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dental experience (job shadowing) is necessary?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by h222, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. h222


    Mar 6, 2008
    I have questions about the dental experience (job shadowing). Do you think that dental experiences (volunteering and job shadowing at the dental offices) are necessary to get in the dental school? How many hours did you spend for this :(?
    How did you find the dental office to work/volunteer :confused::confused:?
    I have a dilemma that I could not find any dental office to volunteer. I called more than 10 dental offices near my home and they just answered the same thing, “We have one already. Thus, we don’t need you”. I am scared to call and ask now… :sleep: I volunteered at the local hospital about 60 hours and am volunteering at the Senior Day Care Center (about 10 hours….). During summer, I taught the SAT math and general science to the middle and high school students (about 400 hrs) (other work experiences (as a cashier in gas station and grocery store, waitress, and sales (more than 500 hrs)).
    I know that I am too late to find job related dentistry for applying this year. But, Do you think it will be worth for spending a time working the dental office (if I fortunately find the position:()??
    The hardest thing is that I have to teach the students from this week and to study DAT for my last chance:(:(. Thank you… for reading… :love:
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  3. Shunwei

    Shunwei 10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2007

    If you don't spend time to see what the field is like, how can you make an educated decision on whether it is right for you?

    I am sure that there will be dentists around you that will let you observe.
  4. Simiam

    Simiam 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    You should keep calling around because a lot of schools REQUIRE shadowing hours... It is pretty important to understand the demands of the career choice before you get into it, because it would be a lot of work to get there and ultimately decide it's not for you. Good luck
  5. trixie2126

    trixie2126 2+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  6. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Akron, OH
    Oh man... if you don't shadow, it looks like you have 1 motivation: $$

    That looks HORRIBLE to ADCOMs. Not saying you won't get in if you have a good GPA and DAT, but it looks REALLY, REALLY bad. Maybe you are considering the wrong profession? Observing shouldn't be a chore, it should be something you are relatively enthusiastic about.

    Someone will let you shadow. DO NOT expect to get paid. You have 5 years of volunteering and paying to volunteer your services (dental school) so you can JUST learn to be adequate!
  7. TeamGuo

    TeamGuo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    yes you definitely must shadow some dentists.

    It can be hard finding a dentist to shadow since many of them will not want students around in their office but then again there are a lot of them who are glad to help you out.

    Last year I had the same issue, I was calling everywhere but everyone said we'll get back to you or we don't need any more volunteers, etc.

    What you should do is actually go to few offices and visit them in person. Asking over the phone shows lack of motivation and it can be sketchy.

    I am sure you will be able to find someone soon if you keep trying. I ended up finding a great building that has many dentists and specialists all within one complex. I started shadowing last year and they ended up hiring me so I packed up about 500 hours of dental experience. And remember, some schools require a letter from a dentist whom you shadowed.

    If you haven't applied, I would suggest once you find a doctor, put him down as your experience, make a estimate of hours you will shadow over the summer and submit it.

    ADCOMS are definitely looking for shadowing experience. Good luck! :thumbup:

    DRHOYA 2+ Year Member

    May 15, 2008

    That is all I'm going to say b/c otherwise I could get going way too much..........I said enough in the last "is experience required?" thread.
  9. doc toothache

    doc toothache 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Your lack of success in finding a dental office may have something to do with the terminology that you are using. If in your calls you used the term volunteer and shadowing interchangeably, it would be little wonder. Dental offices rely on trained staff and with very few exceptions, in a busy offices, a volunteer will very rapidly become persona non grata. Large metropolitan areas usually have dental assisting school, which usually require an externship in a dental office. Thus, there is a fairly constant supply of volunteers for those offices that may be looking for dental assistants without the expense. If you were unsuccessful even if it was well understood that you were interested in shadowing , not volunteering or a staff position, then the only comment left is would it not be nice to have a dentist that you see on a regular basis?
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  10. cherr1pop

    cherr1pop 5+ Year Member

    May 24, 2007
    Even if the dentist says he/she has someone shadowing already, ask if you could come in when the other shadower isn't there. Like I'm only shadowing a couple of days a week at an office and my dentist doesn't have anyone else shadowing for him.
  11. Sawmoo

    Sawmoo 7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2006
    In terms with what everyone before me have written, I agree with everyone: Dental shadowing is a MUST nowadays (eventhough some schools say they don't require it), and the experience could be the deciding factor for the admissions committee to choose a candidate from the waitlist. In terms of my experience, I had listed volunteering at a hospital and that only backfired come interview day. From that experience, the interviewers got the impression that I initially wanted to be a medical student because I didn't have shadowing experience listed at the time. Lack of dental shadowing = Lack of desire to become a dentist in the eyes of the admissions committee:eek:.

    Things to do:

    1. Find a dentist (anyone) and ask to "Shadow", not "volunteer". Confusion may be found there.

    2. If you have already put hospital shadowing in your submitted application, find a very good explanation for that because "I couldn't find a dentist who I could shadow." is NEVER going to let the interviewers sympathize with you and have them find "hospital volunteering" as an adequite replacement.

    3. If you have already submitted your application, do not hesitate to send emails or letters to the admissions directors of your status in dental shadowing. It's always good to keep in touch with these director on your application status.
  12. sajjy

    sajjy 5+ Year Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I wanted to use your example Sawmoo. But then i was waiting for you to share it by yourself!!:D
  13. americanpierg

    americanpierg Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2005
    hahahaha no...what gave you this idea. Asking them in person at their office puts them right on the spot and in a horrible position where they cant say no.
  14. doc toothache

    doc toothache 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    If you are not wanted, chances are pretty good that you will not succeed in getting past the receptionist.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  15. Californian

    Californian 2+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    Los Angeles California
    i have a question. Is Dentistry General Clinic Volunteer Program consider as volunteering at hospital or shadowing? i
  16. rose786

    rose786 2+ Year Member

    Apr 25, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008

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