Upon walking into my last interview of the cycle, I was surprised to see only two other people joining me. Most of the other schools I interviewed with had a minimum of 20 people per interview, yet Stony Brook had three. Immediately I knew that this school was going to be different than the others. I was bonding right off the bat with the other two interviewees and enjoying myself. Nothing felt forced or awkward, just right. I could tell this school was like a family due to the smaller class sizes and I knew I needed that kind of support for the grueling four years ahead. We have bigs and littles at Stony Brook which also drew me in as I was in a sorority in undergraduate and loved the familial aspect behind it. My big wound up being a huge part of my first year experience and was a great resource to have navigating through the transition.
Besides the small class sizes, another thing about Stony Brook that drew me in was the opportunity for community outreach. This includes but is not limited to local outreach via the dental care van, multiple different service trips within the United States including to South Dakota and even a trip to Madagascar. In both high school and undergraduate, outreach had been extremely important to me. I went on a medical mission trip to Nicaragua my freshman year and knew the minute I heard about Madagascar that was something I would apply to. I felt that with the transition into dental school, I wanted some sense of familiarity, and these opportunities gave me that.
Being a New York resident helped my decision as well. It was the most financially sound option mixed with all the things I wanted in a school- early clinical exposure, smaller student to faculty ratios, great hands-on experience, knowing my peers, and an easy drive home definitely didn’t hurt. I like being on Long Island because it allows me to focus while also having the opportunities for balance. One weekend I was able to go kayaking and another take the train into Manhattan for a change of scenery. I had a well-rounded year which only solidifies my confidence that I made the right decision attending SBUSDM.
This post was contributed by Sara Marciano, Social Committee Associate at ASDA District 2 and student at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine ('24). Instagram: @saraa_marciano_almostdds