sniffles04

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I'm having a problem trying to decide between UCLA and UCSF dental. As a recent graduate from UCLA, I'd love to go there again, however, I've heard that many of their students are unhappy there. Are there any current UCLA dental students who can give me a better idea of what the school is like, how their experiences have been, and if they are happy with their decision? Any feedback I can get from anyone about either school would be helpful. I have to respond to UCSF by this Friday (i paid my deposit for UCLA already and I'm not sure if i should just put deposits down on both)!! Please help!!
 

dWiz

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I've heard that students at UCSF are extremely unhappy and miserable. Its a lose lose situation :D. Assign and draw numbers to decide. I would choose UCLA if i was in ur situation. (I've heard that UCSF is a good school to go to if you want to specialize; i think its a very research oriented institution or something) so go there if u have that in mind. :) Better yet go to UOP!
 

ecdoesit

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I cant ask for more from UCLA.
I like my classmates. They are friendly people. (We know test is stressful, but deep down we are all good people).
Faculty are trying their best to get us to succeed.
The curriculum sucks though. I cant ask for more lectures. This is probably the area when you heard people are complaining about. Sch is long and then you getta study afterward, etc... Nobody likes to sit from 8-5, but it is a process to learn. I dont expect that many other dental sch is any better.

It had been a really tough choice between SF and LA. If you havent done so, please do a search and I had a post something like this last year. If you have personal quesitons, feel free to pm me.
 

tinker bell

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dWiz said:
I've heard that students at UCSF are extremely unhappy and miserable. Its a lose lose situation :D. Assign and draw numbers to decide. I would choose UCLA if i was in ur situation. (I've heard that UCSF is a good school to go to if you want to specialize; i think its a very research oriented institution or something) so go there if u have that in mind. :) Better yet go to UOP!

I hope your head is bigger than what you posted. otherwise, you won't make it either in or out of dental school. I am at UCSF, and I am neither "extremely unhappy" nor "miserable" like you said. So are my classmates. Our class has so much fun. We just did a fundraising party for tsunami victims. Our party was a blast. We collected almost 10K for our charity. About 600 ppl attended our party, mostly from our school & Standford. I didn't see anyone extremely unhappy nor miserable there.

If you have never set foot to any school, don't even know anyone from here, don't give some bold statement like that. I heard bad things at other schools when I interviewed too, but it doesn't mean those schools are all bad. Do you know something call "a lie"? That's what people tell you. Or what you heard, depend on how you put it :laugh: :laugh:
 

dWiz

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tinker bell said:
I hope your head is bigger than what you posted. otherwise, you won't make it either in or out of dental school. I am at UCSF, and I am neither "extremely unhappy" nor "miserable" like you said. So are my classmates. Our class has so much fun. We just did a fundraising party for tsunami victims. Our party was a blast. We collected almost 10K for our charity. About 600 ppl attended our party, mostly from our school & Standford. I didn't see anyone extremely unhappy nor miserable there.

If you have never set foot to any school, don't even know anyone from here, don't give some bold statement like that. I heard bad things at other schools when I interviewed too, but it doesn't mean those schools are all bad. Do you know something call "a lie"? That's what people tell you. Or what you heard, depend on how you put it :laugh: :laugh:
I wuz just saying what "i've heard" on this forum by "numerous people" not just one person. No need to get all defensive
 

ecdoesit

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I dont think the original post meant studentS, but perhaps a student. And it is not to that degree. I have friends up in SF. They are pretty satisfied with the program. I met a couple ASDA rep last month, they are happy too.

I dont think it is a particular school, but it is dental school in general. I m not very happy with any 8-5 schedule(i mean, that includes studying after 5 too). But u getta look at big picture-being a dentist. Does it worth that long hrs? If it does, then it worths every single bit of ur energy to pass my classes.
 

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I do not know much about UCSF, but I do know about UCLA as I am a 4th year here. The best opinion you are going to get is not from a first year or even a second year. Most of them are all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed eager little beavers who have no idea what is in store for them. Also, to protect the reputation of their school, most of the upperclassmen will not give you the "honest" truth.

UCLA is dental school. The curriculum is rigorous like most other dental schools. That is understandable. Where the school is lacking miserably, is in the clinic. There is a lack of patients and clinic instructors. This equates to challenges in fulfilling clinical requirements as well as so much wasted time waiting around for start checks and sign offs when you actually do have a pt to work on because there is not enough faculty covering the clinic. The overall moral is very poor. Not only amongst students (especially 4th years) but also amongst faculty and clinic staff. A common problem we have is instructors not showing up or constantly being late. It may sound like an exaggeration, but there have been several instances when rows of patients have to be sent home because an instructor does not show up to clinic. Try explaining that to your patient!

If you want to specialize, UCLA is a good place to do that. Many of our graduates go on to programs. There are also many of our students who will be going into general practice. If I had to do it over again, though, I would have not gone here. I admit I got caught up in the whole reputation thing and never really took into account so many other factors that I should have before deciding to go here. I see so many volunteers who are stuck on the same thing and there is really nothing you can say to them to help them look at it objectively. When you ask them why they want to come here, they say.. "because it's one of the best." They really have no idea what the school is like. Granted, there are many positives, but overall, there are way too many negatives and the school really is in a state of turmoil. I'm sure the rankings, if that's how you would prefer to judge a school, will soon begin to show this. If you really want a clue at how much graduating students appreciated their schooling here, take a look at alumni donations. At UCLA, it's practically non-existent. This is a fact. Because of this, the dean spends most of his time schmoozing to bring funds in so his primary duties are fundraising and research. This attitude is very non-student friendly and pretty much sums of the atmosphere of the entire school and the administration.

My best advice is to hang around the clinic or lab and speak to a few fourth years who will be graduating. Drop by UCLA and take a look at how many miserable people there are in the lab on any given day. I guarantee you will hear most of them complaining about the ****hole we are in. I once thought this school was a great place to be... until it really began in the clinic...

Good luck,
TTB
 

jk5177

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ttboy:

Geez. How miserable. I'm going there in fall.

It is nice to see a refrehsing post like that, and I have to admit as a new matriculant, I do have that eager beaver mentality.

Well. What I like to see is if someone can post from the other side of the continnum.
 

dentist_to_be?

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jk5177 said:
ttboy:

Geez. How miserable. I'm going there in fall.

It is nice to see a refrehsing post like that, and I have to admit as a new matriculant, I do have that eager beaver mentality.

Well. What I like to see is if someone can post from the other side of the continnum.
Im an eager beaVER too... :D

from what I have read on this forum... UCSF's dean said something about being ranked number one (on the secret ranking) --> i would do a search on this, im not sure what the ranking was from... but overall it seems the school has a good reputation. Plus, sans fran is a cool city to live in

(i didnt apply to either school, but I thought id let you know about what SDNers were saying from previous posts)
 

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Hey guys and gals...

I too was an eager lil' beaver.. That's the best attitude to have to get you through the rigors of the curriculum. I really wasn't trying to burst any bubbles, just trying to give my perspective after the four years.. You will all do great. There are just some things that need to be changed at UCLA and as a collective voice, perhaps you can all make a difference. That is the one thing my class lacked.. UNITY..

Good luck!
 

jk5177

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So what do dental student do for fun at UCLA?
 

Yah-E

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To all you incoming 1st years, current 1st years, and even 2nd years:

Year after year, we get posts from 4th year dental students from various dental schools sharing their thoughts about how they feel about their perspective schools. I remember last year, a Nova 4th year b1tching and moaning about how our school sucked and now this UCLA 4th year. Don't get me wrong, they are entitled to their experiences and opinions, but DO NOT take one student or two students' opinions as the general concenses of the school and/or school's clinical exposure!

Every single one of you will experience the same dental school differently. Best thing to do is not to look ahead, but to concentrate on today or tasks at hand. I have classmates that are kicking @ss in clinic and I have classmates that are slacking in clinic, but we all go to the same school. Everyone is different.

You have to know, 4th year students have a lot on their plate. They are very stressed because of graduation requirements, state/regional licensure board exam(s), NBDE Part II, applying to specialties, and find jobs! All 4th years at Nova here are stressed and they all told me that "they can't wait to get out of there!" Is that because they hate the school? NO! Is that because they think their school is inferior? NO! I have come to conclusion that 4th year dental students are not good references about a dental school!

They are great references for a lot of things, but don't ask them about how they feel about their school because simply they have had enough due to all the crap that they have to do to enable them to receive their diploma. Better references, talk to the current 3rd years. Third years, we have NBDE Part 1 over with, we've had clinic exposure, not too much stress, just finished the basic science years.....

If you want to talk to 4th years, then do survey at least 4 or 5 of them and not 4 or 5 in the same group of friends since they tend to have the same beliefs. Please take whatever you read over the SDN with a grain of salt, including this post by me! Remember, what you will experience will not be the same as others in your school! Remember that! What was great for me, may not be great for you, vice versa.
 
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sniffles04

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Thanks for that Yah-E. It was pretty discouraging to read what a few of the UCLA 4th years had to say....but you make a really good point...your experience will be whatever you make of it...

Yah-E said:
To all you incoming 1st years, current 1st years, and even 2nd years:

Year after year, we get posts from 4th year dental students from various dental schools sharing their thoughts about how they feel about their perspective schools. I remember last year, a Nova 4th year b1tching and moaning about how our school sucked and now this UCLA 4th year. Don't get me wrong, they are entitled to their experiences and opinions, but DO NOT take one student or two students' opinions as the general concenses of the school and/or school's clinical exposure!

Every single one of you will experience the same dental school differently. Best thing to do is not to look ahead, but to concentrate on today or tasks at hand. I have classmates that are kicking @ss in clinic and I have classmates that are slacking in clinic, but we all go to the same school. Everyone is different.

You have to know, 4th year students have a lot on their plate. They are very stressed because of graduation requirements, state/regional licensure board exam(s), NBDE Part II, applying to specialties, and find jobs! All 4th years at Nova here are stressed and they all told me that "they can't wait to get out of there!" Is that because they hate the school? NO! Is that because they think their school is inferior? NO! I have come to conclusion that 4th year dental students are not good references about a dental school!

They are great references for a lot of things, but don't ask them about how they feel about their school because simply they have had enough due to all the crap that they have to do to enable them to receive their diploma. Better references, talk to the current 3rd years. Third years, we have NBDE Part 1 over with, we've had clinic exposure, not too much stress, just finished the basic science years.....

If you want to talk to 4th years, then do survey at least 4 or 5 of them and not 4 or 5 in the same group of friends since they tend to have the same beliefs. Please take whatever you read over the SDN with a grain of salt, including this post by me! Remember, what you will experience will not be the same as others in your school! Remember that! What was great for me, may not be great for you, vice versa.
 

jk5177

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so Yah-E, is that a picture of you?
 

Yah-E

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jk5177 said:
so Yah-E, is that a picture of you?
Why, yes! Good pic? Bad pic? :D My Minnesota Gophers lost in the first round of the "big dance" so I had to change my avatar. I thought I throw my picture up there, why not? Everyone at DentalTown does it, why not SDN, right?
 

ttboy

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Yah-E said:
To all you incoming 1st years, current 1st years, and even 2nd years:

Year after year, we get posts from 4th year dental students from various dental schools sharing their thoughts about how they feel about their perspective schools. I remember last year, a Nova 4th year b1tching and moaning about how our school sucked and now this UCLA 4th year. Don't get me wrong, they are entitled to their experiences and opinions, but DO NOT take one student or two students' opinions as the general concenses of the school and/or school's clinical exposure!

Yah-E...

My intention was not to "b1tch and moan, as you so eloquently described." Someone asked for advice, and I was gracious enough to share my experiences with them. You are at NOVA... You have no idea what the program is like at my school, so it is presumptuous of you to generalize that I am just complaining because I am a "4th year" with a full plate.

You are only a 3rd year. You don't know yet, what you don't know... Remember that not all programs are created equally. Some do have inherent faults. The patient base at UCLA is probably the most egregious. Should this concern someone who is considering attending school there? I would think it should..
 

ItsGavinC

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I think that ttboy (by the way, welcome to SDN!) and Yah-E have both made some excellent points in their posts.

As always, we should remember that the free-flow of information we have accessible to us through the internet should not be the end-all-be-all to our research when we make decisions or create opinions.

SDN is a *wonderful* resources and the best of it's kind--but it should be used as a jumping-off point for personal research.

Keep up the thread and the good posts.
 

lnn2

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jk5177 said:
so Yah-E, is that a picture of you?
Yah-E said:
Why, yes! Good pic? Bad pic? :D My Minnesota Gophers lost in the first round of the "big dance" so I had to change my avatar. I thought I throw my picture up there, why not? Everyone at DentalTown does it, why not SDN, right?
jk5177 thinks that you are sizzling hot Yah-E ;) He wants to "meditate" with you :laugh:
I would love to put my pic up for the ladies but I have to fix my buck teef first! hopefully in the near future!
 

jk5177

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lnn2 said:
jk5177 thinks that you are sizzling hot Yah-E ;) He wants to "meditate" with you :laugh:
I would love to put my pic up for the ladies but I have to fix my buck teef first! hopefully in the near future!
Inn2. Would you like to meditate with me as well?
:laugh:
 

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tinker bell said:
I hope your head is bigger than what you posted. otherwise, you won't make it either in or out of dental school. I am at UCSF, and I am neither "extremely unhappy" nor "miserable" like you said. So are my classmates. Our class has so much fun. We just did a fundraising party for tsunami victims. Our party was a blast. We collected almost 10K for our charity. About 600 ppl attended our party, mostly from our school & Standford. I didn't see anyone extremely unhappy nor miserable there.

If you have never set foot to any school, don't even know anyone from here, don't give some bold statement like that. I heard bad things at other schools when I interviewed too, but it doesn't mean those schools are all bad. Do you know something call "a lie"? That's what people tell you. Or what you heard, depend on how you put it :laugh: :laugh:
That was a killer party! And even for a good cause! Not too shabby!

I aslo am a second year at UCSF and am very happy with my decision to attend. Sure we have a couple hitches, but what dental school doesn't. UCSF is number one in the nation, and has been for a while, in the amount of funds received from NIH for research. We are also in the top two or three in the nation in clinical productivity (I think Loma Linda is number 1). Put those two stats together and you've got a pretty strong program. We have tons of patients in SF, so the students here seem to have little trouble finding enough patients/procedures to fulfill their requirements. We do tons of lab work, in a lab that is less glamorous than UOP's, but that will change in a couple years. So we are very well prepared to start seeing patients after our second year. I feel ready to go now, but we're just starting to do baselines and cleanings in the spring. So they really make sure you're good to go. I have no idea how UCLA prepares their students, so someone else will have to fill in there. Research is obviously accessable, but not forced. So basically, UCSF (in my opinion) is a well rounded program that produces good general dentists and great specialists.
 

tinker bell

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talking about pt pool, UCSF is way ahead. I am already given patients, and I don't even want to think about patient yet. But my D3 link insisted that I should start getting some. Sure, why not? UCSF is not a bad place if you plan to specialize neither. People who want to specialize always get where they want to go. So, why not UCSF? Where patients are plenty? with the view of the golden gate bridge, the ocean, the city? And all kinds of fun and cool people you will meet while you are here? And the all new cool curriculum that have less class time, more independent time to study? I'm sure our new curriculum here is much better for students' health and happiness. I know the D1 are enjoying it. They even told me it's better than undergrad. So, make sure you choose the right school.
 

ecdoesit

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Aint we glad both UC are excellent dental school while still have some differences? I have to give it to UCSF, Dr Alexander and other staff, who helped out so much to reshape the curriculum. It seems really really awesome. 2 things though, the new system hasnt been tested yet. And without somehow ranking(p/np), do you think it will be too stressful when the board is like the only determinate to get into specialty(of cos assuming there is a pool of UCSF students applying for one spot)?
 

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ecdoesit said:
Aint we glad both UC are excellent dental school while still have some differences? I have to give it to UCSF, Dr Alexander and other staff, who helped out so much to reshape the curriculum. It seems really really awesome. 2 things though, the new system hasnt been tested yet. And without somehow ranking(p/np), do you think it will be too stressful when the board is like the only determinate to get into specialty(of cos assuming there is a pool of UCSF students applying for one spot)?

Doesn't UCLA have the same p/no pass system? I think the system is tiered as well, e.g. high pass, pass.... But I could be wrong
 

ecdoesit

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Our EPR, P, MP, NP system is somewhat like a letter grade, but there is no grade point average to it. EPR is for top ~10%, P is designed for 90%, occassionally we have 1 or 2 MP, NP... So, if you want to specialize, they could see how many exceptional report you have and show in that particular class you do better than 80 other students... Not absolutely practical, but there is something to "rank" students. And like last quarter, if someone gets 3 or more EPR, they get a dean's letter. I have yet to find motivation to do anything.
 

lnn2

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jk5177 said:
Inn2. Would you like to meditate with me as well?
:laugh:
Thanks but no thanks! Threesomes with 2 other guys is not my forte!
 

tinker bell

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ecdoesit said:
Our EPR, P, MP, NP system is somewhat like a letter grade, but there is no grade point average to it. EPR is for top ~10%, P is designed for 90%, occassionally we have 1 or 2 MP, NP... So, if you want to specialize, they could see how many exceptional report you have and show in that particular class you do better than 80 other students... Not absolutely practical, but there is something to "rank" students. And like last quarter, if someone gets 3 or more EPR, they get a dean's letter. I have yet to find motivation to do anything.

Loads of school with P/NP system, and depend only on NDBE1 to get into specialty. And they all seem to get into specialty more than others. Name them? Harvard, UCONN, UCLA, etc...All P/NP are the same. I think that P/NP is even harder, and stricter. You have to pass every exam, instead of having a 60 on one exam, and a 90 on another. So, we study even more to pass every test. I am sure that this fact is included in our application to specialty. Either by the dean letter explaining how our grading system works.

About the new curriculum, my class-class of 2007 was first tested. And the class of 2008 is the second class for this new thing. So, certainly anyone come in next year, will have smooth sailing...With all of those new classes already tested and improved....I already see class of 2008 enjoy their lives, learn more, and more effective ways to spend their time. Rather than sitting in class from 8-5. I think our school is heading in a new direction in a very positive way and students who will come here will have a very good experience for what they have to spend. And the hand skills they get once they graduate will be awesome, as they will be seeing loads and loads of patients...NOW THAT'S THE IMPORTANT PART, AND THAT'S WHAT UCSF ALL ABOUT.
 

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i am just going to be starting dental school at uop in july however i interviewed and was accpeted to UCLA, when i went to the interview i had in my mind that if i was accepted i would go there for sure. then i had my interview. My student interviewer told me that if she could do it again she wouldn't go there?!?! usually the students you get to talk to are the ones who love the school and this 3rd year was telling me she wouldn't go back, then the two faculty interviewers would talk about my application and my response to their questions right in front of my as if i wasn't in the room. it was extremely rude and impersonal. i did end up getting accepted but if the first impression they gave me is anything like what i would experience i feel very bad for any of you going there. I have never been so turned off by a group of people. maybe i just had a bad experience but thought i should share it. good luck
 

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juggamynugga said:
i am just going to be starting dental school at uop in july however i interviewed and was accpeted to UCLA, when i went to the interview i had in my mind that if i was accepted i would go there for sure. then i had my interview. My student interviewer told me that if she could do it again she wouldn't go there?!?! usually the students you get to talk to are the ones who love the school and this 3rd year was telling me she wouldn't go back, then the two faculty interviewers would talk about my application and my response to their questions right in front of my as if i wasn't in the room. it was extremely rude and impersonal. i did end up getting accepted but if the first impression they gave me is anything like what i would experience i feel very bad for any of you going there. I have never been so turned off by a group of people. maybe i just had a bad experience but thought i should share it. good luck
There's no need to pity us. I'm sure there are students here who regret their choice, as there are at any school. But I love it at UCLA and wouldn't want to be anywhere else, and I don't personally know any classmates that feel any differently. Our class has a great relationship, we help each other and share information to reduce the competition, I like the faculty, and I enjoy the curriculum. In all, I have had a very positive experience over the last two years. I'm sorry you developed a bad impression of the school because of your student interviewer and the faculty interview, but I have to say that, given my experience in my two years here this seems to me to be an aberration, and certainly not the norm; I have never had a problem with the faculty and have always been treated with respect. Best of luck to you at UOP.
 

jk5177

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Well, to add fuel in this debate.

According to the letter from the Dean at UCLA, No-Hee Park:

"The July 2004 Performance Summary of the Part I National Board Dental Examinations, ranks our School as number 2 in the nation. The difference between our average score and that of the first ranked school is an infinitesimal 0.8 while the difference between our average score and the third ranked school is now greater by 2.8. This is wonderful news and I am proud of our studnets who did so well."

The whole Dean's message can be viewed at:
http://uclasod.dent.ucla.edu/NewsEvents/main.asp?id=514

I'm not going to say anything else, instead, I will leave it up to you. It is like a Rosarch's Inkblot Test.