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Touch time deciding where to attend...a little help/advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Plopper, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    Ok, i need a little help, i really can't decide where to go. I live in CT, and i was accepted at 4 schools so far (Nova, UConn, UMDNJ, and Maryland). Now i've honestly liked them all, but i'm trying to see where i would enjoy the next 4 years of my life the most, and where i'll fit best

    Nova:
    PROS:
    warm
    florida
    sunny a lot
    facilities are fairly nice
    faculty are awesome
    students seem real nice
    take the boards at end of first year
    electronic charting (at least i think they said that, not sure about xrays though)
    somewhere i can see myself ending up practicing

    CONS:
    halfway across the country away from my family (although i have my uncle aunt and grandmother in FL, about an hour away)
    CHAIRS!!!! i've heard horror stories about not being able to book

    UMDNJ:
    PROS:
    Close to home
    great faculty, great students
    clinic is gorgeous, and enough chairs
    preclinic is older, but still quite fine
    reclassify as a NJ resident

    CONS:
    Newark area can be dangerous at night

    Maryland:
    PROS:
    GORGEOUS facilities
    liked the faculty and staff
    take boards after 1st year

    CONS:
    Far from any family at all
    NO reclassifying so the cost of tuition is incredible
    Baltimore, not the greatest area, but does give a large patient pool

    UConn:
    PROS:
    Cheap
    P/F
    very nice safe area
    med school for two years, (makes the boards a piece of cake lol)
    GORGEOUS facilities
    students seem to enjoy it there
    small class of only 35

    CONS:
    cold
    extremely demanding curriculum (which is probably not as bad as it is made out to be, it does after all make you extremely well prepared for the boards!! so maybe a plus, idk)
    TONS of clinic and didactic work (in fact they said they had the highest)
    ALL Classes, first (two years )with med students (and i think they're all graded on the same scale with med students too)
    my interview was basically an interrogation haha, but i will say i enjoyed them pressuring me, was certainly the most rigorous interview! but i hope that this is not the mentality of all faculty?


    Ok, so those are my schools and lists. Now i really can't decide. Nova is great, warm loved it. Uconn is p/f and has lovely facilities, and UMDNJ was awesome and had amazing faculty.

    ultimately the decision is mine, but does anyone have any opinions of these schools and any advice?

    *Edit - in the title, Touch should be tough lol
     
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  3. A lot of the things here (the pros/cons) I see you posting are superficial things. How about comparing the curriculums, how each school will help you achieve your goal, not achieve your goal (by the way, what is your goal - general dentist or specializing). Reputation of a school doesn't make you a better dentist. Some schools place more emphasis on pre-clinical/clinical skills while other schools place more emphasis on didactics helping you to get into specialties. If you want to be a general dentist, choose the school that concentrates more time in the lab and has professors who are willing to spend time in the lab showing you the theories behind everything yet will show you the shortcuts as well. In the end, if you are a general dentist (actually all dentists) speed and comprehension is the key to making money. If you cannot comprehend what you are doing and don't practice and absorb different techniques while in school, it can/will impact how you develop as a denist once you graduate. Personally, I would rather be at a school that allows you to develop your hand skills since that is what you are going to do for the rest of your career.

    I think finding out the answers to these things would help you make your decision.
     
  4. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    thanks, i presumed that all of the schools would yield highly competent and confident dentists.

    as to specialties, i'm not sure but i'm leaning towards it. i'm going to wait and see until i'm into dental school to decide if i do in fact want to specialize.
     
  5. sajjy

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    I agree about the cold weather for UConn. But cheap tuition, close to family, all the good academic qualities and will prepare you well for either general or for any specialty. Why not keep both the options open?

    But i must also say that you mentioned maximum pros for Nova and for UConn. So, you are definitely down to two: UConn and Nova. Now think about tuition and living costs.

    BTW, do you go to UConn undergrad?
     
  6. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    do you feel that UConn and/or UMDNJ have a better program than Nova?
     
  7. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    thanks, no i don't go to UConn for undergrad (too large of a school, don't like that 20k kids feel)

    thanks for the input, i'm having such a difficult decision with this. This is probably one of, if not THE, most important decision i'll have to make in my life (that and choosing to go to dental school!!)
     
  8. sajjy

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    In my honest opinion, i will give priorities to the schools in the following order:
    UConn: 1st choice
    UMDNJ: 2nd choice
    Maryland: 3rd Choice
    Nova: 4th choice
     
  9. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    if you don't mind my asking, why UMDNJ over maryland and Nova? and what is the reason UConn is #1? Is it clinical strength or academics etc...


    thanks, this is really helping me narrow my decision down.
     
  10. All schools must meet certain criteria to graduate their students and all students must pass regional boards where they perform cetain procedures in order practice as a dentist. So, as long as you graduate and pass your boards, in the eyes of the state dental board and the ADA, you are a competent dentist. Confidence on the other hand can come two ways - you can just be the type of person who is always confident in everythign they do or you can develop confidence in your abilities by practicing and performing the skills where you actually realize you are doing a great job. Some schools do a better job of teaching clinical skills which will allow some to develop confidence in their abilities.
     
  11. sajjy

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    UMDNJ over MD cuz of instate tuition from second year plus its far from CT.

    Why UConn:
    Close to home
    cheap
    curriculum prepares for general or specialty
    P/F
    and why would i go any other school if one of best dental school of the country is like right next to me.
     
  12. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    so you are a huge fan of the "going to medical school for the first two years?"

    it's going to be hard anywhere i go, but i don't want it to be unnecessarily hard. but then the P/F system (which i love the idea of) i would assume would mitigate that
     
  13. sajjy

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    It definitely wont be easier anywhere, But its a huge help in NBDE and thus higher rate of specialization. Also, have you seen their daily schedule?
    MWF 8-12 and done for the day. And sometimes this 4 hours also includes anatomy lab and PBL sessions. Also, (although i am not sure about but they dont have more than 2 hours of lectures on most of the days)
    TuTh: same 8-12 (might have lab or PBL). and 1-4 Dental class.
    So on MWF, you get done at 12.
    I know so many people who are first year in dental and medical. They all study for 4 days and go out for the rest of the 3 days. Right now, they have been partying everyday because their next on Human Biology 1 is on jan 19th.
    It is an extremely demanding but completely doable and people have fun all the time.

    The only drawback that Uconn has : its in CT = no city life and brutal winter weather.
     
  14. shoombol tallah

    shoombol tallah Big Boy
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    I would go Uconn then Nova. Uconn is the one school that if i could do over again i would add to the list of schools i applied to.
     
  15. klpennin

    klpennin 20/22/20
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    I would say UCONN, having family around is always good. They can bring you back down to earth if you get overwehlmed or need a break...
     
  16. somethinpositiv

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    As a CT rez, no reason to not pick UConn.
     
  17. sajjy

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    If you really ask me, i find your dilemma sort of weird. Seriously, why would you even think of going to any other school over UConn, even when uconn is your state school.
     
  18. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    well i didn't get that warm fuzzy feeling when i left that day, unlike Nova, UMDNJ or maryland. I was actually GRILLED during my interview for at least an hour, they complained how i have a B in biochem 2. They actually told me i should go back and shadow more dentists before applying to dental school...i walked out like WOW (obviously i must have explained/countered these suggestions to an adequate level for acceptance)

    it is an incredible school to say the least. the interview and that experience is really why i have a few reservations
     
  19. sajjy

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    I know what you are saying. And idk why they do that. But that shouldnt scare you off. they do that with almost every applicants. Luckily i had the nice pair who kept praising my application.
    But two people doesnt represent whole UConn dental.
     
  20. TeethandGums

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    UCONN!, I have a friend in her first year there, and she loves it.....Thats a really good program! The other schools on your list are great as well. Me personally, would placed Nova 2ND, fairly new school, so they are going through some growing pains, but still a solid program as well, faculty that truly care, very diverse educational experience. But if u want to go out of state, I always believe in choosing a place that is completely opposite. Forget about whether family and friends are going to be near, if you want that, stay in state! Going out of state is an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, and gain new perspectives and cultures (This may allow you to relate better in a practical setting with patiences). But i still wouldn't turn down UCONN:D..Best of luck!
     

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