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blankguy

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People have been making a point that it doesn't matter which dental school you go, as long as you do well you can specialize from any school. I've looked up some resident pictures at schools Nova and Uconn specifically and true enough they hail from all over the place. If this is the case what is the significance of the stat of percentage of people who specialize in a class? Does that mean that the school in question just happens to pick such type of people who want to specialize or the curriculum tends to lead people to that or what?:confused:
 

ItsGavinC

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Most likely it is a little of both.

Curriculum: the curriculum must be half-way decent if lots of people are specializing from that school. A good and solid curriculum can yield higher board scores just by running students through it.

Type of student: to gain some specialties you have to really be top-notch (if you aren't in dental school yet you might not understand what this really means). Also, to benefit from a good curriculum one must be a good student, so even if a curriculum is solid, much still rests on the student's shoulders.

Still, there are many other variables that come into play.
 
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blankguy

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What do you mean by "solid curriculum"? Does it mean it mean it is slanted towards specialization or just more rigorous?:confused:
 

gryffindor

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Blankguy, some schools just encourage their students to pursue a specific path after graduation. I think our school has a very solid curriculum - several of my classmates got 90+ on the part I boards. However, we are not encouraged to specialize at our school. We are encouraged to pursue a GPR, probably b/c there are several GPR positions in our area that need to be filled and where better to look for residents than the current senior class. Some schools have a large percent of the class going straight to private practice, some schools send a large percent to a GPR/AEGD and some specialties. And some send the majority of graduates to specialize (Harvard comes to mind).

At my school, the faculty will not think less of you if you choose to specialize or go straight into practice, but it is up to the student to make the ultimate decision. I can't think of any instance EVER where any of my friends or I have been told "Have you ever thought about specializing in _____?" I have heard many times the faculty say "Oh, it's better if you do a GPR before going to private practice." I have a few friends who thought about applying to specialize and I bet if the faculty had encouraged them, they would have gone through with it. Instead, they're doing GPRs - it was easier to apply to a GPR b/c there is so much info and help for your GPR/AEGD application at our school. The encouragement to specialize is just not there. Our school strives to produce good general dentists who have good exposure in almost all disciplines (except ortho). That's why we've got these crazy requirements across all disciplines of general dentistry. My guess is that the schools where lots of students go on to specialize not only have students driven to specialize (we also have these students), but also have faculty encouraging more specialty applications as well (we don't really have those).
 

ItsGavinC

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Originally posted by blankguy
What do you mean by "solid curriculum"? Does it mean it mean it is slanted towards specialization or just more rigorous?:confused:

Griffin gave an excellent answer. I'll say that some schools tend to teach to the Boards more than other schools.
 

gryffindor

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I am at Buffalo.

My opinion on the Tufts stats from 2003 is that Tufts is a school where students are encouraged to pursue private practice. Almost 60% of the class is going straight into practice. I'm sure my class could have many classmates who are doing GPR/AEGDs go straight to practice instead, but they just don't. I can think of at least 2 people who were seriously considering going straight into practice and then changed their minds at the last minute and are now doing residencies instead. There are others who have jobs waiting for them already (mom or dad is a dentist or they just have a good hook-up); they are going to do a 1 year residency first anyway to gain some different exposure.

Also, we have about 26 GPR/AEGD spots in the city of Buffalo - 8 GPRs at the county hospital, 8 GPRs at the city hospital, 1 GPR at the cancer hospital, 4 GPRs at the VA hospital, and approx. 5 students in the AEGD. All of these programs are looking for a good chunk, if not all, of their residents to come from the graduating class of 90. On the other hand there are 6 GPR/AEGD programs in Boston (Boston Medical Center GPR, Brigham & Womens GPR, Tufts GPR, BU AEGD, Harvard AEGD, Lutheran Med Center AEGD). There are 3 dental schools in Boston - over 250 graduating seniors to find potential students to fill those 6 resdiencies. Make sense now why there may be more of a push to do a GPR at my school than Tufts?

As far as the specializing from Tufts goes, I think it's the students who are motivated to specialize choosing to do it. Our class is graduating 90 this year and we have 1 going to Prostho, 1 to Perio, 2 to 6-yr OMS, 4 to Pedo, and 6 to Ortho (14 total) - those are all the students motivated to specialize, not conviced to do it. Looking at Tufts' numbers and considering their class size is much bigger than our 90, I think the 25 going to specialize are mostly motivated on their own to do.

I wonder about the accuracy of stats though, b/c we have a 2003 Tufts grad in our OMS program here as a first year resident currently, yet I don't see our OMS program listed as one being attended by 2003 Tufts grads on that list.
 

blankguy

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Thanks griffin.
This thread is turning out to be very informative.

Would it be safe to say that the bulk of the people that specialize tend to be in the upper quarter in ranking in the class?
 
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