End of Quarter Grades

The way we receive our final course grades are different than any way that I’ve ever been graded. Courses lasting more than one quarter are given interim grades until the last quarter where the final grade is locked in at the total amount of units of the course.

Here’s an example. Integrated Clinical Sciences is both lecture and lab class. The lecture portion of the class is a 3 quarter class for 5 units. Interim grades are given at the ends of Summer and Fall quarters and a final grade is given at the end of Winter quarter. Lab is a 4 quarter class worth 7 units. The final grade is given at the end of Spring quarter.

First Quarter Schedule

Sorry about the lag in posts. I’ll make an attempt to post each quarter to give you a run-down of what is going on.

We only have two weeks of our first quarter left. It’s hard to believe that in 10 months we’ll be seeing our first patients. I’ll try to recap as much as I can about this quarter.

Monday:

Exam block- 8:00 am to 9:00 am

Integrated Clinical Sciences (ICS) (lecture and lab)- 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

We’re learning about the clinic and how to work with patients.

Tuesday:

Dental Anatomy (lecture and lab)- 8:00 am to 11:00 am

Each week we’re learning about the morphology of the teeth. We learn what makes each tooth different from the others around it. In lab we’re waxing teeth.

Integrated Medical Sciences (IMS)- 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

IMS classes include Biochemistry, Physiology, and Anatomy (lecture and lab). Biochemistry and Physiology are straight didactic courses. In Anatomy we have lecture, case based discussions, and dissection.

Wednesday:

Fundamental of Restorative Dentistry- 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

This is the precursor to our Fixed Prosthodontics class that starts in the Fall. We’re learning a lot of the basics.

IMS- 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Thursday:

Preclinical Operative Dentistry- 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

This is the class where we learn our hand skills. The class has one hour of lecture in the morning followed by four hours in the sim lab. After lunch we have another hour long lecture followed by two hours in the sim lab. So far this quarter we’ve learned ideal Class I, II, and V preps and how to place amalgam fillings in those preps.

Friday:

Exam Block- 8:00 am to 9:00 am

IMS- 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Accepted!!!!

I checked AADSAS first thing when I woke up this morning. UConn said “Application Denied.” It was expected since I hadn’t been invited for an interview and I really didn’t want to move back East anyway.

UoP said “Offer Made!” I could only assume that that meant that I got in. I got the official call at about 11:45am. I got in and I got a $60,000 Dean’s Scholarship!!!

Good luck to everyone else. I hope you all get in to your top choice school.

Anxious for December 1st

I’ve been checking AADSAS all week for clues to which schools are updating my status. Today there were some updates. Finally.

UConn says check back tomorrow. I didn’t have an interview with them so I assume it’s a rejection.

ASDOH just showed up today with an application complete update. I’m not sure if it’ll be a rejection or an interview invite.

UoP says check back tomorrow. I feel like I have a good chance of getting in since I interviewed on the first day and they have a reputation of accepting most everyone they interview. I’ll let you all know tomorrow.

Patiently waiting for December 1st

I can’t believe that there are still two more weeks before we find out if I got in to UoP.

As the day comes closer I feel myself getting more anxious. Fortunately, school and work are keeping my mind occupied.

In Animal Bio we’re doing our fetal pig dissection and in O. Chem we just made octyl acetate, artificial orange flavoring.

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20111116-111356.jpg As you can see, we’re doing column chromatography to separate the product from one of the reactants.

Update

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what I’ve been up to the last month. Well, I’ve been pretty busy. We moved into a new place- we’re in the process of downsizing because we know there is no way we can keep all our stuff when I’m in Dental School.

I had an interview at the University of the Pacific, Arthur Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco in early October. The school is awesome, the interview went really well, and I hope I get in.

In the past two weeks I have been contacted for two more interviews: UCSF in early January and UNLV in early February.

If I get in to UoP on December 1st I can cancel the other interviews, but for now I plan on going to them.

Today I start the official countdown to the December 1st notification date. Waiting is killing me, but I’ve been able to keep occupied with school and spending time with my wife.

Waiting Game

I’ve been feverishly checking my inbox every time my phone notifies me of incoming email. Lately the only messages I’ve been getting are from SDN. I feel like its a hurry up and wait game. You get in your application early, and then you wait. You get an email from schools saying your application is complete, and then you wait. You get supplemental applications from schools, you turn them in, and then you wait. You get invited for an interview, and then you wait. You go to you interview, and then you wait until you get extended an offer for admission. It’s agony.

Fortunately, I can’t stew too much. I’ve got work and school, and one of our dogs recently had knee surgery.

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This is him after the surgery. He was pretty out of it the first night.

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He got the bandage off yesterday. Now when he’s not supervised he has to wear the cone. He’s a good sport and really doesn’t care that he has to wear it.

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Finished

I finished the supplemental applications for ASDOH and UCLA. I had the ASDOH application for a few weeks. I was putting it off because I wasn’t sure what I was going to write for their questions. It was the same case for the UCLA application too.

I saw that this week ASDOH had invited some applicants for interviews, it’s still early so I am not too worried about not getting an interview. At least it’s not a rejection. I haven’t heard anything about UCLA inviting people for interviews yet. So I stll have a good chance to get an interview there as well.

I only applied to 10 schools. I can’t beleive that some people have applied to more than that. You have to plan well ahead because each school you apply to costs more money then the most of the schools have additional application fees that your pay directly to them, those fees can range from $60 to $80.

Since I received the UoP invitation to interview last week, I’ve actually started to relax a little about the dental school application process. I’m now shifting my focus back to my classes.

First interview!!!

Yesterday I got a call for my first interview! I am so excited! It’s for UoP, which is one of my top choices.

My O. Chem lab was cancelled due to low enrollment last night. I’m fortunate that there is another community college in the area that has an opening in their O. Chem class, so I will be going there for the rest of the semester.

My Stats

Here are my stats:

DAT-
PA: 21
QR: 18
RC: 23
Bio: 22
Gen. Chem.: 30
O. Chem.: 21
Total Science: 23
Academic Average: 23

GPA-
BCP: 3.40
Science: 3.35
Non-Science: 3.09
Total: 3.20

Supplemental Applications

Over the past month I’ve received notification to submit several supplemental applications directly to Dental Schools.

I’ve already completed the supplemental applications for UNLV, and UCSF. This weekend I plan on finishing and submitting the supplemental applications for UCLA and ASDOH.

DAT

I should have written about my DAT experience right after I had taken it because, now, two months later I don’t really remember much about it.

As you know I work full time and go to school in the evenings four nights a week. Finding time to study for the DAT on top of working and studying for my two classes was difficult. It seemed like everyone in SDN didn’t have to work and were able to devote two months to study for the DAT. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to have enough time.

Ideally, I would have started studying in February or March so that I wouldn’t have felt so crammed the week before the test. It didn’t work out that way though. After the semester ended my wife and I took went on vacation to Maui for seven days. That really didn’t help studying, but I did get some reading done in Kaplan Blue Book.

After we returned from Maui I hunkered down and got to business. I studied about 4 hours every night after work for a week. The next week I worked half-time and spent about 8 hours a day studying. The week of the test I took the whole week off. My test was on Friday, June 24 at 8:30 am.

My study materials were: Schwam’s Organic Chemistry; Schwam’s Biology; DAT Destroyer; Math Destroyer; O Chem Odyssey; Crack DAT PAT; Crack DAT Science; Crack DAT Math; Kaplan Blue Book; and one month of Chad’s Videos.

I wasn’t as organized as I could have been about focusing on a particular subject at a time. I got through Chad’s videos in a few days. These really helped as I hadn’t taken the second semester of O. Chem prior to taking the test. I also found O. Chem Odyssey very helpful and learned a lot from it as well. DAT Destroyer was also very helpful. The Crack programs were helpful especially for the PAT. When I took the Crack tests for Science I consistently scored 15 or 16. I was scared a few days before the test because there was no way I was going to get into Dental School with low scores. I took the test in the back of the Blue Book and scored well. Then I took Kaplan’s online DAT and did about the same. This eased some of my worries so I took the sample DAT on the ADA website. I did well again to at least give me the confidence that I could get 19’s. Those wouldn’t be the greatest scores, but I felt like it was up in the air to what I would actually get.

The Prometric Test Center was freezing. I didn’t bring any sweatshirt either. They took my finger prints, my two forms of ID, and my picture. There were a bunch of people there taking other tests, so I used the earmuffs they provided.

When I signed up for the DAT I made sure to designate that all the Dental School in the country would receive my official scores. This way I wouldn’t be charged later for adding any.

This test is not like a college test. It’s not checking to see if you can critically think about any of the subjects. It just wants to know if you know the material. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, although, when it was over I was a little freaked out to see my score.

My scores are:
PA: 21
QR: 18
RC: 23
Bio: 22
Gen. Chem.: 30
O. Chem.: 21
Total Science: 23
Academic Average: 23

I couldn’t believe it! I did much better than I thought I was going to do! Studying in Hawaii must have paid off. I still can’t believe I got a 30 in Gen. Chem.

All total, I probably studied about 150 hours, but maybe less. I should have studied more, but at least I don’t have to take it again.

The official scores were forwarded to AADSAS on July 13, 2011.

Good luck to anyone else who has to take the DAT in the future.

First Day of School

Monday night was my first night of school. Hopefully it’s my last semester of prerequisites. State and community colleges have been hit hard with budget cuts, which means that there are fewer classes for more students. I have been very fortunate that I have been able to get all of my classes when I’ve wanted to take them. I am prepared to take classes in the Spring if I have too as there are a few schools that require Biochemistry and a few others that require Anatomy & Physiology; I still haven’t taken either and I won’t if I don’t have to.

Generally, I wouldn’t advocate taking short cuts, but time really isn’t on my side. I’m 31 and by the time I start Dental School I’ll be 32. Then 3-4 years of Dental School, plus 1-6 years more if I want to do a residency or specialize. I’ll be lucky if I’m out by 40! That’s why I am only taking the minimum amount of classes I need to take. I’m crossing my fingers that I get an early interview and am notified of my admission on December 1st.

This semester I’m taking Animal Biology and the second semester of Organic Chemistry. I noticed that some Dental Schools only require one semester of Organic, but I have to take both semesters because they are the prerequisites for Biochemistry at the local 4-year college. Hopefully I won’t have to enroll, especially since I will have the lowest priority in enrolling in the class. Fortunately, three of the schools I am applying to do not require Biochemistry nor do they require Anatomy & Physiology.

Here’s to another busy semester.

Dental School Application

I was counting down the days to be able to submit my application on June 1st. I had all of my transcripts ready so I could enter all of my course work into the AADSAS website, and made sure to request my official transripts be sent to AADSAS as well.

By June 2nd, I was ready to submit my application. Once AADSAS received all of my transcripts, they did a GPA verification and calculation. The verification process only took two weeks and the application was ready to be mailed to the schools I designated: Univerisity of the Pacific; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; University of California, San Francisco; University of Washington; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Univeristy of Colorado; Oregon Health and Science University; Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health; and, Univeristy of Connecticut.

I focused my applications to the Western part of the United States, but I couldn’t pass up applying to UConn. You really can’t beat the price, plus my wife is sort of open to moving across the country.

The only thing that was missing from my application were my letters and official DAT score. Since I was unable to effectively study for the DAT during the semester, I didn’t take it until June 24, 2011. The score was uploaded to my application on July 13, 2011. The first part of my application was sent to the schools on June 27, 2011, and after my score was received, the second mailing of my application was on July 18, 2011.

I had a problem with one of my letter writers and my final letter wasn’t submitted to AADSAS until July 28th. The letter was finally mailed to the schools on August 5th. Hopefully this delay didn’t set me back too much. I am hopeful that there are still many people working on submitting applications, so I am ahead of the game.

Now I’m waiting for notification of an interview. I can’t wait!

Going Back to School

I graduated from Stanford in 2002, and have been working ever since. Two years ago I decided to that I wanted to become a Dentist. I started doing research on schools and I realized that I needed to take Chemistry, Biology, and Physics to meet most of my dental prerequisites. Having been an Anthropology major, I never took any of those classes.

I was unsure of how I was well I was going to do in college again, but I was ready to get back into it. I enrolled in the local community college for the fall of ’09. My first semester I took one class, Physics. I did very well, and it was definitely a confidence booster.

The next semester I took the second Physics class and my first General Chemistry class with lab. School got harder as I was working 40 hours a week going to class at night four days a week, and planning my wedding.

I got married in the middle of the semester, and we held off on going on our honeymoon until the summer. Even though I was so busy that semester, I did so well in my Chemistry class that my Chem teacher said that I didn’t have to take the final.

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