summer89

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Feb 13, 2009
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About how many hours should I shadow a dentist? The practice that I'm going to do my shadowing at will only let me come in a few times. I asked to come in once/week for ~2 months, they said no. I was hoping to get a LOR from the dentist.
I've also been volunteering at a dental clinic since last year (~60 hours).

Will these be considered enough dental experiences?
I am re-applying for the 2011 cycle.
 

doc toothache

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Getting in the neighbirhood of 75-100 hrs is more than enough for pure shadowing hrs. Volunteering at a dental clinic is perhaps more useful, especially if you are chairside. Shadowing is good because it allows you to check out various offices of GP's as well as specialists and get a feel for how different offices are run. I would suggest sticking with the volunteering and shadowing 10-20 hrs (3 or 4 visits) at different offices (including specialists).
 

summer89

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OK. Thanks you guys! I appreciate it. I do plan to stick to my volunteer work at the dental clinic (yes, it is chair side).
Yeaa, that would be too much to ask from a dentist who is willing to let me follow her around work all day for 2 days.
My former academic advisor highly suggested that I try to obtain a LOR from a dentist, since my last application was too research oriented and did not show commitment to the dentistry field.
 

doc toothache

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Yeaa, that would be too much to ask from a dentist who is willing to let me follow her around work all day for 2 days.
My former academic advisor highly suggested that I try to obtain a LOR from a dentist, since my last application was too research oriented and did not show commitment to the dentistry field.
It would help if you followed the dictum you will some day be preaching. See your dentist twice a year.
 

redchesus

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try calling around

some offices are more receptive to shadowing than others, I shadowed one office every day for like 3 weeks no problem, they even said if I ever wanted to drop in, just walk in (they're so nice!)
 

OCDFlosser

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Mar 21, 2010
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Considering your experience at the dental clinic, you shouldn't need to get that many more hours of shadowing. I would go for at least 50, that way you look more well-rounded in your experiences.

Like redchesus said, go to other offices and get a day or two of experience with them. This will give you an idea of how different offices run things, too - the (dreaded) business aspect of dentistry.

:) and if you are curious like me, check out youtube for some video on different procedures. That's basically like shadowing, if you ask me (Even though it doesn't count).
 
Jan 13, 2010
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Do at least 20 hrs. I know some schools (Loma Linda) want at least 20 hrs in any volunteering/Shadowing experience. I only had 20 hrs of shadowing with ~50 hrs at a non-profit clinic, and ~25 hrs assisting a dentist in Mex on a medical mission. If your not getting a lot of love from your local dentists get involved with non-profits that do procedures in foreign countries. Sometimes they are short on assistants and will let you do some basic assisting. If your in the south west it is really easy to go to MEX. I found shadowing to be awkward and redundant, but really enjoyed assisting, and helping out in the clinic.
 

doc toothache

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If your not getting a lot of love from your local dentists get involved with non-profits that do procedures in foreign countries. Sometimes they are short on assistants and will let you do some basic assisting. If your in the south west it is really easy to go to MEX. I found shadowing to be awkward and redundant, but really enjoyed assisting, and helping out in the clinic.
That would be a good idea provided the post grad plan is to practice dentistry in Mexico.
 
Jan 13, 2010
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That would be a good idea provided the post grad plan is to practice dentistry in Mexico.
I was referring to medical mission trips that last for a weekend or a week. I am from So. Cal., and I know many Dentists, and pre-dents who go on these trips. It also helps with learning Spanish, which is usu. important for Dentists who practice in boarder states (CA, TEX, NM, AZ)
 

doc toothache

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I was referring to medical mission trips that last for a weekend or a week. I am from So. Cal., and I know many Dentists, and pre-dents who go on these trips. It also helps with learning Spanish, which is usu. important for Dentists who practice in boarder states (CA, TEX, NM, AZ)
The idea behind shadowing is to see what dental practice is in the US not in the jungles of Costa Rica or Brazil. Incidentally, even in S. Cal dentist is not a capitalized word.