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Hello everyone!

I’m currently applying to dental school and I’ve been waitlisted at the University of Pittsburgh and I have an upcoming interview with LECOM.

I am very interested in specializing after dental school, and I know Pitt has a great program for that. However, LECOM prides itself on creating general dentists, which is great but they don’t offer any specialties.

Can I still specialize in the future if I don’t go to a dental school that offers specialty programs? Is it harder to do get into a specialty program when applying from a different dental school?

Thanks in advance!
 
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2thDoc11

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Yes you can. There are lots of threads regarding this topic. The school you attend is pretty much irrelevant if you’re willing to put in the work.
 
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DocMonOMFS

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I went to ECU for DS, we only have Pediatric specialty and I am an OMFS resident. I don't think going to LECOM is hindering your chances of specializing by any means.
 
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PerioDont

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Focus first on getting in, then once you do try to be the best GP possible. you can specialize from any school with or without a residency attached.

That will leave the door open for any specialties if you decide to pursue them. If not you will be a kick-ass GP. win-win.
 
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If you had an option .... I would choose the school that offers most of the specialty residencies. Of course ... taking into account the tuition fees.
Specializing is straight forward if you are ranked pretty high. I was not in the top 5 of my class. I was top 10. I firmly believe that my networking, doing research and helping out in the ortho residency dept helped me into an ortho residency.

Yes. You can specialize from any school. I just feel that your "experience" in seeing the specialities would be better in those schools offering those specialities.
 
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yappy

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I think going to an established school with residency programs will make specializing after dental school much more likely because you will have more opportunities to shadow, volunteer, research, etc.
 
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I think going to an established school with residency programs will make specializing after dental school much more likely because you will have more opportunities to shadow, volunteer, research, etc.
Let’s say I don’t get off the waitlist at Pitt and get accepted to LECOM. What would be your advice for going forward with residency after graduating?
 
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If you had an option .... I would choose the school that offers most of the specialty residencies. Of course ... taking into account the tuition fees.
Specializing is straight forward if you are ranked pretty high. I was not in the top 5 of my class. I was top 10. I firmly believe that my networking, doing research and helping out in the ortho residency dept helped me into an ortho residency.

Yes. You can specialize from any school. I just feel that your "experience" in seeing the specialities would be better in those schools offering those specialities.
I am also interested in an ortho residency! Let’s say I don’t get off the waitlist at Pitt, and I get into LECOM. What would your advice be to make sure I can secure a residency after graduation?
 

yappy

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Let’s say I don’t get off the waitlist at Pitt and get accepted to LECOM. What would be your advice for going forward with residency after graduating?
Anyway you can stand out you should. If they offer any grade or rank distinctions you should go for those. If they are p/f then focus on the standardized test that is important for admission into the specialty you’re interested in. Make sure you can check some boxes by volunteering, doing a poster, or being a part of a journal club relevant to the specialty you want. If it’s advantageous, when the time comes, you should extern. Make contact with specialists at your school so they will write you good letter of reference.
 
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Anyway you can stand out you should. If they offer any grade or rank distinctions you should go for those. If they are p/f then focus on the standardized test that is important for admission into the specialty you’re interested in. Make sure you can check some boxes by volunteering, doing a poster, or being a part of a journal club relevant to the specialty you want. If it’s advantageous, when the time comes, you should extern. Make contact with specialists at your school so they will write you good letter of reference.
Thank you SO MUCH this is super helpful!
 
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Excellent grades and LOR's will allow you to be placed in a specialty program. Remember that not all programs are the same, and where you go to school and the type of program you attend will greatly impact where you do your specialty training. More so for OMFS, but all the same, some programs gravitate toward certain schools which in their experience prep future residents well (translates into good in service scores).
 
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Excellent grades and LOR's will allow you to be placed in a specialty program. Remember that not all programs are the same, and where you go to school and the type of program you attend will greatly impact where you do your specialty training. More so for OMFS, but all the same, some programs gravitate toward certain schools which in their experience prep future residents well (translates into good in service scores).
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residents Parkland seems to like Penn grads, and at least half of their residents are from top programs like ucsf, unc, etc. So yeah your claim makes sense to me. It's possible to attend a program like Parkland from a not-top-tier d school but you better be close to #1 in your class with a 90 cbse I'm guessing. But you can still match into a program from any dental school, but attending a better d school will definitely help with matching to a higher caliber program. Just my pre-dent two cents
 
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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residents Parkland seems to like Penn grads, and at least half of their residents are from top programs like ucsf, unc, etc. So yeah your claim makes sense to me. It's possible to attend a program like Parkland from a not-top-tier d school but you better be close to #1 in your class with a 90 cbse I'm guessing. But you can still match into a program from any dental school, but attending a better d school will definitely help with matching to a higher caliber program. Just my pre-dent two cents
Thank you! I’m currently on the waitlist at Pitt and awaiting a decision from LECOM. I know Pitt has excellent residency programs but I think I have better chances of getting into lecom just because it’s a little less competitive compared to Pitt. I just want to know I’m making the right decision since lecom doesn’t offer any speciality programs and I’m 95% positive I want to specialize!
 
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Thank you! I’m currently on the waitlist at Pitt and awaiting a decision from LECOM. I know Pitt has excellent residency programs but I think I have better chances of getting into lecom just because it’s a little less competitive compared to Pitt. I just want to know I’m making the right decision since lecom doesn’t offer any speciality programs and I’m 95% positive I want to specialize!
If by the right decision you mean choosing Lecom over a gap year, yeah go to Lecom don't sweat it
 
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Ivy.ch

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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residents Parkland seems to like Penn grads, and at least half of their residents are from top programs like ucsf, unc, etc. So yeah your claim makes sense to me. It's possible to attend a program like Parkland from a not-top-tier d school but you better be close to #1 in your class with a 90 cbse I'm guessing. But you can still match into a program from any dental school, but attending a better d school will definitely help with matching to a higher caliber program. Just my pre-dent two cents
Matched-to-OMFS-D4 chiming in...

1) Most applicants I know didn’t apply to Parkland. Reputable? Absolutely! Popular? sure didn’t seem like it. Same with UCSF. Most applicants would prefer to go elsewhere. Each residency is very unique; can’t really talk about “top programs” like they are colleges. UNC was definitely more popular among the applicant crowd I knew, but they have residents from everywhere. What is high caliber for one is different for another. And desirable is totally different too.

2) Top dental students would be top at any school. There tends to be fewer at public schools (meaning less competition).

3) No, going to a more expensive school doesn’t help one match. Might even hurt - Who is gonna apply to a 6-year MD program with tuition with $200k extra dental school debt that kicks in when they graduate?
 
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Matched-to-OMFS-D4 chiming in...

1) Most applicants I know didn’t apply to Parkland. Reputable? Absolutely! Popular? sure didn’t seem like it. Same with UCSF. Most applicants would prefer to go elsewhere. Each residency is very unique; can’t really talk about “top programs” like they are colleges. UNC was definitely more popular among the applicant crowd I knew, but they have residents from everywhere. What is high caliber for one is different for another. And desirable is totally different too.

2) Top dental students would be top at any school. There tends to be fewer at public schools (meaning less competition).

3) No, going to a more expensive school doesn’t help one match. Might even hurt - Who is gonna apply to a 6-year MD program with tuition with $200k extra dental school debt that kicks in when they graduate?
Interesting, why isn't Parkland popular? And 3 is facts, obviously I'm premature for set-in-stone plans but yeah I'll have a ton of debt out of Penn and as much as I'd like to get an MD I just don't see it as reasonably justified with finances being the big factor
 
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DocMonOMFS

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Matched-to-OMFS-D4 chiming in...

1) Most applicants I know didn’t apply to Parkland. Reputable? Absolutely! Popular? sure didn’t seem like it. Same with UCSF. Most applicants would prefer to go elsewhere. Each residency is very unique; can’t really talk about “top programs” like they are colleges. UNC was definitely more popular among the applicant crowd I knew, but they have residents from everywhere. What is high caliber for one is different for another. And desirable is totally different too.

2) Top dental students would be top at any school. There tends to be fewer at public schools (meaning less competition).

3) No, going to a more expensive school doesn’t help one match. Might even hurt - Who is gonna apply to a 6-year MD program with tuition with $200k extra dental school debt that kicks in when they graduate?

I agree with this, 1st year OMFS resident here and completed a non-cat year giving my .02. Based of my interview experience and talking to different program directors they all value qualities in different ways for sure. Obviously programs change overtime and I think when applicants start looking at residencies and OMFS particularly , they need to start thinking about what they want to do with their career. They don't have to know 100% but that will help one navigate through the programs based off what they focus on and their scope of practice.
 

Ivy.ch

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I agree with this, 1st year OMFS resident here and completed a non-cat year giving my .02. Based of my interview experience and talking to different program directors they all value qualities in different ways for sure. Obviously programs change overtime and I think when applicants start looking at residencies and OMFS particularly , they need to start thinking about what they want to do with their career. They don't have to know 100% but that will help one navigate through the programs based off what they focus on and their scope of practice.
Exactly. If I wanted to be a program director one day, I would have put UAB as #1 on my list. Amazing program, superb training. But I don’t want to be a program director. And it wasn’t the personality for me. So despite being a “top program” it wasn’t my top.

It was weird comparing my lists to buddies. Their #1 was like my #10, and my #3 was near the bottom of everyones lists. Rank lists differ tremendously among applicants. I commented because this talk of “getting into top caliber OMFS programs” by going to expensive dental schools just doesn’t make sense to anyone further down the path.
 
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Only the truly unranked pass fail schools (Harvard and Columbia) will offer a significant advantage if you know you want to specialize. While many state/private schools post stats like “you have a 90 percent chance of getting into your first choice speciality” what they are really saying is “you have a 90 percent chance of your getting your first choice as long as that choice is general dentistry.” Additionally while a lot of the schools post stats like 4/4 students got into omfs what they aren’t disclosing is that only 4 people had sufficient cbse scores to even apply with a shot of getting in... there is significant self selection going on. People say that dds/dmd education is the same wherever you go, and this is surely true if you want to be a general dentist. But the schools I mentioned above have the most students who enter d1 with aspirations of becoming an os/other competitive specialities and actually fulfilling their goals. No matter which of the schools you listed above you choose to attend, you will probably have similar odds/opportunities of specializing, and so it will come down to how bad you want it. I’d go with your cheapest option.
 
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Big Time Hoosier

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While many state/private schools post stats like “you have a 90 percent chance of getting into your first choice speciality” what they are really saying is “you have a 90 percent chance of your getting your first choice as long as that choice is general dentistry.”
1A9B4D7D-763F-4349-BA6C-3AC36772ED3E.gif

Big Hoss
 
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Big Time Hoosier

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Additionally while a lot of the schools post stats like 4/4 students got into omfs what they aren’t disclosing is that only 4 people had sufficient cbse scores to even apply with a shot of getting in...

But the schools I mentioned above have the most students who enter d1 with aspirations of becoming an os/other competitive specialities and actually fulfilling their goals.
So...which is it? What’s behind the numbers of people specializing from “fancy” schools? Is it the dumb state school applicants couldn’t cut it, or is it the disproportionate number of gunners drawn to some school’s name from the very beginning?

Big Hoss
 
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GoDental101

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While many state/private schools post stats like “you have a 90 percent chance of getting into your first choice speciality” what they are really saying is “you have a 90 percent chance of your getting your first choice as long as that choice is general dentistry.”
What school would you recommend to me to give me the best chance of getting into general dentistry? I know it’s hard but I just really want to get through school and become a general dentist and I’m kinda worried I’ll end up being a specialist if I go to the wrong school.
 
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Big Time Hoosier

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What school would you recommend to me to give me the best chance of getting into general dentistry? I know it’s hard but I just really want to get through school and become a general dentist and I’m kinda worried I’ll end up being a specialist if I go to the wrong school.
NYU or USC. They couldn’t possibly charge what they do if they didn’t offer a competitive advantage.

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dentistrydmd

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NYU or USC. They couldn’t possibly charge what they do if they didn’t offer a competitive advantage.

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They both have massive class sizes. The reason the charge what they do is because people are willing to pay ie. people want to go to a school in one of the two best cities in the country. Because of the massive class sizes and how generic the degrees have become, I wouldn't put much weight on the name of these schools when it comes to specializing. This is leaving aside that it is not difficult at all to get into these schools due to the cost of attending being a great deterrent to candidates and large class sizes.
 
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