ean

10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2007
33
0
Status
Dental Student
In my fourth application cycle, I finally can say that I AM GOING TO DENTAL SCHOOL!!! It has been a long time in the making, but my dream of becoming a dentist is now becoming a reality.

If you are feeling like there isn't hope, know that there is. I have been in your shoes, and I know that it can seem hopeless and frustrating. I had two (pre - Dec 1st) interviews, and they both pulled through for me. I wish you all the very best, and I hope that this cycle turns out positive for each of you. Inevitably, there will be some who aren't accepted this cycle, and if you end up being one of them, my recommendation is to keep on keeping on. It can happen, if you want it bad enough and work hard enough.

Best of luck to all of you, and congratulations to those of you who have received acceptances.
 
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rewJW

surviving
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5+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2008
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HUGE congratulations! Isn't it amazing what hard work, perseverance, and dedication can do?
 

Chesnok

Waiting game has ended
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Jul 1, 2008
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Sincere Congrats to you.
 

Andrew324

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Congratulations! You were at one of those interviews with me :) Great work!
 

Contach

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nice.

can i ask what you did to improve your application after each successive year? and what have you learned from 4 cycles of dental school applications?
 

OMFS08

Tooth Extractornator
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May 11, 2008
428
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Wow 4 tries??? Here I was saying after my second time around, I would quit and go to graphic design school (my second passion) if I did not get in somewhere this time lol. Well you are determined. Lucky thing I got in to Howard hahahaha my 1st choice. Congrats to all.
 

supraman

Boston Celtics
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Oct 30, 2005
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Damn after the second or third try, I think it means something, awesome job
 
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Congrats. I commend you with sticking with your game plan and achieving the next step of the goal. You are like my college advisor's best friend who after 19, yes 19, years of applying to med school he finally got in. Set your mind towards the goal and keep on reaching. Congrats!
 

dent2009

YEEE BOI
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Jan 19, 2008
633
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wow. congrats! that's perseverance for ya! yeah, what did you do differently or what did you think was the major difference between this year's application and the rest?
 

ChrisM07

Dental Student
10+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2007
567
87
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Wow. Simply wow. Congrats. It's posts like these that really inspire me.
 

polarmolar

10+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2008
686
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Congrats. I commend you with sticking with your game plan and achieving the next step of the goal. You are like my college advisor's best friend who after 19, yes 19, years of applying to med school he finally got in. Set your mind towards the goal and keep on reaching. Congrats!
19 years of applying?? WOW
 

ean

10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2007
33
0
Status
Dental Student
nice.

can i ask what you did to improve your application after each successive year? and what have you learned from 4 cycles of dental school applications?
Well, the first question is a straight forward one to answer, but the second one could take some time.

To improve my application, I did everything I could to make my application more appealing to the admissions committees and to learn more about dentistry. My first application was sent in Oct. of my junior year, and as I look back, it was really a wasted application. I had spent the summer observing and assisting, but my GPA was around 2.8, and my DAT was 17/17/27. I thought that I might get an interview or two with a PAT of 27, but I was wrong. During that time, I was competing on a D-1 track and field team (400m hurdles).

In my second attempt, my GPA didn't change much, and I retook the DAT and scored even worse (17/17/23). It was a frustrating time, but I kept my chin up, observed more, did community service, got involved in more leadership activities, got more letters of recommendation, and submitted my application in July. I also visited a few dental schools. In October, I was diagnosed with cancer, needed surgery and chemotherapy, and I was forced to miss school. It was a really difficult time - chemo was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I switched my schedule around and took online classes. During this time, my wife and I adopted a baby girl, and she has been a huge blessing to us. While fighting cancer, I managed to get a 3.7 semester GPA, and then I realized that I could bring the same competitive nature to my school work that I could bring to the track (unfortunate that it took me until then to realize that, but that made a huge difference). Since then, I haven't gotten lower than a 3.6 GPA. This cycle got me an interview at UW (my state school), but I think it was more of a charity interview - I don't think they had any intentions of accepting me.

For the third go round, I really buckled down and did well in school. I retook the DAT, but it didn't make much difference. I did really well on the practice tests, but on the actual test, I scored 18/18/26. That was frustrating, since I took two months of studying to get that. I was feeling like I was getting old and that I just couldn't move on with my life. I received another interview at UW, but to no avail. My younger brother also interviewed at UW, and he was accepted. During the fall and winter of this cycle, I took some courses through the local dental hygiene school - Local Anesthesia (learned and performed all the major injections), Oral histology and embryology, and periodontology. Those were great, and one of my teachers actually happened to interview me in my fourth cycle. Along the way, my wife an I adopted another child and had one biologically. My wife and kids have been a huge strength to me. In January, I started a MS program, and I will have that completed in June (just in time for dental school).

For the fourth and final application cycle, I continued to improve my GPA, observe, provide service, be involved in the community, and get letters of recommendation (I think I have 16 letters now). In this cycle, I received two interview invites (USC and UW), and they both came through for me on Dec 1st.

There are a lot more details, but this is the bulk of my application process. I hope that all goes well for each of you in your endeavors. :)
 

somethinpositiv

Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2008
1,401
21
Status
Dental Student
Well, the first question is a straight forward one to answer, but the second one could take some time.

To improve my application, I did everything I could to make my application more appealing to the admissions committees and to learn more about dentistry. My first application was sent in Oct. of my junior year, and as I look back, it was really a wasted application. I had spent the summer observing and assisting, but my GPA was around 2.8, and my DAT was 17/17/27. I thought that I might get an interview or two with a PAT of 27, but I was wrong. During that time, I was competing on a D-1 track and field team (400m hurdles).

In my second attempt, my GPA didn't change much, and I retook the DAT and scored even worse (17/17/23). It was a frustrating time, but I kept my chin up, observed more, did community service, got involved in more leadership activities, got more letters of recommendation, and submitted my application in July. I also visited a few dental schools. In October, I was diagnosed with cancer, needed surgery and chemotherapy, and I was forced to miss school. It was a really difficult time - chemo was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I switched my schedule around and took online classes. During this time, my wife and I adopted a baby girl, and she has been a huge blessing to us. While fighting cancer, I managed to get a 3.7 semester GPA, and then I realized that I could bring the same competitive nature to my school work that I could bring to the track (unfortunate that it took me until then to realize that, but that made a huge difference). Since then, I haven't gotten lower than a 3.6 GPA. This cycle got me an interview at UW (my state school), but I think it was more of a charity interview - I don't think they had any intentions of accepting me.

For the third go round, I really buckled down and did well in school. I retook the DAT, but it didn't make much difference. I did really well on the practice tests, but on the actual test, I scored 18/18/26. That was frustrating, since I took two months of studying to get that. I was feeling like I was getting old and that I just couldn't move on with my life. I received another interview at UW, but to no avail. My younger brother also interviewed at UW, and he was accepted. During the fall and winter of this cycle, I took some courses through the local dental hygiene school - Local Anesthesia (learned and performed all the major injections), Oral histology and embryology, and periodontology. Those were great, and one of my teachers actually happened to interview me in my fourth cycle. Along the way, my wife an I adopted another child and had one biologically. My wife and kids have been a huge strength to me. In January, I started a MS program, and I will have that completed in June (just in time for dental school).

For the fourth and final application cycle, I continued to improve my GPA, observe, provide service, be involved in the community, and get letters of recommendation (I think I have 16 letters now). In this cycle, I received two interview invites (USC and UW), and they both came through for me on Dec 1st.

There are a lot more details, but this is the bulk of my application process. I hope that all goes well for each of you in your endeavors. :)
Wow. Amazing and touching story. I'm so happy for you :)
 
Last edited:

Jake8

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2008
544
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Hats off to that. Congrats big time you earned that one.
 
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UCLALover

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2008
8
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Wow. YOU ARE AMAZING. Congratulations and I wish only the very best for you. :luck:
 

DiNoZeRo2o9

10+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2008
513
0
Stockton, CA
Status
Dental Student
Well, the first question is a straight forward one to answer, but the second one could take some time.

To improve my application, I did everything I could to make my application more appealing to the admissions committees and to learn more about dentistry. My first application was sent in Oct. of my junior year, and as I look back, it was really a wasted application. I had spent the summer observing and assisting, but my GPA was around 2.8, and my DAT was 17/17/27. I thought that I might get an interview or two with a PAT of 27, but I was wrong. During that time, I was competing on a D-1 track and field team (400m hurdles).

In my second attempt, my GPA didn't change much, and I retook the DAT and scored even worse (17/17/23). It was a frustrating time, but I kept my chin up, observed more, did community service, got involved in more leadership activities, got more letters of recommendation, and submitted my application in July. I also visited a few dental schools. In October, I was diagnosed with cancer, needed surgery and chemotherapy, and I was forced to miss school. It was a really difficult time - chemo was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I switched my schedule around and took online classes. During this time, my wife and I adopted a baby girl, and she has been a huge blessing to us. While fighting cancer, I managed to get a 3.7 semester GPA, and then I realized that I could bring the same competitive nature to my school work that I could bring to the track (unfortunate that it took me until then to realize that, but that made a huge difference). Since then, I haven't gotten lower than a 3.6 GPA. This cycle got me an interview at UW (my state school), but I think it was more of a charity interview - I don't think they had any intentions of accepting me.

For the third go round, I really buckled down and did well in school. I retook the DAT, but it didn't make much difference. I did really well on the practice tests, but on the actual test, I scored 18/18/26. That was frustrating, since I took two months of studying to get that. I was feeling like I was getting old and that I just couldn't move on with my life. I received another interview at UW, but to no avail. My younger brother also interviewed at UW, and he was accepted. During the fall and winter of this cycle, I took some courses through the local dental hygiene school - Local Anesthesia (learned and performed all the major injections), Oral histology and embryology, and periodontology. Those were great, and one of my teachers actually happened to interview me in my fourth cycle. Along the way, my wife an I adopted another child and had one biologically. My wife and kids have been a huge strength to me. In January, I started a MS program, and I will have that completed in June (just in time for dental school).

For the fourth and final application cycle, I continued to improve my GPA, observe, provide service, be involved in the community, and get letters of recommendation (I think I have 16 letters now). In this cycle, I received two interview invites (USC and UW), and they both came through for me on Dec 1st.

There are a lot more details, but this is the bulk of my application process. I hope that all goes well for each of you in your endeavors. :)
Bravo to you. You sir are a true example of determination and perseverance. Whichever school you choose is very blessed to have someone as dedicated as you. Congratulations on conquering all your difficulties and your three children.

It is hard to feel sorry for all these other people who are 21 years old applying to schools late with a 3.5+ GPA and 20+ DAT complaining and crying they didn't get in after hearing your story.
 

ean

10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2007
33
0
Status
Dental Student
Thank you all, for your kind remarks. I sincerely appreciate it. This has been a great day; it has been a day that will drastically change my life and the lives of my family members. Thanks for your support and kindness. I am going to bed now, with a smile on my face. Best of luck to you all. My prayers are with you.
 

jntruong2003

10+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2008
125
0
California
Status
Dental Student
You are definitely the type of peer i hope to see at my dental school. you truly are amazing and i hope that i can share that same determination as you do. :)
 

orihime

10+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2008
13
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you for sharing your brave and wonderful story. You are an amazing individual and I applaud your courage and determination. Although my journey has not been as long and as arduous as yours, I too can empathize with those who are feeling discouraged and lost. This is my third time applying to dental school and its been a very difficult road to take. But I can say that after all this time, the struggle has truly been not only a humbling experience but also one that has given me perspective and appreciation I would not have had if I had not walked down this path. On December 1st, I too received a phone call that completely changed my life. :)

I wish you all the best!
As those before me have said, hard work and patience really do pay off at the end.
 

ean

10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2007
33
0
Status
Dental Student
That is so wonderful!!
So which school did you end up choosing?
I was accepted to UW and USC. I really like both schools, and I would be honored to be part of either program. I am from Washington. This is where my family lives and where I will likely practice after school. I can't say for sure which school I will attend, but I am currently strongly leaning towards attending UW, for financial and familial reasons. My wife and I plan on praying about the decision - we are religious and try to include God in all major decisions like this one. Once I make a decision, I will try to remember to answer your question more with a more definitive answer. Thanks.
 

Oralfixation

Junior Member
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5+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2006
55
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Congrats Ean, I am sure someone with your determination will make an excellent dentist
 

Theo

10+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2007
121
0
Rexburg, Idaho
Status
Pre-Dental
In my fourth application cycle, I finally can say that I AM GOING TO DENTAL SCHOOL!!! It has been a long time in the making, but my dream of becoming a dentist is now becoming a reality.

If you are feeling like there isn't hope, know that there is. I have been in your shoes, and I know that it can seem hopeless and frustrating. I had two (pre - Dec 1st) interviews, and they both pulled through for me. I wish you all the very best, and I hope that this cycle turns out positive for each of you. Inevitably, there will be some who aren't accepted this cycle, and if you end up being one of them, my recommendation is to keep on keeping on. It can happen, if you want it bad enough and work hard enough.

Best of luck to all of you, and congratulations to those of you who have received acceptances.


I just got in on my 3rd application cycle. It was EXTREMELY hard to be patient through 3 years worth of this stuff. But once Jennifer at Marquette said congrats your in, all the heartache and disappointment went away!!! I'm so excited to say, I'm going to be a Dentist!
 

Sophlu

10+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2008
86
0
Status
Dental Student
You give all of us hope. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing and best of luck.
 

pasionatdentist

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Dec 30, 2007
97
0
Status
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I strongly believe that I learned a lot after reading your story.... Thanks for sharing and I wish you and your family best of luck:thumbup:
 
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reapply2007

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2006
1,077
7
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This is great. As the weight of finals gets heavy here in d-school, it's nice to hear something nice. Good luck is d-school.
 

dreaming2k5

Where's the beef?
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Jul 20, 2005
195
0
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I'm in awe of your determination. I didn't think anyone would want to be a dentist if it wasn't for the pay and the life style ~ but you're a special breed.

I'm sure you're going to kick ass. :thumbup:
 

r8 dds

10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2008
183
0
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Simply inspirational! Thank you and congrats!

You are the man! :thumbup:
 

Contach

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Jun 6, 2008
1,488
121
NYC
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great story. character, in my opinion, trumps any 'numbers' one may be able to woo them with. I'm glad dental schools agree.

I'm in awe of your determination. I didn't think anyone would want to be a dentist if it wasn't for the pay and the life style ~ but you're a special breed.

I'm sure you're going to kick ass. :thumbup:
huh?
 

ean

10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2007
33
0
Status
Dental Student
Thank you all for your kind remarks. I sincerely appreciate your support and kindness. You are a great group of people.

I am really busy these days, as many of you are. I intend on attempting to answer the questions that have been posted here for me, but I will not be able to do so until after I finish finals. I am trying to spend my time studying, rather than surfing around on here (I find it easy to waste a lot of time on the internet). Next week, things will slow down, and I will try to answer those question that have been posted here.

Thanks again for your kindness. I wish you all the best.

-Eric
 

ean

10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2007
33
0
Status
Dental Student
From my original post, I was asked what I have learned from four application cycles. I definitely can't put all of the things that I have learned here, but I will try to narrow down some things that might be applicable. I will list some dental-related lessons and a few life-related lessons.

Dental-school preparation
-Numbers aren't everything, but if I am lacking the numbers, it doesn't matter what else is on my application, because it won't get looked at.
-Everyone is capable of achieving good grades, they simply need hard work, discipline, and priorities. There are very few geniuses - most of the top students have simply learned to be successful students; they aren't necessarily smarter than their peers.
-School can be fun
-Sometimes, regardless of how much you do to improve your application, the process is still a crap shoot, and you may not get in.
-If dentistry is sincerely what you want to do, then be committed to it. It may take some time and a lot of work, but that is part of what makes it so meaningful and rewarding.
-Get to know your professors. They can largely influence your dental admissions and your educational experience.
-Dentistry provides a great service opportunity to other people - it isn't only about me!
-Get as much dental experience and exposure as possible. I spent an entire summer observing and assisting. By the end of the summer, I had learned so much about dentistry, and I was so excited to become a dentist.
-Even if you plan on specializing, make sure that you will be happy as a general dentist, before you enter dental school. The opportunity to specialize may not be there, when you approach the end of dental school.
-Have a hobby. There are times when you will need to do something other than study.
-When studying for long durations, I found it effective to study for 50 minutes, then take a 10 minute break. If I am committed to this approach, then I am able to spend an entire day studying, without burning out.
-I learn better, when I sit towards the front of the class. I know that I am a nerd, but it makes a difference for me.

Life (I am an unusual applicant, in several ways, and my life has taken some atypical turns. Some of my experiences are: D-1 track athlete, cancer survivor, chemo patient, multiple major surgeries, husband, father, grad student, D-1 track coach). I have learned so many lessons over the past few years, but I will limit this list to things that are somewhat applicable to this forum.
-When I become selfish, I become miserable, and life becomes hard. As a chemo patient, I got extremely sick. During my second week (of nine), I got a really high fever, I had sores all over in my mouth, I was nauseous, my body ached horribly, my muscles were contracting uncontrollably, my eyes couldn't focus, and I was laying in bed shaking, and miserable. It was at that moment that I thought to myself, "it would be easier if I were to just die right now, so I don't have to endure this for another seven weeks." As I was thinking that selfish thought, my sweet wife walked into the room to comfort me and place a cool, wet rag on my burning forehead. She told me that she loved me, and then turned to leave the room. I realized at that moment that I had been focusing on myself, and it was wrong of me to do that. From then on, I was fighting for my life, so I could be there for my wife and daughter. Whenever I was overcome with the difficulty of the moment, I thought of them, and my burden was eased. Every time I started feeling miserable, I realized that it was because I was feeling sorry for myself. Although I continued to get sicker, I never hit bottom like that again.
-No matter how bad things are, they could always be worse. When I couldn't sleep at night, during my chemo treatment, I would get up and read. I read the story of Job, from the Old Testament. That gave me perspective and helped me realize that things could definitely be worse.
-Don't let your tongue speak harshly; you never know what might happen. It just isn't worth it to fight with other people, even if they really make you mad. Life is fragile, and anything can happen. You don't want to have the last thing you said to someone be hurtful.
-Worldly things are over-rated.
-Be nice to everyone, regardless.
-There are things that I can give and ways that I can help others, even when I don't have money.
-I am never too busy to help someone or spend time with my family.
-No one can ruin my day, except me.
-The true measure of a person isn't what hardships they endure but how they choose to deal with their challenges.
-No one else is in control of your fate. My oncologist (the same Dr. that treated Lance Armstrong) told me that I would not be able to run until about a year after finishing chemotherapy. It was my senior season, and I couldn't just roll over and quit, so I decided that I was going to run. I ran in my first track meet (400m hurdles and 4x400m relay), 2 weeks after finishing chemotherapy. I puked for about 20 minutes after running. My times weren't anywhere close to my personal bests, but I ran. I ran again the next week, and the next. I ended up qualifying for the PAC-10 championships, a month after finishing chemo. Although I didn't record any amazing marks, I didn't roll over and let someone else limit my potential. Similar things were told to me about becoming a dentist, and now I am preparing to enter my first year of dental school.
-A quote that became meaningful to me is, "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." -Charles Beard

Why didn't you get in the first three attempts?
It just wasn't in the cards. At the time, I really wanted to get accepted, but the way things have worked out is simply amazing. If I had been accepted during my first year of applying, I would have needed to drop out, because I was fighting cancer. Also, my wife and I wouldn't have been able to adopt my daughter or son. I am thankful that I wasn't accepted that year. During my second year, I needed another major surgery, to remove a tumor, which would have made me miss 8 weeks of dental school. In my third year, I was cancer free, and I was really wanting to begin dental school, but I just didn't get accepted. I don't know why. I choose to believe that God knows what is happening. He has taken care of me thus far, and I am confident that He will continue. I am just glad that I am in now.
 

DROCKINDAHOUSE

UTHSCSA c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2008
486
0
Texas
Status
Dental Student
Wow that is one hell of a story. I wish you all the luck in the world man. You really do need to continue down the path that God has laid out for you because your story and your life are going to be an inspiration to so many others.

The world needs more people like you. Much respect man.
 

eldirty

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2008
1,270
3
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WOW ... congrats ... this is my second time around and i feel like ive been down a long road. inspirational ...
 

mimesx

10+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2008
32
0
Status
Dental Student
Wow. That is AWESOME. you are an example of perseverance and hard work. Guarantee you'll do well in dental school. anyone who is stubborn enough to apply 4 times should be in the top of their class for sure. Best of luck dude!
 
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