appassionata

10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2007
76
0
Status
Pre-Dental
As I am filling out my application, I realized that I am not a strong applicant.
-3.4 gpa, 19AA, 20TS, 22PAT. (retake DAT in Aug)
-only 5 hours of shadowing 2 yeras ago
-no volunteer (except high school, not including this since it was in high school)
-TA experience
-few years of paid research experience (only one publication)
-3 professors said they will write me best letter possible but don't have dentist's letter.

What's bothering me is the volunteer experience and shadowing hours and no dentist letter. I will be shadowing again this month.

I don't know if I should apply this year?
or shoud I gain more ec then apply?
or should I just apply to one school? will i have more chance if I apply to one school? because schools can see how many schools you applyed and which school you applied? so if they only see their school they know it's my first choice??

i am so lost....
any thought?
 

1992Corolla

CheerioKing
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2005
2,081
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Resident [Any Field]
i dont think schools can see how many schools you applied to. I would pick your top 10-15, apply the best you can and if it doesn't happen then reapply.

At WORST you are out the application fees, etc, at BEST you get accepted. I applied twice and thought my first attempt was worth the risk.
 

Hugh Mannity

10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
228
0
Minnesota
Status
Pre-Dental
i dont think schools can see how many schools you applied to.
Wrong. Yes they can, and they often ask to see how truthful you are. I am applying to one school because I am applying to a early decision program and want to show dedication. Whatever you do, be truthful.
 

Chuda2008

10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
34
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Many schools require a letter from a dentist and some even require x number of hours spent shadowing/volunteering. I would recommend making a huge effort to get some shadowing time in before you submit your application. Personally, I think it would be better for you to apply mid summer with shadowing hours and a good letter from a dentist than now without either. I applied in late October which is not ideal and I don't recommend it, but I still managed to get into a few schools. Good luck.
 

Neuro178

10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
372
0
Status
Dental Student
One quick way to get 60 hours is by shadowing one dentist for 3 weeks (20 hrs per week). It's really not that bad once you break it down. I shadowed a dentist for 3 weeks last summer and now I feel confident enough to ask him for a LoR. Most dentists are really welcome to letting you shadow.

Plus you can still work part-time during the shadowing!
 
OP
A

appassionata

10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2007
76
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I thought my dentist would take me to shadow him but he said no yesterday. I thught since all my family go there and my mom just paid like 3k and is going to pay more, I thought he would allow me to shadow him. He said he already has 2 shadowing student so can't take me. it was a bummer

Chuda2008, could I ask you your stats if you don't mind? I guess you have better stats than me...
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,135
2,274
Status
Dentist
I thought my dentist would take me to shadow him but he said no yesterday. I thught since all my family go there and my mom just paid like 3k and is going to pay more, I thought he would allow me to shadow him. He said he already has 2 shadowing student so can't take me. it was a bummer

Chuda2008, could I ask you your stats if you don't mind? I guess you have better stats than me...
Maybe it is time to find another practitioner.
 

Immuno-guy

Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2006
49
0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Why are you retaking the DAT? Your GPA is close to the mean average.
Consider the importance of the fact that we are considering the mean average. Every school is going to be accepting people with 3.8-3.9 scores which means they are accepting people with correspondingly low GPAs to produce a mean of say, 3.5. You are close.

I'm sure you must be in the top 15% of DAT scores as well. This is more important than the GPA in my books as it is standardized.

Your research may help. Don't feel that 'only one publication' is a failure. Most lab techs are not considered authors (those that are offered publications are often resented by their graduate student colleagues - in my experience).

You mention your lack of shadowing. You are right. You need to show continued interest in the field. I realize the system is geared towards people who can afford to work for free; unless you are well heeled you will be loath to spend so much time with someone without payment. It is however, a requirement for a reason; the dental school wants to know you will enjoy being a dentist. Simple. For this reason I too have never volunteered. I really can't afford to.

My GPA is similar to yours and my DAT not as good. I was accepted last week. Second time round. I should perhaps point out that I will receive my Ph.D. in immunology in two weeks. When you apply for the second time you are showing your continued interest.

Still, don't forget what makes an average. Shadow a different dentist for a week and re-apply. If you are sure you'll do better on the DAT do it. Either way, good luck.
 

Cofo

Super Cool Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2006
694
1
Status
Pre-Dental
shadow a different dentist. I reccomend shadowing a female dentist. They are better writers.
 

scuzfly

10+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2008
165
1
Status
Pre-Dental
Focus on shadowing and only shadowing. Let the guy know you want a letter of rec out of it and just be honest with him. Tell him you want to be in there and see a lot and you want him to know you are serious.

GPA is good and DAT is good. DONT retake it because you could hurt yourself doing so. If you don't get in this cycle then shadow a little bit at a time at different practices and then reapply next cycle. Worst thing that can happen is you have one year to work and make $36,000 with your degree and save some money.
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,135
2,274
Status
Dentist
Focus on shadowing and only shadowing. Let the guy know you want a letter of rec out of it and just be honest with him. Tell him you want to be in there and see a lot and you want him to know you are serious.
GPA is good and DAT is good. DONT retake it because you could hurt yourself doing so. If you don't get in this cycle then shadow a little bit at a time at different practices and then reapply next cycle. Worst thing that can happen is you have one year to work and make $36,000 with your degree and save some money.
No gesture would be more endearing than asking the favor of shadowing a dentist then stating your demands.
 

MnBr63

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2007
242
0
Louisville, KY
Status
Dental Student
Wrong. Yes they can, and they often ask to see how truthful you are. I am applying to one school because I am applying to a early decision program and want to show dedication. Whatever you do, be truthful.
Yes its true that schools can see how many other schools you applied to, but don't think of that as a bad thing. If anything it shows that you are determined to get in this cycle. Most students apply to about 10 schools anyway. Even the "statistically best candidates" get turned down from some schools so applying to only one school is not really advised. Besides... going through the whole AADSAS process and only checking off one school???
 

trixie2126

10+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2008
283
0
Status
Pre-Dental
you're DAT is really good! Don't wase the time, the money and the stress re-taking it!

Just up you're shadowing hours! As others said, you can get a whole bunch within 3 wks to a month! And some dentists will let you assist once you have been there for a while (all the dentists I shadowed let me do this!) and that'll give you more experience as well!
 

trixie2126

10+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2008
283
0
Status
Pre-Dental
P.S. you probably feel like you're DAT isn't that strong because most of the people on here have incredible scores (like 23s, 24s). But in reality, you are a strong applicant! Lots of people have gotten accepted with much much lower (like 17s, 18s). You are in a good percentile!