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Can I do it? advice please!

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by HurricaneAlana, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. HurricaneAlana

    HurricaneAlana 2+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Long Island
    Hi! I just decided that I want to go to Dental School... I majored in Health Science (pre-physical therapy track)... and after volunteering at the PT department, I realized that is not what I want to do with my life.. After carefully re-evaluating my options, I realized that this is something I definitely want to pursue as a career.

    So here are some things I am worried about:

    1) this is such a late decision, I haven't shadowed anyone yet (will hopefully start soon)
    2) I am not taking Orgo II or Physics II til the summer... is is possible to do well on DAT without completing Orgo II?
    3) My total GPA is 3.36 (should increase to 3.45 from my calculations of what I expect to recieve in current classes) and my science is 3.18 (which should increase to about 3.3-3.33)
    4)I am graduating this semester (3 years of college) from the University of Miami... I haven't taken biochem or microbio... I realize a bunch of schools require these... is it a big deal if I take them over the next year at a school back home in NY?

    Do schools take into consideration if I had a bad year? I've generally done well above a 3.5 each semester, except my sophmore year, because I was dealing with some personal issues... Is it better to avoid mentioning that (since it may make me seem "unstable") or explain that me flying out of town a lot impaired my ability to concentrate on academics...

    Can someone please give me some advice as to what schools I should be looking at, based on my GPA, and what are legit resources... I have the barron's guide to medical and dental schools, but it seemed to me the stats they were giving for dental schools were a bit low (can anyone verify).

    Thank you soo much to anyone who can help -- Alana
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  3. DailyDrivenTJ

    DailyDrivenTJ 2+ Year Member

    Mar 20, 2007
    Go shadow a dentist and see if you like it first. I don't think you can decide to do a dentistry without really trying out yourself, that is basically saying I don't know what they do or what the job entails but I want it.

    I recommend you taking Org II as it reviews a lot of Org I. DAT includes ORGII.

    I read some dental school website they don't like late bloomers.

    Do well on the DAT and don't worry about your past. There is nothing you can do about it.

    You can take the all the required class before you are matriculated.
  4. onamission

    onamission 2+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    I agree with DailydrivenTJ about shadowing a dentist. If you figured out that you didn't want to be a PT after volunteering, you may discover you feel the same way about dentistry. But, that doesn't mean you can't continue to work on your pre-reqs while you're confirming your desire to be a dentist.

    I totally DISAGREE that dental schools don't like "late bloomers"!! Talk to any of the admissions departments and you'll find that they value the life experience of older applicants. The fact that you thought you wanted to be a PT and researched it shows that you are commited to finding the right career for you. With that in mind, you may want to consider waiting to apply until the 2009 cycle. By then you'll be able to write a truely strong essay about your commitment (after shadowing) and you won't have wasted a lot of money on applying before you are competitive. The shadowing portion of the AADSAS can't be updated once submitted so if you shadow after you apply you have to write letters to each school to let them know you've shadowed. You don't want to rush into the DAT either if you decide to wait a cycle. Take Ochem II then study your butt off. I've read of other people that did fine on the DAT w/o Ochem II, but why rush it if you are waiting a cycle.

    Anyway, don't let anyone discourage you!!! I'm 41 and in the official "old foggies" club here at SDN. I think you're doing eveything right, for whatever that's worth.:hardy:
  5. DailyDrivenTJ

    DailyDrivenTJ 2+ Year Member

    Mar 20, 2007
    Just for clarification, when I say late bloomers, I said nothing about age, I meant those people who party first two years in college and decided to start working later half of their college years. Let's say you are ADCOM, would you prefer applicants like that versus anyone who worked hard all their time through their college years?? I think it is more of a common sense.

    Level of maturity has very very high correlation with age. I believe maturity/experience has also high correlation with professionalism which is a must if you want to be a doctor. I believe in that aspect, people aged to "perfection" would have upper hand against young folks.
  6. awalke12

    awalke12 10+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    The OP never mentioned a dip in GPA because of partying. It sounds like they worked very hard to achieve a 3.5 every semester except during their sophomore year, for personal reasons.

    I had a similar experience and underwent some serious personal issues during my junior year and it caused a pretty drastic dip in my GPA. I made sure to explain this thoroughly in my personal statement and pointed out the life lessons learned from the experience.

    In all honesty, this seemed to reflect well on me and many interviewers asked about the experience and I feel like it showed I had a lot of character to go through a tough ordeal and then come back and do really well. My suggestion to you is to work your butt off in ORG II, Physics II and any other classes you need to take and show that you are dedicated to achieve your goal.

    I agree with the others though, definitely do some shadowing first to make sure you know that this is what you want to do. Good luck!
  7. HurricaneAlana

    HurricaneAlana 2+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Long Island
    i can only imagine how important shadowing will be! I just got an opportunity to start this Friday, and will have 30 hours by the time the application goes out... I will try and find other dentists (maybe in specialties) to shadow as well over the next few months... I know that someone mentioned that once you submit you application you can't change the number of hours shadowing.. when can you submit you application? after EVERYTHING is completed? because my goal is to have as much done by June/July... but I will not be taking the DAT til mid August...
  8. dmd2011

    dmd2011 Random Hero 5+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    you should take orgo II before taking the DAT. without it, it would be extremely hard to do well. you can submit the application any time after the cycle opens. your timeline seems a little too short to complete everything for this cycle. have you thought about taking a year off to shadow, complete your pre-reqs, and take some upper level sciences? doing all of this would make your application much stronger.

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