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Penn w/ Dean's or UMDNJ?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Switch, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Switch

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    i'm a new jersey resident, and i'm having a hard time deciding between umdnj (my state school) and penn w. a dean's scholarship. there were things i liked and disliked about each place. it'll be helpful to read people's opinions on this before making my decision. thanks!
     
  2. rewJW

    rewJW surviving
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    Straight from the mouth of a UPenn grad/former prof dentist that I work with was, "Go to whichever school is cheapest." But additionally important, go where you think you'll be happiest. I'm going to NJDS. I know I'll get used to Newark and I feel I'll become a perfectly competent dentist there. Plus, for me, the price tag was cheaper than the other schools I was accepted at. Btw, congrats on getting that dean's scholarship because that's no small feat. :thumbup:
     
  3. dc0617

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    I am in the same situation except w/ Ohio State... Just out of curiosity, what where the things you liked/didn't like about Penn?

    I liked some of the things that Penn has and other schools don't: externship abroad, selectives, sim lab, aids clinic. (Not sure if the externship abroad is a viable option for me since you still have to pay tuition and foot the bill for travel and stay expenses) The campus was beautiful and the three staff and one faculty member I met seemed really nice.

    I did not like that we met with so few students and profs, I really don't have a good idea of what the culture of the school is like. The student I talked to didn't have anything to say that helped out very much. Also, the basement lived up to its "dungeon" rep and I wasn't very impressed by the main clinic. Maybe the school is better than it seemed when I visited and they just didn't "sell" it as well?
     
  4. whlee84

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    with the dean's scholarship, hands down UPenn!!

    Price difference won't be that much, UPenn is an overall better school than UMDNJ, and it's only half hour further from home (Jersey).

    "go to the cheapest school possible" is a good advice, but there are exceptions of course...
     
  5. ak47

    ak47 flossy flossy
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    could you expand on that? i'm deciding between Penn and UIC and i just wanna see why you think its a good school cuz it may be for reasons i haven't thought about yet. thanks
     
  6. dent2009

    dent2009 YEEE BOI
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    could be anywhere from 30 min to 2 hours depending on where OP lives.
     
  7. whlee84

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    ^ yes

    I'm not bashing UMDNJ or UIC, and I might be a lil biased since I chose UPenn, but UPenn is probably the best dental school on the east coast, along with Harvard and Columbia. It's not just the Ivy league name. It's the school's long lasting tradition, future networking possibility, very high specialization rates, tons of research opportunities, and tons of funding from the government. Forgot to mention it's top-notch facilities (besides the 1st year dungeon) and beautiful campus. I'm not saying you're gonna become a better dentist if you go to UPenn, but if the costs were similar, UPenn would be a better choice.
     
  8. gryffindor

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    You should step foot into a dental school as a dental student and pick up a high speed before making conclusions like this.

    To the OP, just choose the cheaper school. That's the only decision you have to make here.
     
  9. RAK1987

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    i was in a similar situation deciding btw Penn w/ Dean's scholarship and UConn. uconn is not my state school, but i can reclassify as a resident for D2,3,4... compared to the dean's scholarship everything was about equal monetarily.

    my advice to you is to consider very seriously the program and the curriculum offered at both schools. i felt that i would do very well with a P/F curriculum, i really wanted a medical basic science education, UConn is in the top three for board scores as speciialty match rates, and they have a very small class size of 45. all of these factors have made UConn the better choice FOR ME. i know people think im crazy for passing up the dean's scholarship, but if it's not the curriculum and environment you want, then what's the point of paying so much for an education that you wont enjoy.

    im still waiting to hear from harvard. if i am accepted then my decision will be a little harder because UConn and harvard have VERY similar programs....

    good luck and p/m me it you want to someone to talk to!
     
  10. somethinpositiv

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    :rolleyes: Really? Each Ivy is better than Maryland, UConn, UNC, Stony Brook?

    You coulda hedged that statement with "IMO", cuz that's a bold statement my friend.
     
  11. dent2009

    dent2009 YEEE BOI
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    People... obviously, whlee84 is a "name *****". don't mind him/her.
     
  12. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    off topic: Rak, where you at the open house yesterday?
     
  13. whlee84

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    So you're saying Harvard isn't better than UMDNJ? Columbia isn't better than UIC???? You would be foolish to say either is true.

    There is a reason why these are Ivy league schools. There is a reason why all the Ivy league schools are in the top of the school rankings, both in undergrad and grad. There is a reason why every Ivy league school is well respected and everyone wants to go there if they can afford it.

    On a side note, of course there are better "fits" for different people. For some people, yes, UMDNJ will be a better choice than Harvard. There are always exceptions depending people's circumstances and needs.

    The advice of "go wherever is the cheapest" is the worst advice ever.
     
  14. iJackTeeth

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    I say, you em dee in jay!
     
  15. dent2009

    dent2009 YEEE BOI
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    I don't think name matters as much in dentistry as it does, say, for medicine. Well of course, it would matter to those who are name whores and those peeps are out there - but probably dawns in comparison to those who don't care. There is no official ranking in dental school anyways so we presume that ivy leagues are automatically at the top. I certainly can't refute that Harvard is at the top, but Columbia? Penn? over some of the non-ivy league dent schools? I don't know. I feel that those dental schools are riding off the reputation of their respective undergrad/med schools. Those in the dental community know the real deal with those schools.

    I strongly believe, go wherever is the cheapest is not "the worst advice" ever but in fact, is very sensible and smart.

     
  16. dent2009

    dent2009 YEEE BOI
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    haha

     
  17. RAK1987

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    yep! i was!! how bout you???
     
  18. RAK1987

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    really... let's think about this for a second. what does ivy league even mean??

    ... the school's been around 150 years instead of 75 or 100.

    i interviewed at all of the ivies and have been accepted to all but one thus far, and i can honestly say that there are state schools that impressed me much more in terms of their academia and training.

    people who think that the ivies are the best schools out there have obviously not done much research about dental schools.
     
  19. Montserrat

    Montserrat Proud of my Pats
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    So is the incessant fellating of one's choice of school.

    Just know that there are advantages in going to the Ivy's, UConn, Stony Brook, and etc. One sticking point is performance on the Boards. Traditionally, their students score higher on the boards. It's probably a combination of the mindset (and how much of their life their are willing to sacrifice in the library) of the students that go there and their level of didactic preparation at their respective school.

    Does it mean that you won't score high on Part I if you go to UMDNJ ? Not necessarily. Do your research, and you'll find out that UMDNJ students take their part I boards in the middle of their second year. Between finals and start of the second half of 2nd year, their really isn't as much time devoted to preparation. Other didactic heavyweights allot more time and more structured course reviews. Of course, if all you want is to pass, ignore the above.
     
  20. PSU SHC 414

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    :thumbup: amen to that. Seriously whlee, you've already made it more than clear to us that you busted a load when you got into Penn, and that you're going there b/c you think it'll give you an "edge" in the Asian community.

    As a result, I think you've convinced yourself (or maybe your Asian relatives/friends have) that it's Ivy league or bust when it comes to dental school. Just exactly how much in-depth research did you do into any of the "inferior" (oh, I'm sorry... I meant to type "state") schools that you applied to (or were they all just back-ups to the consummate dental entity that is UPenn)? How many students at these various schools have you talked to at length? Or are you basing all of the info you're so eagerly giving about Penn on a single interview visit?

    From one Asian to another, I wish you would step off that pedastal - as the seasoned pros (current dentists) have said numerous times before, Ivy League does NOT carry the same weight in dentistry as it does in other professional fields. Am I saying that UPenn isn't a good dental program? Absolutely not. Is it (and Columbia or Harvard) superior to every state program out there b/c of it's Ivy League status? Absolutely not.

    When people, like the OP, post threads looking for advice about school choices, I really don't think that your UPenn-love-affair proclamations are doing anything except to unfairly bias their thinking.
     
  21. RAK1987

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    well put!!!
     
  22. gryffindor

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    Dental schools aren't ranked anymore so your point doesn't apply. The Ivy league is an athletic conference of nerdy schools that are also very old schools as someone already pointed out. Maybe "everyone" you come across in the Asian community will give up a kidney for an Ivy acceptance, but most students don't feel this way. Also, once you get out, you'll realize that the cost of being a private practitioner is high and your educational debt is just another check you write decreasing your take-home pay. You can either write a small loan check or a big loan check for 30 years. Writing a big loan check year after year gets old. I've had Ivy dental grads tell me I made the smarter choice going to the less expensive school. Our job and career opportunities are exactly the same. If you don't believe it, go ask this question on Dentaltown and you'll get some humbling answers.
     
  23. HupHolland

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    I'm pretty sure all schools have international externships, selectives, and a sim lab. And why does a dental school need an aids clinic? These patients are treated using the same precautions as any other dental school patient.

    Hup
     
    #23 HupHolland, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  24. HupHolland

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    I don't know where you're getting your info (my guess: just another biased assumption), but UMDNJ and UIC both receive more government funding than PENN, Columbia and Harvard. (source: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/GrantsAndFunding/NIDCR_Funding_to_US_Schools/DentalSchools/GrantstoDentalInstitutions2008.htm)

    Jump off the ivy bandwagon. You sound like a clown.

    Hup
     
    #24 HupHolland, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  25. RAK1987

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    yeah.... private school's don't get government funding.... i thought that was pretty well known....
     
  26. whlee84

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    all very good points here. this state vs. private school debate has been going on for a long time...

    to sum up, different people have different "fits" into their own schools. you should look at your priorities, interests, and comfort level more than anything. simply telling everyone to go to the CHEAPEST school possible is not a good advice. then why don't we just apply to the cheapest schools in the nation and forget about all other factors that entails choosing a school.
     
  27. HupHolland

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    we're talking about research funding.....i thought that was pretty well known..

    Hup
     
  28. HupHolland

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    everybody does apply to their cheapest school: their state school. a vast majority of people that get into that school attend. hence, state schools are often more difficult to get into than your beloved "ivys"

    Hup
     
  29. PSU SHC 414

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    seems like your priority is to proclaim to everyone how "all-mighty" UPenn dental is (maybe in your own selfish hope that others will validate your seemingly cursory decision... I'm still curious whether or not you did any research into state programs or if they were merely back-ups in your mind?), you have an interest in being able to boost your own ego by telling people you go to "UPenn dental", and finally, that you have a high comfort level with being bent over by enormous monthly loan payments just so that you can have a love affair with a piece of paper on your wall each day that says "University of Pennsylvania"; word to the wise... this relationship comes with a LOT of baggage.

    simply telling everyone that Ivy league schools are the absolute best programs in the nation, and implying that there is a big gap in quality of education between your beloved Ivies and state programs is HORRIBLE advice.

    like Hup said, there are many state programs out there that are MUCH more difficult to gain admission to (especially for out-of-staters) than the Ivies.

    one word jumps out at me here: naive
     
  30. dc0617

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    Obviously there isn't a big difference in the education you will get at an Ivy vs. a state school, if there was, then going to an Ivy would be the easiest decision there was and the person that started this thread and my self (similar situation) wouldn't have to think about this for weeks. Rather than making this an Ivy vs. state debate, we should focus on other aspects of the school that might actually be helpful in the decision making process. For example, I think the aids clinic is a great feature at Penn. Aids patients are medically more complex and require a different type of attention, so it would be good to know how to work with them. And I was reading an article (not sure of the publication date, but fairly recent) that said that there were only 9 schools in the US that have DentSim labs- Ohio State, for example doesn't have one, they have a practice lab but its not w/ the computers and all that.

    If this matters to Switch, I have noticed from reading posts on SDN that there are some people at Penn that think they are better than everyone because they are at Penn. I personally don't enjoy that attitude, and you should think about the type of people that will be your classmates. There's no doubt in my mind that there are down-to-earth people at Penn, but there are probably more gunners than in other places. I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but it's what I've observed.
     
  31. RAK1987

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    uhh.... yeah..... what other funding matters to research institutions...
     
  32. RAK1987

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    all dental students work with HIV patients at some point in their training. it's required for the degree.... whether or not they have a special clinic they send them to is a different story b/c , yes, not all dental schools have HIV clinics... but that doesn't mean that the students don't learn the skills at schools without the HIV clinics.

    when you're in practice and you turn down an HIV patient b/c you don't want to work with them .that can open a huge can of worms for discrimination lawsuits and what have you...

    anyways... i agree with what you said about people considering all aspects of the curriculum! nice!
     
  33. PSU SHC 414

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    Don't know if you've done this yet or not, but use the "Search" function for this forum (should be close to the top right of the screen), and type in "Penn". I've posted a good amount of information about what I've learned about Penn in the past few months (through my own research, talking to current students and dentists, and shadowing a D4 at Penn). Or just click on my name and select the "Find more posts by PSU SHC 414"...

    Btw... every dental student (at Maryland, Penn, etc.) has told me not to get overly engrossed over the idea of having DentSim. In talking to several different D4s at Penn, they've all unanimously told me that while it seemed cool at first, overall it wasn't of any benefit to them and that they would've rather had earlier exposure to patients (Penn students have hardly any patient exposure beyond 1 cleaning and simple perio - rp/sc - on friends/classmates - until 3rd year). They said that working on a patient is completely different than doing it on the DentSim manequin...
    So don't let the DentSim thing be one of the primary determining factors as to which school you choose.
     
    #33 PSU SHC 414, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  34. asdf84

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    Hi RAK1987,

    Uconn has been heavily discussed here on forums.
    can you tell us what makes Uconn so special both in research aspects--famous for any invention in our field recently ?or because of adequately trained dentists for their excellence in the field? I would like to know what is worth over there which makes them so proud of it..
     
  35. Doc Ock

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    Hey PSU! What is the story behind UPenn's Dean leaving after only 5 yrs on the job? The rumor was she was forced out. Was there some discontent about her leadership and direction of the school? Who are they looking to replace her with? Are the students currently happy or unhappy with the school and interim Dean?
     
  36. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    I thought Michigan has "tons of money"? :laugh:
     
  37. Upenn08

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    While I am a prestige ***** myself, the UPenn name doesn't carry much recognition. People will think that you are going to Penn State Univ.
     
  38. nydds25

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    Among educated folk in the northeast .. simply not true. UPenn is among the highest prestige.
     
  39. Upenn08

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    Among educated folks, they know that dental school's name doesn't matter, so it would be general public the prestige whores are targetting. The general public doesn't give a **** about Penn.
     
  40. dmd0

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    I am in the same situation choosing schools. it just gives me some huge headache.
     
  41. Contach

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    Do you think PENN is still giving out Dean's Scholarships?

    Do you think it would be rude of me to ask the admissions scheduler? (I doubt she knows anyways...)
     
  42. Jimmy Choo

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    They've already given out all 25 Dean's Scholarships. But some people will turn it down in which case it will be rewarded to the next qualified applicant. It would be a great surprise for someone :love:
     
  43. a1pha

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    I'm calling Penn in the next few days to withdraw so there's one reallocated Dean's I guess.
     
  44. PSU SHC 414

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    I was told by some Penn 4th years that Jeffcoat left because of health reasons - while that might be partially true, it might just be a smokescreen excuse that Penn's Board used to get her out of the position. There were mixed feelings about Jeffcoat when I asked some of the students and clinical faculty...

    As of Dec 2008, they had no idea who the successor would be, and I honestly don't know how the students feel about Sollecito (interim dean).

    All I know is that I wouldn't want to be at a school that is not only 1) going through a significant change in leadership (dean = significant), but also 2) going to be starting major renovations (of the main clinic) during, or prior to, the 3rd & 4th years for the C/O 2013.
    If the total pricetag wasn't over 350k, I might be willing to chance it, but I've never really been the gambling type (at least not with this amount of money)...
     
  45. dent2009

    dent2009 YEEE BOI
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    agreed. :thumbup:

     
  46. nydds25

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    I really dont think the search for the new dean is going to have any significant effect on the dental education there. What possible major directional change can they have. Go PBL? Please... i doubt anything major could change. Change to P/F.. yes please! I don't see this gamble you both are speaking of. It sounds more like you prefer a diferent school instead, not that going to Penn is any type of "gamble".
     
  47. dent2009

    dent2009 YEEE BOI
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    blah
     
    #47 dent2009, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009

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