As always, we have two sides of the coin represented by those who have a bias as a result of their own experience.
I'll try to be objective, but alas, I'm biased as well.
I want to pursue, for sake of extremism, the most competitive specialty, which I believe is ortho or OMFS. How difficult and competitive would that be at UF and UPenn?
Upenn- likely easier to apply to OMFS and Ortho and I'm sure the other specialties relative to UF.
UF- likely easier to apply to OMFS, Ortho, and all of the other specialities relative to a degree from many of the other dental schools out there
is UPenn basically a guaranteed since it's Ivy?
Specializing attitude- I'd say in my school only 10-15 ( out of 100ish) end up specializing.
I experienced this as well. In fact, I was on the other side of it and many of my fellow General Dentist colleagues would talk out of the side of our mouths against the gunners. To be honest, that's what ranking people does, it breeds competition and bad blood. no sense in hiding that. probably about 20% of our class specialized and almost everyone I know who was passionate
and did not get into their respective specialty (endo/ omfs/ ortho) and applied again
got in. the OMFS people who didn't get in had the hardest time It seemed but most of them decided too late in their D3 and D4 year to apply and simply didn't have a top rank by then or needed time to study for the test (CBSE I think it's called?) so they did an intern year. those with a spotty class rank (right at our below top 50%) had to do 2-3 intern years. But, those who had perseverance made it into their specialty
Not once did my school name come up during interviews.
my school name came up frequently. don't take anything you read on here and give it too much weight. although you can specialize in anything from anywhere, the idea that certain schools don't have a reputation is nonsense. UF, to my knowledge, has a great reputation.
I’m sure they have preconceived notions about your school though
UF has all of the specialty departments and likely a higher patient flow than Penn. If you have decent grades, I don’t think you’d be disadvantaged at all at UF when applying for residencies.
people argue this until their face turns blue. I am in the crowd that believes It is beneficial to have as many specialties associated with your school as possible for many reasons. networking is 1. Also, you likely will have a board certified professor in their respective field teaching you each and every subset of dentistry. I don't understand how this could be viewed as a disadvantage except for the fact some cases will be taken away from you and given to residents in that specialty. If you can see, than you can do. In the event an anterior implant restoration or difficult extraction gets taken away from you for the reason listed above just ask if you can assist the resident and you'll still get decent experience this way.
I will say I had a local OMFS come by to introduce themselves the other day. I have a weird habit of googling my local specialists and already knew this person went to UPENN for dental school. without baiting or prompting him, he said "UPENN does not train you well to become a general dentist." He elaborated on this further but I wont quote anything more at the risk of becoming inaccurate. this is one mans opinion, however, I think it Is worth sharing. he is an alum after all.
trust your gut when it gets to decision time. my bias? debt is bad. Paying $100k+ to get into specialty xyz straight out of dental school as opposed to (worst case scenario) waiting 1-2 years (while getting paid) would not be worth it for me. I really have a hard time understanding this topic since you are the same person with the same drive whether you go to Upenn or UF. There will be others wanting to do omfs or ortho at a public school, hang out with them. if you get sucked into the anti-specialty crowd at a public school than maybe you weren't meant to be ortho or omfs anyway? I was in the antispeciality crowd and I'm going back for a specialty after 4 years so it's not like you cant change your mind. just keep your class rank up.
many different paths to the same goal. some paths just have more debt.