mnrji

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Before asking you questions, I would like to explain my background.

I am a 30 year old Ph. D candiate studying biomedical engineering, and I will be applying for 2005 cycle for dental schools.
So, I've got a lot of research experience and have 3-4 publications so far (more coming up).

I majored in Chem. E as an undergrad.

My GPA for both my undergrad and grad. are in the range of 3.2 - 3.4. (Not too great...)

I haven't taken DAT yet. Right now, my scores for topscore tests are: 17-18 (AA) and 20 (PAT).


I am a mother. My daughter is 5 year old. Having a daughter made me discover that I love caring for people.

I did not shadow any dentists. But when my daughter got an extensive dental treatment about two years ago, and I had a chance to observe the work for total 10 hours.
I am not sure if it counts.

Right now, I am thinking about applying to schools in Boston -- three dental schools that all of you know: BU, Tufts, and Harvard.
I would like to continue research as a dental student, too.

Now my questions for you are:

(1) What would be my chance of getting into the dental schools in Boston if my DAT score remains same as the ones I get from Topscore? Should I improve on DAT scores?

(2) Have you seen any Ph. D's as dental students? How do they perform at dental schools? Do they fit in well with young students? :)

(3) Should I get more shadowing experience?

I welcome any of advices and comments from you.
They are really precious to me....
 

UBTom

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My $0.02:

- As long as you can get those DAT scores up, say 20/20, you should be able to get in somewhere.

- With a PhD degree in hand, that should be pretty impressive to adcoms. However, you should demonstrate through your essay and interview why you think dentistry is for you-- What justifies your desire to change careers.

- Yes, definitely get some more shadowing experience.

- No, 30 is not too old. By the time you graduate you still have a 31-year career in front of you.

- You might want to apply to more than those three schools to maximize your chances of getting in somewhere. Which brings us to another question: Are you willing to relocate?

HTH.
 

grettlin2

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Hi, your career change would be seriously considered and encouraged. I am a non-traditional applicant last year, too. I major in Computer Science in undergraduate and graduate (MS). Then, I worked for several years before I finally realize dentistry is for my life. Then, I quit the job and study everyday with no income. It is hard, but the committee and professors would emphasize your change. I am 30 years old, too, and will start dental school this Auguest. Just pursue your dream and never give up! For your questions, I would answer what I saw and know.

(1) What would be my chance of getting into the dental schools in Boston if my DAT score remains same as the ones I get from Topscore? Should I improve on DAT scores?
You can add 2 (average) points to your TopScore CD score. usually, Bio would be a bit harder in the real test, but o chem and g chem would be easier. However, study as much as you can for sure before you take real one.


(2) Have you seen any Ph. D's as dental students? How do they perform at dental schools? Do they fit in well with young students?
If you search for each school's website, some schools would list the degree distribution for incoming students. As I remember, USC and Indiana have Ph.D (1 for each).



(3) Should I get more shadowing experience?
Definitely, I would say at least 100 hours. I remember Loma Linda requires >= 40, Tufts >= 40, and U of P >=40. If it is possible, you would ask the dentist to write a recommendation for you. It helps.

I know it is hard to give up whatever you achieve now, but as long as you love dentistry, it worths it. I am so so so glad that I made my decision two years ago.
:laugh:
 
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bob18

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I am a 29 y/old non-traditional, have a CS undergrad and about a 3.0 gpa. I started doing my post-bac work last summer and doubled up on my summer classes so I could apply this year. My DAT was under a 20, but still got into boston schools for the fall. I think you def. have a good shot. I think the fact that I got strait A's in all of my post-bac courses def. helped though and was told that since I had been out for so long, only my post-bac courses really mattered.
 

rcmonkeypie

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Hi,

Welcome to the board. I am a non-traditional applicant too. At my ucla interview, a student told me that there is a phd student in her class (third year I believe). So, you see, it is possible. I do think that you need to demonstrate that this is a well thought decision. good luck to you.

rc
 

gryffindor

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Is your PhD going to be completed before dental school? I can't see why that wouldn't be a very strong asset to your application, especially since you want to continue with research. Our profession is hurting for DDS/PhD dual degree holders who want to do research and research oriented schools will certainly take notice of that. However, you should definitely try to get in a few more hours of shadowing to be certain and convincing of your interest in dentistry.

We had a student at Buffalo who entered dental school with a PhD, continued with research during dental school, graduated dental school and is now doing a residency in Oral Medicine. There is a wide spectrum of ages in every class, so I wouldn't be too worried about not finding a group to fit in with just because you may be older.
 
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