Thinking about Ortho...any info?

Axe Handle

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    Just got back from some extramural clinic rotations and I had a change of heart think I'm going to apply to some Grad Ortho programs this year. I'm in the spring of my 3rd year and I've done relatively well in dschool...3.5GPA and ranked in top 15 of my class. My board scores were pretty decent, so I'm feeling pretty confident I could probably get in to most programs. Some of the ones I am thinking of are Alabama, UNC, Michigan, MCV. Anyone know anything about these programs or what it takes to get in? My problem is that since this is a recent decision, I haven't allied myself to any mentors and anyone else in the specialty to guide me along and I know relatively little about the application process.

    Thanks.
     

    Jediwendell

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      Axe Handle said:
      Just got back from some extramural clinic rotations and I had a change of heart think I'm going to apply to some Grad Ortho programs this year. I'm in the spring of my 3rd year and I've done relatively well in dschool...3.5GPA and ranked in top 15 of my class. My board scores were pretty decent, so I'm feeling pretty confident I could probably get in to most programs. Some of the ones I am thinking of are Alabama, UNC, Michigan, MCV. Anyone know anything about these programs or what it takes to get in? My problem is that since this is a recent decision, I haven't allied myself to any mentors and anyone else in the specialty to guide me along and I know relatively little about the application process.

      Thanks.

      It's very tough. Apply to a bunch of programs with your profile. I would shoot for twenty to twenty five. I had a 97 on step one and was number four in my class and got bingoed on all four of those.
       

      jpollei

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        Axe Handle said:
        Just got back from some extramural clinic rotations and I had a change of heart think I'm going to apply to some Grad Ortho programs this year. I'm in the spring of my 3rd year and I've done relatively well in dschool...3.5GPA and ranked in top 15 of my class. My board scores were pretty decent, so I'm feeling pretty confident I could probably get in to most programs. Some of the ones I am thinking of are Alabama, UNC, Michigan, MCV. Anyone know anything about these programs or what it takes to get in? My problem is that since this is a recent decision, I haven't allied myself to any mentors and anyone else in the specialty to guide me along and I know relatively little about the application process.

        Thanks.

        Just curious what program you'd be applying out of...that'd make a big difference (you may have a shot out of Harvard - although that's P/F there - with those #'s, but out of...well,...elsewhere, maybe not). I sure wouldn't be comfortable in your shoes at all, though,...so unless you know something I don't, you might want to reread through some old posts and reconsider your opinion. Confidence is great, but maybe a touch of reality might be helpful in this case. Hope you get in. Oh, and don't even bother UNC or UM with that...just fyi to save a few bucks applying.
         
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        gryffindor

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          Your GPA doesn't matter. If your 3.5 GPA puts you at #1 (you indicated "top 15) and your "decent board scores" is 97+, then you could be feeling pretty confident about many programs.

          Otherwise, if your stats are more like rank #15 and "decent board scores" of 91, I wouldn't count on being a shoe-in at any program (I would cross UNC off the list, unless you are a student there). Your numbers are what get you past the initial cut to get an interview. After that you can feel confident about wowing them over at the interview.
           

          Axe Handle

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            griffin04 said:
            Your GPA doesn't matter. If your 3.5 GPA puts you at #1 (you indicated "top 15) and your "decent board scores" is 97+, then you could be feeling pretty confident about many programs.

            Otherwise, if your stats are more like rank #15 and "decent board scores" of 91, I wouldn't count on being a shoe-in at any program (I would cross UNC off the list, unless you are a student there). Your numbers are what get you past the initial cut to get an interview. After that you can feel confident about wowing them over at the interview.

            I appreciate the replies. I'm glad to hear GPA isn't the end all statistic...but I guess my rank with the GPA is what could be the clincher. I scored 94 on part I and felt fairly confident about it being a decent score. All the talk of 97+ is making me second guess a bit. Do you really need a score that high to be competetive?? It seems like the stuff on part I of the boards isn't as applicable to the specialty of orthodontics as it seems it would be with other specialties like OMFS...so why should it really matter???

            I'm also curious about your UNC comment. In the minimal investigatory work I've done about different ortho programs I do seem to have gotten the impression that UNC "inbreeds" and doesn't typically accept outside of their own student population. Talk about needing to be ranked #1,2,or 3 seems irrelevant there. There are bound to be high ranking students from there specializing in other fields which would make it difficult for them to stick to a "top of the class" acceptance pattern. And isn't it true that UNC college of dentistry isn't known for being an academic heavyweight like Harvard or Columbia that produces potent specialty candidates? jpollei...I notice your location is "NC" and given the content and tone of your reply I assume you are an ortho resident there and may have some insight to offer. A little harsh with your comments, but I get the impression you really know your stuff so I'll humbly accept. Is it true about UNC? I hope not...from what I know, that is a great place to be. Is it true that William Proffitt is still teaching there??? The man behind the textbook???

            Gotta run...this SDN thing is great...I wish I'd gotten in sooner!
             

            GatorDMD

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              Axe Handle said:
              I appreciate the replies. I'm glad to hear GPA isn't the end all statistic...but I guess my rank with the GPA is what could be the clincher. I scored 94 on part I and felt fairly confident about it being a decent score. All the talk of 97+ is making me second guess a bit. Do you really need a score that high to be competetive?? It seems like the stuff on part I of the boards isn't as applicable to the specialty of orthodontics as it seems it would be with other specialties like OMFS...so why should it really matter???

              I'm also curious about your UNC comment. In the minimal investigatory work I've done about different ortho programs I do seem to have gotten the impression that UNC "inbreeds" and doesn't typically accept outside of their own student population. Talk about needing to be ranked #1,2,or 3 seems irrelevant there. There are bound to be high ranking students from there specializing in other fields which would make it difficult for them to stick to a "top of the class" acceptance pattern. And isn't it true that UNC college of dentistry isn't known for being an academic heavyweight like Harvard or Columbia that produces potent specialty candidates? jpollei...I notice your location is "NC" and given the content and tone of your reply I assume you are an ortho resident there and may have some insight to offer. A little harsh with your comments, but I get the impression you really know your stuff so I'll humbly accept. Is it true about UNC? I hope not...from what I know, that is a great place to be. Is it true that William Proffitt is still teaching there??? The man behind the textbook???

              Gotta run...this SDN thing is great...I wish I'd gotten in sooner!

              UF c/o 2004 #1 ranked student got in at UNC last year. my 2 cents.
               

              jpollei

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                Axe Handle said:
                I appreciate the replies. I'm glad to hear GPA isn't the end all statistic...but I guess my rank with the GPA is what could be the clincher. I scored 94 on part I and felt fairly confident about it being a decent score. All the talk of 97+ is making me second guess a bit. Do you really need a score that high to be competetive?? It seems like the stuff on part I of the boards isn't as applicable to the specialty of orthodontics as it seems it would be with other specialties like OMFS...so why should it really matter???

                I'm also curious about your UNC comment. In the minimal investigatory work I've done about different ortho programs I do seem to have gotten the impression that UNC "inbreeds" and doesn't typically accept outside of their own student population. Talk about needing to be ranked #1,2,or 3 seems irrelevant there. There are bound to be high ranking students from there specializing in other fields which would make it difficult for them to stick to a "top of the class" acceptance pattern. And isn't it true that UNC college of dentistry isn't known for being an academic heavyweight like Harvard or Columbia that produces potent specialty candidates? jpollei...I notice your location is "NC" and given the content and tone of your reply I assume you are an ortho resident there and may have some insight to offer. A little harsh with your comments, but I get the impression you really know your stuff so I'll humbly accept. Is it true about UNC? I hope not...from what I know, that is a great place to be. Is it true that William Proffitt is still teaching there??? The man behind the textbook???

                Gotta run...this SDN thing is great...I wish I'd gotten in sooner!

                Some random points for AxeHandle:
                First off, I'm a 3rd year DDS and ortho is where I hope to head. Sorry to sound harsh, not at all my intent. And I'd be the first to say I don't know it all about this subject...which makes it subjective by nature.
                Ortho board scores are a weeder, nothing more or less. They aren't always relevant, but neither is the definition of an "acquired enamel pellicle".
                GatorDMD is right - one of his buddies is a first year hear (and a cool guy at that).
                Proff is still here, part-time at present. He is still involved with grad and undergrad teaching; he was our G&D IV course director last semester for example.
                "Traditionally" UNC has been apt to take about 4 of 6 seats from in house. I guess that could be looked at as inbreeding, though I think the department-rightly or wrongly-looks at themselves as taking the applicants they feel are most 'qualified' - obviously a subjective determination. The residents who get in from elsewhere typically are dynamite applicants, too - top of the class types. But don't let that put you off. What's the worst they can tell you if you apply here (or anywhere you are interested in) - "no thanks?" So go for it.
                I know UNC does emphasize the clinical and research aspects of dentistry more than they do the "academic" Harvard or UConn approach to dentistry. Different programs give students different educational opportunities. And the UNC c/o '04 and '05 both had something like 90% of applicants match into all post-grad programs (usually about 25 per class of 80). Though the top of the class here doesn't always do ortho, usuall it does. The four from UNC starting here in the fall are all tops of the c/o '05. I'd say in general the specialty applicants out of here are held in pretty high regard at most programs (as evidenced that they match their 1st or 2nd choice).
                In general I think ortho residencies consider the DDS/DMD program you apply from to some extend when deciding who to interview. A lot of it is about connections: i.e. if a perio program director at UTSA knows a perio department chair at UNC, UTSA applicants may get more of a look than applicants from programs with no ties to UNC (in this scenario). Unfortunately it isn't fair, but it's how it works sometimes.
                Hope this was helpful. If not, let me know and I'll can it in the future. :)
                 
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