Monday, January 30, 2012

Dental School Update, Revised Edition

My friend Brenda and my roommate Heather, both of whom are going to medical school next year! Brenda is planning to attend OHSU while Heather recently interviewed at UCLA, UCSD, and UCI. 

I feel like I should give an explanation for my last two blog entries, for fear of coming across as a whiny ingrate. I'm honored and so excited to have been awarded interviews at ASDOH and the Dugoni School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific. In fact, I will be flying up to San Francisco on February 13 for my University of the Pacific interview and I will flying flying down to Arizona on February 21 for the ASDOH interview. It will be a rather busy February, allowing me to forget about the gaudy comercial holiday otherwise known as Valentines Day.

I smiled when I saw the map of San Francisco that the University of the Pacific emailed me in their interview packet. I could just imagine how exciting it would be to live in the city of San Francisco. A city with a vibrant culture, a public transportation system that functions, and so many fun things to do, sights to see, people to meet, and food to eat! I could envision myself as a first year student at the University of the Pacific, trying to balance my academic life (due to a condensed 3-year curriculum) with my social life. And the humanistic approach that they espouse at the dental school - respect for everyone, celebrating achievement, and just being an overall good person - is everything that I value as a human being.

But then I look at the interview packet from ASDOH and suddenly, I am conflicted. Here awaits a wonderful four year program with an emphasis on public health, an area that I seek to become more involved in through public health research and lending my services to the community. It is situated in Mesa, Arizona - a smaller city with a more laid-back approach to life. It is a mere 2-hour drive from my aunt and uncle's house in Tucson and the best part of all? No traffic. I can finally live in a place with low cost of living, NO TRAFFIC CONGESTION, and beautiful weather year round. Yes, even the scorching 115F summers. The tuition is also significantly cheaper and they have an interesting externship program for fourth year dental students.

And then there is USC, where my heart lies. Having lived in southern California for the majority of my 21-years, Los Angeles is my home; it is where I'm most comfortable at. It is where all of my friends are at and where the majority of my friends are staying. While my brain realizes that the extravagant tuition compounded with PBL and a frustrating clinical situation isn't  ideal, my heart yearns for me to stay.

Thus, my situation has become a bit confusing. I know that all of this mental battle doesn't mean a thing until I actually get accepted to the University of the Pacific and/or ASDOH but I hope beyond hope that I will eventually receive an acceptance letter from those schools. In any case, the possibility of having to decide between Pacific/ASDOH/USC will be a tough choice.

For the disenchanted population, my dental school application process was not a story of rainbows and butterflies. Within the past month, I have received three rejection letters: University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, Western University School of Dentistry, and Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine.

Additionally, I did not submit the secondary application for UCSF, UCLA, UNLV, Boston University, and Tufts.

I still have not heard anything from NYU, Temple, Creighton, and University of Louisville.

I will admit that I have been pretty fortunate during this application cycle. From my list of top choice schools that I submitted secondaries for (UoP, ASDOH, Midwestern, and USC), I have received one acceptance (USC), two interviews (UoP, ASDOH), and only one rejection (Midwestern).

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