Yippie I finished my first year at UOP! Out of 132 people 126 of us remain. Four of the six were asked to repeat or leave and the two others changed careers. Here's my scoop on some selected classes I had in my first year:
Wow, the 2nd year came and went! The second year at UOP is a breeze. Yes you do have to study for the boards in the first two quarters but after that the class load is very light. Those that suffered during the grueling first year at UOP will be quite relieved in their second. During this year you will spend about 3 hours of your day in the clinic doing dentistry. Students have clinic requirements they must meet and test cases to perform. For our class many students did not complete all three operative test cases and as a result ALL those will receive an INC on their transcript. Those amalgam class II test cases are hard to come by so if you come across them in the eary months, DO THEM AS TEST CASES! Crowns are also very scarce at UOP. You need 18-19 to graduate. Most students do 1-2 in the first year but I know someone who has done 10! During this year you will likely begin seeing denture patients (denture block) and likely will perform 1 to 2 root canals. The great thing about UOP is there is no endodontic specialty. Therefore all the students have the opportunity to try their skill endoing lower and upper molars. That brings up another good point I wanted to make. UOP only offers an ortho specialty and as a result students here get great training in all areas except ortho. For those interested in bolstering their C.V. with research experience, now is the time to do it. There isn't much but opportunities exist. Trust me, you won't be doing anything earth shattering. Anyway, that's all for the second year.
The third year at UOP is almost as hectic as the first. The distinct difference however is the emphasis on meeting clinical thresholds with minimal coursework. Boards Part II are tkaen during this year which means you'll need to study in the summer so clinical lab and studying for boards do not overlap. I began studying dental decks in the summer so when school started and I was bogged down with all the lab work, everything was a review. The clinical threesholds to graduate are as follows: 6 denture patients, 150 surfaces of operative, 20 extractions, 19 crowns (pontics do not count), lots of root planning (you'll have plenty) and 6 endo procedures. Mixed in with all of this are 3 fixed test cases, 5 operative test cases and lots of perio (root planning and diagnosis). To graduate you need to get close to these thresholds. Test cases are VERY important. Passing them demonstrates independent clinical judgment and hand skill necessary to practice in the real world. Ultimately what it comes down to is what the floor instructors think of you (can you perform clinically acceptable work). Even if you meet everything they still can keep you back (it has happened). Out of 126 students I believe 4 were held back for legitimate reasons. Other things you have to worry about besides graduation are the State Boards. CA, Western Regionals and the Nevada Boards are given at UOP. To obtain the perfect patients do not depend on your school. You will have to become a sales person and hunt them down. Unlike other students in my class I made flyers (with my pager number on the bottom to tear off)and place them on every college in the Bay Area. I hit art schools, law schools, city colleges, universities, etc. These students usually need dental care (because they just got eliminated form mom and dads' health plan), are more responsible and more than likely have what you need. I must have had 40 patients to screen!!! I had enough for myself with back-ups and for some close friends. To ensure they showed up to the boards I paid them $100. Trust me, if they don't show up you pay far more in lost wages and exam expenses. As for me I PASSED the CA boards in June with a overall score of 84 (or something like that). Now its time to do some dentistry. Later!!!!!