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which one would you go?

  • USC

  • Loma Linda

  • Midwestern


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newmanchster

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I am torn between these three schools. I have created pros and cons of each school to try to help me decide. I am mostly trying to decide between USC and Midwestern. I am very much leaning to Midwestern. please share your thoughts about each school and tell me what you recommend. I greatly appreciated if you can answer any questions. thank you for your help.
USC

Pros:


  • It truly is EXCELLENT clinically. Copied → Students handed dental handpieces on the first day, completed amalgam, composite, and single unit fixed prosthodontics within the first year. In second year, students have completed multiple unit fixed posterior prosthodontics, endodontics, orthodontics, removable prosthodontics, anterior fixed prosthodontics, anesthesia, and periodontics. Furthermore, student have had CAD CAM and Dental Implant didactic and clinical training. Throughout the first two years, student have spent anywhere from 60 to 80% of our time in school in the sim lab. Student see their first patients (for perio) during the first year and are on the clinic floor seeing patients at full capacity at the end of our second year.

  • Really close to home

  • Free time and balanced lifestyle

  • Strong alumni support, supposedly!


Cons

  • Very expensive

  • PBL could be a problem for me, though I heard that it is more of a hybrid system now?

  • Is in the middle of LA with all the traffic: I hate traffic ( my experience is 1 hour traffic for 20 mile commute)

Would like to know:

1-What additional information do you have that you think I should know/ consider?

2-how is the curriculum. The posted curriculum states what subjects are taught each quarter but does not state what is lecture and what is PBL? How much PBL is still there?

3-want to hear from students about honest openions whether they liked PBL, hated PBL, or did not like it but learned to leave with it? And whether you would recommend PBL and USC to your brother and sister to take?

4-I have heard rumors that USC faculty are a bit rude/ not super helpful, is there any truth to that?




Midwestern-Arizona


Pros:


  • Midwestern presented themselves as technologically advanced school and that definitely showed in their clean labs. Everything was very new and organized.

  • No specially program which allow students to do much higher number of root canals, implants, etc.

  • Friendly staff as per my experience

  • Cheapest of the three but not by much.

  • Big focus on graduating good general dentist and nothing else.

  • You get your own chair

  • You do not need to purchase any teeth or other material for practice. It is all provided for you.

Cons:

  • Fairly new school with not much reputation to offer, i do not know how bad/important is this.

  • Still fairly expensive

  • Super hot summer in arizona

  • Slightly further from home but not too far (300-ish mile)

  • No research but that is not an issue for me as i do not plan to participate anyway

Would like to know:

1- What additional information do you have that you think I should know/ consider?

2-if possible to hear from dentists that already graduated or current students, how good do you feel about your education there? How confident and prepared do you feel?

3-when do you start practicing with your hands?

4-what are somethings that you like/donot like about the school?



Loma Linda


Pros:


  • Super friendly staff. Students seems to be in a very close and good relationship with the staff.

  • Good clinical program from what I have heard

  • Large patient pool

  • Close to home

Cons:

  • Will need to take a 2nd quarter of biochem and since I probably cannot get into the class as graduate I will have to take a whole semester online at newengland U for +1000$.

  • Many restrictions on life style which are not deal breaker but certainly annoying.

  • Mandatory religious classes.

  • Somewhat old/dirty labs

Would like to know:

1- What additional information do you have that you think I should know/ consider?

2-if possible to hear from dentists that already graduated or current students, how good do you feel about your education there? How confident and prepared do you feel?

3-when do you start practicing with your hands?

4-what are somethings that you like/donot like about the school?
 

Jalah

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bump.. would like to know the answers to your questions about USC too
 

Zaria92

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I was in your situation about three years ago I had to make a decision between those WesternU,usc,Loma Linda,and midwestern and I choose Midwestern because I just had got a really good vibe from the school.As a Dental student here I would say the school is great,faculty are very helpful.for example I was having a hard time with one of my wax ups and one of the faculty members literally spent Saturday's and his days off to help me master it.Best decision I ever made and I was born and raised in Los Angeles
 

Cello

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I am a current D2 at MWU-AZ. Feel free to pm me if you like. To answer your question, when do we start using our hands? We started in the SIM clinic on our first day of class. We did our first endo access our 2nd week if I remember correctly.
 

lemoncurry

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Given the pros and cons that you listed, it seems MWU is the best choice. If I weren't already living in Loma Linda when I was accepted, I would have chosen MWU. Out of all the schools that I applied to and/or interviewed at, MWU and VCU were my favorites.
 

newmanchster

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I was in your situation about three years ago I had to make a decision between those WesternU,usc,Loma Linda,and midwestern and I choose Midwestern because I just had got a really good vibe from the school.As a Dental student here I would say the school is great,faculty are very helpful.for example I was having a hard time with one of my wax ups and one of the faculty members literally spent Saturday's and his days off to help me master it.Best decision I ever made and I was born and raised in Los Angeles
I am a current D2 at MWU-AZ. Feel free to pm me if you like. To answer your question, when do we start using our hands? We started in the SIM clinic on our first day of class. We did our first endo access our 2nd week if I remember correctly.
Hello Zaria and Cello. Can you please share your experience in Midwestern. Share what you liked and disliked about the school. How prepared you feel the school is making you. Thanks.
 

newmanchster

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Given the pros and cons that you listed, it seems MWU is the best choice. If I weren't already living in Loma Linda when I was accepted, I would have chosen MWU. Out of all the schools that I applied to and/or interviewed at, MWU and VCU were my favorites.
I am most likely going to Midwestern due to the professional and comradery vibe I got from the school and the super nice clinic and labs. Additionally, while tuition are similar, cost of living in Arizona is significantly lower that SoCal. Lots of people are telling to go USC but I fell that USC only got the name going for it. their school is strong clinically but weak in the theory aspect as I was told from a USC alumni seasoned dentist. All in all it seems that Midwestern is a better fit for me.
 
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newmanchster

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bump.. would like to know the answers to your questions about USC too
I contacted a current USC student and here is what that student had to say:
1) "You are right, USC is incredibly strong when it comes to clinical experiences and the balanced lifestyle was an excellent way to adjust to the dental school curriculum. Clinical-wise, a lot of our faculty are prominent figures in their field, so we are exposed to a lot of the latest technology in such a continuously changing field. We get exposure to CAD/CAM technology as early as fall of second year. A number of other schools never get to experience this. Many of my friends who've graduated in the past have not gone on to residencies and have been able to work right out of school because of our strong clinical background. Balanced-lifestyle wise, this made for a first year of dental school that I truly enjoyed. I was able to stay on top of lab and PBL work, and still had time to go hiking, hit the beaches, explore new restaurants, and travel. I even had classmates who were hygienists that were able to find time to work the first year. Now, for your question regarding things you should know about USC. We are probably the strongest dental school (that I know of) when it comes to community engagement. We have two dental clinics downtown that serve the homeless population where we can do fillings, onlays/inlays, root canals, dentures, and deep cleanings...two trailers that move to various local elementary schools that provide dental care for children. We also have an incredible Mobile Dental Clinic. Mobile has three trailers, one of which is the largest mobile dental trailer in the country. This has made for experiences in treating children of migrant families in rural areas of central and southern California such as Bakersfield, Lindsay, Escondido, etc. Furthermore, we have a number of outreach programs that travel abroad for dental service. That said, USC provides numerous opportunities for community engagement, more than I know of any other dental school in this country. Another great thing about USC is that we have a very high passing rate for boards. 99% of my class passed part I of the National Boards Dental Exam (NBDE). A number are still studying for part II, but so far, many have passed with no problems. One thing I do truly love about USC as well is that it is very laid-back, students are very friendly and more often than not will help each other out in lab and during exam weeks. I have certainly met many of my life-long friends during dental school. It has been an incredible experience to be surrounded by so many like-minded, compassionate, hard-working, yet fun-loving individuals."
2) "Your first two years, you will have PBL twice a week. For example, it will be Monday and Friday mornings. These sessions will cover a variety of topics from dental materials to radiology to immunology to all systems of the human body. Case studies usually last anywhere from 2-3 weeks. It will essentially be you and seven other classmates along with a faculty member/facilitator. For lectures, these are usually on Tuesday where the faculty from the lab courses will lecture about various dental materials, procedures, dental anatomy, etc. Other lectures will be guest who will present on some of the latest technology or perhaps lectures for the number of modules we will have such as behavioral dentistry, cultural competency, etc."
3) "PBL honestly isn't for everyone, however, I preferred it since I'm much more engaged in small-group settings than a lecture. My mind tends to wander during lectures and I don't get much out of it. But during PBL, you are responsible for contributing to the discussion and I felt I got a lot more out of that. There were some days I did hate PBL, but that was mainly during the weeks leading up to exam weeks because there was so much lab work/studying I needed to do and the facilitators would drag out the sessions longer than it really needed to go. Otherwise, the PBL curriculum worked for me the other times of the year. It lead to much for flexibility in your learning and more time to study. I absolutely loved having half days several times a week and Thursday off. I loved just having two exams weeks rather than midterms scattered throughout the trimester. If my siblings were interested in dental school, I'd recommend USC over and over. It was everything I wanted in a dental school experience and more."
4) "Yes, there is some truth to that and is rather inconsistent. Some you will just catch on a bad day. Others just have favorites here and there. But those are mainly those who are volunteering. The faculty who administer the courses and supervise on the clinical floor are mainly great. It really is what you put into it. Some classmates will develop close relationships with faculty that become their mentors. Others will just interact with faculty for the feedback, grading, etc. But I've yet to see a faculty member out to really screw someone over. One good thing I see about this during the first two years is that you really get experience in learning how to deal with all different kinds of people before getting onto the clinical floor. Life skills that one would be able to apply to their career after USC and so forth."
5) "I feel confident enough to be able to work for a dental office like a bunch of other classmates. However, I have seen some that didn't feel quite confident, but they excelled in their one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) and General Practice Residency (GPR, also one year long). So far I've done four root canals and will do two more this upcoming trimester. I have classmates who have done more than that, but four is the minimum you'd need to graduate. In terms of indirects, we need to do a minimum of nine which include inlays/onlays and crowns. Of those nine, minimum of three must be crowns. I will have done three by graduation, but as I've said, there are classmates who have done a lot more crowns than that. It really depends on your patient pool, but I can ensure people do graduate on time or by mid-June at the latest"
 
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PTSD

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USC has a large patient population due to location and a relatively high number of graduation requirements (#crowns, rcts, ect) so you will graduate with experience Also, it's not one of the johnny come lately schools that threw open its doors after realizing people with bad grades will pay anything to be a dentist so there is an alumni base/history. However, the debt is crushing and absolutely not worth it unless you're on scholarship, you're family's loaded or you're super connected finding employment after graduation.
 
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