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Dentist Shadowing: Dental Internship or Dental Job?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by supahdupah22, Oct 30, 2005.

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  1. supahdupah22

    supahdupah22 Junior Member

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    Hi, I'm new to these forums and was wondering if it would have a greater effect if you were just a dental intern at an office that did not get paid vs having a dental position at an office where you do get paid? I would think that interning for free would show that you're more into it for what you're interested in and learning rather than getting paid for it. Its hard to explain, what do you guys think?
  2. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com Partner Organization

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    The main reason why they insist you have some experience(paid or otherwise) is to make sure you know what you are getting into. The last thing they want is an empty chair for 3 years!

    I don't think it matters if you got paid or not as long as you have enough experience to know that its the right career choice for you.
  3. donkeywhisperer

    donkeywhisperer Senior Member

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    I agree, a few of the schools I've spoken to just want to see a good number of hours. Pacific in particular told me that they like to see a minimun of about 40hrs. I didn't have quite that much so I'm going to be beafing that up if I end up having to apply again.
    Personally I'd go with the option that would make you a little cash. :)
  4. Sprgrover

    Sprgrover Pulped out Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    It makes no difference at all if you merely shadow, volunteer, or get paid to work in a dental office. It might be a bit hard to find a dentist willing to take you on board as an employee as turn-around is the name of the game in most offices and dentists prefer experience as a result. If you really do want to work in an office don't get discouraged in your search if you don't have any dentists extend an offer of employment to you. I gained experience through shadowing (and most dentists are delighted to have a pre-dent come in and watch them - it's great that someone values what he/she has to say and is curious about the profession) and volunteering. I located a non-profit dental clinic and volunteered my time as a dental assistant. I had a great time doing it and they were willing to overlook my complete lack of experience in exchange for the manpower. If you are interested in this look around your area for such clinics as most metropolitian areas tend to have them.
  5. PDizzle

    PDizzle PreDents.com Partner Organization

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    Here is what I did:

    I knew a friend who knew a dentist and was allowed to shadow her for a while. At the same time, I took a college intro to dentistry course. Slowly, I went from just observing to more of an active role in the office. Started out just breaking down and setting up chairs. Eventually, I was pouring molds, steralizing tools, developing and setting x-rays and even was allowed to assist the dentist. (just suction and general assisting).

    It worked out great! They loved the extra help when it got busy and I got tons of experience and a letter of recomendation.
  6. coolslugs

    coolslugs Senior Member

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    Can an unpaid dental internship be considered as volunteering/ community service?
  7. Dutchboy

    Dutchboy Senior Member

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    I would say no. Community service/ Volunteering is all about making a difference or helping the less fortunate. Helping a well-to-do dentist is not exactly charity work.
  8. coolslugs

    coolslugs Senior Member

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    what if the internship is done at a community clinic?

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