UNC: Pros and Cons

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Mo007

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Hey Everyone

If you have something about UNC you would like to share, such as Pros and Cons, please post them.

Thanks

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Sam Spade

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I'm 97% decided on UNC. And trading in snowy winters, proximity to the NY Mets, etc, is no trivial measure. If you're not afraid to leave the Northeast, take a chance on Carolina. Great dental school distinguished by an exceptional faculty and its setting within a first-rate medical/academic environment. Peace.

Sam Spade
 
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spooky42

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Big Mets fan myself. IT was a good to see Andy leave the Bronx today.

I was going to apply to UNC but stayed with the northeast schools, other then Arizona.
 

dentaldork

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I agree with everyone about the great facility and top notch education that people have mentioned. However, during the interview day, I did not have a warm "welcoming" feel to it. I felt herded around like cattle. It felt very competitive (read "cutthroat" between students) , or at least that is what I gathered from the students, and they seemed to want to know "why they should take us" instead of "why we should choose them". I'm not sure if anyone else felt this, they just seemed rather stuck on themselves. So now i'm torn, do i take their offer or go outta state.....i'll have to think about it.
 

Sam Spade

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So I've been exposed. It's true. "Sam Spade" is a pseudonym owing to the prototypical 1940s detective novels, including "The Maltese Falcon," which is best known for the 1941 film featuring Humphrey Bogart cast in the leading role.

The real "Sam Spade" is in fact a 22-year-old beauty queen and former National spelling bee champion who lives on a farm with ten cats and a Jeep Cherokee, daydreaming about stem cells and dental appliances. But of course that is much less interesting.

"Sam Spade"
 

Sam Spade

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dentaldork: At the interview, I didn't feel unwelcome or get the impression of UNC students being exceedingly competitive. I did, however, feel that way in the preceding months when people were telling me I'd have no chance of admission applying out-of-state. I can certainly appreciate how a negative first impression on interview day could influence your decision, but I would encourage you to give UNC a second consideration.
 

dentaldork

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Thanks sam, I'm giving it some more thought and feel that maybe I was just looking into things too much. who knows... ha ha.
Anyway, congrads to everyone with fat envelopes!
 

NC2PA

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I interviewed last year at UNC, and i felt like their system "pressured" students into GP, and my mentor (a UNC alum) had warned me that the school has been very concerned with its overall image moreso than for the needs of the state. Of course, they bumped up the size of their class b/c the state legislature was threatening to put a dental school in at ECU.

Several students that i spoke with the night before the interview at their informal welcome party bluntly told me they weren't really happy with the program. (coming from 2nd years...so i'm sure a lot had to do with stress at the time.) They said they felt that a lot of classes were graded unfairly to depress grades and keep people in GP. however, i spoke to some kids who were seeking specialty and they said they were ostracized by the class for being gunners. of course, there were a lot of kids who loved the school.

That was just my experience and in no way reflects the school. it's a great school producing great dentists.

But since i was ultimately seeking specialty, and i found a school where student morale seemed great, i decided to suck it up and head north. no regrets here. :)
 

Mo007

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I think the Pros are: Tuition, Weather and program.
What could be the Cons?: All I heard so far was that, the school's competitive atmosphere, and lack of out-state students (who cares!).
 

politicallyRite

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Pros:
--tuition (for in-state students only, out-staters should expect to pay the high out-state rate for 4 years)
--good reputation
--high match rate to their own specialty programs (they love to take their own students)
--research
--good location, weather

Cons:
--clinical (third year: still lot of classes, minimal clinical exposure)
--fierce competition
--school also suffers state budget crisis-->reduced lab instructor/faculty
 

NewNameForGoogleBot

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I don't know how this got started but let me correct it again - almost all out-of-staters have residency for the second year and 100% by the third year.

Clinically the school is VERY strong as their main goal is to produce GPs for the state of NC. You may not get to assist as many third and fourth years as a freshman but that doesn't matter as much. You get your own patients summer between years 1 and 2 and start basic treatment. By second semester second year you are doing fillings and the like with crowns and other pros following not far behind. By the beginning of third year you have had lots of clinical experience in many different areas of dentistry and have two more years to go.

Competition - most people seem to be OK with things. If you want to go GP it's not too bad. If you want to specialize - it will be pretty competitive. I don't see how this is different from any other school, however.

If the school depresses grades, how does this force everyone into GP? You still have a class rank, even if the highest GPA is a 3.2. The bottom line is - grades don't matter, class rank does. LOTS of UNC students specialize.

Herded around like cattle I can understand. There are tons of people there on the interview days, but things are pretty well organized and I felt like my interviewers did a good job.
 

Sam Spade

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Actually, my impression has been that the UNC program suffers from grade inflation. According to a professor at the UNC School of Dentistry, the majority of students are earning As and Bs. I could imagine that would make it more difficult to specialize[elsewhere] if it's true that post-doctoral programs are screening applicants by class rank, since you'd likely need a near-flawless
transcript to be at the top of the class.

But as many have mentioned, the DDS program at UNC appears to have a special feeder relationship with its own specialty programs, which are - incidentally- all highly acclaimed as among the best in the country. Not a bad deal.. so what if it's all a gimmick to keep dental specialists in North Carolina?

And look, they're all good schools and you can specialize from every last one of them. In my opinion, there are at least four years of rigorous dental education standing between each one of us and the time when we should be worried about what we'll do after we graduate. Worry now about getting admitted and prepare to be a hardworking dental student. If you succeed in dental school, you'll have every career option available to you. Peace.

Sam Spade
 

politicallyRite

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Jaap,
I don't know where you got that 100% number. Don't let the FA people tell you that. Many of my friends there apply to residency every year, they are all denied each year. This has nothing to do with in-state students anway, and they only have a dozen seat for out-staters.

about clinical, take Temple for instance, their third year students spend most of the time in patient clinic, whereas UNC students spend most of the time in class. Just talk to some third year UNC students, ask them how many finals they just finished last Thursday.

UNC is a great school overall. If you plan to spend a year in GPR or AEGD, you should be fine.
 

Sam Spade

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Politically:
We must be speaking with different people. I have discussed this subject extensively with Mr. Thomas Luten, who chairs a committee that reviews residency applications at the School of Dentistry. He concedes that they have several third- and fourth- year students that continue to be responsible for out-of-state tuition, but that these are instances in which a student neglects critical - not to mention intuitive -aspects of the process (eg, forgets to transfer DL or other documents). He claims that they have never turned down a reasonable application for residency.

What exactly is your experience with this? Extremely relevant to my selection for dental school.

Also, regarding your last comment, a very low percentage of UNC graduates enter GPR/AEGD relative to graduating classes at other schools. I haven't been able to read into this. Does it mean that UNC students receive better clinical training, or that it's easier to get directly into practice in NC because of the shortage in this state (where UNC graduates typically practice)?

Sam Spade
 

UNCdentalguy

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I've got to disagree with the "lack of clinical experience" statement. Clinical education is the school's ultimate strength and one of the main reasons for the top notch dentists it graduates. We start treating (one on one), not assisting with, recall patients the summer after our first year. I just finished the first semester of my second year and already have five people assigned to my family of patients, for whom I'm responsible for the next 2.5 years. I've already done several operative restorations (by myself), and I'll be doing my first crowns in just over a month, during the spring semester of my second year. And all this experience does not include our required assisting rotations that begin during the first year summer. The clinical faculty are excellent and very helpful. We start our clinical education much earlier than some other schools, and it's reflected when the scores for part 2 of the NBDE are releases every year.

As for the competiveness, it all depends on your attitude and your approach to the experience. There are plenty of competitive people in my class who want to specialize, but there are also plenty of us content to be GPs (probably due to NC GPs making well above the national salary average). You're spending 40 hours each week with some of the brightest students in the country, so some competitiveness is inherent in the demographics. However, I think Carolina does an excellent job of recruiting "real people" to the school, i.e. people who are academically outstanding but can still hold a conversation with a patient or a classmate.

Any more questions? I'm happy to help!
 

politicallyRite

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Sam Spade,

from your statement, "several" people out of a dozen is a lot. and you would believe that, being an out-of-state student & especially when you're in third or fourth year, you would forget to change your DL in exchange for $30K/year?
regards,
PR
 

no2thdk999

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You have to carefully weigh what you read and who you read it from.

I had several classmates who paid full out of state tuition all four years despite a strong desire not to. Saving $20K/year is a big motivator to get your DL changed and I know all of them did. I would not count on 100% for sure getting in state residency your 2nd year (or third or fourth). Why even have out of state tuition rates if everybody gets it second year?

No clincal experience -- If anything UNC hedges on the other side and gives you not enough class time. Like has been said you begin treating prophy patients the first summer and can begin operative patients in the 2nd fall. You can actually see the third year's schedule at this link:

http://www.dent.unc.edu/academic/syllabus/dds3/calendar/index.cfm?startMonday=1/12/04

As you can see they have 6 three hour patient care slots per week plus electives which can be clinically focused in the spring. In the 3rd fall you have 5 patient care slots.

As for competiveness, it is pretty much class by class depending on the temperment of the students. If you want to specialize you will have to do well just like anywhere else. I guess I should say the cut-throat-ness is class by class. My class was a big family and everybody's test file was easily shared and most were willing to sit and assist you for 3 hours if they had no patient scheduled or theirs didn't show.

I don't know that you can read too much into the GPR/AEGD comment. I think everybody should do one if they can (ask me why) but on my rotations I met other students who had never done a bunch of stuff I was exposed to on a regular basis.

I would also agree that if anything there is mild grade inflation. A 3.0 in my class had you firmly in the bottom 50%.



JMHO
Rob
 

Sam Spade

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Thanks all. Regarding the residency question, I was simply relaying what I've been told by the residency committee at the UNC School of Dentistry. You can't get a more primary source. Do either of you have any idea what specifically kept these students from being approved for in-state tuition? How concerned should I be about this? I'm pretty much decided on attending UNC next year, but will definitely have to reevaluate if there is considerable uncertainty about the opportunity to establish residency.
 
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