May 25, 2013
253
36
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi all,
I know this is a very individual decision, but I'm curious what others would do in my position. UW and UoP are my top two choices, and I've received offers and scholarships at both. I'm having a hard time deciding which one is the best choice for me. I also have Harvard on my list, but I think it's a distant third at this point.

I loved UoP when I visited and I really like their clinical focus (and obviously the new building is going to be incredible), but I want to specialize and I think I want to go to UW for residency. UW is undergoing some major curriculum changes right now as well which sound great, but I am curious as to whether it will be a smooth transition. Another consideration is that my longtime boyfriend really needs to be in California for the next few years for his career, so we'd be long distance for another two years if I go to UW. My family is in WA but most of my friends are in SF.

Here are a few questions I have:
How much better is UoP clinically, really?
Is it risky to go to UW in the middle of the curriculum/clinical changes?
Would going to UoP hurt my chances of going to UW for residency?
Even with a significant UoP scholarship, is it better to go with the cheaper UW?
How is UoP's practice management curriculum?
 
Oct 2, 2013
358
97
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
From what I've heard from UOP Students, the clinical is good, but also very dependent on the individual. It's also not worth an exorbitant amount of debt from what they tell me.
Going to UoP will have very little effect on you going to UW for residency.
I think that if UW is cheaper than UoP by 45k or more, then you should go to UW. Remember UoP is located in an extremely expensive city.
I heard that most prac management classes at Dental schools are useless. You learn prac management in the real world.
 

kingenamel

5+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2013
413
111
Status
I'd go with UW, they have a strong program there and its cheaper. I don't think going to pacific will hurt your chances in getting UW residency but I would still pick UW.
 

Illfavor

5+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2012
1,137
390
Texas
Status
Pre-Dental
If this was me, I'd go to California and not think twice. Long distance relationships are terrible, and, for me, my wife is way way way more important to me than, well...anything. Your relationship dynamic may be very different than ours.
 
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OP
A
May 25, 2013
253
36
Status
Pre-Dental
If you are not going to get married, go UW. Unless with such commitment, no need to sacrifice your education that could affect for the rest of your life.
Yeah, we're planning on getting married after dental school, but I don't want to base my decision entirely around that.
 
Feb 25, 2013
93
10
Status
Pre-Dental
I personally would choose UOP since it's 3 years and the clinical experience you get from UOP cannot be beaten by UW. UOP is also one of the hardest and most competitive schools to get into so take it as a blessing and go to UOP.
 
OP
A
May 25, 2013
253
36
Status
Pre-Dental
I personally would choose UOP since it's 3 years and the clinical experience you get from UOP cannot be beaten by UW. UOP is also one of the hardest and most competitive schools to get into so take it as a blessing and go to UOP.
Should I trust you? Seems like by your username maybe you just want my spot at UW ;) haha (kidding)
 
Feb 25, 2013
93
10
Status
Pre-Dental
I personally already got into 3 schools. And I'm from Oregon so getting into UW would be a waste for me when I can go to OHSU which I was accepted into. I did do my undergrad at UW so I know the school well.

But I did apply to UOP and was hoping to hear back but didn't so since you did it's a great school. I have family members who went there and they loved it.
 

aqz

5+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2011
741
312
Status
Dental Student
I'd pick UoP if the scholarship is significant and comparable to UW's tuition. Even if it's 50k over, I'd probably still pick it.

The biggest reason is your relationship as there is already the possibility of marriage. Between UoP and UW, choosing one or the other is not going to jeopardize your chances of specializing/becoming clinically adept. I don't buy the whole rumor about UoP being a poor school to specialize from. You're smart enough to excel anywhere.

However, it sounds like you're pretty serious about your SO, so imo there should be no reason you'd want to spend the next 2 years far apart from one another right before your marriage.

For family, it's not uncommon that students are far away from their family. For friends, you already have friends in SF, and you're just going to make more friends at dschool, makes for a good transition.

Also, you haven't cancelled your UCSF invite yet have you? If you have the money to spare, go to the interview. If you land a scholarship there, they have a nice 25% specializing rate and it'll be considerably cheaper than UoP with the scholarship. Only drawback is that you're not going to graduate in 3 years, but then again, maybe you don't want to rush through your education.
 
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Troyvdg

Dentistry not Debtistry
7+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2009
788
188
Bay Area
Status
Pre-Dental
What is UoP's specialization rate?
No idea, but faculty told me it's not as high as some of the other schools because the majority of people at UOP want to do GP.
 
Dec 11, 2013
6
0
Status
Dentist
If you want to specialize at UW go to UW or Harvard. UoP isn't looked favorably upon at admissions comittee time for specialty programs. Don't worry about the curriculum change. It will be much better than the old style. Go to the cheaper school.
 
OP
A
May 25, 2013
253
36
Status
Pre-Dental
If you want to specialize at UW go to UW or Harvard. UoP isn't looked favorably upon at admissions comittee time for specialty programs. Don't worry about the curriculum change. It will be much better than the old style. Go to the cheaper school.
Why do you say UoP isn't looked upon favorably by specialty programs?
 
Dec 11, 2013
6
0
Status
Dentist
If you get into UW it would be rediculous to go pay out of state or private tuition anywhere else. UW is very well respected among residency programs and THAT is what really matters. Plus, you really need to meet the people sitting on the interview panels and prove yourself to them prior to getting an interview. You need an advocate at the ranking time or you won't get ranked.
 
OP
A
May 25, 2013
253
36
Status
Pre-Dental
If you get into UW it would be rediculous to go pay out of state or private tuition anywhere else. UW is very well respected among residency programs and THAT is what really matters. Plus, you really need to meet the people sitting on the interview panels and prove yourself to them prior to getting an interview. You need an advocate at the ranking time or you won't get ranked.
I got into uw with a small scholarship and into uop with a substantial scholarship, so finances aren't the main factor in my decision. Are you saying that uw would be better because j could maybe meet the people on the interview panel if i wanted to specialize at uw ?
 

gn4

5+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,134
244
Status
Dental Student
I would take UW and Harvard over UoP. If finances are no big deal, I'd take Harvard and UoP. Just me though.I like the thought of getting out early. That's why I applied to UoP in the first place. Reason I turned it down was because it was wayyyy more expensive than the other schools I was accepted to.
 
Dec 11, 2013
6
0
Status
Dentist
UW faculty respect UW and Harvard from those 3 choices. Ambivalent about UoP. Nobody thinks you have better clinical skills coming out of UoP. We wonder about the short cut in your education. In the end if you don't have a strong advocate on the interview panel you will NOT get in to specialty programs. You get an advocate by 1)knowing them personally 2)knowing them professionally 3)something on your essay or application speaks to them 4) you absolutely rock the interview and the entire interview panel loves you.
 
Dec 11, 2013
6
0
Status
Dentist
You got a small scholarship from UW before you even show up. That's a big deal. Take it. Congrats and good luck! You are clearly an exceptional applicant. Forget about the "better clinical skills" at UoP. First off there is no way to prove this. What is their WREB passing rate compared to the UW? And secondly, we all graduate with similar clinical skills. Those are something you hone over the years. The didactic education is pretty strong at UW. Some of the best minds in the country are faculty there. The new OMFS chair is from Harvard. I understand this seems like a big decision right now because 3 years seems pretty tempting over 4. Take the extra year.
 
OP
A
May 25, 2013
253
36
Status
Pre-Dental
You got a small scholarship from UW before you even show up. That's a big deal. Take it. Congrats and good luck! You are clearly an exceptional applicant. Forget about the "better clinical skills" at UoP. First off there is no way to prove this. What is their WREB passing rate compared to the UW? And secondly, we all graduate with similar clinical skills. Those are something you hone over the years. The didactic education is pretty strong at UW. Some of the best minds in the country are faculty there. The new OMFS chair is from Harvard. I understand this seems like a big decision right now because 3 years seems pretty tempting over 4. Take the extra year.
Thanks for your input! It's a really difficult decision to make, but I'm really grateful to be in this position in this first place.