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Specialties vs. no specialties

Discussion in 'Dental' started by War Eagle, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. War Eagle

    5+ Year Member

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    So I did a search on this and found some good info, but I didn't find a direct answer. When interviewing at dental schools I found two major schools of thought with regard to the presence of residency programs at the schools. The schools without residencies claimed that their dental students get a more extensive clinical experience since the hard cases aren't referred to the residents. When I asked the schools with specialty programs about this, they told me that it is a benefit to have residents because you have that many more people to learn from. They said I shouldn't buy too much into it and that I would get the same clinical experience at their schools. I asked a dentist about this and he told me that at schools without residency programs the harder cases will simply be referred outside of the school. When I asked a school without residencies about this, they said that they weren't aware of this needing to happen.

    I realize that at no dental school will a student recieve a case that he/she is uncapable of handling. But what do you guys think? Is there an advantage to having or not having specialty programs at your respective dental schools?
     
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  3. thedudeabides6

    thedudeabides6 Junior Member
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    in my opinion, i like attending a school with no specialties. anything my patient needs, i can do... including molar endos, perio surgeries, and oral surgery (minus impacted 3rd molars). there are very few cases that the school cannot handle, and that has more to do with the patient being very unrealistic and demanding about dental treatment than anything. i can see the point that if the school has residencies they might have more people to learn from, but you won't be doing the cases yourself. i would rather learn by doing it myself, rather than by watching someone else do it for me. that's my 2 cents.
     
  4. Count Orlok

    Count Orlok Octagonecologyst
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    Based on my limited experience, I can give you some insight on how it is at my school. It seems like we have every specialty program under the sun. Over all I would say that having a lot of specialty programs at your school does remove cases that dental students should be doing, but in some cases it can help you learn more and faster. Below I have broken it down by the major specialties and how much they take from the dental students.

    Perio: At my school they pretty much take everything they want from the students and most of the faculty are a bunch of arses. Sometimes I hate getting perio consults (unfortunately required) because they take everything other than simple prophies. I mean, seriously, I can SRP a 5mm pocket. That doesn't need to go to grad. and if you want to do any perio "surgeries" then get our your typodont because that is as close as you will get. The perio department does make us assist in their clinic so many odd times, but I have better things to do than sit there for 3 hours and watch one of their residents fubmle around at taking out a tooth:sleep:...like doing it myself. :thumbdown:

    Ortho: we can do one limited tooth movement case but we have to find out own patient outside the school as the the ortho department doesn't want us taking any of their cases. everything else goes to grad ortho. I am uprighting a molar for a bridge. whoopie :thumbdown:

    Pedo: They will give you as many patients as you want, set you up with an assistant, usually a one-on-one facutly member, and let you run the show. the only down side is they make you fill out about a trillion forms per patient of all different colors. we call it "turning in the pedo rainbow". Over all very good clinic. :thumbup:

    Pros: Pretty good experience. you can do just about anything you want other than change OVD or place more than 8 fixed units per patient (both of those go to grad pros). Removable is also pretty god as they let us do alot and do some implant supported dentures (minus the implant placement).

    Oral Path: They practically beg us to come read slides with them. for some people it is not that interesting and most never go, but if you take the time to go you learn a ton and can get some free lunch. This is the hot spot when I dont have time to pack a lunch :)

    OMS: This place is like some kind of lawless land. You just show up and they let you do/teach you to do anything you want. The main reason most people as school avoid this clinic is because they pimp the crap out of you and have you present different papers and topics to them. But i like this because if forces me to review the literature and learn new things. I mean we are at school to learn, so what if they have a different style of teaching. I spent one day off just hanging out there and one of the residents taught me to shuck teeth all day while pimping me on my pharmocology all day. Not only was it a good experience but I aced my pharm exam the next week. Another resident taught me how to suture. They also invite you on rounds, out to eat, to conferences, to assist in the OR, pretty much they want you to do/learn anything you want to do/learn. Over all this place is the most useful area in the school. kind of like my own personal library.:D

    Endo: they just yell at us a lot for not having 84 sheets of bs paper work filled out before they come to the consult and then take the case anyways. The cases are graded on difficulty by the endo faculty and it seems like 99% go to grad endo. So very limited experience, but we do get to do a crap ton of endo on extracted teeth which they say is like real life :thumbdown:

    OMF Radio: they are pretty decent at helping us, but they are so darn elusive. kind of like a cobra or a ninja or a ninjobra. when you go to their offices they alwasy have the lights off. They say it is to look at film, but i really think they are all just napping it out all the time.

    In the end you can learn from some grad programs during dental schoo but in my opinion most just take cases for themselves and the gladly show you the door out of their clinic.
     
  5. Rube

    Rube Member
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    It can be good in that you learn from the specialists and it can be bad in that they take cases from you. Specialists are territorial and in a school they write the guidelines as to what goes to post grad. They frequently battle over implants cause implants are in demand and make $$$ and EVERYONE wants the experience of placing them.

    My advice is if you go to a school where there are specialists, be smart and fight hard for a case you want to treat (but make sure you can actually do it)... the worst they can say is "no".
     
  6. Guy Smiley

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    I went to a school where we had all the specialties including radiology and path. I don't think it was a disadvantage - we had to do at least 2 molar endos to graduate. OMFS - you spend time there and build up a little trust and they let you do all kinds of stuff including facial lacs, etc. Perio we really didn't get to do the surgeries, but if you spent time in OMFS, you knew how to lay a flap, take away bone and suture it together - that's crown lengthening. We also had a small class at our school where dental students could place implants.

    I think the biggest difference between a school with specialties and one without is that at the school with specialties you are going to be covered by residents much of the time and do some learning from them. I also think you get more exposure to what a residency in a specialty is like at a school with the specialties.
     
  7. ou_jay

    ou_jay Junior Member
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    Unless a school has a huge glut of patients then residency programs will decrease your clinical experience.

    Patients don't get referred out of the dental school to specialists. They came to the dental school because they couldn't afford a general dentist. They definitely cannot afford a specialist.

    If your school doesn't have a specialty program for a procedure then either you do it or the tooth get extracted and replaced. If your school has a specialty program, then a resident does it and maybe you assist the resident.
     
  8. Guy Smiley

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    Maybe we could be more helpful if you told us which schools you were choosing between? Creighton is the one without specialties and the others would be Ohio State, Louisville, or Buffalo? I don't know much about Buffalo, but I have friends who went to Ohio State and Louisville who both liked it. I'd go where you and your wife if you have one want to live and also consider the cost difference between the schools.
     
  9. War Eagle

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    Thanks for the replies. It helps to have perspectives from current dental students.

    Yeah, I was thinking I'd need to do that. I already decided against Louisville purely due to the cost for out of state students, so I am choosing between Buffalo, Creighton, and Ohio State. I would be able to eliminate Creighton due to cost and avoid this whole issue, but my state (Idaho) has an agreement with Creighton where they accept 8 of us a year, and the state of Idaho subsidizes about half of my tuition. So that makes it about as cheap as Buffalo would be. Ohio State would be more expensive than the other two, but it wouldn't be crazy expensive since I could get in-state tuition after the first year.

    It's sounding like not having specialties can be an advantage depending on the school. I felt at home at Buffalo and Ohio State, which is a big deal to me. I also hear that Creighton is in the worst part of town, which is a turn off to me. But I also want to get the best clinical training I can, and if Creighton would provide me with a larger scope of practice, it might be worth it. The interviewer at UB told me that their undergrads have first priority, but who is to say that the priority is within a narrower scope? OSU also had a pretty cool program called the Ohio Project, that seemed like their students get a lot of extra experience with.

    My big question remains if the opportunity is significantly better at a school like Creighton, or will I get out of clinic what I put into it no matter where I go? Thanks for your replies. It really does help to see how you guys are feeling at your respective schools.
     
  10. Guy Smiley

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    If I were you I'd go to Ohio State. You said it was between Buffalo and OSU. I'd pick OSU because I have heard good things about the school and I think it is important to go where you feel most comfortable, because those are the environments you will excel in the most.
     
  11. dentstd

    dentstd Fena Gonzales
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    well, perhaps one should consider going to schools with specialties, partly because specialty programs like to accept at least one student from their own school. if a school has all the specialties represented, you can expect at least 5-7 students from their own school to specialize. as a guideline, if 10-15 percent of students from a certain school specializes and the class has about 100 students, about half those students who specialize will specialize at their own school. this is partly why people say you can specialize coming from any school...that school itself accepts their own students.
     
  12. Joli

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  13. Aceofspades

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    Residency programs may limit your experience, but many schools give first dibs to their own students when it comes to specialty applicants.
     

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