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Sep 14, 2022
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Your GPA isn’t outrageously fabulous, but it definitely could be worse. I don’t think it’s a complete barrier. None of us can tell you for sure if you’ll match or no…unless there’s a PD lurking around here somewhere, lol. Some programs really value class rank/ GPA/ etc. Others are more interested in your experiences and motivations.

I know multiple current residents who got in on try number two, so applying is almost never a waste. Apply to GPRs as back up, and if you don’t get in on the first shot, spend the year bolstering your application. Work some days in an FQHC that sees kids. Join the AAPD and network at events. Consider talking the DAT if you think you can ace it (evidence on this is mixed…I’ve heard some PDs say that a good DAT score can mitigate a less-than-stellar GPA; I had another PD tell me that taking it would be a waste of my time).

**note: some of that advice, joining AAPD, consider the DAT, etc, you can start now

Finally, your personal statement is key. Especially as you’ll be coming right out of school, you want to demonstrate that you have a very clear perspective and vision for your career. It’s not just about what you can get from residency, it’s what you bring to the residency and the field of peds dental in general. This is your chance to show what makes you a great candidate, no matter what your stats say.

As far as schools, I think applying widely is wise. I was in a similar boat GPA-wise, and I ended up matching on the first try. But it was a bit tough. I applied to 20ish schools, got interviewed at 3, and matched. But I also had 17yrs of private practice experience and very clear vision of why I was going back to dentistry and what I wanted to do afterwards. For sure, quite a few peds residencies are liking experience these days…they worry about covid affecting your clinical experiences. They like the idea of someone who has had some time out of school to get faster and affirm their goals.

So if you have the time and money, go for it. Apply now. Not much of a downside other than time and money.
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Hello, I am currently a 3rd year dental student looking to apply to pediatric residency. I will be applying at the end of the academic year and would like some feedback on my chances and any tips to get in. Below I have listed my stats:
  • 3.19 GPA
  • Class Rank: 65% of class
  • Dental Hygienist prior to starting dental school
  • Leadership Positions: President of Pediatric Club, Teaching Assistant in 3 different classes, working as a hygienist at a pediatric office, and hold multiple leadership positions in the Autism club, Specialty Club, and on E-board for my class.
  • Conduct research at my school and will be presenting at national conference
  • Extern at 1 pediatric residency so far and have others scheduled later this year
I have been wanting to be a pediatric dentist since day 1 of dental school, but I am quite concerned about my chances. I did not do as well as I wanted my first year, but I worked extremely hard and did much better in my second year. I am working very hard to make sure the upwards trend continues this year.

I am close with my school’s Pediatric director and continue to work closely with him. I plan to apply very broadly next year (35-45 programs), but at the same time don’t want to waste my money on applying to programs I have no chance at. While not preferred, I am open to doing a pediatric-focused AEGD/GPR program if need be.

My questions are:
  • What pediatric and/or AEGD/GPR programs should I be looking at that?
    • I have posted the schools I plan on applying to next year (below), are there any that I should add/delete?
  • Do I have a chance of getting in this cycle?
  • What should I be doing to increase my chances?
  • Is there anyone with similar stats that have gotten in on their first try?
Would love some input/advice and encouragement from any pediatric dentists or residents out there. Feeling quite discouraged right about now, but also want to be realistic about my chances and situation.

Thank you!

My list:
  • NYU – Maryland
  • Cooper University Hospital
  • ECU School of Medicine
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Illinois
  • Augusta University
  • Children’s Hospital of Atlanta
  • Children’s National medical center
  • Children’s Hospital
  • Denver Health Medical Center
  • University of Connecticut Health Center
  • Children’s Wisconsin
  • Bon Secours St. Mary Hospital or Richmond
  • University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cincinnati
  • Ohio State nationwide
  • St. Christophers
  • Temple University
  • Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Nicklaus Children’s
  • NYU – Holyoke
  • NYU – Rhode Island
  • NYU – Jacobi
  • NYU – Hawaii
  • NYU - San Diego
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Texas Health Science Center- Houston
  • University of Texas Health Science – San Antonio
  • Primary Children’s Hospital
  • Hennepin County – Minnesota
  • Buffalo University – NY
  • Rochester
  • Stony Brook
  • Penn
  • Yale
You’ve got a fair amount of very competitive programs in that list. Maybe add some more “safety” schools, if it’s not too late.

Big Hoss
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