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WesternU D1 AMA

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Hi Im Dent

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Hi guys I'm a first year at WesternU. I'm holding this AMA especially since some people may still be deciding on this school or for people who have accepted and want more insight. Feel free to ask me anything and I'll try to answer!
 

DMDDDSHopeful

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Isn't WesternU the place you go to send cash to friends or relatives that are far away? I mean .... I use PayPal and Venmo now though. But I guess I could ask a question:

How is it at WesternU?
 
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AllAboutSmiles7

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How are the relationships between students in your class and among other classes?
Do you feel like you have much free time?
How is the course load? (I was told most people get A's and B's, is this true?)
How is living in Pomona?

Feel free to tell me anything you like or dislike about the program!
 

Elysian12

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Is WesternU on the block/modular system? I don't think so but for some reason I thought I heard that
Grades or pass/no pass
 

NavyDDS1990

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I heard at WesternU, you are required to dress semi-formal everyday to school instead of scrubs. Is this true? and if so how is it?
 
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AlecGaro

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I heard at WesternU, you are required to dress semi-formal everyday to school instead of scrubs. Is this true? and if so how is it?
Just want to chime in. Yes this is true! You can't wear scrubs to class as some schools allow. I have heard from faculty and students that most students just wear their white coats over their semi-formal attire while in clinic if it is directly after class.
 

AlecGaro

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What are the chances of the waitlist becoming active this year?
I am going to be turning down my acceptance for WesternU so I can guarantee you people will be moving up the waitlist! Best of luck! You deserve to get in :)
 

NavyDDS1990

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Just want to chime in. Yes this is true! You can't wear scrubs to class as some schools allow. I have heard from faculty and students that most students just wear their white coats over their semi-formal attire while in clinic if it is directly after class.
Wow... I can't imagine dressing semi-formal everyday during the 4 years in school. One of my favorite parts of dental school was that I get to wear scrubs everyday and I don't have to worry about what to wear every morning haha
 
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Elysian12

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I am going to be turning down my acceptance for WesternU so I can guarantee you people will be moving up the waitlist! Best of luck! You deserve to get in :)

Why USC over Western, yes I saw your other post
 

AlecGaro

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Wow... I can't imagine dressing semi-formal everyday during the 4 years in school. One of my favorite parts of dental school was that I get to wear scrubs everyday and I don't have to worry about what to wear every morning haha
Haha yeah I know. Well WesternU definitely has its perks but that part of it I am not a fan of
 

AlecGaro

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Why USC over Western, yes I saw your other post

It is a bit of a combination of a lot of things. The curriculum, clinical experience, free time for the students, volunteer opportunities, connections during and after school, close-knit students and faculty relationships, world-renowned institution, and the fact that I am living in LA which is my favorite city. But that is nothing to take away from WesternU. I absolutely love that school and it was always one of my top choices.
 
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Hi Im Dent

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WesternU in Canada, or?

Haha no I should have specificed, Pomona.

Isn't WesternU the place you go to send cash to friends or relatives that are far away? I mean .... I use PayPal and Venmo now though. But I guess I could ask a question:

How is it at WesternU?

It's good! Southern California definitely makes it more exciting since you're near a lot of places to go if you have the free time in between studying and lab.

How are the relationships between students in your class and among other classes?
Do you feel like you have much free time?
How is the course load? (I was told most people get A's and B's, is this true?)
How is living in Pomona?

Feel free to tell me anything you like or dislike about the program!

Our relationship with other classes is good. Some of the upperclassmen love coming to check on how we are doing. They are also relatively involved in giving us events and lunch & learns to go to. In the end, it is also in how much effort you put into meeting the upperclassmen as well.

The courseload is normal I'd say. Definitely a lot of work but the way our curriculum works at least we don't get loaded with a lot of finals by the end of the semester. That being said your typical day with the courseload is 8-5 with at least a few hours a day devoted to studying depending on how well you want to do. If you just want to pass, you don't have to devote too many hours per day.

I live north of Pomona in Claremont which is a nicer area. Pomona itself doesn't have too much. Students tend to live in Chino Hills (lots of asian food) or Claremont (college town feel, great place to walk around). BOth places are only about 10-15 minutes from school.

I love the block curriculum in particular especially when I see my friends from other schools complain that they have 10 finals while I have only 1 towards the end of the semester!


Is WesternU on the block/modular system? I don't think so but for some reason I thought I heard that
Grades or pass/no pass
It is a block system, we take typically 2 big courses at a time (one didactic and the other is our sim course with some small 1 unit courses sprinkled in between). Grades are letter grades but there are no +/-.

I heard at WesternU, you are required to dress semi-formal everyday to school instead of scrubs. Is this true? and if so how is it?

Yes this is true. Scrubs are only allowed for off-site rotations. Even when you get to clinic, you don't wear scrubs. I like the dress code, it makes you look good and feel professional although yes it is a pain to think about how to dress and preparing to dress each day. But after a while I can't even imagine not wearing this dress code, I see some of the DO's in scrubs and sure they're comfy but I like that we look good! Depends on whether you prioritize comfiness or aesthetics haha.

On days where we are in sim or clinic, we have to wear our white coats and have a tie with a button up. If we just have didactics and do not go into sim or clinic, we can wear polos and we don't have to wear a tie. And of course slacks and dress shoes.
 

AllAboutSmiles7

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Would you say that most D1's and D2's remain non competitive even though you have the classic letter grading system? And do you feel like you can get mostly A's/B's and still have free time due to the block system?
 

Hi Im Dent

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Would you say that most D1's and D2's remain non competitive even though you have the classic letter grading system? And do you feel like you can get mostly A's/B's and still have free time due to the block system?

Yea the way courses are run it's not competitive, there are no curves. And we do get a good amount of free time as D1's, beginning of D2 is more busy but I know people still find time to go out. As long as you're smart about when to study there's always time.
 
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AllAboutSmiles7

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That's great, thanks!
Also speaking to this a bit, what kind of breaks do you guys get each year?
 

Hi Im Dent

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That's great, thanks!
Also speaking to this a bit, what kind of breaks do you guys get each year?
We get two weeks for winter, 1 week for spring break, then 4-5 weeks in the summer which is split up into 2 different summer breaks. The first summer break is after spring but before summer classes and it's 2 weeks. The 2nd one is at the end of summer but before fall classes start.
 
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greentiger1

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How do you and/or other students best study? Do you recommend a specific laptop? I'm thinking about what laptop I should get, specifically if I end up attending WesternU. I appreciate your thoughts!
 

Hi Im Dent

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Is living in Pomona or near by reasonable in terms of living expenses?

In Pomona, I knew some people who pay about $600 a month sharing a house. Usually though people feel that Pomona isn't as safe or clean even though the houses I've been to are nice. People typically live in Chino Hills or Claremont/Montclair and rent is $800-$1000.

If you live on campus its around $1000.

How do you and/or other students best study? Do you recommend a specific laptop? I'm thinking about what laptop I should get, specifically if I end up attending WesternU. I appreciate your thoughts!

Some of us study independently, others do groups. I usually do group study with my friends. We lay out the learning objectives and work from there.
 

Elysian12

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Hi guys I'm a first year at WesternU. I'm holding this AMA especially since some people may still be deciding on this school or for people who have accepted and want more insight. Feel free to ask me anything and I'll try to answer!

Are there any shortage of patients?
Do you have to find your own patients?
Is parking a pain? I thought someone told me there is not enough parking
Do you have an assistant in clinic?
 

greentiger1

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In Pomona, I knew some people who pay about $600 a month sharing a house. Usually though people feel that Pomona isn't as safe or clean even though the houses I've been to are nice. People typically live in Chino Hills or Claremont/Montclair and rent is $800-$1000.

If you live on campus its around $1000.



Some of us study independently, others do groups. I usually do group study with my friends. We lay out the learning objectives and work from there.

Thanks for the reply! Few more questions for you if you don't mind. Do you recommend a backpack or a messenger bag? How important is the teeth collecting? What laptop, if any, would you recommend?
 

Hi Im Dent

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Are there any shortage of patients?
Do you have to find your own patients?
Is parking a pain? I thought someone told me there is not enough parking
Do you have an assistant in clinic?

There's no shortage of patient's currently for requirements. As for the licensing exam, like other schools you have to really go out there to find the patients that meet WREB requirements.

Parking isn't too bad, I got used to it. I've never had a big issue unless I'm running late to class and I need to get to the classroom ASAP. There's always spots on the top floor of our structure usually. If not, I usually find street parking. There's multiple parking lots.

In clinic you usually have other dental students assist you.

Thanks for the reply! Few more questions for you if you don't mind. Do you recommend a backpack or a messenger bag? How important is the teeth collecting? What laptop, if any, would you recommend?

Whichever one is comfortable for you, I know people who use both! Usually for school you only really need your laptop so if a messenger bag is more compact, that might be a good way to go. If you like to carry things with you like your safety goggles or notebooks, a backpack is a better choice but we do have lockers. If you want compact go messenger bag.

As for laptop, I noticed some programs they make us use or files don't play nice with Mac OS. However everything eventually works in the end so if you like Macs, a Macbook 13 isn't bad and I know a lot of my classmates use that. I would recommend a Windows Ultrabook that's light but at least i5 so you can run things like Student Axium faster (i3 would work but be slower). The Dell XPS 13 would be great for WesternU (it has no HDMI though and if you like to use that in the study rooms that's a minus). You will use your laptop for A LOT and you will carry it around a lot so definitely go for something light but big enough for you to study on.
 
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Elysian12

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There's no shortage of patient's currently for requirements. As for the licensing exam, like other schools you have to really go out there to find the patients that meet WREB requirements.

Parking isn't too bad, I got used to it. I've never had a big issue unless I'm running late to class and I need to get to the classroom ASAP. There's always spots on the top floor of our structure usually. If not, I usually find street parking. There's multiple parking lots.

In clinic you usually have other dental students assist you.

Is that a regular thing to have other students assisting you? Or is most of the time you are by yourself, but just when you do have one its another student?

Thank you!
 

Hi Im Dent

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Is that a regular thing to have other students assisting you? Or is most of the time you are by yourself, but just when you do have one its another student?

Thank you!

You always have an assistant and it's a regular thing to have dental students be your assistant. Feel free to ask if you have more questions!
 

Elysian12

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You always have an assistant and it's a regular thing to have dental students be your assistant. Feel free to ask if you have more questions!

Thank you for your time!

Is invisalign certification integrated into the curriculum?
What about laser certification? (I heard that might start next year?)
Do you know how many procedures students are graduating with?
 

Hi Im Dent

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We just started offering Invisalign at our clinic this year.

Laser certification I'm unsure about.

Procedure wise, we are competency based so it highly varies per student. You can be really good and only do the same procedure 2-3 times and pass it.
 

Elysian12

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We just started offering Invisalign at our clinic this year.

Laser certification I'm unsure about.

Procedure wise, we are competency based so it highly varies per student. You can be really good and only do the same procedure 2-3 times and pass it.

Do students just use invisalign or can they get a certification as well? A student at another school told me they can use it but they don't get a certification for it. So they would have to take a continuing education course to get certified.
 

AllAboutSmiles7

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I remember them mentioning CE courses from WesternU grads, that all you have to pay for is lunch. Is this for life or only a certain amount of time after graduating?
 

Hi Im Dent

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Do students just use invisalign or can they get a certification as well? A student at another school told me they can use it but they don't get a certification for it. So they would have to take a continuing education course to get certified.

They get certified.


I remember them mentioning CE courses from WesternU grads, that all you have to pay for is lunch. Is this for life or only a certain amount of time after graduating?

This really varies on the CE but we have a lot of connections to various people that allows WesternU alumni to do this.


how much debt do you have at Western?

The same as any other private dental school mostly. 80k a year.
 

AllAboutSmiles7

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How do you like the different teaching methods for the classes? Do they work well/are efficient and help you learn well? Other thoughts?

Also, does Western offer the CDCA exam in addition to WREB, or soon plans to?
 

Hi Im Dent

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How do you like the different teaching methods for the classes? Do they work well/are efficient and help you learn well? Other thoughts?

Also, does Western offer the CDCA exam in addition to WREB, or soon plans to?

I like most of the methods they teach use to teach. Lecture and echo (where the lectures are recorded) are my favorite since its easy to zero down what you need to study and also you can review. A few classes use an online platform where you basically teach yourself but I am not a fan of.

Lab and clinic wise, my school is great at exposing you early to get you comfortable with hand pieces, x-rays, and CADCAM. We are in sim and lab frequently even when I just started school and it really makes you feel more comfortable with procedures.

As for CDCA, I haven't heard my school mention anything about adding that exam.
 
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AllAboutSmiles7

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I like most of the methods they teach use to teach. Lecture and echo (where the lectures are recorded) are my favorite since its easy to zero down what you need to study and also you can review. A few classes use an online platform where you basically teach yourself but I am not a fan of.

Lab and clinic wise, my school is great at exposing you early to get you comfortable with hand pieces, x-rays, and CADCAM. We are in sim and lab frequently even when I just started school and it really makes you feel more comfortable with procedures.

As for CDCA, I haven't heard my school mention anything about adding that exam.

Thanks again for the info!
Do you happen to know about what month the D4s graduate?
 

jcnguyen813

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I have been out of school for about 2years now and I start at WesternU this fall. You think its a good idea to start studying again and brushing up on certain subjects to prepare for the fall? Or should I just enjoy the free time? Do you know any students in my situation and are doing well their first year?
 

Hi Im Dent

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I have been out of school for about 2years now and I start at WesternU this fall. You think its a good idea to start studying again and brushing up on certain subjects to prepare for the fall? Or should I just enjoy the free time? Do you know any students in my situation and are doing well their first year?

I think it would help to brush up on anatomy since we have a strong focus on that in many of our classes. It would definitely make your life easier if you can retain that kind of information when you start but I wouldn't say it's crucial for you to succeed unless you really want to get A's in everything. There are students in your situation and they are doing pretty well in their first year and they didn't brush up on anything before school started.

If you want to specialize or get A's in all of your classes, I would brush up but if not then enjoy your time until school starts!
 

pgex2t

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When are you going to carry my silver butt in league?
 

hopefuldentist123

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I think it would help to brush up on anatomy since we have a strong focus on that in many of our classes. It would definitely make your life easier if you can retain that kind of information when you start but I wouldn't say it's crucial for you to succeed unless you really want to get A's in everything. There are students in your situation and they are doing pretty well in their first year and they didn't brush up on anything before school started.

If you want to specialize or get A's in all of your classes, I would brush up but if not then enjoy your time until school starts!
What study techniques do you think best sets you up for success on your exams? Did you change your study habits from undergrad? Do you (or your classmates) feel that you study so much sometimes that it interferes with your wellbeing/health/etc?
 

Hi Im Dent

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When are you going to carry my silver butt in league?
I am but a gold scrub now.

What study techniques do you think best sets you up for success on your exams? Did you change your study habits from undergrad? Do you (or your classmates) feel that you study so much sometimes that it interferes with your wellbeing/health/etc?
I did change my study habits from undergrad. At least for me, I now do more group studying with people. I independent study to go over the material first and once I've gone over it once, I go over it with other people to make sure I understand it and we explain what we need to know to each other.

I don't ever feel like it effects my health, in fact I'm actually healthier now than before I started school. I've had time to go to the gym and work out. At WesternU, you'll find that you have more time than you think as long as you use it proactively. I would definitely say that the way our curriculum works, it allows us to have a good amount of free time for ourselves.
 

Alpha Centauri

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I am but a gold scrub now.


I did change my study habits from undergrad. At least for me, I now do more group studying with people. I independent study to go over the material first and once I've gone over it once, I go over it with other people to make sure I understand it and we explain what we need to know to each other.

I don't ever feel like it effects my health, in fact I'm actually healthier now than before I started school. I've had time to go to the gym and work out. At WesternU, you'll find that you have more time than you think as long as you use it proactively. I would definitely say that the way our curriculum works, it allows us to have a good amount of free time for ourselves.
Right now I study almost exclusively in bed and alone. This works best for me but I want to be able to study in the library or at least somewhere with fellow classmates. Any recommendations? I just honestly feel like I don't absorb information when I am not in my room. Maybe I can also do the study once alone technique
 

Hi Im Dent

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Right now I study almost exclusively in bed and alone. This works best for me but I want to be able to study in the library or at least somewhere with fellow classmates. Any recommendations? I just honestly feel like I don't absorb information when I am not in my room. Maybe I can also do the study once alone technique
Do review sessions with classmates! If you study best in your room, study the material on your own in your bed to go over it at least once. Then a few days before the test or the day before, schedule a review where you guys talk over the topics that are going to be on it. That way it helps consolidate information and clarify anything that you may have missed when you studied on your own.
 
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