klinzou

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I have just started looking at different schools, and my in-state school costs about 8k per semester in tuition. This seems really cheap compared to the estimate of ~200k debt after graduation. I can understand how prestige can affect a medical profession, but how does it affect the dental proffesion?

I'm talking as far as a general dental practioner would go. I can possibly see its affect in academics or specialties, but how in general practice??
 

3rdMolarRoller

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Prestige's affect on a GP is about the same as which toliet paper you choose. They all get the job done and no one cares what brand you wiped your ass with :D
 

Dr.SpongeBobDDS

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If you're pretty sure you want to do GP, by all means go to your state school. No sense spending all that money now when in a few years you could spend it on... I don't know... maybe a Bimmer and a garage to park it in. :)
 
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blankguy

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Originally posted by Brocnizer2007
Prestige's affect on a GP is about the same as which toliet paper you choose. They all get the job done and no one cares what brand you wiped your ass with :D

Really? So Harvard and say UVA have exactly the same weight??
 

Dr.SpongeBobDDS

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Yes, I meant BMW. I was leaning towards the "beemer" spelling, but the only time I have actually seen the word written was online and it was spelled "bimmer" - so I went with that. I mean, in terms of orthography, you can't get more authoritative than an AOL chatroom, right? :)
 

drPheta

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School prestige has nothing to do with it. BTW, between Harvard and my state school...I would choose my state school even if it did cost as much as Harvard.

As great a school as Harvard is, my state school spanks it with regards to clinical experience.

Now, if I wanted to specialize, I'd go to Harvard. But who am I foolin. I love it at Tufts.


BTW
Bimmer is the correct slang for BMW. The correct way to pronounce it is with a short I, and it originally referred to their motorcycles. But somehow it became a long eye...I forgot how.


ADD:
Also, your patients will never care...nor will they ever conjure the know how to decipher between different schools pros and cons anyway. They already have a hard enough time figuring out that teeth actually are supposed to be pearly, specifically/functionally shaped, set in bone surrounded by pink non-inflamed/non-receding gums, and that a tiny little $4 instrument can keep teeth in their mouths beyond 40 years of age. :rolleyes:
 

714guy

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I dont know, but if your starting out and branching off on your own and trying to get new patients, have a Prestigous school degree could help them decide you over others. Dont get me wrong thou as long as you are able to a good job nobody cares what school you went too.

Also why get a bimmer went you can have a Benz. :D
 

DrNo2000

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Originally posted by blankguy
Really? So Harvard and say UVA have exactly the same weight??

Yes! for someone who wants to do GP I think UVA is even a better choice, because you graduate with half debt! Just imagine what you could do with that extra $1000 a month you save on loan payments. May be buy that bimmer everyone is talking about?!

The dentist I shadow went to dental school in India. He is an excellent dentist (GP) and no one has ever asked him where he went to dental school. Not to mention he makes a lot of money!

Bottom line is, where you go to dental school is what you make out of it.
 

gryffindor

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Originally posted by 714guy
I dont know, but if your starting out and branching off on your own and trying to get new patients, have a Prestigous school degree could help them decide you over others. Dont get me wrong thou as long as you are able to a good job nobody cares what school you went too.

What, so you're going to take out a full page ad in the yellow pages and advertise yourself as a "Harvard trained dentist?" Since you are a newbie, take my word on it that all jobs in dentistry are "good" jobs, when you define "good" as job security, above average income, no fear of losing your job to a computer, etc. It is EXTREMELY RARE to have a patient ask you where you went to dental school, and even rarer to have them pick you based on where you did your dental education.

Originally posted by blankguy
Really? So Harvard and say UVA have exactly the same weight??

If we're talking about general dentistry, then yes. I would guess that the UVA grad might even have more clinical experience than the Harvard grad straight out of school seeing that they are the only dental school in the entire state, whereas Harvard is one of three dental schools in Boston. More students probably pursue general dentistry coming out of UVA, so the curriculum is most likely geared more toward that than at Harvard where you have most students pursuing some sort of post-grad education.

Even if we are talking about specialty education, I still wouldn't put Harvard up there for clinical strength. Based on friends who interviewed there for specialty, there are ample opportunities to do research while at Harvard but a better clinical education in the specialty is often found at other programs.
 

NC2PA

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Since UVA doesn't have a dental school, i think you'd be better off getting a degree in dentistry at Harvard. :laugh:

But VA's only dental school is a few miles away at VCU. I happened to go there for undergrad, and it definitely will give you great hand skills. I would be willing to bet that you'll be a better clinician out of VCU than out of Harvard.

Even with specialties, it does pretty decent. Since it's the only state school, and the state has a deficit of dentists (as do most states) a lot of the top students match for specialty at VCU. Obviously, if taxpayer's money is being used to educate these students, the will try to make sure these dentists stay in VA.

However, as with many other state schools, VCU and the state of Virginia are in a budget crisis. Basically, for the undergrads, it meant that they had to cut courses and we didn't receive any handouts in class (couldn't pay for the paper). I do know that it affected the dental school also. They stopped running several community service programs, but anything beyond that I wouldn't be able to tell you. You should take into consideration any budgeting issues that your school may have. Even my school has had to cut programs this year with the retraction of federal GME funding.

MHO is that Harvard's rep isn't all that great unless you want to specialize and go into academics. I hear from classmates that they're not really regarded as good clinicians in the NE.
 
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aphistis

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Originally posted by drPheta
Your patients will never care...nor will they ever conjure the know how to decipher between different schools pros and cons anyway. They already have a hard enough time figuring out that teeth actually are supposed to be pearly, specifically/functionally shaped, set in bone surrounded by pink non-inflamed/non-receding gums, and that a tiny little $4 instrument can keep teeth in their mouths beyond 40 years of age. :rolleyes:
Priceless. :D
 

spooky42

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no fear of losing your job to a computer


This is true. I was told a number of times from a manager that he could always send our jobs to India. I quit that job.
 
W

Woodsy

i don't know enough about dental school to make a fair assessment.

What I do know is that more reputable schools with give you a slight advantage over others with respect to getting a residency of choice unless you do really poorly in D school. I'm comparing an average Dental student from Big Name school A vs. and Average Dental student from lesser name school B. Not to be rude but that is the reality of it. I mean if not, why would ppl continue to choose Big name schools and why would their reputation remain high? There has to be a reason why a big name school remains in high standing. There has to be a consistency in excellence.

I say this because i'm in a very high profile program in my undergraduate studies in Canada, one that is very difficult to get into and very reputable. As a result, I got lab/research positions without even being interviewed. In my first year, I applied for a lab job and was offered it without a real interview on the basis that I was in my program. It is sad but there is a bias. Again I don't want to come off as a snob because I'm not trying to be nor is that my intention. But that is why I might choose to attend Columbia instead of another school because I know this bias exists and I want to give myself the best possible advantage I can get.

However, if you are in the top of your class, or near it, you can get anywhere you want. As always you just wanna be the best you can be whereever you are.
 

gryffindor

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Originally posted by Woodsy
i don't know enough about dental school to make a fair assessment.

You are absolutely right Woodsy. You really don't know enough about dental school, seeing as you aren't there yet. People continue to choose big name schools because of the exact stereotype you described. I really don't think anyone in dentistry is going to hand you any real opportunity over other candidates just b/c you attend Columbia. Columbia alumni will probably tend to favor you, but I think that's as far as it will go. I could be totally wrong; next year when I am at my GPR where there will certainly be Columbia graduates, I'll let you know if I change my opinion.

As a pre-dent, I too thought schools like Harvard & Columbia must have excellent dental schools too. If you are talking about excellence & high standing, I'm taking that to mean clinical excellence b/c that's why we are here - to take care of the patient. However, now that I've been in dental school for 4 years and talked to many dental students attending schools across the country, I wouldn't put Harvard & Columbia's clinical experiences high on my list of excellence. In fact, I'd put San Antonio high (is that a big name? i dunno, i think they're good) b/c I've seen the school and it is apparent they are getting a good clinical experience. They get the chance to do implant cases if it comes up at San Antonio, now that wows me as a dental student.

I've also seen Harvard's dental school; where do the students see the patients? Their dental school is miniscule (the building) compared to the med school down the street. Compare that to the Columbia junior who told me his operative experience included 2 fillings, and that was more than his classmates. Harvard and Columbia have other positives, but in my mind, a "good" dentist isn't one who can recite the muscles in the hand. A good dentist is someone who can make sound clinical decisions in a practical situation when the patient is sitting in the chair in front of you. Not when you have a hypothetical situation in class about "what would you do in this case?" but when you actually have to consider all facets (medical, money, family, transportation, goals, dental IQ, etc) of the live patient sitting in your chair and tie it into their dental care.

Good luck at Columbia; I'm sure it offers other positives. But don't just assume that the mediocre student at the school with a reputable name will be afforded better opportunities than the average student at the school with the lesser name based on name alone. Dentistry is a different ball game and doesn't quite always work like that, unlike law or business where what you are trying to say can hold true.
 
W

Woodsy

Originally posted by griffin04


Good luck at Columbia; I'm sure it offers other positives. But don't just assume that the mediocre student at the school with a reputable name will be afforded better opportunities than the average student at the school with the lesser name based on name alone. Dentistry is a different ball game and doesn't quite always work like that, unlike law or business where what you are trying to say can hold true.

You made a good point Griffin, but I hope you aren't addressing your statement as quoted to me because if you read carefully you would have read that I said two students of equal caliber one from a big name school and the other from a lesser name school, the bigger name school student would have a slight advantage.

However, that is true what you said for all cases. A mediocre studetn in any school cannot be compared with an average student at any school.
 

gryffindor

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My bad, I was using "mediocre" and "average" interchangeably. I wasn't trying to suggest average as being better than mediocre, I figured that the two terms meant the same thing.

So I still disagree; the average student at the bigger name school does not have any advantage over the average student at the lesser name school. The reason I think this concept is so difficult for pre-dents to understand is because you are all in the phase of being weeded out to determine who gets into dental school (the good students) and who doesn't (the poor students). Once you get here, it's all equal. EVERYONE in your class is there for the SAME EXACT THING - you are all going to graduate as dentists. The ones who can't hack it drop out; they don't drop down to an easier major like they do in college b/c there is no other major. It's dentistry or bust. The average student and the "poor" student and the #1 student are all getting the same degree with the same privileges at the end of dental school.

Once you graduate, you can go straight to work. When looking for a job, things like clinical ability and personality matters WAY MORE than a stupid class rank. Every student that graduates dental school can be employed in this country; there are more than enough jobs for all of us, and none of those jobs will send us to the poor house. The only place any distinction between the #1 student, average student, and poor student would arise is if any of them sought to get further training in a post doc program. There are enough opportunities for all of them to pursue more training in general dentistry (GPR or AEGD) if they all want, but it only makes a difference if they want to specialize b/c there aren't enough specialty spots for everyone who wants them in certain specialties (Ortho, Endo, OMS, Pedo, Perio, Prostho). But the majority of students will not specialize which is why the average student at the bigger vs. lesser name school argument means nothing in dentistry.

That was the point I was trying to make.
 

drPheta

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I don't now how many times we have to say this till it sinks into predents' minds...

Name does not matter. It doesn't matter where you went. The only advantage the schools have are what they expose you to. Why does Harvard place more specialists? It's their cirriculum focused on research and academia. Their clinical pales in comparison to Temple. Why doesn't Temple graduate more specialists? It's not because Temple isn't as cool sounding as Harvard, but their students have a CV that pales in comparison to Harvard's students in terms of research and non-clinical exposure.

So, what am I trying to say for the 691707149677287058720526702874th time? It's not where you go, but what you do!

You can have just as good a shot (if not better) at specializing by going to the clinically oriented school, doing research a few hours a week during your school year, research and/or externship during breaks, keeping your grades up, and spanking your NBDEs. In fact, that's most likely what these "specialty placing" schools FORCE their students to do...but at the same time, their clinical exposure is lacking because of the tremendous emphasis on such a cirriculum. And getting all this extra stuff on your CV is easier at Harvard because they FORCE you to do all that stuff. If you don't, you fail.

Again, in general, it isn't name that's going to get your where you want to go. IT'S WHAT YOU DO THAT GETS YOU THERE.

Griffin said it well. (BTW, mediocre = average for all those who misread his post). He knows what the hell he's talking about. He's been there, done that, and will make it out alive soon. Some of you arguing about name aren't even finished with applications.

Take it from the people who see it and live it. 99.9% of the dentists will tell you likewise. The other .1% are rationalizing. And if you hear a patient asking where you or someone went to dental school, they most likely are interested in dental school or have a family member in dental school.

If I had to go through the application cycle again (and thank goodness I don't), I would still set my eyes on the most clinically oriented schools out there.

Good luck to all who make it in, and Woodsy, enjoy Columbia. NYC is a great place.
 

blankguy

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Originally posted by Dr.SpongeBobDDS
As far as 99% of your patients are concerned... yup.

But you are the one who is going to dental school not the patients.
 

ItsGavinC

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Originally posted by blankguy
But you are the one who is going to dental school not the patients.

Then, if your pride insists that one school is better, go to that school. When you graduate in 4 years you'll understand the mistake you made.

That isn't to say that some schools aren't better at certain things, because they are. But it DOES mean that a schools reputation doesn't automatically get attached to the student. The student MUST work for any accolades they receive. This is especially true in dentistry where neither your patients nor your colleagues give a rat's ass where you went to school or how high your marks were.

Can you cut a Class 3? Do you work hard? Are you ethical? Do you enjoy being with patients? Good, you're hired.
 

drPheta

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Originally posted by ItsGavinC
Then, if your pride insists that one school is better, go to that school. When you graduate in 4 years you'll understand the mistake you made.

That isn't to say that some schools aren't better at certain things, because they are. But it DOES mean that a schools reputation doesn't automatically get attached to the student. The student MUST work for any accolades they receive. This is especially true in dentistry where neither your patients nor your colleagues give a rat's ass where you went to school or how high your marks were.

Can you cut a Class 3? Do you work hard? Are you ethical? Do you enjoy being with patients? Good, you're hired.

Don't forget, "Can you give an IANB? Grrrreat, see you tomorrow!" :D
 

preludexl

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I dont know if this is true or not but I heard one of the "school prestige effects" was a swelling of the brain due to an enlarged ego. Like I said, I don't know, I just heard.:D
 

blankguy

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Originally posted by preludexl
I dont know if this is true or not but I heard one of the "school prestige effects" was a swelling of the brain due to an enlarged ego. Like I said, I don't know, I just heard.:D

Isn't the "school prestige effects" an attempt to differentiate the schools gone bad? Since if they are all good schools how does somebody try to pick and choose which one to go?:rolleyes:
 

aphistis

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Originally posted by preludexl
I dont know if this is true or not but I heard one of the "school prestige effects" was a swelling of the brain due to an enlarged ego. Like I said, I don't know, I just heard.:D
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 

gryffindor

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blankguy, here it is from the mouth of the ADA:

"All U.S. dental schools are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and all have their relative strengths. A dental school ideally suited to one applicant might not be appropriate for another. The American Dental Education Association and the American Dental Association recommend that applicants investigate on their own the relative merits of the dental schools they might wish to attend."

So basically they are saying do your own homework and make your decision as to which school to attend. US News rankings isn't going to come out with some meaningless list of schools to do it for you like they do for the pre-meds.
 

blankguy

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Originally posted by griffin04
blankguy, here it is from the mouth of the ADA:

"All U.S. dental schools are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and all have their relative strengths. A dental school ideally suited to one applicant might not be appropriate for another. The American Dental Education Association and the American Dental Association recommend that applicants investigate on their own the relative merits of the dental schools they might wish to attend."

So basically they are saying do your own homework and make your decision as to which school to attend. US News rankings isn't going to come out with some meaningless list of schools to do it for you like they do for the pre-meds.

I guess I was the only one reading the thread the wrong way. IF there is no distinction between schools then what is the point of going to a particular school if they all do the job. Why get involved in discriminating between schools then? Also certain school from what people have posted here tend to be good places for some of the things(like specialization) wouldn't that faciliate in say specializing over a candidate who has gone to a school that is not as well known for it?
 

UBTom

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Some schools encourage it, and some MIGHT have more opportunity to do things like lab research (which helps a bit if you want to specialize), BUT when it comes down to it, getting into a specialty program still depends largely on the following:

1) your GPA/class rank.

2) your NBDE scores.

3) who you know.

Basically, it's 50% hard work, 25% nepotism (edit: and/or favoritism :laugh: ), and 25% dumb, blind luck. :D

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Go to any dental school you want, as long as you work hard, get a good GPA and NBDE score, minor in the discipline you want to specialize in if your school offers it, do some lab research, do externships at programs you are interested in and network with the program directors, in the end you WILL match in SOMEWHERE. Maybe not always to the programs of your choice, but you will match in somewhere.

Besides, it's still kind of early for you to be getting all worked up over specialization-- You might want to wait until you have actually gotten into dental school and experienced these disciplines in clinic first and see how you will like them!

My $0.02.
 

blankguy

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Got it. Just probing ahead.

BTW does that 25% nespotism mean kissing up to the dean??:laugh:
 

aphistis

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Originally posted by blankguy
Got it. Just probing ahead.

BTW does that 25% nespotism mean kissing up to the dean??:laugh:
Only if he's your father, uncle, grandfather, etc. Go look up nepotism.
 
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