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Top Dental Education?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by portlander, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. portlander

    portlander Member
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    I recently had the opportunity to speak with the dean of Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Dentistry. She attentded North Carolina for her dental education. I wrote her a note a couple of days ago to tell her I have interviews at Columbia and Boston U, and she told me to set my sights high, because the best quality of education can be seen at San Antonio, Michigan, North Carolina or San Franciso, after OHSU. What do you think determines the best quality of education? Clinical hours is a must, but how can you tell which school has the best professors and best prepares you for a real practice? Wouldn't you think that public Universities might have less money to spend on hiring profs and improving facilities than private ones??

    I mean, she obviously knows all of the other dental school deans and the other schools cirriculums, so I trust her opinion of which schools have the highest quality of education (although she may be a little biased towards OHSU).
     
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  3. Qoo

    Qoo Senior Member
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    I just had my interview at San Antonio last month. Overall I am very very impressed with the school. From what I know, it was ranked #1 in the nation almost 10 years ago. It gets lots of funding for research just after UCSF, and many of their graduates go into specialties. They take care of their dental students very well. For example, every one gets assigned his/her own chair and cubicle (so none of those fighting for chairs scene), students get lots of attention since they work in small group and each group is led by a faculty member. They start getting clinical exposure in their 1st year by assisting upper classmen. Excellent patient pool. They are also on the DVD cirriculum so a laptop is required.

    I have no doubt that this school provides an excellent education. I have always favored this school. However, after interviewing at other schools, I believe this may not be the best place for me to spend 4 years. Afterall, it depends on where you'll be the happiest right?

    ~Qoo
     
  4. mzalendo

    mzalendo Member
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    Hey Qoo, I have only untill recently put my applications in. I really think that San Antonio is a damn sexy school. Please elaborate on your take of San Antonio compared to other Texas school.
     
  5. Joshua Tree

    Joshua Tree Member
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    The most important thing is what you want. If you want to get an education at the lowest cost, go to your state school. The great thing is that there are schools which emphasize research and board scores, whereas others will prepare you to be strong clinically and be set for General Practice.
    Having said that, it is up to you. I loved OHSU, and really wanted to go there. I was not certain where I wanted to go with dentistry, but I knew I wanted to specialize. And to accomplish that, I went to a school that has scored very well the past few years on Part I of the boards. Part I, plus your class rank and GPA pretty much determine how your chances at post-doc programs.
    Another thing to look at that is important is the student clinics. How many chairs are there? Do you have to fight for chairs, or are there enough for everyone in your class? How big is the patient pool? How accessible is it to the surrounding community? (i.e. if a patient cancels, can another one come in that day?)
    I stress this b/c experience is invaluable, the more patients you are able to see, the better your skills will be. Also it takes stress off of filling your requirements for graduation!
    I recommend OHSU, Louisville, UConn, UTSA, UCLA, UCSF, and Tufts. Keep in mind, these were my personal preferences, but they epitomized everything I was looking for in a school (boards and clinics). The great thing about dental education is that every school has its strong points, you can't make a bad choice. At the end of the day, everyone calls you "Doctor!"
    Hope this helps,
    Good Luck
    JT
     
  6. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    portlander - Those schools the dean of OHSU told you are all big dental research schools. Their dental students were well represented at the Dental Research meeting every year and win many of the research awards there too. Faculty members can tell which schools prepare you best for a real practice by evaluating the clinical skills of the students in their post-grad programs (like GPRs and specialties). They evaluate how the students take care of the patients dental needs and come up with an opinion of graduates from that school. They've been doing it for years, so they have opinions and "reputations" of each dental school. That can be good or bad. If a graduate is real good and does quality work with little faculty input, you can bet the program director will be likely to accept students from that school in the future. But if a student is so slow and has no idea what to do in clinic, the director might be hesitant in accepting students from that school.

    Other factors to consider for quality of education were listed real nicely by Joshua Tree. I don't know how I'd manage without my own chair in clinic - if I had to move around all the time, I'd be a mess. Also check the facilities themselves - are the units modern and nice and functional or look like they are from 1955? Patient availability is a must, b/c if your school is in a upper class suburb, you're going to have a hard time getting patients to come to a dental clinic.

    I agree with Joshua Tree's list of schools. Did you notice they are all state schools, except for Tufts? Public schools get a lot of funding from their state to absorb the cost of educating each student. Dental education is very expensive, and private schools have to raise all of that themselves. If I had to apply to dental school again, I couldn't think of a better list. I would add my school, Buffalo, however, b/c we place in the top 10 of the part I boards every year and have a great clinical program and a nice clinical facility, all at a bargain price (in-state or out-of-state - either way you win). We have a great research program and opportunities for dental research as well. There isn't a big push to specialize at our school, although many top students do specialize every year. So if you are from NY, this school is a must-apply for you.

    Qoo - go where you are happy, but keep in mind that debt is a big thing to deal with after graduation. I think I'd be happier in NYC, but I am saving A LOT of money by attending a state dental school on the other side of the state rather than the private ones in NYC. That will come in real handy when I have to fork over the down payment for a dental office in the near future...
     
  7. Qoo

    Qoo Senior Member
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    mzalendo,

    I was fortunate enough to have my interviews at all three texas schools last month. Basically each has its own strengths and weaknesses and they are only my opinion.

    SA:
    Good- reputation, ranked #1 before, great research school, lots of patient exposure starting first year, own chair (they just renovated last year too, spanking new!) and cubicle, no paper work (i.e. insurance claims..., everything is done for students so they can concentrate on providing the service), everything is sent to labs, small faculty/student ratio, high numbers of graduates go into specialty, students feel confident to go right out practicing on their own after graduation, dvd cirriculum (can be good or bad to some ppl)

    bad- location, share cadevers in gross with medical students....

    Houston:
    Good- located within texas medical center, smallest class size (60 vs 90 SA and 89Baylor), huge patient pool, great recreation center, UT housing, nice library, i heard they have a good oral surgery department too, and location!

    bad- smogs, lots of pollution in houston

    Baylor:
    Good- Simulation Lab (this is my favorite!), students are required to do their own labs for all cases all 4 years, scholarships available, good food in their cafeteria, big research group

    bad- located within a somewhat ghetto neighborhood.


    although it seems like SA has the most advantages, i personally favor Baylor because of the greater vibe i got during the interview! :D

    Good luck to u! Let me know when u interview with those schools!

    ~Qoo
     
  8. mzalendo

    mzalendo Member
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    Thanks Qoo for you excellent feedback. I agree with you totally about San Antonio kind of deserted location.
     
  9. Qoo

    Qoo Senior Member
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    you are welcome! let me know if you have more questions, i'll try my best to answer them! :)
    nice to see fellow texan on this board

    ~Qoo
     

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