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Negura Bunget

Thinking of applying to OMFS Programs in the USA?

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11 minutes ago, Negura Bunget said:

I'd like to be a resource for people. Something that I never had. 

Feel free to ask any questions regarding the application process, CBSE, 4 vs 6, interviews, grades, etc.

I'm a second year resident at a 6 year program. Currently in the medical school portion of the program. 

NG

Which dental school did you attend and do you plan on practicing and residing in the US?

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12 minutes ago, VivaColombia said:

Which dental school did you attend and do you plan on practicing and residing in the US?

I went to the University of Pennsylvania.

Not sure yet. To be totally honest, the scope of practice for OMFS is generally better in the US. Just more opportunities to do what you like/pursue fellowships. Even with residency programs, outside of a couple, most Canadain OMFS programs are geared towards residents pursuing private practice (which is what most grads end up doing in both the US and Canada). So I really dont know. If I'm aiming to do private practice, then sure I'll be back home in a heart beat. But to get hospital privliges in Canada, specfially Ontario, is a mess and its a huge turn off. 

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Congrats on acceptance. So expensive though. I looked into this greatly.  For most students OMFS isn't worth it given the higher cost of dental tuition in Canada relative to medicine.  Even in Canada the track is crippling financially. You basically need to train as long as a doctor without getting paid along the way. And if you go to the US for dental school then your debt load would be insane.  I know someone who did their OMFS in Nashville and greatly regret it because of their debt overhang.  He said he could make just as much money being a dentist given that his extra salary is gobbled up by interest payments.  I think you need to be greatly committed and it needs to be vocation or else you'd get so frustrated doing the job. 

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What I deduced from my source was that if you want to do surgical work, do an MD and try and match into plastics or something similar. It is much less competitive (still competitive but way less competitive than OMFS) and you get paid about the same (with lower tuition along the way, and also better residency comp). Some programs offer no compensation in residency.

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On 11/27/2018 at 5:33 PM, stealth said:

Congrats on acceptance. So expensive though. I looked into this greatly.  For most students OMFS isn't worth it given the higher cost of dental tuition in Canada relative to medicine.  Even in Canada the track is crippling financially. You basically need to train as long as a doctor without getting paid along the way. And if you go to the US for dental school then your debt load would be insane.  I know someone who did their OMFS in Nashville and greatly regret it because of their debt overhang.  He said he could make just as much money being a dentist given that his extra salary is gobbled up by interest payments.  I think you need to be greatly committed and it needs to be vocation or else you'd get so frustrated doing the job. 

 

That only applies if you are looking at the medical school tuition associated with 6 year programs. That tution varies greatly from school to school and different programs make you do different amounts of medical school (Some 1.5, some 2, some 2.5, etc). Outside of the ~2 years of medical school, you are paid a stipend via the hospital at all OMFS programs in the states (GME funded). 

It ends up being:

  • 6 year program: ~4 years of stipend and 2 years of tution for a 6year prgram
  • 4 year programs: Stipend for all 4 years ; no tution. 

Personally, I paid an additional total of 75k for a medical education and degree. Totally worth it IMO. As a resident, stipend is around 55K. No great, but just fine for the cost of living. 

Some progarms make you pay 90-100k per year for medical school. I can see how that can get a bit hairy. 

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35 minutes ago, stealth said:

What I deduced from my source was that if you want to do surgical work, do an MD and try and match into plastics or something similar. It is much less competitive (still competitive but way less competitive than OMFS) and you get paid about the same (with lower tuition along the way, and also better residency comp). Some programs offer no compensation in residency.

"Surgical work" is a broad phrase. If your interests in the scope of OMFS are there, then why settle for something else. Orthognathics, TMJ, trauma, path, dentoalveolar etc. If OMFS checks all the boxes for the scope you want, then that should be the goal.

Sure, if I had initially gone to medical school, I likely would have pursued ENT, which initself is very competative. But the scope of OMFS is one of the most unique in surgery. I dont regret anything. 

What programs does not provide a stipend? Just curious. Just hard to belive. OMFS isnt like ortho or peds, where some programs provide stipends and others don't. All OMFS programs in the US have a stipend as they are GME funded

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What I meant was in Canada to get an MD (4 year regular degree) you are looking at 50-70k in tuition all in, but most dental degrees with additional fees etc. in Canada can run as high as 200k. That is a BIG difference. In the united states I think dental tuition is even higher (you can attest to this?). It is a great profession no doubt, but if you run the numbers, the massive debt overhang and lengthy training (especially in the case of an 6 year w/MD), you better REALLY want to do OMFS or you will be quite disenchanted when you are finished (you also need to put up a massive fixed cost for private practice, some places require an associate buy in).  I agree with your statements but if you have a broad interest in surgical work going into and MD or DMD program, it is financially more viable to go the MD --> specialist route for sure. 

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I just looked up UPenn tuition and it is about 120k USD per year! That is quite high. I admire your choice to do OMFS, but all I am saying is that after all that training at expensive centres, the interest payments will be extremely significant. 

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19 minutes ago, westcoastbestcoast said:

Would you be able to speak on how endodontics compares to OMFS? Similarities? Major differences? Competitiveness to get into programs? Etc.
 

Super broad question haha just wanna hear your thoughts :)

No similarity. Just differences. 

OMFS is a broad scope surgical specialty that includes maxillofacial trauma, orthognathic surgery, TMJ pathology, head & neck path, dentoalveolar, etc. It is a hospital-based residency that lasts 4-6 years.

Endo is a specialty primary dealing with the tooth from a microscopic perspective (RCT, Apicoectomies, etc.) . Residency is usually 2 years and is not hospital based. 

Both are pretty competitive to match to. Can’t speak much regarding Endo, but for OMFS the CBSE, your GPA and your rank are probably the three most important things to consider. Usually each program will take 2-3 residents, with some taking up to 5. 

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2 minutes ago, Negura Bunget said:

No similarity. Just differences. 

OMFS is a broad scope surgical specialty that includes maxillofacial trauma, orthognathic surgery, TMJ pathology, head & neck path, dentoalveolar, etc. It is a hospital-based residency that lasts 4-6 years.

Endo is a specialty primary dealing with the tooth from a microscopic perspective (RCT, Apicoectomies, etc.) . Residency is usually 2 years and is not hospital based. 

Both are pretty competitive to match to. Can’t speak much regarding Endo, but for OMFS the CBSE, your GPA and your rank are probably the three most important things to consider. Usually each program will take 2-3 residents, with some taking up to 5. 

Thanks for the response!
 

Would you know anything about Canadian GPR programs? How valuable are they? How competitive are they to get into?

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1 hour ago, westcoastbestcoast said:

Thanks for the response!
 

Would you know anything about Canadian GPR programs? How valuable are they? How competitive are they to get into?

Not really since I never looked into them. I do know that GPRs can vary greatly in both quality and scope. It comes down to what your goals are. I don’t know about Canada, but GPRs are not typically hard to match to. 

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19 hours ago, westcoastbestcoast said:

When applying for 6-year programs, as they have the MD component, do they consider your UG grades?

Yes, many porgrams will look at undergrad grades, but may not put that much of an emphasis on it. It just differs from program to program. I know people that have matched to 6y programs with less than ideal undergrad GPAs. Mediocre undergrad grades should not deter you from applying  to a 6year program. 

 

18 hours ago, toothurty said:

how important is research in terms of competitiveness? you said they look at class rank, do you know what they do if your school doesn't use a ranking system?

 

It can potentially help your application if it is OMFS related. Likely not going to be a game changer, unless is was major reserach that you pressnted at AAOMS and won awards for, etc. 

The way I see it, only do research if you like reserach. I don't particularly enjoy reserach, so I didn't do it during dental school. Don't force yourself and reluctanctly do dentinal tubule research during dental school becasue you think it'll help your OMFS application. It won't; It may hurt it. OMFS applications aren't like ortho or peds where extracirriculars and volunteering play a major role. Program directors have different criteria they each look for, but for the most part, the CBSE currently remains the most important thing on your application. And the SDN forums will say that a 65+ is competetive, but as a Canadian applicant you want to aim for at least a 70, ideally higher. With immigration/visa issues creeping in with the new POTUS, programs really need a good reason to rank you highly and deal with the heachache of establishing your visa (especially with 6y programs). You need to stand out from the rest. It is an uphill battle. If your school is P/F and/or has no rankings, there is that much more empahsis being placed on the CBSE. And your CBSE score will then in turn be compared to the fellow applicants from your school. 

In short, crush the CBSE (and dental school class if graded). Everything else is secondary. 

 

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4 hours ago, Negura Bunget said:

Yes, many porgrams will look at undergrad grades, but may not put that much of an emphasis on it. It just differs from program to program. I know people that have matched to 6y programs with less than ideal undergrad GPAs. Mediocre undergrad grades should not deter you from applying  to a 6year program. 

 

It can potentially help your application if it is OMFS related. Likely not going to be a game changer, unless is was major reserach that you pressnted at AAOMS and won awards for, etc. 

The way I see it, only do research if you like reserach. I don't particularly enjoy reserach, so I didn't do it during dental school. Don't force yourself and reluctanctly do dentinal tubule research during dental school becasue you think it'll help your OMFS application. It won't; It may hurt it. OMFS applications aren't like ortho or peds where extracirriculars and volunteering play a major role. Program directors have different criteria they each look for, but for the most part, the CBSE currently remains the most important thing on your application. And the SDN forums will say that a 65+ is competetive, but as a Canadian applicant you want to aim for at least a 70, ideally higher. With immigration/visa issues creeping in with the new POTUS, programs really need a good reason to rank you highly and deal with the heachache of establishing your visa (especially with 6y programs). You need to stand out from the rest. It is an uphill battle. If your school is P/F and/or has no rankings, there is that much more empahsis being placed on the CBSE. And your CBSE score will then in turn be compared to the fellow applicants from your school. 

In short, crush the CBSE (and dental school class if graded). Everything else is secondary. 

 

Do programs weight Canadians differently than international dental school graduates? I was looking at the stats and one year, more internationals were admitted and another year, more Canadians were admitted. Although, the amount of Canadians admitted this year had a jump from 4 to 10. Does this have any influence or is it purely CBSE catching the eyes of PDs to get you an interview? I've heard that an 80+ is needed now with the visa issues and America first policies providing more hurdles...

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28 minutes ago, VivaColombia said:

Do programs weight Canadians differently than international dental school graduates? I was looking at the stats and one year, more internationals were admitted and another year, more Canadians were admitted. Although, the amount of Canadians admitted this year had a jump from 4 to 10. Does this have any influence or is it purely CBSE catching the eyes of PDs to get you an interview? I've heard that an 80+ is needed now with the visa issues and America first policies providing more hurdles...

 

Id agree that an 80 would truely make you a competitive applicant as a Canadian. Some places, regarless of your CBSE score wont invite you for the interview due to their hospital policy regarding dishing out visas. With regard to the international vs Canadian, I'd say that most of the internationally trained dentists are matcing into 4y programs. Their visa issues are far more complicated than a Canadians. With Canadians, its more of a formailty, just an expensive and annoying formaility from the programs perspectve. So I'd venture to think that Canadians have a better shot at 6y programs than other internationally trained people. 

From my application year, I remeber meeting a couple other Canadians along the interview trail. We all had above 80 on the CBSE, 3.9+ GPA, and Top 10%. (not saying that is totally nessesary but thats just how it was my year). 

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On 11/27/2018 at 3:35 PM, Negura Bunget said:

I'd like to be a resource for people. Something that I never had. 

Feel free to ask any questions regarding the application process, CBSE, 4 vs 6, interviews, grades, etc.

I'm resident at a 6 year program in the USA. 

NB

 

That's amazing. I recently got into Columbia for dental school but my first choice is Umichigan (waitlisted). Would you say the school you go to makes a difference when applying to OMFS residency? Thank-you!

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On 12/12/2018 at 11:16 PM, Starburst said:

That's amazing. I recently got into Columbia for dental school but my first choice is Umichigan (waitlisted). Would you say the school you go to makes a difference when applying to OMFS residency? Thank-you!

Yes and No. There is really no answer to this question. Certain dental schools tend to pump out a lot of people that go into specialties. The age old question is: Do these schools just attract people interested in specializing from the outset?

Personally, just based on the way programs directors and faculty speak about certain schools, I do believe there is a certain edge (minimal), but its all heavily debated. I feel that school name helps an applicant that already has a solid application; it just adds that "extra punch", if you know what I mean.

You'll see in the interviews, schools like Harvard, Columbia, UPenn, UCLA etc. will dominate the applicant pool. It's really hard to dismiss the sheer number of students those schools put in OMFS interviews and subsequently, residencies . That being said, there are always applicants from all over the country, but the aforementioned pattern is hard to miss. I know that really does not answer your question, but that's the best I can do.

A seperate issue entriely is that fact that Columbia has med school classes to start, which can be helpful when it comes time to taking the CBSE. A caveat: People tend to put more of an emphasis on than I think it deserves. I went to a dental school with no medical school cirriculum and a bunch of us crushed the CBSE. In the end you'll have to study hard+smart regardless and the high scores will be those that are able to do that, not what school they went to. 

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16 hours ago, Negura Bunget said:

Id agree that an 80 would truely make you a competitive applicant as a Canadian. Some places, regarless of your CBSE score wont invite you for the interview due to their hospital policy regarding dishing out visas. With regard to the international vs Canadian, I'd say that most of the internationally trained dentists are matcing into 4y programs. Their visa issues are far more complicated than a Canadians. With Canadians, its more of a formailty, just an expensive and annoying formaility from the programs perspectve. So I'd venture to think that Canadians have a better shot at 6y programs than other internationally trained people. 

From my application year, I remeber meeting a couple other Canadians along the interview trail. We all had above 80 on the CBSE, 3.9+ GPA, and Top 10%. (not saying that is totally nessesary but thats just how it was my year). 

How does it work after completing your residency if you want to stay in the US? Do you get an H1B visa or TN visa and work as an associate until you get your GC? Or is there a different process that leads you to GC? I'm assuming its a long path to residency if you plan to settle there, please correct me if i'm wrong just something to consider.

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2 hours ago, VivaColombia said:

How does it work after completing your residency if you want to stay in the US? Do you get an H1B visa or TN visa and work as an associate until you get your GC? Or is there a different process that leads you to GC? I'm assuming its a long path to residency if you plan to settle there, please correct me if i'm wrong just something to consider.

Yeah, something along those lines of visa first then GC. Tbh I'm not totally familar with the procress, but many people have got it done in the past w/o issue. Some programs offer the TN or H1B during residency which is a bit of a bonus.

I'm just focusing on residency as this point. 

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On 12/12/2018 at 11:51 PM, Negura Bunget said:

Yes and No. There is really no answer to this question. Certain dental schools tend to pump out a lot of people that go into specialties. The age old question is: Do these schools just attract people interested in specializing from the outset?

Personally, just based on the way programs directors and faculty speak about certain schools, I do believe there is a certain edge (minimal), but its all heavily debated. I feel that school name helps an applicant that already has a solid application; it just adds that "extra punch", if you know what I mean.

You'll see in the interviews, schools like Harvard, Columbia, UPenn, UCLA etc. will dominate the applicant pool. It's really hard to dismiss the sheer number of students those schools put in OMFS interviews and subsequently, residencies . That being said, there are always applicants from all over the country, but the aforementioned pattern is hard to miss. I know that really does not answer your question, but that's the best I can do.

A seperate issue entriely is that fact that Columbia has med school classes to start, which can be helpful when it comes time to taking the CBSE. A caveat: People tend to put more of an emphasis on than I think it deserves. I went to a dental school with no medical school cirriculum and a bunch of us crushed the CBSE. In the end you'll have to study hard+smart regardless and the high scores will be those that are able to do that, not what school they went to. 

Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Is there anything you would recommend doing now to prepare before starting dental school? And would non-dental research publications help me when applying for OMFS residency?

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