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NEW and QUESTIONS

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Threeleggedcrow, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Threeleggedcrow

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    Hello all,

    I am a new to SDN and I was wondering if anyone could answer some of my questions. I apologize in advance if this isn't the proper forum to post these questions or if they've been answered before.

    1. There seems to be a very few dental schools, at least when compared to medical schools, and most dental schools, with few exceptions like NYU, have a very limited number of seats. These seats are even more limited if you are OOS. I was wondering why is it then that most of the average GPA/SGPA hover around a 3.5 while medical schools have significantly higher averages. I am in no way saying dental school students are less qualified than medical school students, it was just an observation that I was hoping someone could enlighten me on.

    2. Going off of question one, I believe that dental schools count A+ as 4.33. When viewing their class profile that they have on their websites are the grades shown on this scale as well?

    3. When looking at the dental school requirements there seems to be even more requirements than pre-meds. For example, microbiology was required in many schools and some even required sociology. Was this only specific to the few schools I researched or is this generally the case?

    4. I believe that DMD and DDS are very similar, but I was wondering if someone could explain to me the differences.

    5. How important is dexterity experience? Would you want to take a pottery/ jewelry crafting class to improve your dexterity?

    6. How accepting is dental schools of non-science majors? When viewing some of the schools websites most stated that there was no preference, but then also stated that most students pick a science major because it works in nicely with covering the prerequisites. Are there some non-science majors that are preferred over others?

    Lastly, I know a lot of people do not like to chance other people because dental schools take a very holistic approach. However I wanted to see what this community thought of my progress and if there were any suggestions. Thank you very much.

    Undergrad School: Rather not say, but within the top 25 of the USNWR Rankings.
    Major: Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies
    ADEA GPA: 3.9 (A lot of A+s)
    Undergrad GPA: 3.75
    SGPA: 3.6 (Still have 4 more classes to take)
    NonScience GPA: 4.05
    Research: 2 years and Published (3rd author) in a health journal May be published again next year.
    Sorority: 3 officer positions over 3 years
    Community Service Club: 1 year President
    Another community service Club: 1 year Secretary
    Science class study group leader: 1 year

    I know that looking at this many of you will be perplexed, but I wanted to maintain as much anonymity as possible and thus omitted some information I did not think was necessary. It would be nice if people could also tell me what may not be as important as I am looking to lighten my obligations in preparation for the DATs. Thanks again.
     
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  3. SeattleRDH

    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

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    Welcome to SDN!

    I encourage you to use the search function to find the answers to some of your questions. Check out the stickies!

    You seem to be a strong applicant but you did not list any dental experience. Many schools require a minimum of 100 hours of shadowing prior to applying. Have you taken the DAT?

    Also, you seem to be comparing medicine and dentistry, are you still deciding between the two? A common interview question for dental school is "Why not medicine?" Be prepared to answer.
     
  4. bing12

    7+ Year Member

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    You are in great shape so far, I am sure you know this already. Your gpa is competitive for anything you want to do. If you are interested in Dentistry, you MUST shadow a dentist( dental school requirment), which typically ranges from 40 -150 hours. I recommend 100 hrs, or a minimum of 50hrs. Good luck.
     

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  5. TwentyTwelve

    5+ Year Member

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    Answers below:

    1) I believe med school average is around a 3.6/3.7 while dental is climbing to around a 3.5/3.6. Honestly, and don't jump on me SDN, but medicine is historically a more prestigious profession with higher overall pay across the board. Thus, the students with the higher grades naturally gravitate towards medicine.

    2) Don't really know...I think they adjust everyone's grades to not include +/-'s keeping students on the same level.

    3) You can look up all the school requirements in the ADEA handbook available online if you are interested in dentistry. Your pre-health advisor should have this book on file. For the most part most schools have a the same pre-reqs as medical schools with a few requiring more classes such as what you mentioned.

    4) Only difference...Doctor of Dental Science...Doctor of Dental Medicine...both can do the same thing.

    5) Not necessarily...dental schools do like to see dexterity skills but you don't need to take classes to cover this. Do you play an instrument? Do you play a sport? Do you not have a girlfriend/boyfriend and play video games all day long?

    6) Obviously science majors are more represented because it allows students to comfortably cover their pre-reqs. Beyond that I think I saw where engineering students have a higher acceptance rate (but nothing crazy...maybe a couple percentage points higher than other non-science majors). Pick a major that you enjoy so if dentistry does not work out you have a nice field to fall back on...which you seem to be doing.

    Stats look good...keep in mind most school compare GPA's without +/-'s so your GPA will be lower. Rock the DAT and your are in good shape!! Good luck!
     
  6. NguyenDDS

    2+ Year Member

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    DDS = Doctor of Dental Surgery

    Correct me if I'm wrong...... :)
     
  7. TwentyTwelve

    5+ Year Member

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    you are correct...my apologies...too many beers tonight :eek:
     
  8. PremedNoob

    7+ Year Member

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  9. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen
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    for #1) answer is irrelevant and no body in their right minds know why med schools have higher GPAs than dental (Although, the same can't be said for Osteopathic med schools mainly because their GPA calculating system replaces retakes). If I had to guess, maybe alopathic medical schools are more competitive than dental (5000 people get into dental schools, and about 20,000 get into alopathics ~ huge difference)

    for #2) you mean in dental school? 4.33?

    for #3) I assure you that you haven't looked the pre-req at all medical schools. Many medical schools now are requiring biochemistry, physiology, and/or microbiology. Many also require some form of social sciences (psychology is preferable).

    for #4) There is no difference (other than different naming for the same profession). By "same profession" I mean they are legally & ethically identical in training. No difference whatsoever.

    for #5) Dexterity is not a requirement for pre-dental student because dental schools will teach you dexterity, don't worry about that. You need to be sure you know what your getting your self into (shadowing a dentist is a good idea). Dentistry is a crafty job, if you are a crafty person (or at least you enjoy this idea), you might like this field. Its also extreamly interactive (you will interact with human beings on a daily basis), so if your antisocial, stay away.

    for #6) The major of your undergrad studies doesn't dictate how competitive you'll be. The 2 most important criteria for admissions are hardcore numbers (GPA and DAT). If your got the right GPA, science GPA, and DAT scores, you will get in. Which ivy-league college / major you went into is almost irrelevant.

    You seem like you have the right GPA, get a DAT score of 19AA/19TS and above you will get accepted somewhere :thumbup:
     
  10. JOoa0ky

    5+ Year Member

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    Dentistry is a part of the health care umbrella and it focuses specifically on one part of the body just like a specialty in the medical field, eg Opthalmologist, Cardiology, etc.

    Roughly 5,000 people get accepted into dentistry while many times that number... 16-20,000 I believe get accepted to medical school. In order to accommodate that number, there has to be an equivalent increase in the number of schools.

    I already think 5,000 is too much... don't you think so? It is just focusing on the oral region of the body yet schools take about 1/3-1/4 the amount as medical school, which looks at the entire body as a whole.

    I hope that explains why there are more med schools than dental schools.
     
  11. TwentyTwelve

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  12. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen
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    Actually its not a big difference at all, 3.9 vs 4.1 is a minor difference. Both numbers look impressive.

    Thats like comparing 3.2 to 3.0 (both are low)
    or 3.4 to 3.6 (both are average)
     
  13. SeattleRDH

    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

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    DMD stands for 'Dentariae Medicinae Doctor' which is the latin of Doctor of Dental Medicine. Some schools (such as Harvard) only award their degrees in latin so that is why some schools award DDS and others award DMD. Doctor of Dental Surgery in latin is 'Chirurgae Dentium Doctoris' which doesn't sound nearly as cool.
     
  14. Threeleggedcrow

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    I see that a lot of schools require 8 credits of biology with lab? Doesn't this change from school to school depending on how many credits they assign a class?

    For example, a school could assign 4 credits to general bio 1 and 1 credit for the lab and 4 credits for general bio 2 . So 9 credits total.
    So for this example the individual would have completed 9 credits of bio >8 by only taking a general biology class. Yet it seems many schools want microbiology and physiology, which is definitely much more than 8 credits.

    What biology classes have people taken here on SDN?
     
  15. Threeleggedcrow

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    Another question I had was.
    It looks like from the data although Dental schools have a lower average gpa ~3.5 while medical schools have a higher average gpa ~3.65. So by looking at this it seems that medical schools are more competitive.
    However if you look at % enrolled. It seems like dental school has a lower % of applicants that enroll. So when looking at this dental schools seem more competitive.
    When looking at both together, personally I find it counter intuitive.
    Can someone explain this to me?
     
  16. SeattleRDH

    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

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    My opinion is that dentistry involves a great deal of technical skill (the surgery part of DDS) so the adcoms are looking for more than just 'smarts'. They take into account manual dexterity, experience in dentistry, and perceptual ability. The PAT (which is not on the MCAT) is an important part of the DAT.

    I could see a lab tech with 10 years of experience and a 3.5 GPA beating out a 4.0 student with no experience.
     

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