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Hey everybody,

 

I currently find myself in an unique situation. I am just entering my second year undergrad, but I have recieved two Australian dental school offers (JCU & Griffiths); however, these universities only offer a BDS. My average is fairly competitive for first year (88 avg or 3.9 GPA). I have a few concerns before I respond to these offers that I was hoping someone could help me address.

 

1) I know that a BDS is an accredited degree in Canada due to the recently ratified reciprocal agreement, but is it a respected degree? Is doing a BDS considered a "backdoor way" of getting a dental degree? Would I be able to find work while the rest of my colleagues have a DDS/DMD?

 

2) Would one be able to specialize in Canada? I would be able to specialize in Australia, but my specialization wouldn't be recognized in Canada. Also, considering the low amount of seats readily available for dental students to specialize in Canada, I would assume that the preference would be given to someone who graduated from a Canadian dental school with a "professional" degree.

 

This is by far the hardest decision I have had to make. The situation of me rejecting these offers, but not getting accepted to any other dental school in a couple years has played over in my mind multiple times. On the flip side, the situation of me accepting this offer, but being seen has having an "inferior" education leading me to be rejected from future employment or academic opportunities has also crossed my mind.

 

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Here's my opinion:

 

Apply to Canadian schools. You're just entering your second year of undergrad, and it seems your first year went well. So don't rush and accept those offers. My rationale is that say your first situation comes true... you don't get accepted to a school in Canada in the next couple of years... sure it sucks, but maybe you apply a year later and you get accepted. Not everyone gets accepted into a Canadian dental school right off the bat, sometimes you have to apply twice or more. The point being said, provided you stay competitive (and i imagine you intend to) then you'll get in eventually. On the other hand, if you already view the BDS as "inferior", whether true or not, you'll carry that for the rest of your career and you'll likely only end up wishing you had gone to a Canadian school. So, I'd say give it time, complete the pre-reqs for the schools you're interested in, do your DAT and apply (and if you get rejected: apply again!). Should it for some reason not work out and you just don't see yourself getting into a Canadian school THEN I would consider the Australia/Ireland/US route.

 

Just my 2 cents! Good luck!

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BDS=DDS=DMD. An Australian dental degree is equal to a Canadian dental degree and you wont have a problem getting a job. I know dentists that graduated from middle east and they are working in Canada right now! But keep in mind that Australian dental degrees are a lot more expensive than Canadian ones and its definitely a better option to study in Canada, but if you are moneyed and cost is not an issue for you then I would say go ahead and take the offer. Its quite a big opportunity and you'll be ahead 4 years. 

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BDS=DDS=DMD. An Australian dental degree is equal to a Canadian dental degree and you wont have a problem getting a job. I know dentists that graduated from middle east and they are working in Canada right now! But keep in mind that Australian dental degrees are a lot more expensive than Canadian ones and its definitely a better option to study in Canada, but if you are moneyed and cost is not an issue for you then I would say go ahead and take the offer. Its quite a big opportunity and you'll be ahead 4 years. 

go to australia. save time.

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Hey everybody,

 

I currently find myself in an unique situation. I am just entering my second year undergrad, but I have recieved two Australian dental school offers (JCU & Griffiths); however, these universities only offer a BDS. My average is fairly competitive for first year (88 avg or 3.9 GPA). I have a few concerns before I respond to these offers that I was hoping someone could help me address.

 

1) I know that a BDS is an accredited degree in Canada due to the recently ratified reciprocal agreement, but is it a respected degree? Is doing a BDS considered a "backdoor way" of getting a dental degree? Would I be able to find work while the rest of my colleagues have a DDS/DMD?

 

2) Would one be able to specialize in Canada? I would be able to specialize in Australia, but my specialization wouldn't be recognized in Canada. Also, considering the low amount of seats readily available for dental students to specialize in Canada, I would assume that the preference would be given to someone who graduated from a Canadian dental school with a "professional" degree.

 

This is by far the hardest decision I have had to make. The situation of me rejecting these offers, but not getting accepted to any other dental school in a couple years has played over in my mind multiple times. On the flip side, the situation of me accepting this offer, but being seen has having an "inferior" education leading me to be rejected from future employment or academic opportunities has also crossed my mind.

Have you decided? I am on exactly the same boat as you!

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Why take on more debt when you don't have to...

Sure it might feel good to get into dental now, but things will take more time to fall into place and you'll probably be more stressed out. I dunno, I'm gonna keep applying in Canada until I get in. Unless you're gpa isn't stellar or you're just really not that that confident in your abilities then yeah go somewhere else, but you seem to have a good gpa. Keep it up and get in here. Don't be in such a rush, enjoy the process and work hard.

 

You might be ahead by getting into dental, but those who waited and got in here in Canada will be ahead of you down the road. Think about your goals as a dentist. We're all for the most part pretty young, what we want changes constantly. It's a gamble to make a decision like that at a young age cause you might regret it later on. Australia and the states will always be there. Stay calm and bust it out. You'll be better for it in the end.

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Why take on more debt when you don't have to...

Sure it might feel good to get into dental now, but things will take more time to fall into place and you'll probably be more stressed out. I dunno, I'm gonna keep applying in Canada until I get in. Unless you're gpa isn't stellar or you're just really not that that confident in your abilities then yeah go somewhere else, but you seem to have a good gpa. Keep it up and get in here. Don't be in such a rush, enjoy the process and work hard.

 

You might be ahead by getting into dental, but those who waited and got in here in Canada will be ahead of you down the road. Think about your goals as a dentist. We're all for the most part pretty young, what we want changes constantly. It's a gamble to make a decision like that at a young age cause you might regret it later on. Australia and the states will always be there. Stay calm and bust it out. You'll be better for it in the end.

Just wondering how you'd be ahead in the long run if you waited and got into Canadian school as opposed to going to Australia? I'm genuinely curious.

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Why take on more debt when you don't have to...

Wouldn't saving 4 years of tuition and earning 4 extra years of salary be beneficial?

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I just think it's a lot of debt to take on

300k vs 500k

You won't be covered for the entire cost by the bank and you'll have to put up a lot yourself. So you need a rich family that will support you.

I could be working for a couple more years but in my head that money ill make in those two years wont be enough to cover the additional cost of going to Australia. Who knows how much I'll really make coming outta dental, lot's of unknowns with Australia. Staying in Canada is safer and more economical in my head, but I'm sure there are effective ways around it. I just haven't heard of anything that's made me wanna consider leaving.

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I just think it's a lot of debt to take on

300k vs 500k

You won't be covered for the entire cost by the bank and you'll have to put up a lot yourself. So you need a rich family that will support you.

I could be working for a couple more years but in my head that money ill make in those two years wont be enough to cover the additional cost of going to Australia. Who knows how much I'll really make coming outta dental, lot's of unknowns with Australia. Staying in Canada is safer and more economical in my head, but I'm sure there are effective ways around it. I just haven't heard of anything that's made me wanna consider leaving.

not sure where your getting the 500K from.... it is more in the range of 325-350K ...

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living expenses won't bring it up to 500K.  I finished up in Melbourne in December 2015 (the second most expensive city after Sydney), and it was nowhere near 500K.  not even 400K. Keep in mind that when I started, 1 AUD was 1.06 CAD.  And contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be rich to make studying in Australia possible.

 

Having spoken to many potential employers in Australia, there is a bias against certain dental schools and I'm sure the same is true in Canada.  Sure there's always going to be a few bad apples from a school that will ruin it for an employer, but certain schools have come up more than once.  Griffith is one of them.  I assume you're going to want to return to Canada, so I suggest that you go to a school that prepares you well for private practice.  JCU is very new, so I have not heard much about their grads or program.  My fiance (also a dentist), works with a few Griffith grads and they have gotten into trouble for various things such as unprofessional behaviour, poor record keeping, and unsatisfactory clinical skills.  That may have to do with the fact that they entered dental school straight from highschool, whereas everyone from Melbourne had done undergrad prior to dentistry.

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You're just going into second year of undergrad?

 

This isn't a race.

 

Defer your acceptance as much as possible and try to get into a Canadian school.

 

[Edit] This is also just my opinion here, but I know that personally I did not have the work ethic and maturity level to flourish in dental school in my second year of undergrad. Not even in my 3rd or maybe 4th year of undergrad. I obviously can't speak to the experiences at JCU/Griffiths since they seem to admit people right from highschool, but I would give the thought of studying dentistry off the bat at such a young age some serious thought. It's not a dig against you at all, but you need to really consider if 1) this is really what you want to do in life and 2) are you ready for it? Because IMHO, I think a very small minority of people have these two things fleshed out by the time they're 19/20. You've simply got a lot of growing to do and a lot of fun to have in the time remaining in your bachelor degree. Use that.

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I think the question here is: 

 

How competitive are JCU's and Griffith dental school's admissions? 

 

If it is competitive and you did get in, then by all means take the offer. It reminds of the thread "Is it insane to turn down your only medical school offer?" but of course it's a little different here. 

 

If it's not THAT competitive, then you're technically not losing anything. If you think you can keep up your gpa then your application is only getting better, and you can always fall back on Australia if Canada doesn't work out....It also gives you the time to think about life and if dentistry is really for you. If you find a new passion, you're not stuck with a 5 years BDS degree lol. 

 

What do you think about this thought process? 

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I think the question here is: 

 

How competitive are JCU's and Griffith dental school's admissions? 

 

If it is competitive and you did get in, then by all means take the offer. It reminds of the thread "Is it insane to turn down your only medical school offer?" but of course it's a little different here. 

 

If it's not THAT competitive, then you're technically not losing anything. If you think you can keep up your gpa then your application is only getting better, and you can always fall back on Australia if Canada doesn't work out....It also gives you the time to think about life and if dentistry is really for you. If you find a new passion, you're not stuck with a 5 years BDS degree lol. 

 

What do you think about this thought process? 

Does anyone actually know how competitive these schools are? 

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I've never encountered any significant bias against any Canadian dental school, even the ones that accept very young students with no university education.

That sounds like a suspect program to me if it's systematically producing unethical/unprofessional dentists.

Maybe not a significant bias, but there may be some sort of preference towards graduates from certain program.  I can't find the post, but someone on the forums said that they have come across employers who prefer graduates from certain schools over others.  Makes sense considering clinical experience varies from school to school and even between students from the same school.  Again, it could just be a case of a few rotten apples making the bunch look bad.

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Maybe not a significant bias, but there may be some sort of preference towards graduates from certain program.  I can't find the post, but someone on the forums said that they have come across employers who prefer graduates from certain schools over others.  Makes sense considering clinical experience varies from school to school and even between students from the same school.  Again, it could just be a case of a few rotten apples making the bunch look bad.

I'm just wondering which school is more highly regarded between sydney and melbourne, and how difficult was it to find a job after you graduated. Also, do you plan on returning to Canada?

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I would argue that the benefit to waiting is not so much in terms of dental school performance but in taking time to get to know yourself and better understand your career options before financially obliging yourself to dentistry with a giant load of student debt.

 

I don't think we're disagreeing. I think OP needs to evaluate seriously whether or not this is really what they want, not because they may not be able to handle the academics, but because they may not be able to handle the decision. There's a lot of personal development to do in the years leading up to professional school; your mind could change 8 times. I savoured the time I had before dental school and used a lot of it to try to figure myself out. I think OP might (not for sure) be doing him/herself a disservice if they didn't think about that.

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I've never encountered any significant bias against any Canadian dental school, even the ones that accept very young students with no university education.

That sounds like a suspect program to me if it's systematically producing unethical/unprofessional dentists.

 

I haven't encountered significant bias, but definitely a preference. U of T folks tend to hire other U of T folks at the very least. And in one of my offices someone was actually let go because of gross discrepancies in treatment planning philosophies that the principal felt was beginning to enter into unethical territory; I can't say whether or not that's entirely or even partially due to the school they went to, it's just an echoed sentiment from my boss.

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I think I would take it. it's true that AUS dental schools are more expensive, but the fact that you start working 3 years sooner while avoiding that hassle of getting an undergrad and going through the application processes would make it worth it to me.

 

However if you don't mind working hard for another 2-3 more years and maintaining your grades then you also stand a good chance of getting accepted in Canada. I'm actually going into my 4th and applying for the first time this year with similar albeit lower grades then you (check out my thread). But had I known about the AUS option in first year i think it would have done that instead, shoot, I would be graduating next year.... for me school is really has just been a means to an end, I've always known I wanted to go into healthcare and I didn't need 4 years of "maturing", it wouldn't have made a difference if i had gotten accepted 3 years ago or now I've always been certain about my decision.  

 

srry for ranting, lol 

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How many new dentists do these australian programs bring in to Canada every year? as if there wasn't enough graduates already...

 

Edit: And I don't understand why they can't specialize? Don't schools in canada only want you to complete a dental program accredited by the CDA? or am I missing something? 

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How many new dentists do these australian programs bring in to Canada every year? as if there wasn't enough graduates already...

 

Edit: And I don't understand why they can't specialize? Don't schools in canada only want you to complete a dental program accredited by the CDA? or am I missing something?

Australian dental schools are accredited by the CDA. Regarding the specialization, I think OP was referring to how competitive it is in Canada to gain acceptance to a school.

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Having spoken to many potential employers in Australia, there is a bias against certain dental schools and I'm sure the same is true in Canada. Sure there's always going to be a few bad apples from a school that will ruin it for an employer, but certain schools have come up more than once. Griffith is one of them. I assume you're going to want to return to Canada, so I suggest that you go to a school that prepares you well for private practice. JCU is very new, so I have not heard much about their grads or program. My fiance (also a dentist), works with a few Griffith grads and they have gotten into trouble for various things such as unprofessional behaviour, poor record keeping, and unsatisfactory clinical skills. That may have to do with the fact that they entered dental school straight from highschool, whereas everyone from Melbourne had done undergrad prior to dentistry.

I read somewhere that JCU gives the most clinical hours out of any school in Australia (and possibly North America). 3rd, 4th, and 5th year are all clinical. 5th year being a rural placement somewhere in Australia.

 

I've also read negative things about Griffith University. Their dental application process doesn't even have an interview. This may possibly be a major reason for the anecdotal, behaviour encountered by your fiancé. Evidently, the interview is completed for a reason and is a necessary part of assessing a candidate.

 

OP, if you do decide to go to Australia, JCU > Griffith. JCU received a $65 million dollar grant from the Australian federal government, so they have brand new, top of the line facilities. U of T professors would be drooling over JCU's facilities.

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