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Strengths and Weaknesses of UofS?


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Hello, 

I was hoping to hear about some experiences with UofS's program. I haven't been able to find too much info on it. What are the best and worst parts of their dental school/curriculum? 

I'm particularly interested in clinical exposure, opportunities after dentistry, and workload. 

- I'm currently trying to decide between UofS and the Buffalo School of Dentistry (and hoping to hear back from Western soon). I'm leaning heavily towards staying in Canada (bc of the cost of US schools) but want to make the most informed decision. Any insight is helpful! 

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Read the first reply by Kentuckyfriedblaziken in this thread in regards to deciding between US and CAD school. 

Not sure of your financial situation, but personally, if I could afford it and if not for personal circumstances of mine, I'd go to a U.S. dental school. I discussed with many U.S. dental school graduates and from what they tell me, there's a LOT more clinical exposure as most US schools require you to reach quotas on certain procedures in order for you to graduate and you'll feel ready to practice right after dental school. Sure it's expensive, but if you can start working right out of school, then it's fine.

I've also spoken to many ppl who've graduated from CAD schools and all the ones I have spoken to told me that they didn't feel ready to work due to the lack of clinical exposure. Many had to opt for GPR to gain experience because they didn't feel ready (Keep in mind, GPR doesn't pay well/a year of lost income) and the few that did find a job right after school, told me they were so lost and relied heavily on their colleagues to help them out. 

 

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20 hours ago, joecatman said:

Hello, 

I was hoping to hear about some experiences with UofS's program. I haven't been able to find too much info on it. What are the best and worst parts of their dental school/curriculum? 

I'm particularly interested in clinical exposure, opportunities after dentistry, and workload. 

- I'm currently trying to decide between UofS and the Buffalo School of Dentistry (and hoping to hear back from Western soon). I'm leaning heavily towards staying in Canada (bc of the cost of US schools) but want to make the most informed decision. Any insight is helpful! 

Keep in mind, you'll be attending/living in either place for at least 48 months, so consider the atmosphere of the city, living costs, transportation, etc. I've lived in Saskatoon for the last 4 years, if you have any questions.

I assume you're Canadian, are you from SK?

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On 4/20/2019 at 9:03 AM, hellothere123 said:

Read the first reply by Kentuckyfriedblaziken in this thread in regards to deciding between US and CAD school. 

Not sure of your financial situation, but personally, if I could afford it and if not for personal circumstances of mine, I'd go to a U.S. dental school. I discussed with many U.S. dental school graduates and from what they tell me, there's a LOT more clinical exposure as most US schools require you to reach quotas on certain procedures in order for you to graduate and you'll feel ready to practice right after dental school. Sure it's expensive, but if you can start working right out of school, then it's fine.

I've also spoken to many ppl who've graduated from CAD schools and all the ones I have spoken to told me that they didn't feel ready to work due to the lack of clinical exposure. Many had to opt for GPR to gain experience because they didn't feel ready (Keep in mind, GPR doesn't pay well/a year of lost income) and the few that did find a job right after school, told me they were so lost and relied heavily on their colleagues to help them out. 

 

So do Canadian schools not have quotas? How do you graduate then?

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15 hours ago, MiniPanda said:

So do Canadian schools not have quotas? How do you graduate then?

From what I understand (someone can correct me if I'm wrong): in Canadian schools, students starting seeing patients in their 3rd year, and they do practice on patients, however, they don't get many. They are assessed by instructors on the quality of the work done on a practical.

In U.S. schools, they get clinical experience earlier on and like CAD schools, they are assessed by the instructors on the quality. However, in addition to that, they have to find their own patients and fulfill a quota. For ex. I spoke to a student who went to Baylor dent (in Texas), she was required to do something like ~100 of each procedure (fillings, extractions, etc) in order to be eligible for graduation. And the more she did, higher the grade level.  

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7 hours ago, hellothere123 said:

From what I understand (someone can correct me if I'm wrong): in Canadian schools, students starting seeing patients in their 3rd year, and they do practice on patients, however, they don't get many. They are assessed by instructors on the quality of the work done on a practical.

In U.S. schools, they get clinical experience earlier on and like CAD schools, they are assessed by the instructors on the quality. However, in addition to that, they have to find their own patients and fulfill a quota. For ex. I spoke to a student who went to Baylor dent (in Texas), she was required to do something like ~100 of each procedure (fillings, extractions, etc) in order to be eligible for graduation. And the more she did, higher the grade level.  

At U of S you start seeing Operative, Perio, and Diagnosis patients in March of 2nd year. You are responsible for booking your patients.

Starting in 3rd year you are in the clinic every day, usually seeing 2 patients a day. You are given a daily grade on every patient that you see. You are also given a certain requirement for each class (a number of surfaces that need to be completed for operative etc.) in addition to competencies that are weighted much heavier. Students are put into groups and assigned a patient list and it is up to them to find their patients. 

If you're looking for clinical experience, U of S definitely punches above its weight for a smaller school. Because there aren't many specialty programs you get experience with more complicated cases that would normally get poached by grad students at a larger school. Between 3rd and 4th year the college also grants you a license to practice under supervision at a dental office in Saskatchewan.

U of S and U of A both have an excellent reputation across the country for graduating some of the most clinical ready dentists. Lots of dentists are willing to hire preferentially from these schools as opposed to some of the bigger schools. 

I may be slightly biased though. 

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On 4/20/2019 at 4:08 PM, saskdent009 said:

Keep in mind, you'll be attending/living in either place for at least 48 months, so consider the atmosphere of the city, living costs, transportation, etc. I've lived in Saskatoon for the last 4 years, if you have any questions.

I assume you're Canadian, are you from SK?

I’m from Ontario - so I’m imagining Saskatoon will be quite different! How is living in Saskatoon? Do students generally live together in shared housing or alone? Do you need a car to get around the city or is public transportation generally good? And what is the atmosphere of the city like - are people generally nice? 

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I've been in the city for around 10 years now. Saskatoon can get pretty cold in the winter but the summers are awesome with plenty to do if you choose to stick around. I don't know where you are from in Ontario but pretty much everywhere in the city is reachable by car in 20 minutes depending on traffic. Transit is okay if you plan on taking it to and from school but I wouldn't rely on it for anything else so you'll definitely want a car. Saskatoon is the youngest city in Canada and has some amazing restaurants and pretty decent nightlife for a city it's size. There are a few people that live at the grad house but lots of people will share a house/condo with roommates off campus. PM if you want any other info on the city!

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15 hours ago, joecatman said:

I’m from Ontario - so I’m imagining Saskatoon will be quite different! How is living in Saskatoon? Do students generally live together in shared housing or alone? Do you need a car to get around the city or is public transportation generally good? And what is the atmosphere of the city like - are people generally nice? 

Gonna try to give you info that Anti-Dentite didn't, but Saskatoon is a decent sized city, around 250K, but then again, its not like Ontario where you are surrounded by populated cities. The closest big city we have is Regina (~3 hrs) and there is not much they offer that Saskatoon doesn't. As he mentioned, getting to/from uni without a car, the only option you have is bus or biking, so consider that when finding a place. There are several housing options offered by the university that are pretty much across the street (College Quarter, Grad House), but otherwise I'd stick to areas around Sutherland, College Park and 8th Street if distance is an issue. Otherwise if you have a car, Stonebridge, Rosewood and Willowgrove are nicer areas. I would say overall that people here are nice, but then again there are areas where crime/violence is more of an issue. I would say that most people living in Saskatoon have probably been here a large chunk of their life. Downtown is more business oriented than entertainment oriented I would say. Cost of living is around 800+ for a 1bd apt and around 1200+ for a 2bd, highly dependant on the area though. In the summer there are a lot of green areas, perfect for hiking/biking and lots to do outdoors. 

That's about all I can think of, but let me know if you want to know more.

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15 hours ago, Anti_Dentite said:

I've been in the city for around 10 years now. Saskatoon can get pretty cold in the winter but the summers are awesome with plenty to do if you choose to stick around. I don't know where you are from in Ontario but pretty much everywhere in the city is reachable by car in 20 minutes depending on traffic. Transit is okay if you plan on taking it to and from school but I wouldn't rely on it for anything else so you'll definitely want a car. Saskatoon is the youngest city in Canada and has some amazing restaurants and pretty decent nightlife for a city it's size. There are a few people that live at the grad house but lots of people will share a house/condo with roommates off campus. PM if you want any other info on the city!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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1 hour ago, saskdent009 said:

Gonna try to give you info that Anti-Dentite didn't, but Saskatoon is a decent sized city, around 250K, but then again, its not like Ontario where you are surrounded by populated cities. The closest big city we have is Regina (~3 hrs) and there is not much they offer that Saskatoon doesn't. As he mentioned, getting to/from uni without a car, the only option you have is bus or biking, so consider that when finding a place. There are several housing options offered by the university that are pretty much across the street (College Quarter, Grad House), but otherwise I'd stick to areas around Sutherland, College Park and 8th Street if distance is an issue. Otherwise if you have a car, Stonebridge, Rosewood and Willowgrove are nicer areas. I would say overall that people here are nice, but then again there are areas where crime/violence is more of an issue. I would say that most people living in Saskatoon have probably been here a large chunk of their life. Downtown is more business oriented than entertainment oriented I would say. Cost of living is around 800+ for a 1bd apt and around 1200+ for a 2bd, highly dependant on the area though. In the summer there are a lot of green areas, perfect for hiking/biking and lots to do outdoors. 

That's about all I can think of, but let me know if you want to know more.

Thank you both for the replies - It's good to know that having a car would be useful, and the areas that people tend to live in / stuff to do in the city! I used to live in Manitoba but barely remember the cold so I will have to build up my cold tolerance again bc I live in Southern Ontario now haha :cool: I may reach out again once I start looking for a place to stay! Thank you again for all of your help! 

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