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Hello,

 I'm in a situation where I have to choose between UWO and UofT dental programs. I'm heavily leaning towards UWO atm due to the newly renovated facility, smaller class size, and school atmosphere. However, I've also heard of issues with the claiming chair spots at UWO, as well aware of much more diverse and abundant specialization programs offered at UofT. 

Can any current dental students comment on the chair issues, as well as whether it grants any advantages to pursue one school over another for potential specialization purposes (ex. more exposure, school favouring their own students, etc) 

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Specializing is a numbers game (or in Canada, a matter of GP experience). You will be able to get specialization exposure in both schools. Every school has issues and I’m sure there are ways to deal with these chair issues at UWO.  I’d say pick a school where you will be happy to attend. Financially, it’s probably the same after factoring tuition and COL (maybe UofT is higher due to rent) but UofT doesn’t rank so it may be beneficial down the road when applying to specialities.

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Im biased cus I want UofT waitlist to move haha but I’ve often heard people say to go with whatever school gave you the best gut feeling on the day that you visited. All the other stuff will work itself out.

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Pros of UWO:

  • Small class size is kinda great
  • Get to do molar endo cases (some of which we shouldn't be doing at an undergrad level LOL)... if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Renovated sim clinic is actually kinda nice - the endo scopes and digital radiographs are quite useful
  • Going digital (finally) starting this June
  • I would assume less competition/harsh environment (idk some people kinda lost their minds come 3rd year but oh well)
  • Rumor is we're getting quite a few more clinical instructors; coverage is mediocre/poor from time to time, but we're still getting things done... kinda.
  • I hate the GTA/traffic/busyness/lines/noise
  • Cheaper to live; can actually own and make use of a car (big pro for me.... I like all things with an engine)
  • Can live within 5 minutes of the dental building (walk) for like $900-1000/month (don't quote me on this, but it's in that range.... I drive to school and pay $55/month to park in a covered garage! try to find that in Toronto -.-)
     

Cons of UWO:

  • Instructor coverage was a bit hit/miss this year; said to improve
  • Going digital in June... hehe only a Con for our class and the current 2nd years... how will this all integrate/work? nobody knows.
  • Booking system is hell on earth; but also changing in June with the new digital integrated systems/charts
  • Small class size? depends what you want...
  • London? ...like UK? COOL! no.
  • Only two specialization programs here; if you care about that - but IMO it's a pro.... we can to do more things that undergrads don't normally do.
    • Don't be one of those.... didn't even get in yet: "I want to specialize into OMFS.".... you (likely) have very little clue what dentistry is all about

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Zaandrei. said:

Pros of UWO:

  • Small class size is kinda great
  • Get to do molar endo cases (some of which we shouldn't be doing at an undergrad level LOL)... if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Renovated sim clinic is actually kinda nice - the endo scopes and digital radiographs are quite useful
  • Going digital (finally) starting this June
  • I would assume less competition/harsh environment (idk some people kinda lost their minds come 3rd year but oh well)
  • Rumor is we're getting quite a few more clinical instructors; coverage is mediocre/poor from time to time, but we're still getting things done... kinda.
  • I hate the GTA/traffic/busyness/lines/noise
  • Cheaper to live; can actually own and make use of a car (big pro for me.... I like all things with an engine)
  • Can live within 5 minutes of the dental building (walk) for like $900-1000/month (don't quote me on this, but it's in that range.... I drive to school and pay $55/month to park in a covered garage! try to find that in Toronto -.-)
     

Cons of UWO:

  • Instructor coverage was a bit hit/miss this year; said to improve
  • Going digital in June... hehe only a Con for our class and the current 2nd years... how will this all integrate/work? nobody knows.
  • Booking system is hell on earth; but also changing in June with the new digital integrated systems/charts
  • Small class size? depends what you want...
  • London? ...like UK? COOL! no.
  • Only two specialization programs here; if you care about that - but IMO it's a pro.... we can to do more things that undergrads don't normally do.
    • Don't be one of those.... didn't even get in yet: "I want to specialize into OMFS.".... you (likely) have very little clue what dentistry is all about

 

 

 

If you get a roommate you can live for 450-500 with a 5 minute walking distance. Otherwise it’s about 1000 per month for a single bedroom unit at a 5 minute walk!

Hopefully the digital system is in full flow with minimal problems by the time the 2022s get into main clinic.

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I know a few students who got into dental school at both UofT and UWO, and all of them chose UofT instead of UWO. When I asked them why, they mentioned a few reasons:

1. Toronto is a much better city than London

2. UofT has more opportunities to specialize

3. UofT has more opportunities for research

4. UofT provides better networking opportunities with other dental professionals, which is helpful when it comes to wanting to shadow specialists

I can't give you advice on this because I'm not even in dental school, but I'm just passing on the info these students gave me since you might find it helpful. As others have mentioned above, there are also many pros to going to UWO so it's ultimately just your choice! 

Congrats on getting into both schools and I'm sure you'll be fine with whatever decision you make!

P.S. As someone who is on the UWO waitlist... I really hope you choose UofT ;) 

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Also to add to these guys^ I chose UWO over UoT ^_^

The admissions person single-handedly changed my mind after going for a tour back in the day when said individual was still with us at UWO. 

 

EDIT: to add...
- Have Summer Research Studentships - $5000 stipend to work for 12 weeks during the summer with a PI/project of your choosing. Somewhat competitive but not really. Can get travel awards to go to various conferences.
- No class rank given to us - maybe it's behind the curtains, but we were not given any - they used to give us class ranking before my group started.

- You can get as many new patients as you want; that's not the problem. How much time do you have available to work on them/get cubicles for is the problem lol -_-

- Hospital rotations/private office rotations are part of the 4th year curriculum

- Brand new curriculum with Wave technique for endodontics. Had Next1/2 curriculum for a few years, then updated to the latest and greatest. But I'll be honest you typically get to do about 5-6 teeth of endo clinically; 1 of each max/mand molar and whatever else.

 

Honestly either school will get you there; personally I made my choice due to lifestyle, not because one school offered something significantly better than the other tbh. Hard to compare/contrast when you haven't been through both schools.

 

 

 

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I'll speak about U of T and include some things that many people do not consider when they begin their dental education:

Pros:

- Extremely progressive curriculum. We used to never learn implants in prosthodontics in second year but since these past 2 years, implants are a part of second year. Gone are microbiology and other lab sessions that proved to not be useful and now we get to do a lot more clinical assisting (i.e. real patients) in first year through our Comprehensive Care Program (CCP).

- Smoother transition from undergrad to dental school in first year. First year has had many modifications in order for students to feel acquainted with the workload of dental school. The exam schedule is less stressful than the way Western has their exam schedule.

- Longer first year summer. First year students have 4 months of summer at U of T, while Western students don't get off until June. You can use this time to do research, shadow, travel, work, etc. This is also the very last 4 month summer of your life, so make good use of it!

- Strong patient pool. Toronto and GTA's catchment is larger than London and surrounding regions.

- Scholarship. Unsure of how much Western pays (I understand there are bursaries and Schulich scholarships), but U of T automatically gives us a $2,000 scholarship for being in this professional program. 

- Easy to find shadowing opportunities in surrounding private practices and specialty clinics at the school. Faculty and residents encourage you to shadow and some have a preference for U of T students.

- Hospital rotations. You will have the opportunity to rotate through some hospitals including: Mt. Sinai, Sick Kids, Sunnybrook, and CAMH. Each hospital has different types of patients to observe and treat. 

- Research opportunities are very plentiful. U of T prides itself in being a didactic institution so research opportunities are always available.

- No class rank. We have GPA and that is it. If you're unsure of a specialty or not... do not worry that class rank will dictate your fate. Just keep your GPA at a decent level and do not worry about comparing to others like you would at Western with class rank.

- Very few schools (I was told none in Canada) allow you to have such major input to changes at the Faculty like Toronto does. I sit on student leadership that gets the chance to speak to Faculty about issues once per 1-2 months. And some have open door policies so we can always go in and speak with them. I was told this is not the case in many other schools.

- And then your typical pros like networking opportunities are more plentiful, Toronto is a bigger city and has more attractions/restaurants/places to visit and shop at, and etc.

Cons:

- Bigger class size. This isn't really a con IMO because you have a higher chance of finding people you click well with. So you can look at it either as a pro or a con.

- Rent is more expensive because you are in the city.

- Older facilities but they are being renovated as we speak (the cafeteria, lounge, and grad labs are all renovated). The library and auditorium will be renovated soon then the clinics.

- You may not be able to get to do the molar endo like you may at UWO but you still may be able to... it would be the luck of the draw.

- It would be nice to have a bigger emphasis on wellness. We are working on this and we hope wellness will play a much larger part of the Faculty in the future.

 

EDIT: Both schools have their pros and cons. @Zaandrei. is a very good person to talk to about UWO. He's very involved at Schulich and has done research (through the summer research program) and presented at conferences. :) 

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11 hours ago, Starburst said:

I thought specialty programs don't care if you went to UofT or UWO ...? 

I really don't know, I'm just passing on the info that the dental students told me! I'm not a dental student so I can't say for sure!

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On 5/10/2018 at 5:17 PM, Zaandrei. said:

Pros of UWO:

  • Small class size is kinda great
  • Get to do molar endo cases (some of which we shouldn't be doing at an undergrad level LOL)... if you're into that sort of thing.
  • Renovated sim clinic is actually kinda nice - the endo scopes and digital radiographs are quite useful
  • Going digital (finally) starting this June
  • I would assume less competition/harsh environment (idk some people kinda lost their minds come 3rd year but oh well)
  • Rumor is we're getting quite a few more clinical instructors; coverage is mediocre/poor from time to time, but we're still getting things done... kinda

Cons of UWO:

  • Instructor coverage was a bit hit/miss this year; said to improve
  • Going digital in June... hehe only a Con for our class and the current 2nd years... how will this all integrate/work? nobody knows.
  • Booking system is hell on earth; but also changing in June with the new digital integrated systems/charts
  • Small class size? depends what you want...
  • London? ...like UK? COOL! no.
  • Only two specialization programs here; if you care about that - but IMO it's a pro.... we can to do more things that undergrads don't normally do.
    • Don't be one of those.... didn't even get in yet: "I want to specialize into OMFS.".... you (likely) have very little clue what dentistry is all about

 

 

 

Hahaha finally. Digital charts were promised before but they decided to waste 3 mil (?) on the anesthesia clinic instead that was delayed for so long.

Don't put any hope in the rumours of more clinical instructors until you see them on the floor. Everyone's heard that many times.

I think you get better endo/OMFS training at UWO because you can do most endos (no referral to Grad) and IIRC OS we got to do surgical exos with bone removal and sectioning teeth using the stryker. Don't know if it's still the same but UT used to have week-long rotations in oral surgery every once in a while whereas at UWO you did regular rotations and I think overall we got more extractions in UWO (maybe less if you have people in your rotation who leave class 5 minutes early to go peek at the patient charts and cherry pick which case they want ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

As far as I know, specialties don't really care about where you come from. People who want to go to the school because of the specialty program being located there usually are in the department all the time kissing ass. I feel like I heard UoT OMFS director preferred people who went through his GPR at the hospital but I don't even know if it's the same director anymore. Grass is always greener, just pick wherever you have more friends/where you will have more fun. Doesn't matter because if you really want to specialize, you have the option to the USA anyways - more choices in programs/better programs with greater connections to larger organizations and big name people.

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Many of these pros/cons are entirely dependent on the person - class size, city, catchment area (dental students regardless of where they are will be doing essentially the same things, seeing a rare case will not make/break your education). UWO no longer discloses class rank.

Class schedule: I believe UofT has many exams spread out through the year. Western has most exams concentrated in December-February.

Specialty programs: chances are you will not specialize. UofT has more specialty programs so it may be easier to network. But at the end of the day both schools have students that specialize and networking with those program directors alone probably will not be enough to match. More specialty programs might also mean those cases are likely to be referred out. UWO supposedly has very good endo education relative to other Canadian programs.

Research: everyone I know who wanted to do research got a position. I don’t think there’s a significant difference at either school.

As someone from the GTA, I think the biggest con about UWO is that London is a pretty sad place to live in.

Ultimately you should make your decision based on the school you like better and where you want to be/where your family/friends are. I don’t think any difference in education between the two schools trumps that. 

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