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Why are these dental rankings bad?

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mid

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Ranking dental schools is silly to begin with, everyone who earns a dds/dmd gets the same license. Also they lack rigor.
 

UltimateHombre

Doc Holliday D.D.S.
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First off, the only respected and legit rankings of any school are US News and Bussiness Week.These websites are non-organizational and unaffiliated with any respectable agency. Topten is a personal blog of a former student?! LOL!! :laugh:

Furthermore, when dental schools were ranked it was generally based on amount of research publications, grant money, and prestigious faculty. It often hardly ever took into account clinical curriculum and other very important factors. So 10-20 years ago, dental schools petitioned the above sources to stop ranking them.

They realized that rankings do not make a school good or bad. Dental education is so individualized and person dependent. There are pros and cons for everything; it must be the student who chooses what they want in their dental education.

Large class size for future alumni network?
Small class size for better student to faculty ratio?
Opportunities for research?
Clinical strength? Number and diversity of cases seen?
New technology?
Established reputation?
Dual MBA/MPH/PhD options?

Each one has a pro and con? How can you translate that all into rankings?!
 

UltimateHombre

Doc Holliday D.D.S.
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Personally, i could care less about prestige and research. My personal ranking of schools considers only two things: price and clinical experience. I will go to the cheapest school i can get into. I know that is the best shot at guaranteeing me success in the future. Secondly, i feel clinical strength is the next best thing to set me up for success. I evaluate schools on things like this:

1. Average number of procedures (from talking to a dstudents)
2. Diversity of cases and how many are seen?
3. Size of patient pool
4. Location of school (usually ghetto is a good thing)
5. If you have to schedule your own patients or not
6. Number of chairs in clinic vs. number of students
7. When your start in the pre-clinic/sim clinic? D1, D2? How many times a week?
8. # of available off site rotations
9. Availability of specialty programs (could be good or bad)
10. # of students who proceed with a GPR/AEGD after graduation
11. General reputation amongst dental community

But again, this is just my opinion, it's just about as valid at the topten blog.... take it with a grain of salt.
 

UCSFx2017

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hmmm could you elaborate on this?

Reminder: There are no formal, holistic ranking of dental school. In fact, there currently cannot be a valid ranking because the data provided by the ADA is often outdated and incomplete by the lack of participation of some dental schools.

One cannot help but question both the criteria involved in these informal rankings and the purpose these rankings serve. Is the purpose to assist applicants in choosing the dental school that is right for them? If so, they fail miserably. The existence of a single dental school ranking, assembled according to one person's unique values, cannot be useful to someone else with his/her own unique value system. A single ranking cannot appropriately distribute unique weights to each factor within the ranking formula and then be generalized to the entire applicant pool. It is quite intuitive that the ranking of the best music or best food by one person cannot be generalized to all. Why then is the exception made to ranking dental schools? In fact, these rankings are most likely accountable to more harm than good by swaying the easily impressionable into financial turmoil or poor dental school experience due to a biased school selection made already for them by a stranger who is uninvested and unaware of the swayed's life.

I will assume that those responsible for the rankings relied on the self-reported surveys by the ADA when making their rankings. The ranking of dental schools by instructional hours can be found in "Volume 4": http://www.ada.org/1621.aspx
Obviously, the hours indicate quantity which do not necessarily indicate equal quality. Additional instructional hours may not necessary indicate a better education especially if the curriculum is inefficiently redundant. The number of additional hours that are necessary to produce a noticeable difference in graduate preparedness is anyone's guess, especially with preparedness being largely dependent on the student. The length of the academic year also varies with each school, further lessening the value of the ADA's ordering by total or weekly average instructional hours.​

The same could be said for "Faculty to Student Ratio". See "Table 8" of "Volume 3" in the above link. Some schools did not participate in the ordering and the information is unfortunately outdated.

I will further assume that the ranking relied on NIDCR's research ranking. The ordering of NIDCR funding can be found here: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/GrantsAndF...talSchools/GrantstoDentalInstitutions2012.htm

The total funding ($143 million) involved in NIDCR ranking accounts for only 28% of NIH funding allotted specifically to Dental/Oral and Craniofacial Disease. That 28% from the NIDCR and the remaining 72% of total Dental/Oral and Craniofacial Disease funding (approx. $500 million) only accounts for less than 2% of NIH total funding. The ranking also does not account for other public and private sources of funding for dental school research. If the ranking's source relied on NIDCR research funding for determine dental school research weight in their ranking formula, the ranking is relying on incomplete data and is mostly likely invalid.​

Because there are (1) different models of dental schools, some heavily focusing on instruction, research, or having some balance between the two, (2) no complete data of student-to-faculty ratio provided by the ADA, (3) varying degrees of both redundancy in curriculum and lengths in academic year which skew total instructional hours ranking, and (3) students who have different selection factors when choosing a dental school, no ranking can seriously rank dental schools into a single list.

Please leave the ranking to each applicant, who must ultimately research and choose the school for him- or herself. Any other ranking made by another person, who is neither financially- nor emotionally-invested in the applicant's life, is unnecssary and sometimes harmful.
 

tooth knockn

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