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Dental Shadowing

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MythBlazer

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I'm having a really hard time finding a dentist that will allow me to shadow him/her in the boston area. I've asked quite a few people, who have either flat out said no, or not taken my call. Reasons I'm getting include: my patients would not like it, my schedule doesn't allow for it, one dentist even asked me to come back once i'm in dental school!

This is really disheartening me; I've looked around Boston for a good semester now, and nothing has come up. I'm worried because I'm already a sophmore(spring sem.)
Am I falling behind when it comes to dental shadowing? (I plan to enter as soon as I graduate)

P.S> I've done searches and no thread actually set up a timetable for volunteering or helped one to find a dentist to shadow.
 

jigabodo

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How did you approach the dentists? Did you call them? Sometimes it helps if you actually walk into the office and talk to them about shadowing.

Also, you can also mention that you are willing to help in addition to just shadowing. When I was shadowing my dentist, I would also clean up the room and set up new stuff and the dentist is done with the patients.
 

Streetwolf

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How about shadowing your own dentist over breaks? Plenty of time.
 

MiztiKatz

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If your school has a pre-dental advisor go in and speak with them. Sometimes they have dentists in a data base that have relationships with the office and will allow students to come in. You can try to get a internship at a local hospital in the dental clinic. I was able to find two clinics in small city that allowed me to come in and intern... but really all i did was stand around and help when needed. I even got credit for it!

I also sought out a clinic in my local area for a summer internship. They were more than happy to have me come in.

I understand your frustration because I did not have any connections into the dental world, so I had to make my own paths.

Try going to your pre-health advisor and see what they have up thier sleeves... the more you push them the more they are willing to help. Personally I got more out of the clinics than I did from private practices.
 

MythBlazer

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I showed up at 2 dental offices, apart from my own ofcourse. This is where I got the worst responses. one said he couldn't see me/too bust, the other wanted me to come back as a dental student not pre-dent, and my orthodontist said his patients would not allow it...
So, I guess i should just go on visiting/calling dental clinics...
 

Crentist

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See if you can find clinics that are non-profit or specifically targeted towards the underinsured. These clinics often need a lot of help. I volunteered at a children's clinic where I spent 50% of the time shadowing and 50% of the time doing intern-type office work. I also had the chance to volunteer at another similar type of clinic that provided mostly emergency care and I even go to assist with suction and water there! (That clinic was run entirely by volunteers, dentists and all) Plus it gave me such a perspective on what our responsibility will be as dentists and members of our communities.
 

ChrisM07

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I actually emailed a dentist who practices in the same kind of specialty I am interested in: cosmetic dentistry (even though it is not recognized by the ADA as a specialty, he is AACD certified). Luckily he was very nice and offered to ask around to his dentist friends if I could be with them this summer (I have an oral surgeon lined up for July). I would just keep emailing people and see what they have to say. If no luck, someone else suggested speaking with a pre-health adviser. Once you get in with someone, they usually have endless lists of other people who refer patients to them so you will have a better chance of getting in with someone else for a second time.
 

UCSF2012

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Try the universities. Academic dentists helping the underserved naturally tend to have a stronger heart than those in private practices. Try a clinic in the rural areas, maybe even a black dentist. The black culture lends itself to taking leadership roles within the community, especially with the professionals.

Finding a dentist to shadow can be rough. I got turned down from nearly 20 dentists before I found a generous one who made it his business to promote the field. He never says no to a prospective dental student. Honestly, you'd have much, much better success rate asking for a phone number from a girl you've just met. Get creative. You need a yes.
 

youknowthedrill

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Are you from Massachusetts or a town 2-3 hours from Boston? If so, see if your personal dentist has a relationship with someone in Boston. They would probably be willing to call their colleague on your behalf. If not, do not call. Dress in a professional manner and take a resume into several offices. Be extremely nice to the front desk. Without them, you will never get to speak with the dentist.
 
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