UCLA vs. UCSF

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Bruin2k, Jan 9, 2002.

  1. Bruin2k

    Bruin2k Member

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    For those of you who are deciding between UCLA and UCSF, let me know where you are going and WHY? I have been struggling with this for a long time and I still cannot come up with a decision.
     
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  3. ayoon80

    ayoon80 Member

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    hey, i just finished interviewing with both ucla and ucsf, and i'm now having the same dilemma! I've heard positive and negative things about both schools

    ucsf:
    -prestigious name
    -cheapest CA dental school
    but:
    -no parking
    -expensive/scarce housing
    -cramped facilities
    -extremely conmpetitive for grades

    ucla:
    -pass/no pass grading (yay)
    -nice location
    but:
    -vertical team setup in the clinic makes it hard for 1st and 2nd years to get variety in clinical experience
    -patients are hard to attain
     
  4. ricegirl

    ricegirl Senior Member

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    Just curious,

    SF is a smaller city than LA, and SF has 2 dental schools as well, so why is it that UCLA is the school with the reputation of having a limited patient pool?

    thanks -
    ricegirl :D
     
  5. StarGirl

    StarGirl .....

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    if you live in beverly hills, a porsche, a guest house, a credit card that has no limit, would you go to a student dentist?
     
  6. tinker bell

    tinker bell 1K Member

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  7. Henna

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Hi,
    What I've heard abt UCSF is that ,,its got great rep .... the staff is extremely helpful & polite & that they go out of their way to help the students.
     
  8. From many students and professors that I've talked to at UCSF, I think it's an outstanding school. In the beginning I was leaning towards a private school because the professors were really helpful and nice. However, during my interview, I saw that the professors were really actually nice!!! This is a state school, as you already know, they are almost second to last in amt of money they get from the state per student. So many of these professors want to be there to help future DDS. One professor told me that he took pics at his clinic so that he can show some actual cases to his students. Also, if you look at their directory, over 90% of faculty are alumni of UCSF School of Dentistry. Dental school is what you make of it. You're going to have those tough or arrogant professors whereever you go. And competition isn't always bad. It drives a person to do as best as he/she can. UCSF is one of the top schools, you can't expect it to be an easy ride. :) :D
     
  9. Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S.

    Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S. Junior Member

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  10. koreangrL

    koreangrL Junior Member

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    hey Bruin 2K, i read on the othr post that you decided on ucla...wat made you choose ucla over ucsf??? I'm curious, since I'm trying to make the same decision!
     
  11. Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S.

    Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S. Junior Member

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    Greetings, as a graduate of U.C.S.F., I was asked by a person on this board to comment on life after dental school. The trials and tribulations of a professional career, and the available paths one can take. I chose to associate in the Bay Area. In the Bay Area, if you are right out of dental school, associating with someone can be difficult. Most of the time the dentists want someone with experience. My suggestion if you want to practice in the Bay ARea, is do temp hygiene. This may sound like a step down. But it isn't really. It's a great way to find a practice to associate with. You get to see how the office is run, how the business aspect is run, and also the dentistry that is done. I was offered many associate positions this way. UCSF has an outstanding reputation, so as far as being offered associate positions, this will help you immensely. I would discourage opening your own practice right away. The reason is, the overhead is extremely high. Unless you are going to actively seek a demographic location that is outstanding for new practices. I had friends that worked with Western Dental, etc. for a couple years, they said it was a nightmare, and a dental mill. Basically, my experience was (and I tried out a few associateships before I found the right one), that many of the positions were paid on collection and production. You are on the low end of getting large cases, because of the owner/doctor. So, often times I made more money seeing 8 patients doing temp hygiene; than I did at some of these "associate" positions that were going no where. Remember, it is very important to perform dentistry in an outstanding facility, ie. well run practice. You are still liable as the treating doctor,no matter who you work for. Always do your best dentistry, which is what UCSF will remind you of daily :) .
    Overall, I would definitely encourage you to seek areas where dentistry is under served. You will definitely do well, be a big fish in a small pond, grow a practice, help a community. I will probably be in a position to do that in a couple years when my children are grown. You definitely will live a comfortable life as a dentist.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. ayoon80

    ayoon80 Member

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    Hi Dr. Kitterman,
    Thankyou for posting on this board! Your posts have been very informative. I was wondering if you specialized after graduating from ucsf? I am interested in going into orthodontics, however I heard that ucsf is incredibly competitive, and since you are assessed by class rank, I heard it was very difficult to get into a post-grad program. I'm not sure how ucsf would compare to ucla (which has pass/no pass) or other smaller private schools in this aspect. Your input would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
     
  13. Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S.

    Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S. Junior Member

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  14. Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S.

    Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S. Junior Member

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    Just a couple more gems for you all contemplating UCSF or UCLA. My husband attended med school at UCSD, pass/fail. They also had instituted pass/fail/honors. This was problematic, because most of the exams were graded on a curve. So, when you have 200 very gifted students taking an exam, you better be within the bell curve to pass the class. Also, the honors was instituted for those intending to go on to a specialty. So, it was P/F, but it was deceiving as well.

    Also, if you are contemplating UCSF, and wonder what the rental availability is like, off campus, or close to campus, I would advise you to take a look at this link:

    <a href="http://www.Craigslist.com" target="_blank">http://www.Craigslist.com</a>

    This is a community bulletin board, where you can post classifieds. It's a great way to find an apartment, car, used microwave, etc.... And to get a feel for what the community is like. Many of the students post ads for patients on here for the boards. There is also a student bulletin board in the Student Union building, that posts rentals as well. Rent is very high, and parking is expensive. You want to live near or on campus, you will be putting in some late library nights, or lab nights. Also, the fraternity houses have rentals as well. You can contact them. Psi Omega, Xi Psi Phi (Zips), and the Delts. If you are thinking about off campus and commuting, consider Pacifica, it's a 20 minute drive, and no traffic. Rents are less, and it's beautiful there. Hope this helps.
     
  15. Henna

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Hi ! Kirsten Kitterman,
    Thanks a lot for the info & the link ....that really helped me .
     
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  17. chocobo

    chocobo Senior Member

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    I think I posted about this before, but UCLA's exams are not on a curve. At the beginning of the quarter, the instructor tells us what straight % we need to pass the class. So almost everyone passes with a normal P. To get EP (exceptional pass), it's usually curved so that maybe the top 5-10% of the class get EP.

    I really do like this system of grading and my classmates seem to like this as well. We think it reduces the stress level during exam times. If you want EPs, you can focus on certain classes in which you think you can get EP. In the other classes, you can just try to study however much you need to pass the class, instead of having to worry about whether you're going to end up with a B or a C or whatever.
     
  18. Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S.

    Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S. Junior Member

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  19. ayoon80

    ayoon80 Member

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    hey everyone,
    I remember talking to someone at UCLA during my interview and they told me the EP's are only seen by UCLA post-grad programs but not by other schools. I'm not sure if this is true however, I believe that's what they said. So if you wanted to apply to other post-grad programs, they would have no idea what EP's you have, and they would primarily base your application on your board scores. At UCSF, your ranking in your class would be a factor, since everyone is given letter grades. Anyone hear anything different?
     
  20. chocobo

    chocobo Senior Member

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    It is true that to get an EP, you have to do better than the majority of your classmates.

    I agree with you that a cutthroat atmosphere is not created because of the grading system. I think it's the personality mixture of the students in the class that give rise to cutthroat or a laidback atmosphere. Our class had the highest entering stats in the nation for that year, but we aren't cutthroat. Students are studious and try to do well w/o the "premed" kind of mentality (ie we actually do help each other out). In any case, I still think the stress factor is lower on our P/NP system than the regular graded system.

    I honestly cannot say whether I would feel competent to apply my knowledge gained from didactic courses, if I barely passed. (Most people don't just barely pass. They pass with a comfortable margin). This is because I'm not sure exactly what we really will need to know to be a competent dentist. I am taking gross anatomy right now, and I seriously question whether knowing the innervation to the flexor pollicis longus is important for us future dentists. I doubt that currently praciticing dentists can even identify the flexor pollicis longus on a cadaver.

    As far as the national board (part I) goes, UCLA ranks usually #2 or #3 in the nation, so there's really nothing to worry about there. Sure, if you barely passed all of your classes, you might not even pass the boards. But who knows. Since I haven't taken the boards yet, I cannot say from my personal experience (and I dont' aim for barely passing kind of grades). What I have heard from upperclassmen is that our school absolutely over prepares us for the boards by making our didactic classes much more extensive & detailed than what is needed for the boards. So you can theoretically say that just because you barely passed a class, that doesn't necessarily mean you did not learn all of the important things. It could possibly mean that you just did not retain all the nitty gritty details of every single protein needed in the initiation of transcription, for example. (It's just like an 75% at some community college is not comparable to a 75% at, say, Harvard. It depends on the relative difficulty level of the class at the particular school). Anyhow, I really doubt that people who are just trying to pass a class aim for the bare minimum. People generally want to pass with a comfortable margin to make sure that they do pass.

    Dr. Kitterman,
    What do you think one really needs to know to be a competent dentist (as far as didactic classes go)? I'm curious because I'm still a student and I'm doubtful of how important some of our didactic classes are.

    ayoon,
    I have heard something similar from upperclassmen about the worth of EPs when applying to post grad programs. Other post grad programs would still know about EPs though, if there are UCLA students applying because the students turn in resumes with a listing of courses in which they got EPs. EPs may be helpful for the post grad programs when comparing students from UCLA. I think the associate dean told us that the top 10 ucla students do get ranked end of 3rd year (?) and the remainder do not. I can't really remember any specifics though.
     
  21. waiting

    waiting Senior Member

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    chocobo,

    Yes, I heard the same thing about the top 10 students getting ranked at the end of third year...You raised some very good points and, to be honest, you've made me reconsider UCLA again! just found out my deposit check's been cashed, so I guess I should think about it some more before sending the withdrawal letter and getting the refund...gotta go back to using my median n. on my flexor pollicus longus for now :D
     
  22. Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S.

    Kirsten Kitterman D.D.S. Junior Member

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    I think when you are in dental school, and immersed in didactic courses, you will question the worth of having to know minutia. However, you will be surprised that your hard work and efforts will payoff when you are a practicing dentist, not just passing the boards. Yes, there were times I questioned why I was taking all those didactic courses. Now out of dental school, I understand why. It's the discipline and the process that got me through the years that extends to my excellence and success as a dentist.
     
  23. Chewy

    Chewy New Member

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    Does anyone know what the difference between an alternate and a regular interviewer? And also does anyone know how long it takes after the regular interview before they contact you and you find out if you got into the school or not?
     
  24. chocobo

    chocobo Senior Member

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    I do hope that my hard work now will pay off in the end as it has for you, Dr Kitterman.

    Hey waiting, I just finished my midterms and I had to think hard for the innervation of that muscle. My brain is so fried right now and I'm totally sleep deprived. It's good that you know some anatomy. It'll really make things easier when you'll have to take anatomy in dental school.
     
  25. hopefully

    hopefully Member

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    This is an old thread, but I wanted to hear from those who finally decided on ucla over ucsf or ucsf over ucla and what you took into consideration when making your decisions. Thanks!
     
  26. Pebbs

    Pebbs Member

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    I'd be interested too!
     

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