost all fields is past academic success, and many of these schools have the luxury of selecting top applicants. Top applicants who go on to be top dental students, who typically go on to residency. Top applicants will tend to also do very well on tests. I'd love to see an apples to apples comparison of "specialty school" match rates corrected against "non-specialty schools" corrected for entrance GPA and DAT and see how that shakes out.

2. Shady statistics: "60% of the class in 2015 matched into specialties. Great. How many applied? Why? What is that statistic considering a specialty? Does a GPR/AEGD count? Often you can't even trust these high end schools to provide statistics that don't approach straight up lies. Columbia released a report recently reporting something like 12/12 applicants in X year matched into OMFS, failing to mention 4-5 of them "matched" into non-categorical intern years.

3. The ecological fallacy. Remember, just because a cohort does something particularly well (or poorly), inference about how an individual will behave in that paradigm can rarely be drawn from the group data. Look at the work of Kruger and Dale (Estimating the Return to College Selectivity over the Career Using Administrative Earnings Data) and you'll find multiple examples utilizing hardcore statistics where school choice ends up being a complete wash when all factors are considered.
 
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armorshell

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Schools like UCSF, Columbia, UCLA, etc are well known for producing specialists for a number of reasons...They have strong reputations with program directors (which does make a difference despite what others may say)

I'm not saying you're wrong, because you're definitely right. But why? For OMFS especially, a DDS/DMD is something akin to a commodity. In an endo or prosth program, I can see choosing a resident placing more importance on where they went to dental school because training someone who's done 30 RCT including a half dozen molar retreats is going to be significantly easier than someone who finished their requirements with 4 anterior and a premolar. But what does it matter for OMS? Is an extra couple of weeks of externships going to make you an iota better at turning a coronal flap 5-7 years down the line? How many quads of SRP make you 1% better at downfracturing a LeFort? Does doing a handful of slam dunk implants even make you significantly better at the end of residency than your coresident who did none in dental school?

Knowing this, why would anyone favor one school over another that doesn't rely on anecdote? Would you want to train under someone with an outlook bordering on cronyism?

accepts students that are focused on specializing (which really has a synergistic impact on others specializing)
This doesn't seem quantifiable, especially in an age when information isn't nearly as localized as it once was. How can we say there's only synergy at certain programs when it's so easy to hop on SDN and with the ease of a quick forum search for "OMFS" learn exactly what people are doing at the highest levels of the application pool?

have better curricula for allowing their students to specialize (easier to schedule externships, more medical didactics,etc).

This may actually be a factor for program directors that aren't paying attention. Knowing one school has a curriculum dedicated towards students scoring numerically high on the CBSE should necessarily affect ones interpretation of the score.

Personally, I'd rather have a Sublimazing who fought against the odds and managed to accomplish what he did than 5 by the books "specialty school" grads who were spoonfed their pathway off a silver platter, especially if their overvalued in the marketplace. Maybe I've just been reading Moneyball.
 
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Sublimazing

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Made an account just to ask about this. Sorry for hijacking the thread, OP, I tried sending this as a private message to sublimazing but it doesn't work for some reason. Would you recommend to someone who also hates GP dentistry but is interested in OMFS to stick it out? I want a career treating patients that intimately involves medical care and knowledge and am hopeful OMFS can give me that. I'm just worried about not being competitive for a 6 year program since I'm just at the cutoff for top 30% and have made little to no progress getting to know the program director or chair. Any tips there? I did get a 71 on the Feb 2016 CBSe which was a nice boost. Are my stats too low for a 6 year program?

Your stats will get you into a 6 year program.
 
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Mr.Scalpel

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Thanks everyone for your valuable opinions on the matter. It really helps in getting a more in depth perspective. @Sublimazing Thanks a lot for addressing my original question.

@armorshell So, from what I gathered of what you stated:

- You would rule out the most expensive ones.
-You would, however, attend the "specialty" school if the premium extra price wasn't so different from a "non-specialty one".

Based on this, if it's not much to ask, what are your opinions about the specific ones I wrote above? Thanks a lot in advance.
 
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I am sending my younger sister to dental school and I am very interested in this subject as well. Since my husband and I both specialized, we are more familiar with specialty side of dentistry and we are thinking she might apply to specialty as well. Some great points were made. However, when you are invited to an interview, you are next to other interviewees with pretty similar stats and coming from a place like UCSF, UoP, etc would be very helpful. It is much easier to connect with someone who comes to an interview with recommendation letters written by a chair who is a heavy weight in a field and start a conversation with interviewee. Let’s say I am more familiar with UCSF or UoP faculty and I can even make a phone call after interview to get more in depth information about a person we interviewed, and faculty connection can play a role even if interviewees are not aware of it. Someone who graduated from Western U. might have a disadvantage even if a guy from Western has 3-4 points above UCSF or UoP interviewee or he/she has done more oral surgery externships. I feel some research needs to be done with regard to specialty department at each school and in your case, you need to find out which school has a strong OMFS department, and then take into account other factors like cost of each program, faculty to student ratio, etc.
 

faceman

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I'm not taking that for granted, I just didn't specifically address it...I absolutely agree with you. The point of my post was to say that for SOME PEOPLE, the school they select will have a large influence on IF they go on to specialize and WHERE they go on to specialize.

I certainly believe that there are many individuals (and probably the most in OMFS because of how unique it is and the amount of dedication it requires) who would match into their first choice REGARDLESS of where they did dental school. And I think a lot of the people on this board who post are the success stories and the individuals who would've MATCHED it from any school. They confidently tell you "choose the cheapest!" because they could've made it work from anywhere. The cheapest school for these people is the best choice.

But we almost NEVER hear from the people, like myself, who came in knowing they wanted to specialize and then didn't. And, anecdotally, I think there are a lot of these people whose experiences go overlooked. As an OMFS resident, I cannot tell you how many dentists (GPs, Peds, Anesthesia, you name it!) find out I'm in OMFS and tell me right away that they wanted to do OMFS but didn't because _________. I can think of 2 people this week that did this! So there are a substantial amount of dentists out there that wanted to specialize, but didn't...and there are a lot of factors that could have swayed them obviously, but choosing a school based ONLY upon money most likely played a small to significant role.

I'm the confirmed N=1 that chose the cheapest school and regretted it. And I simply want to be the one on this board who suggests to applicants that cost may be the heaviest weighted factor when choosing a dental school, but it shouldn't be the entire basis for the decision.

PS - sorry for the grammar/spelling errors I'm writing this on my ridiculously cracked iPhone.

With all due respect, I have a hard time believing that the reason dentists change their mind on OS/specializing is mostly because of the conditions of their school.

If that's the case, then maybe they were never cut out for omfs in the first place. It feels better to rationalize that the school deterred you from OS, than admit that you either failed or simply had a change in heart. Either way, it wasn't the school. I'll tell you why: Everywhere I interviewed and anyone I spoke to (dentists, surgeons, and admissions staff) recommended the cheaper school each and every time. These people are dentists and specialists that have lived through it all. They had to deal/are dealing with the debt. I can't possibly understand how someone can justify borrowing half a mill at ~6% of federal funds just for an extra "kick".
 

Muggsy Bogues

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Cheap school.

But someone touched on it earlier...

There are curriculums at certain schools that allow students to get higher CBSE scores than others and there are definitely people unaware of these med school curriculums or simply don't care. Anecdotally, just from looking around my program, there are people impressed by scores from students at these schools that would situate them nicely for a family medicine residency if they were a med student.

Personally, if you come out of Columbia or the like without a CBSE score that corresponds to something akin to the average Step score of a PRS or ENT applicant, I'm raising an eyebrow.

But I can't say that everyone has the same perspective.
 
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Sublimazing

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With all due respect, I have a hard time believing that the reason dentists change their mind on OS/specializing is mostly because of the conditions of their school.

If that's the case, then maybe they were never cut out for omfs in the first place. It feels better to rationalize that the school deterred you from OS, than admit that you either failed or simply had a change in heart. Either way, it wasn't the school. I'll tell you why: Everywhere I interviewed and anyone I spoke to (dentists, surgeons, and admissions staff) recommended the cheaper school each and every time. These people are dentists and specialists that have lived through it all. They had to deal/are dealing with the debt. I can't possibly understand how someone can justify borrowing half a mill at ~6% of federal funds just for an extra "kick".

You wrote this December 2015:
Can anyone comment on the curriculum at UB and particularly how it supports it's students for specialization. I'm aware it can be done at any school, but the fact is that some schools are simply better suited than others for those interested in specialties.
I'm specifically interested in OMS, so if anyone has any insight it would be greatly appreciated!

So in 4 months you've gone from supporting the notion of not all schools give you the same shot at specialty to "cheapest school" rhetoric....but in any event, yes, if you go into dental school wanting to specialize and don't, you have failed that goal. But why not optimize your chances? I emphasize, not at any cost, but if you get into 2 schools, one of them is a run of the mill state school and the other is UCSF and the difference in cost is 10k per year...should everyone choose the state school? Superstars will get into a great OMFS program at the state school, but the average dental student may not...and even that superstar may not match to a good OMFS program because they weren't studying for the CBSE with 10 other guys who were going to keep taking it until they got 85.

I'll say it again, COST is a very important factor, but it isn't the only factor. I just think telling someone "go to the cheapest school" is a pretty short sided answer that won't work for everybody.
 
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vellnueve

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Schools that don't offer a good experience
You wrote this December 2015:
Can anyone comment on the curriculum at UB and particularly how it supports it's students for specialization. I'm aware it can be done at any school, but the fact is that some schools are simply better suited than others for those interested in specialties.
I'm specifically interested in OMS, so if anyone has any insight it would be greatly appreciated!

So in 4 months you've gone from supporting the notion of not all schools give you the same shot at specialty to "cheapest school" rhetoric....but in any event, yes, if you go into dental school wanting to specialize and don't, you have failed that goal. But why not optimize your chances? I emphasize, not at any cost, but if you get into 2 schools, one of them is a run of the mill state school and the other is UCSF and the difference in cost is 10k per year...should everyone choose the state school? Superstars will get into a great OMFS program at the state school, but the average dental student may not...and even that superstar may not match to a good OMFS program because they weren't studying for the CBSE with 10 other guys who were going to keep taking it until they got 85.

I'll say it again, COST is a very important factor, but it isn't the only factor. I just think telling someone "go to the cheapest school" is a pretty short sided answer that won't work for everybody.

One might wonder whether he's trying to dissuade someone from applying to a "strong" program that might make him more competitive...

At any rate, the school can definitely have an impact in dissuading or encouraging someone to pursue a certain specialty - a school with an immersive or active UG experience is certainly more likely to pique interest in someone who may be considering a specialty than a school that just runs that specialty rotation to check the CODA boxes. It's not just about perceived quality of the program to the specialty program directors, but the ability of the school's UG experience to interest and drive the student to pursue that residency all that much harder, IMO.
 

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Cheap school.

But someone touched on it earlier...

There are curriculums at certain schools that allow students to get higher CBSE scores than others and there are definitely people unaware of these med school curriculums or simply don't care. Anecdotally, just from looking around my program, there are people impressed by scores from students at these schools that would situate them nicely for a family medicine residency if they were a med student.

Personally, if you come out of Columbia or the like without a CBSE score that corresponds to something akin to the average Step score of a PRS or ENT applicant, I'm raising an eyebrow.

But I can't say that everyone has the same perspective.
Exactly! If you've had all the classes, preparation, time and culture a med student at your school has, why should anyone be impressed when you score a 76? That's around the national average for 2nd year med students.
 
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armorshell

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You wrote this December 2015:
Can anyone comment on the curriculum at UB and particularly how it supports it's students for specialization. I'm aware it can be done at any school, but the fact is that some schools are simply better suited than others for those interested in specialties.
I'm specifically interested in OMS, so if anyone has any insight it would be greatly appreciated!

So in 4 months you've gone from supporting the notion of not all schools give you the same shot at specialty to "cheapest school" rhetoric....but in any event, yes, if you go into dental school wanting to specialize and don't, you have failed that goal. But why not optimize your chances? I emphasize, not at any cost, but if you get into 2 schools, one of them is a run of the mill state school and the other is UCSF and the difference in cost is 10k per year...should everyone choose the state school? Superstars will get into a great OMFS program at the state school, but the average dental student may not...and even that superstar may not match to a good OMFS program because they weren't studying for the CBSE with 10 other guys who were going to keep taking it until they got 85.

I'll say it again, COST is a very important factor, but it isn't the only factor. I just think telling someone "go to the cheapest school" is a pretty short sided answer that won't work for everybody.
In your example the guy is *already* a superstar if he got accepted to UCSF. They only accept superstars.

Where he decides to go isnt going to change that, so the question is moot.
 

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I could care less about what anyone else does. One would have to be a serious low life if they had that intention in mind. How'd that idea even come to you?

Also, I've already been accepted and know exactly where I'm going.

I've seen that attitude before on these forums, hence the suggestion. If it's not correct, that's good.

That said, I disagree with the idea that you go to the cheapest school. Go to the school where you think you'll be set up to succeed. There are many factors that play into academic success - if you're not comfortable at a school you won't perform at your best.
 
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In your example the guy is *already* a superstar if he got accepted to UCSF. They only accept superstars.

Where he decides to go isnt going to change that, so the question is moot.

And as a UOP grad, your opinion about UCSF is moot. Just kidding. :D

But honestly, that statement helps prove my point. I've met many average UCSF grads (as I'm sure you did in california), but PDs are all going to see UCSF and be at least a little impressed. The medical match data proves that school reputation plays a role in an applicant getting an invitation to interview and a spot to match. And this should be considered when you're looking at your list of acceptances.
 
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armorshell

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And as a UOP grad, your opinion about UCSF is moot. Just kidding. :D

But honestly, that statement helps prove my point. I've met many average UCSF grads (as I'm sure you did in california), but PDs are all going to see UCSF and be at least a little impressed. The medical match data proves that school reputation plays a role in an applicant getting an invitation to interview and a spot to match. And this should be considered when you're looking at your list of acceptances.
Medical match data suffers from the same rats nest of statistical confounding we're talking about here, except that it's actually been somewhat untangled. When looking at resident performance in the medical world, as measured by faculty evaluation, to my knowledge no measured variables to date provide a strong correlation to resident performance. In one study, the only measurable correlation was a negative correlation between USMLE scores and manual dexterity and interpersonal skills.

I think you'd have to make a lot of assumptions that I don't to assume my statement supports your position. One is that academic performance (which we agreed above confers "Rockstar status" to UCSF acceptees) necessarily correlates with whatever metric we're deciding determines what a good dentist is. I doubt our ideas, or any two people's ideas, of what that dentist looks like align. Given my above paragraph, I doubt unless what you're saying an "above-average dentist" represents is a high boards score, that it would align with what you believe either.

On a personal note, I love UCSF guys and gals and have had nothing but great experiences with them. My coresidents from UCSF is probably the smartest person I know and did a great job showing up our med school administration when our programs board scores were faltering by getting the highest step 1 score I've ever heard of, while guys like me were teaching informal urology primers to the MS1s.

I don't think that's because of UCSF though. It's because the guy is a flat out genius with more drive than a '65 Shelby Cobra. I think the sane applies more or less generally, and the data, though scant, seem to agree.
 

The Anhedonia

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I don't think that's because of UCSF though. It's because the guy is a flat out genius with more drive than a '65 Shelby Cobra. I think the sane applies more or less generally, and the data, though scant, seem to agree.

I think I met this guy when interviewed there a few years back, he's PharmD too right? I heard he got an award for his ridiculous step 1 score.
 

Sublimazing

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Medical match data suffers from the same rats nest of statistical confounding we're talking about here, except that it's actually been somewhat untangled. When looking at resident performance in the medical world, as measured by faculty evaluation, to my knowledge no measured variables to date provide a strong correlation to resident performance. In one study, the only measurable correlation was a negative correlation between USMLE scores and manual dexterity and interpersonal skills.

I think you'd have to make a lot of assumptions that I don't to assume my statement supports your position. One is that academic performance (which we agreed above confers "Rockstar status" to UCSF acceptees) necessarily correlates with whatever metric we're deciding determines what a good dentist is. I doubt our ideas, or any two people's ideas, of what that dentist looks like align. Given my above paragraph, I doubt unless what you're saying an "above-average dentist" represents is a high boards score, that it would align with what you believe either.

On a personal note, I love UCSF guys and gals and have had nothing but great experiences with them. My coresidents from UCSF is probably the smartest person I know and did a great job showing up our med school administration when our programs board scores were faltering by getting the highest step 1 score I've ever heard of, while guys like me were teaching informal urology primers to the MS1s.

I don't think that's because of UCSF though. It's because the guy is a flat out genius with more drive than a '65 Shelby Cobra. I think the sane applies more or less generally, and the data, though scant, seem to agree.

I didn't say anything about resident performance based upon evaluation. And I didn't say "rockstar status" making a good dentist.

My two points were:

1. There is data provided by the match that shows school reputation influences program directors to offer invitations and rank.

2. You stating that someone who went to UCSF was a superstar proved that school prestige leads us to have biases.

I was keeping it simple. I'm sure you're right about the stuff you were saying though.
 

armorshell

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I didn't say anything about resident performance based upon evaluation. And I didn't say "rockstar status" making a good dentist.

My two points were:

1. There is data provided by the match that shows school reputation influences program directors to offer invitations and rank.

2. You stating that someone who went to UCSF was a superstar proved that school prestige leads us to have biases.

I was keeping it simple. I'm sure you're right about the stuff you were saying though.
1. Fair enough, but that doesn't mean it's correct.

2. I said the fact they were accepted to UCSF made them a rockstar, not that they were a UCSF student. There's a subtle but important difference.
 
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Thank you for the thread. I am international dentist looking to do advance standing program and then OMFS. This post confirmed my thought about picking the school.

My priorities now become;
1st: UCLA (super high % of match rate, popular school, P/F system)
2nd: UCSF (popular school, P/F system)
3rd: UoP (high match rate, popular school)

Unfortunately, there are not much different in terms of tuition for all the available advance standing programs. Most of them are in the range of 150k$ (2years program)
UoP is a a very popular school and a very good school for general dentistry, HOWEVER in comparison to other schools of students with similar stats, it comes on the low end as far as actual specialties. My year, approximately 5 got into OMS, 3 into ortho, 2 into endo and 5 into pedo -- and that's out of 170 graduates (including IDS). GPRs and AEGDs don't count. I would go with your first choices of UCLA and UCSF. UoP prepares great general dentists. The accelerated program does not bode well for studying for the NBME CBSE
 
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Pennywisdom

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UoP is a a very popular school and a very good school for general dentistry, HOWEVER in comparison to other schools of students with similar stats, it comes on the low end as far as actual specialties. My year, approximately 5 got into OMS, 3 into ortho, 2 into endo and 5 into pedo -- and that's out of 170 graduates (including IDS). GPRs and AEGDs don't count. I would go with your first choices of UCLA and UCSF. UoP prepares great general dentists. The accelerated program does not bode well for studying for the NBME CBSE

But it can be done.

While I agree that the school is known to produce GPs and that it prepares you well to be GPs, I would argue that those that want to specialize do fairly well. Ortho and Pedo had close to 100% match rate over the past couple years, so I won't even get too much into the details. 8/8 matched to Peds and 6/7 matched to Ortho my year.

In terms of OMFS, last cycle and this cycle UoP had people matching at Parkland, Houston, U.Wash, Emory to name a few. Some arguments can be made that UoP is too clinically driven and that you have relatively less time do study for NBME compared to other schools. But I would also argue that students in the recent years have been able to get the scores they needs to make themselves competitive. And of course class rank becomes very much relevant at a school that ranks all their students. Historically, UoP has done fairly with the OMFS match. Grads have matched all over the country including Jacksonville, Parkland, San Antonio, Louisville, Penn, NYU, UNC, Baylor, Vanderbilt, Fresno among many others.

Shedding a year off of your education that you could potentially use to enhance your NBME score or CV is certainly not for everyone. Yet, a handful of drive and hardworking UoP students have successfully matched to OMFS programs, including those that recently matched recently since the implementation of NBME.
 
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armorshell

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UoP is a a very popular school and a very good school for general dentistry, HOWEVER in comparison to other schools of students with similar stats, it comes on the low end as far as actual specialties. My year, approximately 5 got into OMS, 3 into ortho, 2 into endo and 5 into pedo -- and that's out of 170 graduates (including IDS). GPRs and AEGDs don't count. I would go with your first choices of UCLA and UCSF. UoP prepares great general dentists. The accelerated program does not bode well for studying for the NBME CBSE
This is a great example of why looking at a single statistic without considering any other factor can be wildly misleading. As pennywisdom mentioned, Pacific is considerably overrepresented in the top-tier of OMS programs. At Parkland, there are currently more residents that are UoP grads than graduates of all the Ivy league schools *combined*. You have to factor the composition of the student body to arrive at why a statistic like that would exist.

Do you think it's out of the range of possibility that an expensive private school that people go out of there way to attend because it affords them an opportunity to shave a year off of their education would have a low number of students interested in doing 4-6(!) additional years of residency afterwards?

Pacific gets a large amount of students at the same caliber as schools like Harvard, Penn, etc..., though they tend to have very different motivations for attending because of the 3 year program. Most people go to Pacific with the intention of becoming general dentists, and doing so as fast as possible. Which is why you get exactly what you would expect in that situation: low numbers of people specializing, but when they do they end up doing so in the same tier as other elite private schools. Not because the school is great, but because they were already great students. Pacific just gets to skim the cream of the applicant pool because of what it has to offer.
 

armorshell

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Thanks everyone for your valuable opinions on the matter. It really helps in getting a more in depth perspective. @Sublimazing Thanks a lot for addressing my original question.

@armorshell So, from what I gathered of what you stated, If I understood correctly (correct me if I'm wrong):

- You would rule out the most expensive ones.
-You would, however, attend the "specialty" school if the premium extra price wasn't so different from a "non-specialty one".

Based on this, if it's not much to ask, what are your opinions about the specific ones I wrote above? Thanks a lot in advance.

"Specialty schools" as a decision factor basically would not exist on any list I would make because I don't think such a thing exists in any meaningful way. If I were to apply some value to it, it would probably be around the same importance as I would apply to parking availability around the school. Personally, if two imaginary schools in say, San Diego and Enid, Oklahoma were the same cost factoring in living expenses, etc..., but Enid University had a great reputation for students going into specialities, I would choose the San Diego school in a microsecond because I'd rather spend 4 years there. There's just way too many factors that are more important IMO.
 

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I will graduate in June and plan to apply to Endo this cycle. I have met UoP grads at my externships and they are highly motivated and competitive individuals. I agree with armoshell that it depends on an individual who is applying regardless of dental school they attended. One of VA Long Beach Endo residents graduated from UoP, but she has an outstanding resume from Stanford and UoP. I have no doubt she could get into any top Endo program regardless of school. I hear there is another graduate from UoP and Stanford going to Houston Endo program and these individuals could enter any top program regardless of their dental school. That's my experience encountering residents at my externships and I feel it is hard to generalize dental schools in terms of specializing.
 
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DavesNotHere

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This is a great example of why looking at a single statistic without considering any other factor can be wildly misleading. As pennywisdom mentioned, Pacific is considerably overrepresented in the top-tier of OMS programs. At Parkland, there are currently more residents that are UoP grads than graduates of all the Ivy league schools *combined*. You have to factor the composition of the student body to arrive at why a statistic like that would exist.

Do you think it's out of the range of possibility that an expensive private school that people go out of there way to attend because it affords them an opportunity to shave a year off of their education would have a low number of students interested in doing 4-6(!) additional years of residency afterwards?

Pacific gets a large amount of students at the same caliber as schools like Harvard, Penn, etc..., though they tend to have very different motivations for attending because of the 3 year program. Most people go to Pacific with the intention of becoming general dentists, and doing so as fast as possible. Which is why you get exactly what you would expect in that situation: low numbers of people specializing, but when they do they end up doing so in the same tier as other elite private schools. Not because the school is great, but because they were already great students. Pacific just gets to skim the cream of the applicant pool because of what it has to offer.

Doesn't this help prove Sub's point above though? Pacific isn't the cheapest school by a long shot, and if it's gettig the cream of the crop, then wouldn't those people have their choice of schools (including the many many schools that are cheaper) ? Why didn't they all choose the multitude of schools that are cheaper?

And if soooo many people from Pacific end up specializing, you don't think the school has any bearing on that? You attribute all of it to the applicant and none of it to the school?

This seems to make it pretty obvious that cost is not the only factor. And since pacific is considerably more than the cheapest school, it seems like it isn't even weighted as much.

I mean, if I'm an applicant who desperately wants to match parkland, shouldn't i give pacific precedence over Howard? How many parkland residents came from Howard? Any? Even if I'm a dedicated gunner, am I going to be the first guy to make it to Parkland from Howard? Seems like the school in that scenario is more important than the money.
 

armorshell

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Doesn't this help prove Sub's point above though? Pacific isn't the cheapest school by a long shot, and if it's gettig the cream of the crop, then wouldn't those people have their choice of schools (including the many many schools that are cheaper) ? Why didn't they all choose the multitude of schools that are cheaper?
I'm not sure why it would? I'm not making an argument about why people choose their dental schools, I'm making an argument ab out how they should. Subtle but important difference.

I also elaborated on the reason why people choose Pacific despite the increased cost in my point above, but I'll restate it to make it clearer. People choose Pacific for 1 main reason: It's a 3 year program. That's a tangible benefit (as opposed to the nebulous "we'll increase your chances at specializing" argument many other private schools lean on). People pay a premium price to shave a year off their education. That's instrumental to the point that the specialization rate at Pacific is low; people who are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to reduce their education time by a year are unlikely to pursue a long residency education afterwards.

And if soooo many people from Pacific end up specializing, you don't think the school has any bearing on that? You attribute all of it to the applicant and none of it to the school?

As I said above, the specialization rate at Pacific is not high. My point was the quality of programs (for OMFS at least) are about what you'd expect from the caliber of the students (based on their entering credentials) despite the low rate and "non-specialty school." And yes, I do attribute that primarily to the applicant.

This seems to make it pretty obvious that cost is not the only factor. And since pacific is considerably more than the cheapest school, it seems like it isn't even weighted as much.

Again, this is not an argument about how students actually choose schools. It's an argument about how they should.

I mean, if I'm an applicant who desperately wants to match parkland, shouldn't i give pacific precedence over Howard? How many parkland residents came from Howard? Any? Even if I'm a dedicated gunner, am I going to be the first guy to make it to Parkland from Howard? Seems like the school in that scenario is more important than the money.

Just because it hasn't happened, or hasn't happened frequently, doesn't inherently mean that it never can. I don't know how many applicants from Howard applied to Parkland. If they have, I have no idea what their stats are, or if they were qualified. The chance of a student from Howard being underqualified seems high given their admissions statistics are quite a bit lower, however if someone got accepted to both dental schools I don't imagine there would be a difference for that particular applicant. Trying to derive information about a large group of people from a handful of anecdotal experiences with a few residents is a faulty generalization at best.

Parkland hasn't had a female resident in 20 years. Does that mean it's impossible for a woman to get accepted at Parkland?
 
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2. Very few classmates wanting to specialize - My classmates (for the most part) had little interest in getting straight A's, crushing boards, learning about what exactly specialists did, or talked about doing externships or volunteering with our OMFS department. Had I myself been surrounded by 11 other people wanting to do OMFS, like at UCLA/Columbia, this would have been a large motivator for me to continue to push myself and to learn more about how I could make myself a better candidate.

Sorry to revive this thread, but I gotta ask, doesn't this actually favor the less residence friendly school? Because if you are at UCLA and everyone wants to specialize, then you will have a tough time getting a really high class rank, whereas at UIC like in your example, where noone wants to specialize and they don't care about class rank, it will be easier to do better than your peers and get a higher class rank.

Of course CBSE is a different matter, but you could just study for that on your own.

From a purely competitive perspective, isn't going to the less residency competitive school a better thing, because there will be less gunners among your peers?
 

roadtodmd1

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What about getting into OMFS from a public school? is it more difficult

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Big Time Hoosier

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Well...I only got into public school

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I was being sarcastic. Is it a relatively “affordable” state school? If so, congratulations you won the dental school admissions lotto! You won’t be missing out on any opportunities, but just be prepared now to put in the work.

Big Hoss
 
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Well...I only got into public school

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You'll be fine. From what I hear you just need to be in the top 10% of your class and crush the CBSE. Study hard and you'll be fine no matter where you go.
But yes it seems that some of those pass/fail med integrated curriculum prepare you more for OMFS specializing than other public schools would.
 

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I was being sarcastic. Is it a relatively “affordable” state school? If so, congratulations you won the dental school admissions lotto! You won’t be missing out on any opportunities, but just be prepared now to put in the work.

Big Hoss
Yeah, it is affordable. Thanks for the advice , I start in July

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roadtodmd1

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You'll be fine. From what I hear you just need to be in the top 10% of your class and crush the CBSE. Study hard and you'll be fine no matter where you go.
But yes it seems that some of those pass/fail med integrated curriculum prepare you more for OMFS specializing than other public schools would.
That's true, I've heard the same thing.

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roadtodmd1

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I was being sarcastic. Is it a relatively “affordable” state school? If so, congratulations you won the dental school admissions lotto! You won’t be missing out on any opportunities, but just be prepared now to put in the work.

Big Hoss
Are you a OMFS resident or practicing dentist?
 

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Results come tomorrow bois buckle up
 
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