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Any advice for someone starting all over?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by davincis_playgr, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. davincis_playgr

    davincis_playgr Junior Member
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    Hi,

    I'm a 1995 B. A. grad in Health Services Administration. Never really got the opportunity to put it to use. Since then, I've been cruising along, not really making any use of my degree. But over time, I've made up my mind to go into Dentistry. But I'm not certain how to start. Since my B.A. isn't in any science, I'll have to take a LOT of science classes to catch up. It would be great if I could get into a dual B.S./D.D.S program, but most of what I've seen only allows "high potential high schoolers" to join. Could get a second Bachelors, this time in Biology. But now I have a wife, mortgage, steady job, etc. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get started again? I really want to gain the necessary background to do well on the DAT as well as avoid being a total dumbfart if/when I get accepted somewhere. Any ideas you might have would be very appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. CATAMOUNT

    CATAMOUNT Junior Member

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    Hello
    I was in your situation last year (minus the wife and mortgage). I have a B.S. in Economics and currently work in the financial industry. My first step was to go down to my local community college and sign up for Chemistry I. Since then I have been taking two classes per semester and working 45 - 50 hours a week. It is not an easy path but who said it would be easy. I feel community colleges have been a great deal. They offer classes at night, easy on the wallet, class size on average is 20 ? 25 people, and I have had some of the best professors. Good luck.
     
  4. DATMATT

    DATMATT SISU
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    For sure try to shadow a dentist a few hours a week. By the time you interview you should have a lot of time logged in. If you don't know it take Gen Chem, Gen Bio, Organic Chem, & Physics (8 credit hours of each w/ labs) These classes are required by every school for sure. All will get you ready for the DAT. If you have any of them already you are off to a good start. Of course getting all A's helps since the schools look at your GPA, they will also look at your science GPA which includes all of these. Poor grades during your undergrad years won't look so bad with straight A's. I agree, where you take the classes will not matter much. Just get A's and ace the DAT. The classes I mentioned will all get you ready for the DAT except Physics. So suggest taking it 1st since you will not need to recall the info for the DAT, you can empty the brain after that class if you know what I mean.

    I am taking it last because I took the DAT and wanted to have all the classes before taking the DAT. Now I am taking Physics which I won't even use.

    I think being older is an advantage (IMHO) in that schools know you are a safer bet at finishing dental school because you are more mature.
    GOOD LUCK!
    MATT
     
  5. djsux

    djsux Member
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    I can feel definitely empathize with your situation, since I was in a similar situation with the full time job (no wife or mortgage, but lots of student loan debt)... I am currently wrapping up my pre-reqs, but my apps are in and I'm waiting to hear for interviews.

    One of the things that you'll have to figure out first is you want to do Fresh Start. I'm not sure if this is just a tejas thing or not. But basically, you can strike any semesters off your academic record if it was more than 10 years ago. So look at your freshman and sophomore grades to see if you want to do this. Keep in mind if you strike out any semesters where you took pre-reqs, you will have to retake those classes.

    Otherwise, it's possible to take up to two classes in the evening while working 40-50+ hours/wk. You will definitely have to give up some family time, as I had to go back to work after class and work weekends as well.

    Another important thing, is that you do not have to finish all your pre-reqs before you apply. As long as you finish your pre-reqs before you start dental school. But as DATMATT suggests, you should get the courses you need for the DAT done first.

    And definitely shadow a dentist for a couple hours on a weekend - schools like to know that post-bacc/non-traditional students know exactly what they are getting into.

    Hope this helps - best of luck with it!
     
  6. groundhog

    groundhog 1K Member
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    You don't know where you will end up in the country if you get into dental school and you don't have any kids. So, get this done as quickly as possible. Sell the house and keep the spouse working. Try to get into a matriculated post bac program and rent a cheap flat close to campus. Load up on the science pre-req courses, get involved in a oral health related research project, and enjoy the student life again. If you do this right, you and your spouse will look back on it as the best time in your lives even after you are a successful dentist enjoying all the comforts of life.
     

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