Importance of school prestige?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Tabi, Oct 16, 2000.

  1. Tabi

    Tabi Junior Member

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    I was just reading a post from MJF topic: "importance of undergrad" posted by cralbur where MJF replied that it's important to go to a good dent school to maximize your chances of getting into a speicialty program. Is this true only if you're going directly into the specialty straight from dent and does it make a difference if you plan to work for a while first before returning for the specialty? I'm thinking of doing ortho after working a couple years when I finish dent but I'm not sure if the school I (hopefully) will be attending will have the 'prestige' needed. What to do????
     
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  3. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    I have always been unimpressed with the notion of prestige. It is how well you do in dental school, especially clinically, that will have the most influence on going on to what you want. The bottom, or bottom third, of a class at a "prestigious" dental (or medical etc.) school are less likely get the further training they need than the top of the class at a "non-prestigious" school.
    It also makes a difference if you have enthusiastic letters of support from wherever you are. My advice is to stop worrying now about prestige. There are far more important factors to consider in choosing where to go to dental school. Other things being about equal, the school in which you feel most comfortable will enable you to perform up to capacity. If you don't like where you are, it is less likely you will perform well enough to get what you want afterward. In my opinion, "prestige" is overrated, a disease.
     
  4. MJF

    MJF

    Tabi, I have come to realize the people who regard prestige as a "disease" (I'm still not sure what the connotation is), etc. are the ones who cannot get accepted at the top schools (let me know if you are an exception Gower. Prestige is very important and opens up many opportunities not found at lower-tier schools.
     
  5. sheldonthebird

    sheldonthebird Junior Member

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    on the notion of "prestige", anyone know the parameters for "school GPA conversion factors" (or if they actually exist?)

    I would speculate they do, as many schools value "the quality of undergraduate study" (where'd ya go?)

    I'm mainly concerned about Dental school admissions (and thus undergraduate grades), not specialty programs as this thread is foremost concerned with.
     
  6. Audio

    Audio Senior Member

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    If you want to be a dentist...who cares. No one really cares where you went to school. If you want to specialize, going to some of the top schools MIGHT help your chances. But most people who can specialize from these "top" presitgious schools can probably specialize from any state school as well. Just go there and try your best. That's all you can do!
     
  7. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus

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    The importance of prestige is zero. Prestige is typically associated with the mind and powerful thinking, which is all well and good, but one might say that the best dental schools are those where the students really get down and dirty in terms of clinical dentistry. Lots of clinic hours, lots of difficult patients, etc.
     
  8. drdmddds

    drdmddds Member

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    I disagree considering that the DMD/DDS is a terminal degree prestige is not "zero" as stated above. You have to think big people what if you decide you want to do anything else outside of opening a practice and "drilling and filling" the rest of your life. The Alumni and respect that you recieve when you state your credentials goes a long way. Your dental school represents a life-long brand hardly importance zero. Sad to say but our society is very keen on names/images/brands and I would always strive to associate myself with the best brand possible...
     
  9. sheldonthebird

    sheldonthebird Junior Member

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    Some interesting thoughts...but my question still hasn't been directly addressed. What I'm mainly addressing here is the way in which a GPA is viewed based on the place you received it. A common example (and undertone to many inquiries) is that a lower GPA from a particular school may be equivalent or higher than a GPA from a different particular school. Also, the converse may hold. So...with this focus, does anyone have any thoughts on "the quality of undergraduate education"?
    Or more specifically, what are the extent of "GPA conversion factors"?
     
  10. duh?

    duh? Senior Member

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    Nice observation drdmddds. I never considered how "important" such connections could be OUTSIDE the dental community. Lately, a friend brought that up and I just learnt that the (potential--I dont think she has been sworn in yet) new president of Liberia (and the first African female president in MODERN African history) I think her last name is Sirleaf, used her Harvard education as part of her presidential campaign AMONG OTHER things. So would it be acceptable to say that, your school's prestige has very little influence/effect on your reputation as a Dentist (the 'patients-dont-care-where-you-went-to-school' school of thought) BUT it could be a huge stepping stone IF one day you choose to go beyond practising dentistry to other things. And yes I understand that the prestige ALONE will not get you far unless you have something else to offer.
     
  11. syn_apse

    syn_apse Registered Loser

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    i'm not sure how widepread the practice is, but i know one dental school i applied to scaled my gpa above a 4.0 because of the reputation of my undergraduate school. my interviewer and i laughed over it, but i wasn't going to complain :laugh:

    as far as dental school --> specialty goes... i have no clue what role (if any) reputation plays.
     

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