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what should I do?

Discussion in 'International Dental' started by ah91823, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. ah91823

    ah91823 Junior Member
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    Hello guys,
    I have been reading thread here for a while but still havent found the answer of my question. So please help me!

    I am a canadian citizen who is from a dental family and always want to go into dentistry.
    I just finished my junior year in McGill University in Biochemistry and my GPA is only 2.5. I havent tried DAT yet because I don't know if I should apply to dentistry if my GPA is so low.
    I heard couple of people cannot get into canadian dental/medical school all end up going to east europe. I don't know should I also go into this rounte or flight my best +stay one extra year to raise my GPA/do well in DAT?

    the issue is that even if I spend extra year to take science courses, I might not get in dentistry still........
    I really really really hope I can get into any USA/Canada dental school you know...becuase I know it is very difficult for foreign trained doctor to come back north american to practice.

    Should I even need to bother trying to apply this year? or stay one more extra year? or just go to europe and take long rounte?

    Please give me your 2 cents!!!!
     
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  3. cheer_up

    cheer_up Senior Member
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    Hi there,

    You're in a tough position. With your GPA, I really don't think you'll have a chance of getting into a Canadian dental school even if you raise it to above 3 by the end of next year. You can only raise it by so much by just taking a full course load (5 or so full ones?). However, I think you still have a chance at the US schools if you raise your GPA to above 3. So you've got to sit down and figure out if you could do that with one extra year. I certainly think you can if work your butt off and ace all of the courses for next year. If you go for an extra year, take some upper level science courses to show that you can handle the course load. If you raise it to about 3.2 or higher, and you kill the American DAT (ie. getting at least 20 across the board, you will definitely have a good chance (provided you apply early). I think it's worth a try if you think you could do it.

    I am also Canadian and went to UofT for my undergrad. My GPA wasn't stellar either, and so I ended up going to England for dentistry. Now, I'm back in Toronto trying to get into an Advanced Standing Program. I'm telling you from first hand experience, it's quite tough to get in. I've been trying for about 2 years now and still haven't got in. I'm wasting a lot of time now trying to get in. Sometimes, I wish I had stayed back and done an extra 1-2 years to boost my GPA for the US schools. But at that time I didn't know what I know now. Anyways, things are done now and I can only move forward.

    In conclusion, I think it's worth doing an extra year to have a shot at the US schools. If I were you, I would do that, because going abroad (other than to the US) to study dentistry is a long and expensive road and it takes a long time as well (the European dental programs are 5 years in duration). You might say that you will have wasted an extra year if you don't get in after next year, but that's the risk you have to take and I think it's worth taking that risk. If you do get in, you'll save a lot of money, and time. Basically, if you want to practise dentistry in North America, go to a North American dental school.

    Your GPA is very low at the present even for the US schools. I don't think you'll have much of a chance (but I could be wrong) if you apply this year. So it's up to you to apply or not. If you do decide to apply, make sure you do really well on the DAT. Forget about the Canadian schools.....it will be a waste of money applying....sorry, don't mean to be harsh.

    If, however, you do decide to go abroad (other than to the US, of course), I think it's best that you go to an Australian dental school. This is because, like the schools in the UK, the quality of education is good (quite similar to North America) and the ADA is thinking of accrediting the dental schools in Australia due to the similarity in the educational systems. Now, I don't know if and when the accreditation will happen. You might want to check that out.

    Wish you all the best with your decision.
     
  4. ah91823

    ah91823 Junior Member
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    thank you so much for your advice!
    1. You don't know how much I regret of going to McGill Biochemistry. My mark was quite good in high school, thats why I decide to go into McGill. BUT THIS SCHOOL IS HARD !!!!!!! I am very sad for my current GPA, but believe or not, many of my friends had even been kicked out by school.

    2. I know going into Hungarian /Polish dental school is very easy, but I just don't know the easiness/difficulty of the foreign trained dentist to come back practicing in North America. Can ANYONE PLEASE TELL ME IS IT EASY TO GET INTO ADVANCED STANDING PROGRAM FOR INTERNATIONAL DENTIST?

    you said it took you extra 2 year--I don't understand why cannot you apply to NYU..ect USA dental school. They have many space for foreign dentist dont they??

    and you went to school in ENGLAND!!!! Why it was hard for you to come back?

    3. I know my GPA IS VEY LOW!! that hurt my self-esteem also. I have cried many times for my GPA. I almost felt no future for this kind of grades.
     
  5. cheer_up

    cheer_up Senior Member
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    Hi

    Yup, like you, I was a great high school student, earning some of the top marks. However, I guess I made the mistake of going to one of the most prestigious schools in Canada like UofT (McGill is also considered to be in the same category) which is quite a hard school, as it has to maintain its high standards. I should have gone to some other schools like York University or Ryerson, but anywayz... So I definitely can relate to you and know how you feel.

    There are about 13 US schools that accept internationally trained dentists. To be competitive, you must score well on the NBDE I (the board exam), ie. getting a sore of 90 percentile or more. This is something I haven't been able to do. This exam is generally not a so hard exam but it requires a tremendous amount of time in preparing for it because of the immense amount of material (boring, I must add) to be mastered. Hopefully, I'll get the mark I want this year.

    Yeah, NYU has a lot of spaces for foreign trained dentists, something like over 100. But the problem is that their program is three years in duration as opposed to two years and I'm not willing to do that at this point.

    Yeah, I went to England for dentistry but because it's an non-accredited school by the ADA and CDA, I have still have to do the 2-3 year Advanced Standing Program like any other foreign trained dentist. Damn it, so much for Canada being a part of the Commonwealth :rolleyes: . The fact that I went to England for dentistry may give me some advantage over other people who have studied dentistry elsewhere due the quality of the program, but I still have to get a competitive Board score to be competitive overall.

    I don't think anyone here is going to tell you that it's easy to get into an Advanced Standing Program. It takes a lot of effort, patience and time to be accepted. This is because the demand is too great compared to the supply.

    Bottom line: Don't give up if dentistry is what you really want. Remember, "nothing good or worthwhile is easy to get". Good luck :luck:

    BTW, it's miss cheer_up :D
     
  6. ah91823

    ah91823 Junior Member
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    Hi ,
    I am happy to know that you are also a girl!

    1. It surprised me to learn that advanced standing program is hard to get in even for the English fluent doctor.........I knew it could be hard to get in for some chinese doctors b/c their english is not good, but I didn't expect it could be hard for people did their education in all english-speaking system also!

    2. Just to be curious, would dental school admission look what school you are from??? U of T or McGill they intend to weep out lots students by giving hard exams as they admitted too many students in the beginning. I think it is totally unfair to compare us with some community college students!!!!!

    Do you think the reputation and big name of your school could make admission committee look your application more?

    3. If I have to do extra years after undegrad, do you think I should spend 30k+ USD doing a post-bac in USA or just simply taking extra courses on my own? Do you know Canada have such "post-bac" program here??

    4. I want to practice in vancouver or toronto too!!!!This is my ultimate goal.

    thank u for your input
     
  7. cheer_up

    cheer_up Senior Member
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    You're welcome. I'm glad, I can be of some help to a fellow Canuck :D

    Well, I guess when you get to the interview stage, the fact that you are a North American for a very long time, may give an advantage because you'll be able to communicate well with the admissions committee. But to get to that stage, you have to have a great NDBE I score. Unfortunately, the NBDE I score is very important. A lot of the schools use that as a screening method. This is what is holding me back. I think if I ever get to the interview stage, I may have an advantage over a lot of people simply because I can speak English fluently since I grew up in Canada and therefore, will be able to communicate effectively.

    I think most, if not all, dental schools don't really care what school you went to for your undergrad. For them, it's just all about the numbers. I really wish I had known this when selecting a school for my undergrad. I know it's unfair, but that's the way they work.

    I don't think the Canadian schools have "post-bac" programs, although I could be wrong. What you should do, if you decide to do a post-bacc program or simply taking extra courses, is you need to call up the US dental schools or the American Dental School Application Centre ( or whomever does your GPA conversion) and ask them if you take extra courses, will they be included in your GPA and will they carry an equal weight as the rest of your course work? If that's the case, then it's no point spending 30K on doing a post-bacc when you could simply take extra science courses to improve your GPA. You should look at all the options before making a decision. You see, I didn't do any of this when I decided to go to England for dentistry. It was a very last minute and hasty decision without exploring other options.
     
  8. ah91823

    ah91823 Junior Member
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    Hey,
    I jjust wonder if you are in my position, would you stay in U of T and finish your undergrad, or you would transfer to a easier school like York and get higher GPA?

    I realize it is getting hard for me to increse my GPA, due to I already have 90 credits complete and my class are getting harder.
    If I stay in McGill, I am sure I cannot get 4.0 next year with 30 credits full course load.

    If I transfer to easier school, I might have chance to increase my GPA but I will end up graduating from a less famous school.

    If you were me, what would you do?




     
  9. cheer_up

    cheer_up Senior Member
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    Hey,

    Yeah, I would definitely transfer to an "easier" school like York University or even Ryerson if they have the courses you want to take or any other small universities, if you strongly feel you won't be able to raise your GPA by much. Like I said earlier, the dental schools don't really care what university you've graduated from. The school name doesn't really carry any significant weight. It may, however, if you decide to go into research for a Masters or PhD; but other than that, it's all about the numbers ie. GPA. This is a huge lesson I've learned from my mistake. I was so hooked up with the prestige and name of the university that I didn't care about my GPA and hence stayed there for my entire undergrad program. Also, no one gave me any good advice about changing school. In the end, I got nothing out of it ie. not getting into a North American dental school. I liked UofT and had a great university experience there, but it didn't do me any good in terms of getting into a professional school. Of course, I only had myself to blame for not getting the grades needed, but my choice of institution was also a huge factor.

    Sometime ago, one of our family friends asked me about which university her daughter should attend for her undergrad as she will be in her first year this September. I, without any thinking, told her to tell her daughter to go to a small university. This way, there will be less competition and she will do better than some other bigger universitities like UofT. She wants to go into medicine and will need to do the best she can to get the marks. I think she chose Trent University in the end....smart girl!! Don't get me wrong, universities like McGill and UofT are world-class institutions but they will do you no good if you can't achieve the grades needed for a professional school, which is your ultimate goal.

    BTW, are you from Toronto?
    Good luck.
     

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