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Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by intothesky, Dec 3, 2008.
I got into both and I'm in state at Maryland. Any ideas? Money isn't really a big factor.
what factors are you considering. Pros and cons of each...
Penn I hear is great for specializing, which I may consider in the future. It also is an ivy league (the name) and is located in a much safer environment.
Maryland is much cheaper as i am in state and much newer. I know many people that will be attending next year, and also my family would be close (specifically parents).
I'm currently torn between these two schools also. I would really appreciate others' input. I'm out of state and I did get the Dean's Scholarship at Penn. Penn is also 1 hour away from my house, which is a big selling point for me. It's just really hard to say no to all of those awesome gadgets, and you can't put a price on being able to work in a brand new building with windows instead of sitting in the basement. I'm glad I have the options, but it's a tough decision.
cm5796, would u choose md over penn if u were instate at md?
hey cm5796! i think i sat next to you during the orientation at the penn interview. CONGRATS on the acceptance AND the dean's scholarship - that's quite an honor. i was really really hoping to get a scholarship too, but let's face it... my gpa is losing that battle for me
i'm also in the same dilemma as far as penn vs maryland (i'm hoping UNC is thrown into that mix within the next few days; columbia is at the bottom of that list since i just wasn't feeling NYC or columbia's facilities AT ALL), but in my case, cost is really looking like it's the deciding factor for me. i just can't rationalize spending 100-150k more for a penn dental education.
that aside, i think the next big issue between upenn and maryland is the "high specialization rate" at penn. i put that in quotes b/c after you take out GPRs and AEGDs, i really don't know if the difference is really as big as penn makes it out to be... i wish we could get some input from people who are currently in specialty programs so we can get an idea of how admissions members of post-grad programs feel. penn provided us with a chart of the breakdown of how many students got into each specialty, but that maryland didn't provide that info, so i'll have to see what i can dig up on that!
a related issue is research ops since specialty programs seem to love to see that. well... no contest here b/c i think that IS the strength of penn's program - tremendous research opportunities with faculty that are passionate about research. i don't think maryland can really offer a similar research experience.
next on my list is facilities... hands down maryland wins, despite all the new clinics that penn is putting in and their ongoing campaign to raise millions for rennovations. i just think about the "dungeon" where we'd be spending the majority of D1/D2, and it makes me shudder, haha.
then comes faculty. i've had the chance to talk to dr. meehan (asst. dean of admissions) at maryland multiple times, and if she represents the type of faculty that we'll get to work with at maryland... i'm sold. i also have a friend who is a D3 at maryland now, and she has nothing but GREAT things to say about maryland's program, the faculty, and baltimore.
this is another thing that i need to find out more about: penn's clinic seemed a little chaotic and based on what our tour guide told us, you really don't get any hands-on patient exposure until late in 2nd year (or maybe not even until 3rd year), whereas maryland's "vertically integrated" clinical curriculum essentially encourages very early patient exposure by allowing D1 and D2s to "assist" the upperclassmen. it doesn't seem like you get your own chair at all at penn (and scheduling a chair seems like it's a bit crazy), whereas maryland i think you do (or a D3 and D4 share... i'll have to ask my friend about this). i also need to find out what the breakdown of grad requirements (by procedure) for each of these schools is b/c that does make a difference. my friend also told me that the patient base at maryland has been unbelieveable since the school is located in the heart of a city, and that she's had the chance to see such a wide variety of cases... i'm sure the patient base at philly is pretty good too, but i don't have any first-hand info about that.
that's it from me now... i'll allow others to chip in their 2 cents! hope that helped somewhat!
to the OP - relax - you cannot go wrong with either school!
Congrats wherever you decide to go!
Personally i am leaning towards Maryland myself - i think the new technology and physical plant (+ the new campus center acros the street that will be finished by next fall - you cannot forget that!), faculty, camarderie among students - it is collegial and not 'cut throat' competition, size, curriculumn structure, boards after year 1, community service and mission opportunities, access to nondental activties like intramurals against the other UM professional school teams, and the overal "culture" of the school fits the bill for me. Plus, i really like the city of b-more! I have lived in DC for years now, but B-mo' is much more my type of town. Plus it has a very reasonable cost of living, much cheaper than philly. anybody that says that the dental school is in a bad neighborhood is a silver spoon whiny doof. the area is fine. its location is a huge plus for the school. fortuitous as opposed to strategic, the location is in an area where access is so easy - for both patients within the city (esp lower income folks from the westside) and coming into the city from 95 (its right off MLK, access is sooo easy). I think this helps the school retain a ton of patients - that is from friends of mine that are students there now.
Anyway, i am deciding between maryland and tufts (and uconn, if i get in) and i have bascially created an exel spread sheet with the +'s and -'s of each. It helps!
best of luck moving forward!
Congrats on your acceptances! I know the road to the dental school acceptance is a long one and you've gotta be feeling great right now! As a current Maryland D2 student, I just wanted to offer some advice as you choose b/t the two schools.
It seems that a lot of people seem to get caught up in the idea of specializing and that Maryland won't give you the advantage Penn will. As someone mentioned above, "specialization rates" are incredibly flawed and include students who choose to do gpr's/aegd's/armed forces in addition to the standard specialties we all know about. I can tell you without doubt Maryland is just as competitive. I can't tell you how many seniors I know that are going into post grad programs! Beyond all of that, specialization is a CHOICE, meaning not 100% of students want to specialize, so all these crazy numbers schools throw out about how many of their students have no weight on whether or not a school will actually give you an advantage...the majority of it has to do with personal choice and how hard you're willing to work to pursue whatever post grad program you want to be in.
What I can tell you about Maryland is this, I love it here. I don't get paid to say this or props from Dr. Meehan for posting on this site. Maryland was the first dental school in the world and yet is one of the most technologically advanced today. Administration and faculty are willing to keep up with the times, listen to the students to make improvements and are not stuck in 1980. To say that Maryland doesn't provide research opportunities is also nuts, as its the #3 NIH funded dental school (hell, even the Discovery Channel was filming here the other day).
Beyond those standard misconceptions, I hope you consider some of the unique opportunities Maryland provides. All students are required to complete an externship in their senior year which can be anywhere from the local VA to international (some seniors this year were in Australia, Japan, the Dominican Republic, just to name a few). We also are opening a clinic in Cecil County, Maryland, where students will stay for 3 weeks at an endowed estate (MANSION) and practice dentistry in yet another BRAND NEW FACILITY and treat more patients.
For final thoughts, do not think of Baltimore as what youve heard/seen of on the wire. When you come to visit, check out the inner harbor, Fells Point, Canton and Federal Hill
these are all great areas that students live in. The reality is that Baltimore is a major city and with that comes the issues that any major city has. In sum, Ive worked hard and partied hard here. I am part of an outstanding student body that is supportive and friendly. I hope wherever you decide you find a great fit! PM me if you have any other questions!
Both are great programs. I would definitely choose the cheaper of the 2 if I were you, unless the price difference is within $20,000.
Those that say you have less of a chance specializing if you go to MD are full of it. You will have to work your tail off at whatever school you go to in order to get into a competitive specialty. Maryland is no exception. Luckily for me, I'm attracted to GP so I'm crusin.
Also, don't choose a school based on the technology. Yes, at MD we have new stuff and I would be bloody liar if I said I don't like using the electric hand pieces, having all my prep dimensions and demo videos on a personal flat screen in pre-clinic, and the plethora of windows that provide a glimmer of hope when trying to set denture teeth. But, I would choose a school based on the feel you got from the students and faculty. In the long run, how happy you are will have more to do with that than all the fancy gadgets.
Congrats on getting into 2 solid programs. I'm a happy 2nd year at Maryland; how many other D2s at other dental schools can say the same? Maybe I'll see ya next fall.
Friends of mine who are currently attending Penn have told me that during the clinic rennovations a temporary dental clinic will be set up in the back of the school. The temporary clinic will consist of a series of trailers. No joke. Imagine moving from Penn's pre-clinical dungeon to a trailer for 3rd and 4th year. FWIW
good luck on OPAT friday, ahahaa
Wow, I wasn't aware of that - thanks Dent2011!
Just like hoss19, I've created pro/con lists for each school in Excel, and as I get more and more input, the "pro" list for Maryland is getting longer and longer
Thanks to all of the current Maryland students that replied to this thread - your input is invaluable. For any of you that are out-of-state at UMD, do you have any idea how difficult it is to get in-state residency in Maryland, or what exactly you need to do to get in-state status? Thanks!
I appreciate all of the advice from this thread. I still have a difficult decision, so I may be making a trip to both schools this weekend to take another look and talk to some people there.
PSU, I remember you from the Penn interview, it seems like such a long time ago now! Congratulations on all of your acceptances, it seems from your posts that you're in a very good place now. Best of luck in, what I'm sure, will be a difficult decision!
i am thinking about doing the same. did you set up your visit with the admissions office or are you just meeting up with people you know there?