Advice for newbie to the process

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Enviro Dentist

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10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2008
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Ive just recently become interested in dentistry and would like to get your opinions on my chances and how i can better improve my application. I'm now out of undergraduate In the AmeriCorps volunteering my time for the next year (racking up 1700+ hours of community service). I'm working to restore sections of the environment to its original state before people showed up. I'm doing this in an a very urban setting which allows interaction with the community and the restoration is a community effort.

Anyways I graduated in August and have been doing the Americorps for a couple of months. My GPA from my community college was a 3.3 and at my 4 year university I averaged a 3.7. SO overall a 3.5. I studied harder and was a much better student at my 4 year even though the classes were more demanding then my posh community college classes. I did take all my hard sciences at the community college the BIO, GChem, and Ochem that are required for Dental Schools. I'm thinking if I do well on the DAT, which seems to tests these skills the schools will overlook the lower GPA from my CC years.

I was active and diverse during my years in school:

Swim team and Played Water Polo at the CC
Laboratory Class Assistant for Microbiology and Botany
Interned at an Emergency Room (found out this wasnt for me)
Interned at the Botanical Conservatory giving talks to students and did a small independent research project
Interned for a Interest Group/Non-profit writing letters to persuade congressmen to vote a certain way on bills coming to the legislative floor.

Things I have not done:

Completed/Assisted in research for a professor (never really had much interest in research, is it required or looked highly upon? I think it would be hard to do this now that I'm out of school? Thoughts?)

Shadowed a dentist (How much should I do this? Whats the best way about going about this? I have since moved from my general dentist so I was thinking about knocking on doors and dropping off resumes has anyone tried this or have a better idea to obtain shadowing opportunities? I have Monday free so I could potentially shadow)

Anything else you guys can think of I really look forward to your comments.