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the truth about uop?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by wasabi007, Dec 1, 2001.

  1. wasabi007

    wasabi007 Senior Member
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    hi all,

    i am completely torn over uop. i just had a wonderful interview experience at uop--loved the facilities, faculty/students, and especially the general ambiance of happiness. however, i've heard such contrasting opinions about uop that i can't decide what to believe.

    my mentor, coworkers, dentists say that uop is not a good school....3 years of practice is just not enough time to master everything...faculty is not as strong as at uc's...it has a rep for being a school where if you have the money, you can get in...school for people who can't get in anywhere else...etc.

    but, when i was at my interview...everyone had such good things to say about the school (everyone meaning both the uop folk as well as those of us, applicants)...fellow applicants told me that all they've heard were good things about uop...how hygenists they've worked with prefer working with uop grads than dentists from other schools because uop dentist are so skillful with their hands...alum have reported taht they loved it there...and of course the candy-coated impression given by the uop faculy/students/staff...

    i can't believe that there are such disparate views about uop. where should i look to find the truth behind all the hearsay? any uop alum or students willing to put in their 2 cents?

    much perplexed,
    wasabi007 <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
     
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  3. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    My personal experience with UOP grads is limited, but here it is. During my year a chief resident at my GPR, there were 7 first year residents that were working under me. 5 from schools in the northeast, 1 from a chicago area school, and 1 from UOP. The actual skills right out of school from the UOP grad was weaker than those of the other school. The graduate did have solid reasoning skills for problem solving, but lacked the overall confidence that the others had. Now, this may just have had something to do with this persons overall personality, but it was definately noticable, and not just by me, but also by the attendings of the program.
     
  4. wasabi007

    wasabi007 Senior Member
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    hi drjeff,

    thank you so much for sharing your experiences! you are a wealth of information. have you found that that particular uop student you mentioned was representative of all the students at uop? ok, a flip side to my original question...may i ask, which schools, from your experience with the GPR, produce the most skillful dentists?
    what do you think is important in deciding where to go for dental school? how did you decide where you wanted to get your dental education/training from?

    -wasabi007
     
  5. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    I really can't comment too much about was that UOP student indicative of the rest, since that's been my only experience with a UOP student. From what I've heard about UOP, that student was probably more the exception rather than the norm. I've had a bit more experience with the Boston schools and their products, and from a clinical standpoint, Tufts puts out top students, BU and Harvard put out solid students. UCONN puts out top students. NYU is hit or miss. Penn has solid students. Case Western puts out top students, Buffalo is hit or miss. From observance of a local new clinician in my area, I'd be real carefull about Nova(granted again this person may be just 1 bad apple out of a good bunch).

    As for what influence I had in deciding where to go. I was accepted at UCONN, UPENN, Tufts, BU, NYU, Columbia, Case Western, Buffalo, Stony Brook, and NJ Med+Dent. It was between UCONN, UPENN, and Tufts in my book. I chose UCONN becuase of a few reasons. First it will sound wierd, but it just felt right there. I really liked the suburban campus setting as opposed to a city setting, and the area around UCONN is nice to live in. Another things that comes to play, is the economics. Most folks need to take out loans to get through dental school, and then have to pay them back. The total debt load from undergrad/dental school can be huge and translate into large monthly payments. One of my mentor dentists' told me something when I was getting ready to interview that made alot of sense. Most schools will give you the same basic education and will create competant dentists, some just do it with alot less loan money to be taken out. That really helped me finalize UCONN, a top level education and 1/2 to 1/3 the price of other schools. Real number here: I finished with just under 65,000 in loans which translates into a payment of just over 800 per month. Throw in the extra 85,000 that my wife took out for her dental school/ortho program and our monthly loan repayment amounts are roughly 2000! Now some of the residents that I encountered that went to a private dental school had loan totals in excess of 200,000 and were scheduled to have repayment levels of over 2500 per month. Yes, you can do it, but it will limit other expenditures initially (mortage, car payments, etc).

    Bottom line, you'll know what place is right for you when you finally see it. Just keep in mind the cost factor. :D
     
  6. Rx4Fun

    Rx4Fun New Member

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    OK, here's my 2 cents. I actually registerd for the forum because I felt a need to add to this thread. I am a graduate of UOP Class of 89. So I've been practicing quite a while.

    IMHO, UOP is one of the top schools in the nation. The reason I can state this with confidence is that not only did I receive excellent clinical training there, the faculty really CARES about the students. I can't emphasize this enough. It makes a big difference when your profs care enough to give you that extra attention to make sure you are being well trained. I got into many of the same schools as Dr Jeff, but I chose UOP.

    I remember my first day of dental school. Arthur Dugoni (past president of the ADA and one of the giants in dentistry) was and is still the dean. He brought us into a lecture hall and told us that we were not there to compete with each other, but to help each other out over the next few years. He told us that our professors were our collegues, and they were there not just to grade us, but to help us attain professional excellence. I believe Dr. Dugoni sets the tone for the school, and he has made this school into a very fine institution. And let me tell you that this was not mere hot air from a school administrator. During my years at UOP I got a lot of really great instruction from my collegues. And after class was over, at times I would go out and party with some of those same professors. I doubt that's a very common occurence.

    So that this doesn't all seem like hot air from an overly loyal alumnus, I would like to add at the schools last accreditation, it received NO recommendations and 13 commendations. It is significant that the school received no recommendations as many institutions receive some sort of corrective notice. Furthermore, UOP has historically had a very high state board pass rate. If you want to practice in California that's really important, especially since our state has one of the most difficult boards.

    Finally, I would like to add that in retrospect, although I received an excellent education at UOP, it's what you learn AFTER you graduate that's the most significant. Dr. Dugoni told us at our graduation that we were now safe beginners. After many years in practice I can say that those words are very true. Learn all you can while you are in school. After you graduate, find what interests you and then get all the post-graduate education you can in those areas. For myself, I have become very interested in the field of cosmetics. I have taken literally hundreds of hours of instruction from some great people. Dental school set the tone for my professionalism. After that, I went out and sought out some of the best clinicians in the country for more instruction. I never stop learning.

    I hope this helps.
     
  7. wasabi007

    wasabi007 Senior Member
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    rx4fun, drjeff:

    first of all, i wanted to thank you for the wonderfully in-depth responses you gave me regarding my dilemma about UOP. i have heard from another dentist that it doesn't matter where you go to school--it's more what you learn during your first years of practice that's important. i think the reason why i'm so torn is that i completely love the uop environment--the humanistic approach that professors take with their students as well as just how friendly and happy the UOP students were. however, i have taken to heart the advice of many who say to go to the school that will allow you the smallest amount of debt upon graduation.

    may i ask your opinion then, if you had to choose between ucla and uop, where would you go and why? the feeling i got at ucla was the same of any big public school--you are a drop in a pond...the resources are there, you need to seek them out on your own...your education won't be catered to you on a silver platter...you need to have a lot of independence to succeed. complete polar opposite of what it's like at uop.

    is it really worth paying about 20K more per year for attention and a nurturing environment?

    thank you for your responses!

    -wasabi007 :(
     

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