Well, two days without SDN was two days too much for me!
My interview at Case went very well! I stayed in a ghetto hotel (that's entirely another story!), but everything at the school and campus was great.
The actual interviews were very laid back, and grades/DAT scores were brought up only in a rhetorical manner ("Your reading score is great", or "You bombed first- year chemistry") -- no questions were directed to me regarding academics.
There were two hour-long interviews with two faculty member, but each interview turned out to be 30-45 minutes long.
At 1pm, the 3 other guys interviewing with me left and went home, but one of my interviewers asked if I would stay and assist D3 and D4 students in the clinic. It was great! I spent some time in the Oral and Maxillo. clinic, and a couple of hours in the regular clinic with a D4. After that, my interviewer took me on a 45-minute tour of Cleveland, and then dropped me off at the airport.
All in all, it was a great experience. I'll write more later! Thanks for the well-wishes!
I hear that the clinical experience at Case Western is pretty darn good too. Everything is taken care of for you, patient scheduling, instrument requests, etc., so that all you have to do is show up and apply the procedures and knowledge you've learned, without having to worry about finding enough patients to satisfy clinical requirements for particular procedures...
The best thing about Case is for sure the clinical exposure and knowledge that is gained. Each DS-3 and DS-4 has their own "pod" or operatory, which also has tons of storage space, etc. The student determines how to arrange the pod (some of the drawers are on wheels), so that they feel comfortable. No fighting with classmates to schedule a pod is a huge plus.
Patients are also in abundance. The clinics were swamped when I was there. I didn't see an empty pod, and the students were hard at work, but looked as though they were enjoying it. I helped out with a couple of simple extractions, removing fillings, prepping for crowns, placing of temporaries, etc.
DS-1 students at Case are sent out into the community to teach oral health to elementary students, and they gain some clinical exposure in that role (providing sealants, etc.). Competancy and clinical practice seemed to be the ultimate goal of the education at Case.
The next best thing about Case is that their new lab, which is currently under construction, will be completed in November. They received all new KaVo machines on the day I was there, and the room is very high-tech. The D-1/D-2 students will really enjoy working in the new lab. Case has the most KaVo/DentSim units out of any school (I believe).
The worst thing about Case would be the tuition. Tuition is $30,000, but that figure goes up to $40,000 when books and instruments are factored in. I am convinced that it is hard to beat the clinical education provided by Case, but I'm not sure if the extra $$ are worth it. I suppose this is a question that each applicant must decide for themselves.
Bottom line is that the interviews at Case are laid back, and informative. The staff leaves it up to the applicant in regards to how much information you want to gain. If you want to spend time in the clinics you are more than welcome to, although this isn't part of the structured interview schedule.
By the way, a unique and interesting tidbit I found out is that Case is planning on changing their degree to a DMD degree. A polling of patients, students, faculty, and people in Ohio, found that the DMD degree is assumed to be a higher degree than the DDS (which Case currently awards).