Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by landrover77, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. landrover77

    landrover77 New Member

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    Here's my background:

    I have been working in banking for the past 3 years (graduated college in 1999). While in college I bounced around from major to major not knowing what I really wanted to do the rest of my life. After playing way too much golf and skipping far too many classes, I managed to kill my GPA (2.7). The only science courses I took in college were intro. to meteorology and oceanography.

    Now that I have matured and had time to figure out what my real interests are, I am considering exiting banking and pursuing dental school. I have been studying anatomy & phys. on my own time as well as reading any and all dental publications I can find. I am 100% certain that dentistry is what I want to do for the next 30 years of my life.

    For the past year I have been researching admission and academic statistics for dental programs. I figure I have about 2 semesters of pre-reqs. to complete before thinking of dental school.

    I would welcome any advice/recommendations as far was what schools to apply to (when that time comes) and what
    experience(s) would most benefit someone in my situation. Thank you.
     
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  3. RSXer

    RSXer :) UoMBCDSCo07 :)
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    wow! 50 views and no help yet? c'mon peeps.

    Well, I never question the sincerity of those who are considering dental school as a second career choice. The fact that you are willing to leave your career in banking to pursue something totally different makes me think that you must really like dentistry to be willing to give up your first career.

    So, looking from an admission point of view, you've shown the beginiings of a sincere and genuine interest in dentistry. In order to convince the admissions peeps (as well as yourself) that you want to be a dentist, I suggest you work as a dental assistant, shadow a dentist, take part in some dental schools programs that give prospective students a peek into what dental school is like. U of Mayland has something like this called Operation Dental Career....which I did 2 summers ago.

    Okay, so that takes care of the question "What have you done that shows me that you really like dentistry?" What about this?

    "How do I know you will be able to handle the workload of all hard science classes? " To answer this question, you definitely need to tkae the basic pre reqs and do well on them. Thats great that you've been studying it on your own time, but dental schools need to see grades to make sure you can hack the workload. My undergrad science GPA was similar to yours, but grad school and some post-bac classes increased my science GPA over the 3 mark. Also, kick butt on the DAT.

    Okay, I've rambled long enough. Good luck!
     
  4. MrFutureDMD

    MrFutureDMD Member
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    My advice: Enroll in a 1-2 year Post-Bacc program. Maintain at least a 3.3 GPA, do a dental summer research/enrichment program, get some shadowing experiences NOW, and do well on your DAT (18 or above).

    Best advice--STAY FOCUSED!
     
  5. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    AMEN to all of the above plus, if you do not have a full time job, challange yourself and load up on those pre-req science and advanced science course credits each term (18 + if you are on the quarter system).
     
  6. Brand

    Brand Senior Member
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    Give it a shot. My college major was education until my very last semester. I finally said screw education and gave dental school a shot. My GPA isn't that great so I knew I had to do well on the DAT. My lowest score in any category was a 20 in G. Chem. I've had 5 interviews so far and plan to turn any additional interviews down.

    As far as applying goes, apply to the schools who like to see trends of improvement. Nova, Buffalo, and Detroit all take increased acedemic improvement into account. Other schools might too, Just don't know which ones specifically.

    They main thing I think you can do is rock out on the DAT. If you do very well schools will forgive your GPA.
     
  7. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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    Landrover:

    You have two big things going for you as a future dental school applicant:

    1) Since you were not a science major and have not had any of the required admission courses, you have the PERFECT opportunity to show dental schools your determination for dentistry by doing well (>3.0) in all those courses.

    2) Since you've been in other careers and are willing to change your life to pursue dentistry, the admissions committee will note that passion.

    Here is my advice to you:

    1) Research on Post-Bac. programs (as others have mentioned). These programs are tailored for applicants particularily for your situation that had never taken any of the required admission courses. If you get accepted to one of these Post-Bac programs and did well, some of these programs (Columbia) will even guarantee you dental school interviews and committee recommendation letters. Another reason I would recommend this route for you instead of taking individual courses on your own is that with Post-Bac. programs is much more structured (a full time program) as dental schools like to see that.

    2) Get yourself into a dental office (private practice) to gain further exposure by shadowing. Reading dental articles is fine, but nothing is like spending some time with an actual dentist.

    3) Start to call dental schools of your interest or go to their dental school open houses (all dental school has this) to meet the admissions personal and introduce yourself. It is very important to establish a professional relationship with the admissions personal, so by the time you apply, they will know who you are and not just know you as a paper application. Plus by contacting the schools, you can have a lot of your questions answered and addressed. Be active in pursuing your goal for dentistry.

    4) Don't worry about DAT just yet, just do well on your prerequisite courses for admission. Besides, if you do enroll in a Post-Bac. program, a lot of them have a DAT review course integrated in the curriculum.

    Good luck!


    :cool:
     
  8. landrover77

    landrover77 New Member

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    Thank you all for the advice. Not being on the traditional pre-dental path, I find your thoughts incredibly helpful.

    On the subject of post-bac. study. Where do I find more info. aobut what the programs have to offer. Also, which programs are better/worse?
     
  9. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    A lot of schools offer post-bach programs. If you need financial aid, the best ones are "matriculated" which qualifies you for federal student loans, work study etc. Some of the state school "matriculated" post-bach programs are competitive and are only open to folks like yourself who will be taking professional school pre-req undergrad courses for the first time. From what I have gathered on this fourm, the private schools tend to offer more options and flexibility for those interested in post-bach programs.
     
  10. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper
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