What exactly do you care to know? I am a 2nd year at Nova, its not that bad...but dental school is dental school and you just have to make the best of it. It is in a great location where there is always something to do besides worrying about teeth all day...
Just a thought if you are looking for feedback. I've had a couple schools offer to put me in touch with current students. Nova may be willing to do the same. Just a thought.
Yes Nova offers a lot of opportunities to get together with medical, optometry, pharmacy, and law students. There is always a party or get together going on each week somewhere, if you enjoy Miami then its only about a half hour away and there is plenty to do here in Fort Lauderdale. First year D1s take a lot of classes with med and optometry so we get to know them fairly well, if you actually show up...attendance is mandatory here but after the first few weeks the classes start thinning out. Given your choices of schools I'd say pick Nova..with USC coming in second. Nova, as you know, is new so the dental clinic is very modern and new. There is the Miami Beach clinic to go to as well though that is older and not as nice as the one at the dental school. No problem finding patients here, but getting chairs I've heard can be an issue (like at most every other school). As a second year we do a ton of work that will be done when we are in practice in the lab by a lab technician which is long and sometimes dry, but of course necessary in order to really understand a full procedure. The faculty will try and help you succeed no matter what, but they also will expect you to work hard. You will get to know professors who may be more helpful than others and probably become close to one or two. This can help you out in the clinic or lab if you need extra help or assistance with getting things taken care of - not different from any other school. Faculty is a mix of young and old. Class size here has become increasingly large each year, so classes are crowded if everyone actually shows up (which is rare) and seating is hard to find in these cases. I definitely think Nova will prepare me to be a competent dentist but I know there is a lot to learn in practicing that cannot be taught in school. It is becoming a more well known school each year and board scores are quite high, no one has failed the boards yet in our class with most having taken them. The location is great, beats Gainesville which is in the middle of nowhere. The only real drawback about Nova is the cost...expensive but you will get a ton of dental materials and instruments your first year. Let me know if you have anymore questions and good luck!
I definitely like the interactions between other professions. I feel this is valuable and a great way to meet people outside of classes. Is it true the sim labs dont work? I saw one post where a student said they have not been working for 2 years now. Also, are all the classes lecture based? I cant remember if im thinking of nova or case having some PBL. Do you know how to the clinical requirements compare to temple?
Hey, i guess specifically, would you pick nova again. Im trying to pick between usc, temple, and nova and just want some more students impressions. Is there opportunities to interact with other students other than dental, what are somethings you do not like about the school, do you feel you will be just as competent from students from other schools, does the faculty want you to succeed or just not care? etc
I know I may sound a bit opinionated, but think about the following considering I graduated last year, am a practicing dentist, have taught both USC and Temple students in board prep courses and know more about Nova than most people.
1. USC = good reputation in SoCal... but last year 12-15% of the senior class graduated on time. Amongst students, has a reputation of being hands-off, intense competition in the clinic and most students think PBL is so-so. The students who attended the board course were skillfull and quite apt at dentistry... however, remember, they were of that 12-15%. This school has a great reputation for high quality dentistry, especially high quality gold work.
2. Temple = good reputation on the east coast especially with older dentists. Student who graduated from there who I taught didn't know what a sectional matrix was nor did know how to use fiber posts. I asked them why and their response was, "was that the standard in 1950? because it not, it's not taught at Temple" The students were competent, however, and knew quite a bit of the detailed part of dentistry including how to manage porcelain, metal, etc of lab related to crown/bridge/removable, etc. BTW, pack a gun/taser/pepper spray if you plan on walking around the campus late in the day.
Nova is defintely not a panacea in dental schools but it prepared me to be a skilled, competent clinician, passed 100% of the seniors for the FL boards the past two years and over 97% of the WREB candidates. If you are a free thinker and can work without a lot of hand-holding, Nova is for you. If FL is the state for you but are concerned about $$, try Gainesville. Gainesville has a great reputation in the state and produces competent clinicians... just don't expect a great clinical experience in implants or endo. Nova costs a lot both with tuition and living expenses. Politics is quite a bit hairy at Nova and I'm not happy with them adding so many new students and internationals (and I wasn't happy when I was there). A lot of transition of the deans/chairs has happened in the past few years and they have brought in a lot of foreign trained dentists as clinical instructors. Clinic has gotten better, however, with addition of N Miami Beach clinic, and has improved the chair situations.
Let's just say that my employers are constantly impressed with the knowledge Nova has imparted upon me. Dental school is painful wherever you go, so go somewhere warm!
Would I do it all again ? (GOD FORBID!)....................... yes.
P.S. Pre-dents... MOST IMPORTANTLY don't consider the biggest factors in selecting a dental school which ones have the best cultural/academic integration of other programs or has great teachers for biochemistry or which ones have the best student lounge... all of that pre-clinic stuff ONLY matters for NBDE Part I. Remember, high board scores come from individuals and not from schools.. just happens that over-achieving students choose over-achieving school with high board scores thinking they will be apart of that. Study hard and you will get a good board score. Don't study and you won't! What matters THE MOST is your clinical experience and how well-rounded a school makes you clinically and academically. Not many of my patients ask me where I went to school and NONE ask me how what I'm doing relates to the Krebs cycle or pathophysiology of their kidneys.
WOW thanks for the great feedback. Out of those three schools, if you could pick what would you pick. All three schools are very expensive but will vary with living costs. Im not sure if i want to specialize, but theres always a possibility. With some temple students not knowing certain things/procedures, do you think that makes them a less qualified dentist?
By the way, there is no surfing in ft. lauderdale or miami right? or do they waves get big enough sometimes?
I cannot make the choice for you... I can merely give my opinionated view of what I know, heard and seen.
All US dental schools will produce well qualified, licensed dentists. Remember, qualified is judged by clinical board pass rates... I would imagine that most schools pump out students who can do a SRP, CL II Composite, CL III Composite, CL II Amalgam. But then again, I've seen some amazing things in my day! Most schools merely focus on things that others may not, evaluate what about each program and make a well-informed decision BY YOURSELF.
Ft. Lauderdale only has good surf during heavy winter storms or hurricanes/tropical storms. Surfing during this time is very dangerous with strong rip currents. Daytona/New Smyrna is better but watch out for spinner & bull sharks. South florida is awesome for kiting and sometimes good for windsurfing. Shore break is near-shore here and most of the time is only good for a little boogie boarding/body surfing. I've done it all.... and I generally now stick to wakeboarding, windsurfing, scuba diving because I'd rather keep my hands & legs intact.
Good luck with your important decision.