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Help Me Make A Big Decision!

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Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster.


I wanted to hear your thoughts about my situation. I just finished up my third year at an Ontario university.


Year 1: Let's not even talk about it :P

Year 2: 86.2%

Year 3: 88.1%

Year 4: TBD


Here's what I'll be applying with this year (all full time semesters)

Western (Best 2): 87.1%

OMSAS (Lowest year dropped): 3.75

AADSAS (No years dropped): 3.62


Here's what I'll be applying with If I take a year off so schools can include my 4th year grades.

Western (Best 2): 90.6% (assuming I get 8 A+'s and 2 A's which I think is doable considering I would only be taking 3 courses per semester + 2 courses per semester counting towards my honours project).

OMSAS (Lowest year dropped): 3.83

AADSAS (4 year gpa): 3.78


So here's the deal. Realistically, I think I only have a shot at Western while my other option would be the states.


Option 1: Apply to US schools and Western this upcoming cycle and go to US if I get a rejection from western. Let's assume I get a rejection from western but I get accepted in the states.


Option 2: Apply to western only this upcoming cycle and if I get a rejection, apply to western and the states in the next cycle (Class of 2022) and accept any school that accepts me. Let's assume I get an acceptance from western and the states in the second attempt.


Option 1 Pro's

- Much better clinical training in the states (from what I've heard)

- Become a dentist at age 25 (enter the field 1 year earlier compared to option 2)

- I have a buddy in UDM tearing it up so I'll have all his notes, guidance and connections  :P


Option 1 Con's

- I would be $230,000 more in debt compared to option 2 (but keep in mind I would be a year ahead, so I think I think I can knock off at least 80k off of this in my first year of work)

- Tuition (410k)

- I would have to write the US DAT, write up a personal statement and get 3-4 LOR's all within the next 2-3 months while working 40h a week in a lab.

- AND I would have to write the Canadian DAT in November to apply for western because they wouldn't accept the US DAT that I would write this summer.

- My dad would pass me down his 2010 Honda Civic -_-



Option 2 Pro's

- Save $230,000 compared to option 1 (tuition 180k)

- I can write the Canadian DAT this November which I can use for BOTH US and Western.

- Take a year off (I don't know if this is a pro or a con LOL)

- I would reward myself with a 2017 Civic SI  :P


Option 2 Con's

- Enter the workforce 1 year later (I always have the thought where I would be making 300-400k in my 50's, so working an extra year as a dentist (if I go to the states) would outweigh the price difference between US and Canada, but then again I think about the ~10 years that it would take to payoff a 500k loan :P)

- There is also the chance that I don't get into western on my second attempt. I would feel like crap for wasting a year of my life just to bank on western.




- 2 years of lab experience (hopefully I'll have a first author publication by the end of my 4th year) + 4 poster sessions this summer (2 conferences in Toronto)

- 100h shadowing

- VP Pre-Dental club, Pres this year

- Half-marathon coming up next month 

- Competitive beach volley ball in the summers

- Private piano teacher (had 5 students at my peak)

There is hope for western considering the new ABS and personal statement system they're implementing and I'm really curious as to what will come out of it. I know the cutoff for last years interview was 87.5 however I've heard that people with 84's have been interviewed this year. I'm just not sure if western is going to accept a lot of people with lower averages but impressive EC's. I'm patiently waiting for them to release their stats for the class of 2020. Hopefully those who applied to western this year will get the good news soon!

Also, StriveP, congrats on the Harvard acceptance!!!!! 


So what do I do? If I go with Option 2, what would you suggest I do during my year off? I was thinking of doing a 1 year MBA but it seems like you have to have full time work experience  ;) .  Thank you in advance!





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I would definitely try my luck in Canada 3 or maybe 4 times before moving to States. Going to US at this time is a financial suicide in my opinion, unless your parents are paying for it or you marry a rich girl lol 

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Write the Canadian DAT this November and get a high DAT score (20+ in each section). You have great ECs and it will definitely help you with westerns new ABS + PS. Nobody knows how much the ABS will factor in but I'm sure it'll give you a chance to get an interview and have a better shot at an admission here! Good luck!

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A few things, the US does prepare you better clinically than most Canadian schools (I know as a fact that UofT and Western are terrible when it comes to this). And since option 1 allows you to graduate 1 year earlier, I would go with that. 


More importantly, if you got an extra year to spare then I would HIGHLY recommend you move to Alberta for a year so you have a shot at getting into UofA dentistry too. By living in Alberta for a year will get, you'll get 40k/year Alberta student loan that's interest free for 4 years... plus the 250k+ loan from the bank = 410k+ for your tuition if you want to go study in the US. That's pretty much how i'm going to pay most of my tuition (but Boston has an expensive living expense so I'm gonna have to reach into my pockets for that lol). The other option is moving to BC but their student loan program is much less (17k/year) but their dental school is much less competitive. Just a few loopholes I learned in the past few years.

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I would say do the most that you can to try to get into a Canadian school first. Especially if you plan to practice dentistry in Canada. Not only is tuition more expensive in the US but you have to factor in the value of the Canadian dollar unfortunately.... as of today you'd be paying 20% more for every dollar spent in the US. Things can change in 4-5 years, of course, but with the oil prices the way they are it doesn't look like it'll get much better than that for a good while. And on top of that there's the interests charged on a $500k loan, it sounds like a financial nightmare to be honest. 

If you find that there's just no way that you can get into a Canadian school for some reason and your dream career is in dentistry then absolutely go to the US!


Good luck

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I dislike Option 2 only for one reason: 2017 Civic SI; k20z3 is a much better platform (too bad its old now). :D If that 2010 is an SI, I'd ask for that from my parents as a entrance gift/extra motivation ;)  PS: I'm biased... I've got a 2006 SI

But in all seriousness, I would probably follow Option 2, and take the year off to relax and get to enjoy yourself a little. I know of a few people who wish they did that... but it's really up to you. If you *think* you're lacking clinical training at the end of your dental schooling, you could always do a 1-year internship at the hospital at Schulich. There are lots of options to get you the confidence you need, but IMO it's the skills you learn over a lifetime that makes you a better person/dentist, not the things you only get to see in 4 years at any school. Demographics change as you move from city to city.

All the best ^_^ 


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