predent94

7+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2012
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I realized after practicing as a general dentist that ortho is what I really want to do. The only thing is that my stats are not competitive at all (rank is bottom and gpa ~3.0). Would it be a bad idea to apply? How are non traditional applicants ranked?
 

clam chowder

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
May 5, 2005
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It's worth a shot. See where it takes you -all it takes is some time and money. I am also a nontraditional applicant hoping for the best (my stats are not impressive). If you search the forum, you'll find a couple programs mentioned by others that seem to value experience. Good luck to you.
 
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predent94

7+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2012
37
1
Status
It's worth a shot. See where it takes you -all it takes is some time and money. I am also a nontraditional applicant hoping for the best (my stats are not impressive). If you search the forum, you'll find a couple programs mentioned by others that seem to value experience. Good luck to you.
Thanks! So for this cycle are the schools looking for ADAT and not GRE or are you going to take both?
 
Jul 20, 2016
27
17
Thanks! So for this cycle are the schools looking for ADAT and not GRE or are you going to take both?
This cycle it appears that most programs will still require GRE. Only a few programs are requiring the ADAT but i'm sure more of them will require it in future application cycles.
 
Jul 24, 2016
25
8
I'm applying to Ortho 7 years after dental school. I took both the ADAT and the GRE. The issues with using the GRE as an admissions tool have been well discussed. The ADAT definitely penalizes those they have been out of dental school for a while and admissions people (directors and faculty) know that.

Returning to specialize after working for a while is quite common and some directors like it. Enquire with some programs and see how they respond. I found most responded quite positively to work experience. A handful either didn't understand my desire to dual specialize or saw work experience as a possible headache.

Having gone through a residency with both new grads and those returning from private practice I can say a balance of the two works best. New grads are up with textbook knowledge whereas the old greys such as myself have extensive practical knowledge.


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clam chowder

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
May 5, 2005
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Thanks! So for this cycle are the schools looking for ADAT and not GRE or are you going to take both?
I applied to programs that did not require ADAT and/or GRE and applied all over. I'm sure more and more programs will start making it a requirement (one or the other). for example, St. Barnabas from NY just started making it a requirement, Bronx Leb as well.
 
Jul 20, 2016
27
17
I applied to programs that did not require ADAT and/or GRE and applied all over. I'm sure more and more programs will start making it a requirement (one or the other). for example, St. Barnabas from NY just started making it a requirement, Bronx Leb as well.
I believe St Barnabas requires at least one year gpr/aegd or 2yrs work experience, which is great for nontraditional applicants.
 
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predent94

7+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2012
37
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Thanks guys. Also wondering should I be taking the ADAT or GRE or both?
 

vellnueve

10+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2006
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You should be doing everything you can to make your application more competitive.
 
Dec 3, 2016
4
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Dentist
I realized after practicing as a general dentist that ortho is what I really want to do. The only thing is that my stats are not competitive at all (rank is bottom and gpa ~3.0). Would it be a bad idea to apply? How are non traditional applicants ranked?
Give it a shot! With a bottom rank, it will definitely not be an easy road sorry to say - that is probably the number 1 thing these programs look at first. Anecdotally, I just went through this process as a 2014 grad with a middle-class rank, and it was pretty tough overall. I did research for the past 2 years part time in addition to my full time practice to get some good research experience & something for the resume, did great on the GRE, and I still only got 2 interviews out of the 35 schools I applied to.

I absolutely do not mean don't apply, I just mean you really have to be dedicated to want to do it and to bolstering your resume. In my opinion, what WOULD set you apart would be to nail the ADAT. This would show that even though you've been out of school, and even with the lower rank, you are book-smart enough to keep up with the program. That plus your real world experience would be a great combo.

The only other thing I could see being tough to manage is getting letters of recommendation. In my case, I got them through my research volunteering at my old dental school. I would think about who you would get to write your letters.

Returning to specialize after working for a while is quite common and some directors like it. Enquire with some programs and see how they respond. I found most responded quite positively to work experience. A handful either didn't understand my desire to dual specialize or saw work experience as a possible headache.
Do you happen to remember what schools did not so much appreciate the work experience? Sometimes I do wish programs were more forthright about their various hidden cut-offs.
 
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predent94

7+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2012
37
1
Status
Give it a shot! With a bottom rank, it will definitely not be an easy road sorry to say - that is probably the number 1 thing these programs look at first. Anecdotally, I just went through this process as a 2014 grad with a middle-class rank, and it was pretty tough overall. I did research for the past 2 years part time in addition to my full time practice to get some good research experience & something for the resume, did great on the GRE, and I still only got 2 interviews out of the 35 schools I applied to.

I absolutely do not mean don't apply, I just mean you really have to be dedicated to want to do it and to bolstering your resume. In my opinion, what WOULD set you apart would be to nail the ADAT. This would show that even though you've been out of school, and even with the lower rank, you are book-smart enough to keep up with the program. That plus your real world experience would be a great combo.

The only other thing I could see being tough to manage is getting letters of recommendation. In my case, I got them through my research volunteering at my old dental school. I would think about who you would get to write your letters.


Do you happen to remember what schools did not so much appreciate the work experience? Sometimes I do wish programs were more forthright about their various hidden cut-offs.
Thanks so much for your reply. Did you get any acceptances?? I haven't applied, but still have the same desire to do Ortho. I want to take up research as well, how did you get your research experience? And did you end up taking the ADAT