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any advice or suggestions

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by vixen, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    Hi,
    I am doing a postbacc to reapply to dental school...right now I'm taking microbio, biochem and organic (retaking organic). Anyway, although these classes are pretty demanding, I have a little bit of extra time to either volunteer or do some VERY part time work. There was one dental clinic that I thought I could volunteer at, but they required a certain amount of time, but it had to be consecutive (which is impossible with my schedule and commuting). Anyway, I was also considering taking a one month class that trains you to be an EKG tech, or other things. I don't want to do that NOW because it would be going into December (finals time)...anyway, my point is, does anyone have any suggestions? I am also trying to get a part-time job as a tutor for Kumon (study skills place). Should I just keep calling hospitals, dental clinics, dental offices or do you have any other ideas of where I could volunteer? I don't understand how this place needed volunteers but had to turn me down because my hours weren't consecutive...I think that's so dumb. Anyway, I feel like because this is my make or break year (because I already got rejected and am improving my app this year to reapply), I need to do more. Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I wait till spring semester and do that one month class/training thing and then work part time?

    One more thing...I am applying at the end of this year for the fall of 2003. That means I have one year off...I was thinking of teaching at a private school for a year...two friends of mind do it (who are postbacc), and I think I would love it. I've worked with kids for awhile, and I love leadership roles...you don't think schools would look down upon that? Because it's not health related? Any thoughts/comments/suggestions? Thanks :)
     
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  3. vixen

    vixen I like members

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  4. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    I'll move this to the Dental Forum for you where it would seemingly get more action than amongst posts about Favorite Movies, etc.
     
  5. ricegirl

    ricegirl Senior Member

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    Hi,

    You might want to consider observing at a clinic instead of working or volunteering because (in my opinion) there's less of a time commitment. I observed at an oral surgeon's office, and it was pretty relaxed -- I could come in and leave whenever I felt like it. Also, it's a good chance to see what you like and don't like about dentistry, get to know what your peers are going to be like, etc.

    Volunteering at hospitals, etc. require some type of commitment (usually 6 months) because they have to train you, etc., so they want to make sure that you can commit to a certain amount of time. If you have more free time in the spring, it would be a good idea to volunteer, or better yet, try to get a part-time job at the clinic where you observed.

    About your desire to teach, I think it's great b/c there are SO few good teachers out there and there's a huge need for it. I don't think teaching would hurt your application at all - on the contrary, I think it would help it out (community service, leadership, blah, blah), esp. if you have already demonstated interest in dentistry through other activities.

    hope that helps
    ricegirl
     
  6. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    thanks for the reply ricegirl! I appreciate the input :)
     
  7. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA
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    Seema--

    I thought you were volunteering at a dental clinic!? And about the EKG thing, what does that have to do with dentistry? You may think that coming in a couple hours a month is enough, but dentists really need to get to know you in order to write a good recommendation. I know it sucks volunteering when you could be making money, but until you get a good recommendation from a dentist then that is not enough volunteer hours. I think Micro, Ochem, and Biochem is a huge load and I understand your grief, but you need to get some good exposure and need to get some good recommendations. Grades illustrate how well you can handle the school work, but interpersonal skills/recommendations show how well you can get along with other and how much commitment you have. Because a clinic is not interested in someone just floating around for a couple of hours a week/month doensn't mean they are against you, but they want a mutualistic relationship. In biological terms, you help them out and they will help you out (tit for tat). But time is the key. There comes a time when a person should stop making excuses and just learn to manage their schedule. This should have been on top of your list in "improvements." If you can manage to get training for EKG tech then you could find some clinic to volunteer at least 3-4 hours a week. I believe that is for the best. Also, how are your recommendations. I think you should diversify your recommendations. Get at least two from dentists, two from you current science classes, one from you previous work experience and one from a non-science class. Why do I advise you this--> because the more recommendations the better and since the minimum is three you can send a couple extras just to make a cushion. Remember you need "great" recommnedations not just a paragraph and it is upto you to advertise yourself in order to do that. Attend office hours, make yourself known, raise your hands in class, if you do bad on a test go to the teacher to ask what you could do to improve. All of those small things are in your hands and don't need you to change your entire lifestyle in order to accomplish them. Start changing today...think positive. I'm noticing a pattern that every month you repeat the same questions over and over again. Why is that? I hope this helps.

    Remember medicine never tastes good, but make you feel beter in the long run...so take my advise with a grain of salt as always.

    Regards

    Desi.
     
  8. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    Hmm...you don't seem to be very encouraging at all desi...actually you kind of upset me...but, you're right, I do need clinical exposure, but it's not a matter of balancing my schedule...I CANNOT fit it in with my schedule, primarily because of the commuting time it would take to get to school...I WOULD NOT make it to class on time. I am *not* repeating the same questions every month. I volunteered at a dental office last summer and that dentist is willing to write me another letter of recommendation, and I called a bunch of places to see if I can just observe...that way I can go on my own time and not have to have a certain amt of hours consecutively. I do appreciate your insight desi, but you always seem to discourage. I am just asking questions...the ekg thing DOES NOT have to do with dentistry...obviously...it would be a Paying job and I would have some patient contact, that's all. My parents weren't too happy that I didn't get into dental school, but they were still willing to pay for my postbacc program, so I have to pull in a little for myself (groceries, electric bill, etc). It has not been so easy to find out clinical stuff right away...I moved down here to NYC a few days before classes started, had to still find my way around, get used to it, then the whole attack thing didn't help. Now that I have gotten 2 A's on my first couple of exams, I am more settled in and am searching...I was also searching for the teaching thing in my year off because I'm interested...what's wrong with that? I think I would love it, so what if it has nothing to do w/dentistry? I do understand that it's important to get the raw stuff done (grades, recommendations, exposure), but that doesn't mean I should turn away from interests (teaching) and realistics (money). I understand a mutualistic relationship, and I *do* understand how to organize my time. Sorry if it took awhile for me to adjust here...this is the first time I've lived in nyc and the first time *I've lived alone*. Most of my friends are in different cities and my boyfriend is in syracuse...it was a little depressing at first being alone in a new place, but I've gotten used to it now. But thanks a lot desi, you've made me feel a lot better :( :rolleyes:
     
  9. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    ps
    advice is only one of many questions I ask each month...I also have questions about other things (ie, what are scribes?)...isn't this what the forum is for?
     
  10. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA
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    I apologize for sounding discouraging but you should consider me like a "bara bhai." Granted, the EKG tech will help you gain clinical exposure, but when you apply to dental school for the second time and they see you focusing more on "other stuff" than dental related stuff they will wonder why you are gaining experience in a medical setting rather than a dental setting. I can imagine how different the setting might be and how hard it is to adjust, but when you are asking for advise I think you should be receptive for a little criticism. Not everyone is going to pat you on the back. Regarding the teaching job...that's great, but that is going to be after you apply to dental school so that doesn't matter...you can do whatever you want then, but you should live and breathe dentistry if that is what you are choosing to become. By the way, why do you want to become a dentist? I know your mom is a pediatrician why didn't you want to go to medical school? I believe that in your heart you know what to do, believe you me, that I get side-tracked all the time I used to work for an indian startup dot-com, but decided to quit because it was hindering my exposure to the dental environment. I would diversify your recommendations, just because the "same" dentist is going to re-write a recommendation is not going to work, but you should find other dentists, especially alums to the particular schools you want to apply to and have them write you one, but unfortunately you are going to work for that, a great recommendation is not possible without gaining experience, unless you already got connections. In this game, those people with the most connections always win. With the GPA to dental school jumping from 3.2 (ave) two years ago to a 3.33 the competition is stiffening and it's all about survival of the fittest. It's a jungle out there...can you survive it??? Ask yourself if the adcom is comparing my application with an another student who will they choose? Why should they choose me, what do I have to offer to that school? Do I show that I am willing to stare at people's mouths all day? Do I show them that I am fascinated about my career choice? Unfortunately, the only way to assure the ADCOM that you know what you are getting yourself into is to gain massive hours, At least 200.
     
  11. DesiDentist

    DesiDentist G. S. Khurana, DMD, MBA
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    Taken from www.dailymotivator.com visit this site daily for some motivation.
    ---------------------------------------------

    Deal with it
    Each time you encounter a difficult situation, you have two basic choices. You can choose to deal with it or you can choose to let it deal with you. When you go ahead and deal with it, you put yourself in control. That's far better than the alternative of letting the problem put you under its control.
    Dealing with it means real, focused effort. Dealing with it means discomfort, inconvenience and perhaps even some pain. Not dealing with it, though, will eventually bring even more pain and discomfort.

    The faster you start dealing with a difficult situation, the more control you'll have over it. If you wait around until you can no longer avoid it, many of your best options will have already disappeared.

    It's usually not much fun to tackle a perplexing problem. There are many other things you'd rather be doing. It's not much fun, but it can be extremely rewarding. Jump quickly and aggressively into dealing with it, and you'll probably even uncover a valuable opportunity. At the very least, you'll put yourself in the best possible position by acting quickly and decisively.

    Pretending your problems don't exist won't make them go away. Dealing with them will. Look at them, acknowledge them, deal with them and use your considerable energy to move on ahead.

    --RM
     
  12. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    Thanks desi for some more constructive criticism. I realize these things I have to do, but it's always good to be reminded. One thing I can honestly say is that this year my main focus is getting good grades...that is what was basically holding my back the first time. After speaking to schools, most said my dat score and extracurric's were good, but my gpa had to be raised. I realize that this year, my main focus is the grades, and I am also trying to get clinical exposure and better recommendations (although some people in the offices I called said my recc's were good)-I'll try getting more now.

    About the ekg thing, my priority before that is DENTAL CLINICAL exposure...I was just considering that for a job...I haven't done it yet, and if I don't get this tutoring job, then I'll consider it for next semester. I only looked at it because it was a paying job, dealing w/patients...obviously I can't get paid in a dentist's office (I'm not allowed to do anything). After some other advice, I'm going to just observe to get some exposure.

    About the dentist thing and not the medical thing, I can go into my list of reasons why I WANT to do dentistry, but the reason I didn't want to try and go to med school is exactly because what I know of my parents...I don't want to be working 24/7 like them and always be so stressed out...I want to have a family and still be there for my kids...why denstistry? I want to take care of people,I like working w/people, after working in different health related fields (nursing home, psychiatric hospital, disabilities office,etc)I know I'd LOVE to work w/others in a helping way, I want to work with my hands (I love doing artistic things and other things w/my hands...it sounds stupid but I tweeze eyebrows like an art...I do it for myself and other people...it sounds stupid, but I love it...I get to use my hands, make people look better, etc), I don't want to be in a life/death situation (less likely in dentistry than medicine), I want to have control of my work (practice) and have HMO's not affect it as much as medical offices. I want to have more flexibility for when I work, the security/monetary aspects...hmm...I think there's some more I can't think of right now...anyway, I'll keep ya updated of what is going on so you can give me some more constructive criticism...have a good weekend :)
     
  13. dvdrv31

    dvdrv31 Member

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    simseema17, did you apply to dental schools when you were a senior or junior in college? i am year late (junior is when most people apply, correct?) so i was just wondering.
     
  14. vixen

    vixen I like members

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    I applied the summer between junior and senior year :)
     

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