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Penn dental Students competitive

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1234abcd456

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Are upenn dental students competitive / cutthroat with one another? I am considering going there next year and am considered that the environment / other students might not be very friendly from some things I’ve heard about it. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 

DentinBond

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I always know a student or three at UPenn. I’m an alumnus who practices nearby, has friends on the faculty, etc.

The students I’ve known always speak well of their classmates.

The place does have an issue in my view, though—Specialty Fever. For a number of complex reasons, the culture at UPenn Dental leads nearly every student to want to specialize. Which, again in my own view, is not at all a good thing, for many reasons I won’t go into here. Relevant to your question, the result of this pervasive Specialty Fever must surely be some sort of high level of academic competition.

You might be able to glean the most info from current students; hopefully some will reply here.
 

1ysh

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I just interviewed there and asked the current students about this but they all said it's not true! They're actually really helpful toward each other and not competitive
 
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Competition is inherently at every school, regardless of class rankings, pass/fail grades, or any claimed collaboration oriented schools. Of course this does not mean 99% of the population is out to get you
 

1234abcd456

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Competition is inherently at every school, regardless of class rankings, pass/fail grades, or any claimed collaboration oriented schools. Of course this does not mean 99% of the population is out to get you
Do you attend / did you attend upenn?
 

Dental204

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I am a current student, I don't feel like the environment here is competitive at all. Each class year has a google drive & facebook page just for sharing study materials! There is no curve so people just worry about their own grades. Penn attracts some of the best and brightest, so you will get a lot of Type A personalities. That said, taking exams seriously and being competitive are two very different things!
 
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1234abcd456

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I am a current student, I don't feel like the environment here is competitive at all. Each class year has a google drive & facebook page just for sharing study materials! There is no curve so people just worry about their own grades. Penn attracts some of the best and brightest, so you will get a lot of Type A personalities. That said, taking exams seriously and being competitive are two very different things!

Are you / other students happy there or have you found that the workload isn’t balanced out by any downtime? Also are you planning on specializing?
 

ModifiedBass

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I'm a current D4. I never noticed any "cutthroat" nature in our class. Pretty much everything is shared as the student above stated. Everyone is willing to help each other out. There's plenty of "downtime". Sure, you get some of the students who whine/complain and post that they're in the library studying all night for exams, but it's entirely unnecessary and usually just a cry for attention. Most people don't have to do this, it just depends on what kind of studier/time manager you are. Plenty of my classmates along with myself had plenty of free time and have the grades to specialize in any field we want.
 
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1234abcd456

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I'm a current D4. I never noticed any "cutthroat" nature in our class. Pretty much everything is shared as the student above stated. Everyone is willing to help each other out. There's plenty of "downtime". Sure, you get some of the students who whine/complain and post that they're in the library studying all night for exams, but it's entirely unnecessary and usually just a cry for attention. Most people don't have to do this, it just depends on what kind of studier/time manager you are. Plenty of my classmates along with myself had plenty of free time and have the grades to specialize in any field we want.
Thank you!
 

Dental204

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Are you / other students happy there or have you found that the workload isn’t balanced out by any downtime? Also are you planning on specializing?
The first semester they ease you in. I thought this was a joke, something they just said to interviewees, but it's actually true. They start you off with easier material and infrequent tests, and then it ramps up end of October. This is awesome because it gives everyone time to get to know one another and bond, as well as just get adjusted to life in dental school.

I am unsure about specializing. I ultimately decided to come to Penn because I wanted to keep my options open. Should I decide I want to specialize, I know I will have all the resources, connections, and opportunities I need. Just a matter of hard work
 

Svart Aske

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I graduated from Penn in 2014. It's a great school, but don't go there over a much more affordable school just because you think that it will give you an edge when you apply for specialty programs.

I believe that if you are driven enough, you can specialize anywhere regardless of which school you attended. It's better to be a big fish in a little pond rather than vice versa....
 
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