wlee009

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I have been working on finding a dentist for shadowing, and here's what I did:
I called several dental offices around my area, introduced myself, and told them if I can shadow a dentist or not. But every time, the receptionist told me that the dentist is currently busy or not available, and said that she would leave a message and tell the dentist to give me a call later time. But I never received any phone calls yet. On the next day, I actually visited some dental offices, and again, introduced myself and told them whether I can shadow dentist or not. But the receptionist, again, told me that the dentist is busy or not available, and gave me business cards......

For those of you who are shadowing a dentist, what did you do to shadow dentists? How do I find a dentist for shadowing? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 

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local.yahoo.com

put in your zip code and search for dentists.
 

fightingspirit

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wlee009 said:
I have been working on finding a dentist for shadowing, and here's what I did:
I called several dental offices around my area, introduced myself, and told them if I can shadow a dentist or not. But every time, the receptionist told me that the dentist is currently busy or not available, and said that she would leave a message and tell the dentist to give me a call later time. But I never received any phone calls yet. On the next day, I actually visited some dental offices, and again, introduced myself and told them whether I can shadow dentist or not. But the receptionist, again, told me that the dentist is busy or not available, and gave me business cards......

For those of you who are shadowing a dentist, what did you do to shadow dentists? How do I find a dentist for shadowing? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.


first, i salute you for choosing dentistry as your future career. shadowing will not only give a shove to your application but it will also have an impact on you, in terms if knowing what to expect and what is good and bad about the practice of dentistry.

if i were a dentist and if i had a private practice, then make no mistake, i aint lettin some volunteer kid watch over my a-s-s, see my paitents and be up in my business. besides, the type of patients who frequent high-end dental private practices are not too crazy about havin some volunteer standin in the corner watchin them. therefore, if you come to my office i would kick you out right away. losing patients because of you means that you're a potential liability!

the best way to volunteer is as follows: go to the nearest public or private hospital where you live (not a clinic or an office) but hospital. dont go to the volunteer office. go directly to the dental clinic and ask the front desk if you could speak to the program director about volunteering there. she/he would most likely make you wait a little and then call the program director. say to the director that you're an aspiring dental school applicant and that you wish to observe and possibly lend a helping hand to those who are in the GPR program. you'd be surprised over how receptive they are to the idea. once you get the OK from the director, only then go to the volunteer office. tell the volunteer coordinator that you ALREADY SPOKE WITH THE DIRECTOR AND THAT HE/SHE WOULD BE GLAD TO HAVE YOU. and voila!!!!

oh, when you go there, make sure you're clean shaven and dressed neatly

good luck
 
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lgreen_aci

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Clinic isn't a bad idea, but as 80% of DDS/DMD go into private practice, it would be silly not to spend a good amount of time shadowing in private pratice, as if you make it, that is most likly where you will end up.

I have never once been rejected by a dentist for an opportunity to talk w/ them or shadow. Here is how you do it correctly.

1. Find your victim. Select your dentist, ask people you know for refferals, or whip out the phonebook and check out the yellow pages. Either find someone close to you, or if websites are listed in their ads, check out the webites, read about the office and dentist, and pic a few dentists that appeal to you.

2. Call the office. Introduce yourself very simply. Say your name, your ug school, and that you are interested in going into dentistry. Then ask if there is a time in which you could meet w/ the doctor for a few minutes to discuss the possibility of doing some jobshadowing/observation. Usually if you do it this way, the receptionist will whip open the schedule, find a dead time, ask you if that works, and then your set. This if half the battle (actually calling!, and then getting an appointment to talk w/ the doctor).

3. Dress nice, be early. Be very very kind, couteous and respectful to the staff. Makes things much much easier, and they will be more willing to help you. The rest comes down to basic interview skills. Meet w/ the doc, tell him why your there, ask to shadow very politely, and most of the time they will be excited and say yes. They may ask you questions about your interst in dentistry, and usually will ask you if you have any immediate questions. Keep in mind usually for this little visit, you get about 5-10 minutes, so just keep it simple, you'll have time to talk later. Ask the doctor what he would prefer you wear when shadowing.

And that is about it.

Calling and asking to shadow over the phone, or just walking in, is the worst way to get a "yes" if you ask me. It is unprofessional and lazy. (Both of which won't get you anywhere in this profession.)
 

fightingspirit

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lgreen_aci said:
Clinic isn't a bad idea, but as 80% of DDS/DMD go into private practice, it would be silly not to spend a good amount of time shadowing in private pratice, as if you make it, that is most likly where you will end up.

I have never once been rejected by a dentist for an opportunity to talk w/ them or shadow. Here is how you do it correctly.

1. Find your victim. Select your dentist, ask people you know for refferals, or whip out the phonebook and check out the yellow pages. Either find someone close to you, or if websites are listed in their ads, check out the webites, read about the office and dentist, and pic a few dentists that appeal to you.

2. Call the office. Introduce yourself very simply. Say your name, your ug school, and that you are interested in going into dentistry. Then ask if there is a time in which you could meet w/ the doctor for a few minutes to discuss the possibility of doing some jobshadowing/observation. Usually if you do it this way, the receptionist will whip open the schedule, find a dead time, ask you if that works, and then your set. This if half the battle (actually calling!, and then getting an appointment to talk w/ the doctor).

3. Dress nice, be early. Be very very kind, couteous and respectful to the staff. Makes things much much easier, and they will be more willing to help you. The rest comes down to basic interview skills. Meet w/ the doc, tell him why your there, ask to shadow very politely, and most of the time they will be excited and say yes. They may ask you questions about your interst in dentistry, and usually will ask you if you have any immediate questions. Keep in mind usually for this little visit, you get about 5-10 minutes, so just keep it simple, you'll have time to talk later. Ask the doctor what he would prefer you wear when shadowing.

And that is about it.

Calling and asking to shadow over the phone, or just walking in, is the worst way to get a "yes" if you ask me. It is unprofessional and lazy. (Both of which won't get you anywhere in this profession.)

i guess it has to do with location. here in the big apple, well-to-do patients, who are the ones who can afford dentists in the city, dont wanna get the slightest impression that they are part of someone's learning experience, even if that someone is a volunteer. they want their dental office and their dentist to be private and exclusive. but your location is Idaho (from avatar) so i am assuming that you derive your advice from experiences with private dentists in Idaho, who may be different from NYC private dentists due to the different culture of the two locations. not sure so i am just guessing here...
 

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Yeah, I see what your saying, totally could be the case.

I think his/her approach could use some work though too.
 

fightingspirit

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lgreen_aci said:
I think his/her approach could use some work though too.

i agree but dont worry. after reading our posts, he will make changes. in fact, that's the reason why he created the thread in the first place. dont you just loooooooooooooooove SDN?
 

bacchus-D

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Calling and asking to shadow over the phone, or just walking in, is the worst way to get a "yes" if you ask me. It is unprofessional and lazy. (Both of which won't get you anywhere in this profession.)[/QUOTE]

Hmm, so I was lazy and 95% of my classmates and most of the dental students I talked to use the same methods...like you claim the lazy, unprofessional method...

And you know the funny thing is it all WORKED!!!!

For you to not to even begin dental school and calling someone's honest attempt "lazy and unprofessional" is NOT COOL.... how do you know which worked and which did not??? so you think your way is " the right way"??

I personally think it's unprofessional for "haven't-start" "haven't admitted" dental student wanna-be to calling some students' honest attempt "lazy and unprofessional" and making comment like "won't get you anywhere in the profession"--> what do you know about this profession..... I dont' even know what it takes to be a good dentist...

The student was seeking a help ...and you went out of your way to knock it down.....GOOD JOB buddy!!!

So this is what I think you should do....show this thread and your comment to dental admission committee and show them how much you love to put down potential future collague... let's see how much they like it...

For your info, I'm done w/ dental school and in post-grad...

how do you like this....
our profession don't need people like you, we need people like the 1st guy who is more than willing admit he/she does not know and ask for help...
 
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lgreen_aci

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bacchus-D said:
Hmm, so I was lazy and 95% of my classmates and most of the dental students I talked to use the same methods...like you claim the lazy, unprofessional method...

And you know the funny thing is it all WORKED!!!!

For you to not to even begin dental school and calling someone's honest attempt "lazy and unprofessional" is NOT COOL.... how do you know which worked and which did not??? so you think your way is " the right way"??

I personally think it's unprofessional for "haven't-start" "haven't admitted" dental student wanna-be to calling some students' honest attempt "lazy and unprofessional" and making comment like "won't get you anywhere in the profession"--> what do you know about this profession..... I dont' even know what it takes to be a good dentist...

The student was seeking a help ...and you went out of your way to knock it down.....GOOD JOB buddy!!!

So this is what I think you should do....show this thread and your comment to dental admission committee and show them how much you love to put down potential future collague... let's see how much they like it...

For your info, I'm done w/ dental school and in post-grad...

how do you like this....
our profession don't need people like you, we need people like the 1st guy who is more than willing admit he/she does not know and ask for help...

You seriously need to chill out.

Typically when a person ends a sentance w/ the words "if you ask me" that implies the expression of an opinion not a fact.

I think calling and asking to meet w/ the dentist and then asking shows more initiative and is significantly more professional. I didn't say your method was wrong. I'm just saying I think if he tried it the way I have done it, he/she may have better success, as I found that way to be 100% successful for me.

I'm not knocking anyone down, obviously the method the OP is using isn't working, so I am suggesting a method that makes better sense to me. If he/she disagrees, then they will disregard what I said and move on. I'm sorry if I worded that in a fashion that irritated you.

"The student was seeking a help"

How is what I said not helpful?

And if you're the dental school grad, post-grad, person you claim to be, I would expect that perhaps you could conduct yourself in a more professional manner on an internet forum. I think you really missunderstood my intent, made some rather unnecessary assumptions about my character, and really are making a huge deal over nothing.
 

wlee009

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Thanks for your tips guys. I guess lgreen_sci's strategy seem more effective than mine. I guess I must set an appointment and actually meet the dentist instead of just leaving messages to the receptionist because it is more than likely that receptionist forgets to give my message to dentist or dentist forgets to call me back. I'll visit (I don't trust phone calls anymore) a few offices tomorrow and set an appointment..... and hopefully find a dentist as soon as possible..
Fightingspirit's idea is good as well, but the local hospital near my place doesn't have a dental clinic :(

By the way, what do you mean by "dress neatly"? Does that mean I should wear suits or just a nice shirt and any pants that are not jeans???
 

lgreen_aci

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Hey,

I don't know if it is more effective or not, but it has worked great for me. Give it a shot, and let us know how it goes.

I wouldn't go down there just to make an appointment. Just give them a call as if you were scheduling a cleaning. By making an official appoinment to see them, they will set aside and dedicate a spot in their schedule specifically for you on their computer, so they won't forget you. That is the nice benifit of having an actual appointment.

Jobshadowing is a really awesome experience and I am really enjoying it. I'm sure you will really like it too.

Oh clothes...

Just a nice shirt and pants that are not jeans.

I wore a solid colored polo shirt tucked in, khakis, belt, dress shoes.

If you want to be real snazzy you can brush your teeth too. (ha ha ha just kidding, hopefully you'll do that anyway :) )

let us know if you have any other questions! good luck!
 

wlee009

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I figured out that there's a dental clinic near my area, so I visited them and asked them if I can shadow/volunteer or not, and they were glad to help me out... Also, I set an appointment with a dentist who owns his own practice. I get to start shadowing in clinic starting this Friday, and I'm really excited about it. Thanks guys for your advice
 
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Clinic isn't a bad idea, but as 80% of DDS/DMD go into private practice, it would be silly not to spend a good amount of time shadowing in private pratice, as if you make it, that is most likly where you will end up.

I have never once been rejected by a dentist for an opportunity to talk w/ them or shadow. Here is how you do it correctly.

1. Find your victim. Select your dentist, ask people you know for refferals, or whip out the phonebook and check out the yellow pages. Either find someone close to you, or if websites are listed in their ads, check out the webites, read about the office and dentist, and pic a few dentists that appeal to you.

2. Call the office. Introduce yourself very simply. Say your name, your ug school, and that you are interested in going into dentistry. Then ask if there is a time in which you could meet w/ the doctor for a few minutes to discuss the possibility of doing some jobshadowing/observation. Usually if you do it this way, the receptionist will whip open the schedule, find a dead time, ask you if that works, and then your set. This if half the battle (actually calling!, and then getting an appointment to talk w/ the doctor).

Ok, so I was able to go up to half of step 2 of lgreen_aci suggestion. I called the office, told the reception my name, what school I go to, that I'm interested in dentistry, and that I'd like to schedule a brief meeting with the doc to discuss the possibility of shadowing. The receptionist seemed pretty positive/oddly excited about it, but instead of scheduling me for a time, she took down my name and number and said that she'll talk to the doc and call me back. No one has called back so far and that was all 10am this morning. Obviously, I'm sure the doc has a lot to do, so I know I can't expect a call back immediately but my question is, would it be rude for ME to call them back tomorrow morning (24 hrs gone by) and ask them what's up? I don't want to seem too impatient nor do I want to be rude by calling back when they said THEY will call me back. :confused: I probably should have asked in person instead. :(
Thanks for any help.
 

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I have been working on finding a dentist for shadowing, and here's what I did:
I called several dental offices around my area, introduced myself, and told them if I can shadow a dentist or not. But every time, the receptionist told me that the dentist is currently busy or not available, and said that she would leave a message and tell the dentist to give me a call later time. But I never received any phone calls yet. On the next day, I actually visited some dental offices, and again, introduced myself and told them whether I can shadow dentist or not. But the receptionist, again, told me that the dentist is busy or not available, and gave me business cards......

For those of you who are shadowing a dentist, what did you do to shadow dentists? How do I find a dentist for shadowing? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.


Ask your dentist first. Then see if he has any dentist buddies that might let you check out their practice. Opportunities will open up once you start with one. I was in the same position and have now had a bunch of experiences in many different areas on dentistry.
 
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If you have time, you could probably join or contact a pre-dental club in one of the colleges in your area...they'll put you in contact with a Dentist that is willing to let prospective dental students shadow him/her.
 

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all i did was contact my orthodontist, and asked him
if you have a dentist, then ask your dentist, im 99% sure he wont say no.
also, if you dont want to do that, then you could ask your buddies when their next dental appointments are, and just come by with them, and ask the dentist in person with them. They wont want to turn you down then.

but what do most people do when they shadow?
do they just stand and watch? or do they bring a notebook and take notes and write observations?
 

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Yea my own dentist of many years rejected me multiple times. Kept avoiding me and not returning calls so I gave up. I called a bunch of others and also got rejected. (I live in a decent size town). Hospitals are the best place since dentists there have more free time to talk to you and don't care about losing customers, etc.

But you definitely want some private practice experience too. I recommend using your connections. Ask your dentist to speak to others, etc. See if anyone you know is friends with dentists, etc.
 

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but what do most people do when they shadow?
do they just stand and watch? or do they bring a notebook and take notes and write observations?


When I shadowed I always had a small notebook for me to jot down any notes or tips the dentist would give me. I would write down the steps of a certain procedure, why some methods are better than others, names of materials, etc. When the dentist had a slow period, he would often draw down diagrams and stuff to help me understand the material. I think if you have a notebook handy, it shows your interest in the profession and your willingness to learn.
 
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When I shadowed I always had a small notebook for me to jot down any notes or tips the dentist would give me. I would write down the steps of a certain procedure, why some methods are better than others, names of materials, etc. When the dentist had a slow period, he would often draw down diagrams and stuff to help me understand the material. I think if you have a notebook handy, it shows your interest in the profession and your willingness to learn.

You can take a notebook sure, but you don't have to be like you're studying for a test. You can interact with all areas of the office too, not just the dentist. They aren't going to ask you how to fill a cavity in an interview, that's just unfair. So I think writing all that stuff down is pretty pointless because you will eventually learn it in dental school. You have to learn about the business of dentistry and about the industry, what the pros and cons are, what the future of dentistry will be like, what dilemma's dentists face everyday, etc. That is what you will be asked in an interview, not how to fill a cavity or what materials are needed to create a mold, because you're going to learn that in dental school. Shadowing is a good thing because you can basically great interview answers from talking to them because they know first hand.
 

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I looked through this thread and I don't think I saw the answer...

But once a dentist agrees to let you shadow, what is a polite way to ask if you can come back? Because I'm looking for more of a long-term type (about two months) of shadowing experience, as opposed to a one-time deal.

Also, this might be helpful for some people for finding a dentist to shadow.

I didn't want to shadow my own dentist because he's very far from my house - forty minutes without traffic, more with traffic. So I asked a few friends to recommend their dentist to me. When you call the dentist your friend has recommended you to, at some point while you're introducing yourself, be sure to mention that your friend had recommended you to go to that dentist. I did this, and the dentist herself actually called me back the very next day. I think they take you a little more seriously, and it helps when they know you aren't just some random person who decided to call in (though I understand that some people do have to end up doing this).
 
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Well internet made easy for you to find dentist of your choice.You can find it on search engines like Google, yahoo, bing and others.Even you can find specialized dentists for dental care on Dentist Directory
 

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See if your school will set you up with a dentist. I went to my schools alumni website and filled out a form to get an alumni "mentor" in dentistry and they gave me contact info for about 5 dentists which are more than happy to let me shadow and answer any questions I have
 

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first, i salute you for choosing dentistry as your future career. shadowing will not only give a shove to your application but it will also have an impact on you, in terms if knowing what to expect and what is good and bad about the practice of dentistry.

if i were a dentist and if i had a private practice, then make no mistake, i aint lettin some volunteer kid watch over my a-s-s, see my paitents and be up in my business. besides, the type of patients who frequent high-end dental private practices are not too crazy about havin some volunteer standin in the corner watchin them. therefore, if you come to my office i would kick you out right away. losing patients because of you means that you're a potential liability!

the best way to volunteer is as follows: go to the nearest public or private hospital where you live (not a clinic or an office) but hospital. dont go to the volunteer office. go directly to the dental clinic and ask the front desk if you could speak to the program director about volunteering there. she/he would most likely make you wait a little and then call the program director. say to the director that you're an aspiring dental school applicant and that you wish to observe and possibly lend a helping hand to those who are in the GPR program. you'd be surprised over how receptive they are to the idea. once you get the OK from the director, only then go to the volunteer office. tell the volunteer coordinator that you ALREADY SPOKE WITH THE DIRECTOR AND THAT HE/SHE WOULD BE GLAD TO HAVE YOU. and voila!!!!

oh, when you go there, make sure you're clean shaven and dressed neatly

good luck

I also had problems finding a dentist to shadow, although I did find one, by the methods the OP describes. The quotation above really irks me. I will try to be as respectful as possible, in my disagreement. A dentist who refuses to allow a student to shadow, makes me question his decision to pursue that career. Unless your sole motivation to become a dentist was for materialistic things, then there shouldn't be a reason to turn a student down. You're a professional and you've been given a license to serve the community, and dental procedures are not the only forms of serving. If you're worried about your patients not liking a volunteer standing in the corner watching, then ask if its ok. You could say "Mrs. Schumacher, this is Brad, a student from "university", he is interested in becoming a dentist, would you mind if he watched while I do this procedure?" If she says no, then leave it at that, try again with another patient. My point is if you're not even attempting to serve in whichever way possible, then you might reconsider your position on this. It's the community who supports you monetarily, so put something back into it, without expecting something in return and help a student out.
 
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