Plopper

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ok, i've literally read every thread on this decision since 2000, i still can't make up my mind. Can anyone help lead me in the right direction?

i am thinking of specializing, but i'm going to wait and see once i'm in dental school if i really want to. So UConn, having the highest track record for specialties is appealing to me, but i've heard bad things about professors, the curriculum, how hard it is, and how there is a high failure rate meaning students have to repeat years

Thanks so much
 

klutzy1987

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Nicest School- Nova
Academically best school- Uconn
Friendliest School- UMDNJ

It all depends on what you want to do. Each school has their perks.
 
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DrReo

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Maybe a lot specialize due to the hard curriculum. If you're a CT resident, UConn will be significantly cheaper. Nova might be appealing due to the fact it's in Ft. Lauderdale. You'll have your life to pursue vacations like this or even practice in FL later. UConn is really cheap 25k/yr and Nova is double that, at least. You'll get the DMD, have to take CE classes later in life. Do it at the cheaper price. I'm really familiar with NJ, sorry.

That's my two cents.
 
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Plopper

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good points, i really liked UMDNJ and Nova, and UConn has scared me with the "very demanding curriculum" but i'm not sure if it is truly THAT much harder than all of the other schools.

i'm a CT resident so UConn's price is extremely attractive, even more so if i decide to specialize, but i want to make sure that it's not soo diffucult that i end up hating the next 4 years of my life, like how i've read posts of some UConn dental grads on here
 

GreenMudPhud

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ok, i've literally read every thread on this decision since 2000, i still can't make up my mind. Can anyone help lead me in the right direction?

i am thinking of specializing, but i'm going to wait and see once i'm in dental school if i really want to. So UConn, having the highest track record for specialties is appealing to me, but i've heard bad things about professors, the curriculum, how hard it is, and how there is a high failure rate meaning students have to repeat years

Thanks so much
1. Congrats on getting some acceptances, the hard part is officially over....until next fall.

2. Speaking from experience, UConn has some of the best professors around. They will go to GREAT LENGTHS to make sure that you are doing as well as you can.

3. The curriculum is one of the best, if not THE best in the country. Note that UConn just received a perfect score in every domain on its accreditation for the dental school.

4. The curriculum is challenging...isn't it supposed to be? Would you want a dentist that hasn't been challenged in their education?

5. With that being said, it is not impossible by any means. It takes work and dedication to do well, but I still have a very well rounded life. Also, the school preaches balance in your life. You can't help other people if you can't help yourself first.

6. The failing part is overblown. I personally know of 2 individuals that are repeating M1/D1 on the medical side, and I am not aware of any on the dental side.

7. The curriculum is set up in a way that rewards collegiality over competition, and success over failure. You will not be able to sleep through 75% of your lectures and still do well (it's professional school people), but it is very, very manageable.

I hope this eases your nerves a bit about the school. I hate seeing misinformation being spread around sometimes, and I hope that hearing it from someone who has the experience will help out.

Enjoy your decision making process!
 
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DrReo

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1. Congrats on getting some acceptances, the hard part is officially over....until next fall.

2. Speaking from experience, UConn has some of the best professors around, and will go to GREAT LENGTHS to make sure that you are doing as well as you can.

3. The curriculum is one of the best, if not the best in the country. Note that UConn just received a perfect score in every domain on its accreditation for the dental school.

4. The curriculum is challenging...isn't it supposed to be? Would you want a dentist that hasn't been challenged in their education?

5. With that being said, it is not impossible by any means. It takes work and dedication to do well, but I still have a very well rounded life. Also, the school preaches balance in your life. You can't help other people if you can't help yourself first.

6. The failing part is overblown. I personally know of 2 individuals that are repeating M1/D1 on the medical side, and I am not aware of any on the dental side.

7. The curriculum is set up in a way that rewards collegiality over competition. And success over failure. You will not be able to sleep through 75% of your lectures and still do well (it's professional school people), but it is very, very manageable.

I hope this eases your nerves a bit about the school. I hate seeing misinformation being spread around sometimes, and I hope that hearing it from someone who has the experience will help out.

Enjoy your decision making process!
These are some deep words, especially since he will be there for another seven years, but you heard it, Go Huskies!
 

Plopper

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1. Congrats on getting some acceptances, the hard part is officially over....until next fall.

2. Speaking from experience, UConn has some of the best professors around. They will go to GREAT LENGTHS to make sure that you are doing as well as you can.

3. The curriculum is one of the best, if not THE best in the country. Note that UConn just received a perfect score in every domain on its accreditation for the dental school.

4. The curriculum is challenging...isn't it supposed to be? Would you want a dentist that hasn't been challenged in their education?

5. With that being said, it is not impossible by any means. It takes work and dedication to do well, but I still have a very well rounded life. Also, the school preaches balance in your life. You can't help other people if you can't help yourself first.

6. The failing part is overblown. I personally know of 2 individuals that are repeating M1/D1 on the medical side, and I am not aware of any on the dental side.

7. The curriculum is set up in a way that rewards collegiality over competition, and success over failure. You will not be able to sleep through 75% of your lectures and still do well (it's professional school people), but it is very, very manageable.

I hope this eases your nerves a bit about the school. I hate seeing misinformation being spread around sometimes, and I hope that hearing it from someone who has the experience will help out.

Enjoy your decision making process!
wow, thank you so much, i think that's what i was looking to hear about the school. I was so concerned, because i actually know one of those 2 medical students repeating a year :scared: (a very smart person, and very hard working too, so that scared me that that could happen)

I just want to make sure i attend a school with a very supportive environment. At my college, i attend every lecture, and i love the faculty, very helpful and enthusiastic about teaching.

i've seen a lot of mud being slung at the school, and have heard stories about how UConn makes you memorize completely pointless stuff just to make the courses difficult.

thanks for the response
 

GreenMudPhud

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I just want to make sure i attend a school with a very supportive environment. At my college, i attend every lecture, and i love the faculty, very helpful and enthusiastic about teaching.

i've seen a lot of mud being slung at the school, and have heard stories about how UConn makes you memorize completely pointless stuff just to make the courses difficult.

thanks for the response
For the most part they are enthusiastic (some researchers never like teaching) and they are always supportive.

The memorization thing is just not true, and whoever you heard that from probably is an idiot. Learn stuff, then you don't have to memorize anything because there is no pointless information.
 

Plopper

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ok, that's good to hear, bc Dr. Thibadeua definitely scared me with the "we have the most difficult curriculum of any dental school"

i like the idea of being well prepared, bc it will force me to do well on the boards

so if you could pick between these three, you would certainly pick UConn?
 

RAK1987

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...I will most likely go there....!!!!!! :)
 

GreenMudPhud

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ok, that's good to hear, bc Dr. Thibadeua definitely scared me with the "we have the most difficult curriculum of any dental school"

i like the idea of being well prepared, bc it will force me to do well on the boards

so if you could pick between these three, you would certainly pick UConn?
Dr. T is probably right in saying that we have the hardest curriculum for dental students.

In terms of offering you advice on which school to choose, I know very little about other dental schools. I know about UConn because I am an MD/PhD student here, and thus, I can only speak on its behalf. Otherwise, all of my dental lowdown comes from my beautiful fiancee.
 

hoss19

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i believe the words from dr t. were "extremely demanding curriculumn"
 

Plopper

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...I will most likely go there....!!!!!! :)
excellent we'll be the two best people there, i think i'm going to attend, i'm about 95% sure right now. We'll have to meet up, i always like meeting people from SDN lol

Dr. T is probably right in saying that we have the hardest curriculum for dental students.

In terms of offering you advice on which school to choose, I know very little about other dental schools. I know about UConn because I am an MD/PhD student here, and thus, I can only speak on its behalf. Otherwise, all of my dental lowdown comes from my beautiful fiancee.
you've been so helpful, thank you so much, i had one other question. Would you happen to know how large the patient pool is? I've hear through the grapevine lol that there is somewhat of a problem attracting patients because it's in farmington (I thought it wouldn't be too bad seeing how close it is to Hartford, but i'm not sure)

Thanks so much

i believe the words from dr t. were "extremely demanding curriculumn"
haha, yes that was it, lol "extremely demanding curriculum" hopefully i'll get through it, but with P/F it can't be THAT bad right??
 
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GreenMudPhud

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you've been so helpful, thank you so much, i had one other question. Would you happen to know how large the patient pool is? I've hear through the grapevine lol that there is somewhat of a problem attracting patients because it's in farmington (I thought it wouldn't be too bad seeing how close it is to Hartford, but i'm not sure)
The location provides us a very unique clinical base. We have urban (Hartford), Suburban, and Rural areas all within 20 minutes. We get all of those patients. So I guess the answer is NO, there is no issue with the patient pool. You see patients from all walks of life, and there are plenty of them to go around. Not to mention all of the clinical outreach stuff we do for the Hartford area.

Think of it this way: UConn class size = 45 vs. other major schools 80-120

Less classmates = more patients for everyone to get their grubby little hands on...I mean to treat.
 

Plopper

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The location provides us a very unique clinical base. We have urban (Hartford), Suburban, and Rural areas all within 20 minutes. We get all of those patients. So I guess the answer is NO, there is no issue with the patient pool. You see patients from all walks of life, and there are plenty of them to go around. Not to mention all of the clinical outreach stuff we do for the Hartford area.

Think of it this way: UConn class size = 45 vs. other major schools 80-120

Less classmates = more patients for everyone to get their grubby little hands on...I mean to treat.
...it is an excellent school with an outstanding reputation, i just wanted to make sure that i was making an informed decision on where i would excel (i'm sure if i work hard enough that'll be anywhere)

thanks so much for your help
 

hoss19

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you've been so helpful, thank you so much, i had one other question. Would you happen to know how large the patient pool is? I've hear through the grapevine lol that there is somewhat of a problem attracting patients because it's in farmington (I thought it wouldn't be too bad seeing how close it is to Hartford, but i'm not sure)
they have clinic space through a connection in hartford where you can work too
 

PrimaryTooth

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I've been reading similar threads on making this decision as well, and I'd like to add my advice, even though it looks like you've decided almost for UConn. I'm at UConn for undergrad, state resident, and will most likely go to UConn for DSchool. Throughout my experience here, and my contacts with students and faculty at Farmington, I have a few things to add:

1. The curriculum is obviously challenging, but you'll learn a lot. It's not that the material is hard, from what I've heard, it's just that it's a large volume: "like drinking from a fire hydrant" is what I was told. It's ok though because it's P/F and the students help each other pass. Even during my undergrad experience, I can say honestly that UConn students want to see each other succeed. I was told ~5-10% of the class (2-4 people) fails each exam, and usually it's different people each time. They are given an opportunity to retake the exam (or portion of the exam) if they fail, and usually most pass the 2nd time.
2. The professors at UConn are wonderful. There are ~40 in your class, so each professor will get to know you very well. This is awesome when/if you chose to specialize, since you'll have people who know you very well to write your recs, etc. They will include much more detail about your character and your strengths in your recs.
3. You'll have ample opportunities (funded) to do research during the summers if you chose, also something to consider compared to the other schools if you want to specialize.
4. UConn and Hartford Hospital are officially merging. So, there's a brand new patient pool. Also, I know the clinics are always packed and it takes patients a long time to get appointments in Farmington as it is.
5. UCONN BASKETBALL!!!!! Need I say more?

Best of luck with your decision, and I hope to see you in the UConn SDM c/o 2013!!! (Hopefully you'll get a chance to make it to the open house in Jan to get a second look at the school!)
 

Plopper

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I've been reading similar threads on making this decision as well, and I'd like to add my advice, even though it looks like you've decided almost for UConn. I'm at UConn for undergrad, state resident, and will most likely go to UConn for DSchool. Throughout my experience here, and my contacts with students and faculty at Farmington, I have a few things to add:

1. The curriculum is obviously challenging, but you'll learn a lot. It's not that the material is hard, from what I've heard, it's just that it's a large volume: "like drinking from a fire hydrant" is what I was told. It's ok though because it's P/F and the students help each other pass. Even during my undergrad experience, I can say honestly that UConn students want to see each other succeed. I was told ~5-10% of the class (2-4 people) fails each exam, and usually it's different people each time. They are given an opportunity to retake the exam (or portion of the exam) if they fail, and usually most pass the 2nd time.
2. The professors at UConn are wonderful. There are ~40 in your class, so each professor will get to know you very well. This is awesome when/if you chose to specialize, since you'll have people who know you very well to write your recs, etc. They will include much more detail about your character and your strengths in your recs.
3. You'll have ample opportunities (funded) to do research during the summers if you chose, also something to consider compared to the other schools if you want to specialize.
4. UConn and Hartford Hospital are officially merging. So, there's a brand new patient pool. Also, I know the clinics are always packed and it takes patients a long time to get appointments in Farmington as it is.
5. UCONN BASKETBALL!!!!! Need I say more?

Best of luck with your decision, and I hope to see you in the UConn SDM c/o 2013!!! (Hopefully you'll get a chance to make it to the open house in Jan to get a second look at the school!)
wow, thanks primarytooth, i think i'm going to go to UConn. I'll definitely be there on the open house, will you?

I don't mind a large volume, but i just wanted to make sure that the "extremely demanding curriculum" wasn't the term for impossibly hard curriculum.

We'll have to meet up lol
 

PrimaryTooth

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Definitely will be there at the open house. "Extremely demanding curriculum" is a token favorite phrase of Dr. T's. It's his way of letting you know up front that it's not going to be the easiest. That being said, UConn's high board scores and reputation are in part due to this curriculum. If they accepted you, they have complete faith that you can handle it! See you at the open house!
 

Plopper

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Definitely will be there at the open house. "Extremely demanding curriculum" is a token favorite phrase of Dr. T's. It's his way of letting you know up front that it's not going to be the easiest. That being said, UConn's high board scores and reputation are in part due to this curriculum. If they accepted you, they have complete faith that you can handle it! See you at the open house!
looking forward to it, the more i think about it though, i know it's going to be hard anywhere, the only thing about it i don't like is having to disect the entire cadaver, minus the genitalia of course, but most other dental schools focus on the head and neck region....but oh well, hopefully if i choose to go to UConn i'll destro the boards and have my option to specialize if i decide to
 

btizzels

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looking forward to it, the more i think about it though, i know it's going to be hard anywhere, the only thing about it i don't like is having to disect the entire cadaver, minus the genitalia of course, but most other dental schools focus on the head and neck region....but oh well, hopefully if i choose to go to UConn i'll destro the boards and have my option to specialize if i decide to
Boards are going to be pass/fail so it really doesn't matter how you do on them. As long as you pass. BTW Nova does a full body anatomy course, and then you take a head and neck section.... speaking of which i should probably get back to studying for H and N since the final is tomorrow. Good luck deciding :)
 

Plopper

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Boards are going to be pass/fail so it really doesn't matter how you do on them. As long as you pass. BTW Nova does a full body anatomy course, and then you take a head and neck section.... speaking of which i should probably get back to studying for H and N since the final is tomorrow. Good luck deciding :)
good luck on your exam :D

i'm now back to undecided, not leaning towards UConn or any others ahh! i was reading older posts from 2006, and soo many D3's and D4's said that once you get into the clinic the faculty are just plain terrible, and will chastize/pick on you for the smallest insignificant things. They said that D1 and D2 years are hard, but manageable if you study

i'm very conflicted on where to go!
 

dentite12345

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Boards are going to be pass/fail so it really doesn't matter how you do on them. As long as you pass. BTW Nova does a full body anatomy course, and then you take a head and neck section.... speaking of which i should probably get back to studying for H and N since the final is tomorrow. Good luck deciding :)
The first part of the boards will not be pass fail for class of 2013
There is no way the committee will have time to make them that way
In the beginning of the cycle it was believed that they would be pass fail, a recent decision regarding postponing the boards until a solution to how to compare students for specialties has happened.
It is extremely unlikely boards will be pass fail according to all admission deans I have spoken to. They say maybe for class of 2014 now.

To the OP, I would take uconn, cheaper and still an excelent school. (I did not visit Penn though)
 
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DrReo

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good luck on your exam :D

i'm now back to undecided, not leaning towards UConn or any others ahh! i was reading older posts from 2006, and soo many D3's and D4's said that once you get into the clinic the faculty are just plain terrible, and will chastize/pick on you for the smallest insignificant things. They said that D1 and D2 years are hard, but manageable if you study

i'm very conflicted on where to go!
You don't cruise through dental school like you're in a caddy. I believe you read an outdated version of http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=575137 .
 

Plopper

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wow, because normally you have been very helpful, and i was a little surprised by your remark.

i'm not a "cry baby" i just want to make sure that i make the best, most well-informed decision i can. I don't want to look back and say i should have gone to ____
 

DrReo

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wow, because normally you have been very helpful, and i was a little surprised by your remark.

i'm not a "cry baby" i just want to make sure that i make the best, most well-informed decision i can. I don't want to look back and say i should have gone to ____
I wasn't referring to you. In fact, I was referring that the posts you may have read, should belong in that article. I understand your decisions and will you the best, but I'm just stating that people complain (especially online) and that if a few comments are acceptable, such as those.

Nevertheless, have a good day. I'm not that hostile :laugh:.
 

Sublimation

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Novaaaaa!!!! expensive but Ft. Lauderdale is beautiful. Go with NOVA :)
 

btizzels

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Ok well honestly if I were paying for school (Navy is paying for me) I would probably go with Uconn, I am sure they are a great school, but pretty much if you are going to a good school that is cheap you are way way ahead of the game as far as paying off those loans. If money is no object then go wherever. I am not sure how much Uconn is but I am sure it is probably at least 50K cheaper then Nova and Penn. But if you don't think you could be happy at Uconn then it might be worth spending the extra cash, because dental school is hard enough, you don't need to hate where you live. Just throwing that out for you to consider
 

Plopper

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I wasn't referring to you. In fact, I was referring that the posts you may have read, should belong in that article. I understand your decisions and will you the best, but I'm just stating that people complain (especially online) and that if a few comments are acceptable, such as those.

Nevertheless, have a good day. I'm not that hostile :laugh:.
haha, ok,my apologies, i'm sorry for misunderstanding, i was like "wow this guy is usually so helpful"

thanks though, you're right, there has been a lot of complaining/bashing on UConn, maybe due to the "extremely demanding curriculum?" haha

Ok well honestly if I were paying for school (Navy is paying for me) I would probably go with Uconn, I am sure they are a great school, but pretty much if you are going to a good school that is cheap you are way way ahead of the game as far as paying off those loans. If money is no object then go wherever. I am not sure how much Uconn is but I am sure it is probably at least 50K cheaper then Nova and Penn. But if you don't think you could be happy at Uconn then it might be worth spending the extra cash, because dental school is hard enough, you don't need to hate where you live. Just throwing that out for you to consider
yes, i guess that's what it comes down to...about 100-120K dollars difference.


Nova Cons:
Exspensive
chair issue in lecture/clinic
disorganized (i've heard that many times students/faculty don't know what they're supposed to be doing in pre-clinic resulting in them running around for 30 minutes trying to find out what they need/what they're doing)

UConn Cons:
extremely demanding curriculum causes high fail/repeat rate, also makes it unneccessarily hard (but MAY help with the boards?)
heard bad things about some teachers (but i guess that's everywhere)
teachers sometimes pick on students in clinic? (so i've heard, and make it difficult to finish competencies) (read posts by Holy Thursday lol wow) (although the few faculty i ran into seemed friendly enough)


would i be happy at UConn with these problems, or at Nova? I was also accepted into UMDNJ, i'm also considering their offer.
 

Plopper

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Go to UMDNJ... good clinic and cheap and not overly demanding didactic
but it's graded :scared:

UConn is probably harder with P/F than UMDNJ with graded?

how would my chances be if i determine in D3 that i want to specialize be if i'm not in the top 10% of the class at UMDNJ? Probably not as good as if i was at UConn and was middle to low of the pack with P/F? assuming 90+ board scores

i cruised through undergrad without really working and have a 3.7, and i only study about a day or two before an exam, so i feel that if i work hard continuously at any school i'll be fine...but i want to male sure that i make a decision for a school where i'll enjoy and thrive at.
 

TJNova2011

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but it's graded :scared:

UConn is probably harder with P/F than UMDNJ with graded?

how would my chances be if i determine in D3 that i want to specialize be if i'm not in the top 10% of the class at UMDNJ? Probably not as good as if i was at UConn and was middle to low of the pack with P/F? assuming 90+ board scores

i cruised through undergrad without really working and have a 3.7, and i only study about a day or two before an exam, so i feel that if i work hard continuously at any school i'll be fine...but i want to male sure that i make a decision for a school where i'll enjoy and thrive at.
You'll have to work hard regardless if it's pass/fail or graded, consider them as the same. One school might be easier in some regards and then more difficult in others. Weather you're not in the top 10 percent at UMDNJ (or Nova for that fact), will make specializing more difficult, of course. But that's why you do research, build strong faculty relationships, show leadership, etc to make your application standout. I think you're looking into the grading too much, all the schools are competitive and there is obviously no shortcuts. You need to accept that you will have to do (a lot) work, regardless of your decision. There's no cruising through dental school :laugh: and I'm sure other DI-D4 can agree with that!

Best of luck
 

Plopper

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You'll have to work hard regardless if it's pass/fail or graded, consider them as the same. One school might be easier in some regards and then more difficult in others. Weather you're not in the top 10 percent at UMDNJ (or Nova for that fact), will make specializing more difficult, of course. But that's why you do research, build strong faculty relationships, show leadership, etc to make your application standout. I think you're looking into the grading too much, all the schools are competitive and there is obviously no shortcuts. You need to accept that you will have to do (a lot) work, regardless of your decision. There's no cruising through dental school :laugh: and I'm sure other DI-D4 can agree with that!

Best of luck
oh absolutely, d-school is going to be hard, i'm definitely going in with the 110% effort mentality. It's just a difficult decision that i need to weigh the pros and cons of each school, and figure out exactly what i'm looking for in my education
 
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