Apr 27, 2020
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Due to the COVID-19 situation, I could not volunteer or shadow in the dental office. I know a lot of dental offices are starting to reopen and I asked many of them for shadowing, but they couldn't let me shadow because they concerned about safety and regulation. I only have 10 hours of dental shadowing hours now.

Is it worthy to apply this cycle or should I gain more shadowing hours during a gap year to apply for the next cycle?

Any advice is appreciated!!! :)
 
Jun 9, 2020
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YES! In my opinion it is worth it to apply. If you don't apply you risk missing out on possibly getting in and push off starting school for another whole year.
 
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doc toothache

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While it is possible to have essentially one day of shadowing be ample time to have love at first sight with the profession, it is also possible that, after shadowing additional hours, you may decide that dentistry is not for you.
 
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tarheelbaby

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Apr 17, 2017
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I agree, I would ask yourself how you KNOW dentistry is for you with such limited contact with the profession. The shadowing requirement isn’t just meant to be a tedious barrier that dental schools use to judge applicants. It exists because it’s proven effective at helping weed out applicants who would otherwise realize dentistry isn’t for them after they’ve already started school. It’s meant to help YOU, not the school. You don’t want to start ds totally clueless about the profession and what you want out of it. Lots of people think they want to do a certain career until they get a lot of exposure to its day-to-day life and its behind-the-scenes aspects.
 

S_Diamond_DDS

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Jun 24, 2015
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I agree, I would ask yourself how you KNOW dentistry is for you with such limited contact with the profession. The shadowing requirement isn’t just meant to be a tedious barrier that dental schools use to judge applicants. It exists because it’s proven effective at helping weed out applicants who would otherwise realize dentistry isn’t for them after they’ve already started school. It’s meant to help YOU, not the school. You don’t want to start ds totally clueless about the profession and what you want out of it. Lots of people think they want to do a certain career until they get a lot of exposure to its day-to-day life and its behind-the-scenes aspects.

As a predent, don’t you think it’s unfair to respond to this post?
 

MLC45

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Sep 15, 2017
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With all the issues of Covid and the country shutting down I'm sure the majority of the schools will be understanding of the lack of shadowing hours. The only question I could see arise would be, why shadowing hadn't been done sooner, so you know this is the profession you want instead of waiting until application time. However, I would apply and hope for the best, with the intention of more shadowing as soon as the offices will allow.
 
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0Mik3cho

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Apr 25, 2019
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With all the issues of Covid and the country shutting down I'm sure the majority of the schools will be understanding of the lack of shadowing hours. The only question I could see arise would be, why shadowing hadn't been done sooner, so you know this is the profession you want instead of waiting until application time. However, I would apply and hope for the best, with the intention of more shadowing as soon as the offices will allow.
Adding on to this, there is space in AADSAS to mention the impact of COVID-19 on your application. Let them know that you intend to shadow.

I talked to one adcom and she suggested getting involved in research or a job related to dentistry. Assisting or dental lab work were two things she suggested. In any case, she suggested that any exposure to dentistry was better than none at all. But obviously, put your safety first and don't work if you don't feel safe right now. I have also seen it floating around that some adcom advised one student to watch webinars and Youtube videos and log those as pseudo-shadowing hours. Unfortunately, I have no source to verify this.
 
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rectangle

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Oct 31, 2015
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Adding on to this, there is space in AADSAS to mention the impact of COVID-19 on your application. Let them know that you intend to shadow.

I talked to one adcom and she suggested getting involved in research or a job related to dentistry. Assisting or dental lab work were two things she suggested. In any case, she suggested that any exposure to dentistry was better than none at all. But obviously, put your safety first and don't work if you don't feel safe right now. I have also seen it floating around that some adcom advised one student to watch webinars and Youtube videos and log those as pseudo-shadowing hours. Unfortunately, I have no source to verify this.
I have also seen this advice floating around! I think it might have been this webinar/courage session:

If not that one, it might have been with a different dental school/webinar on that fb page
 
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tarheelbaby

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Apr 17, 2017
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As a predent, don’t you think it’s unfair to respond to this post?

What do you mean? I was under the impression that OP was simply seeking advice/opinions from anyone in the predental forum since the post didn’t target a certain type of person.

I had a few friends in undergrad who were predental until they got more experience shadowing and talking with people in the profession and they realized there were better career choices for them. I also shadowed a dentist for years whose wife became a dentist before they implemented shadowing requirements and she realized she hated the field so much that she only practiced for one year after dental school and then went into a different field. I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to go into dentistry, but now that I’ve been assisting for the past 2 years and have a couple hundred shadowing hours, when I look back I truly feel like I hardly knew the profession before those experiences and I’m so glad that I got them. Not everyone needs to assist or shadow that much obviously, but my point is that I’ve realized why schools have shadowing expectations and I’ve realized it’s more than a tedious requirement because it’s actually beneficial for the applicant.

In any case, no, I didn’t post my response thinking that it was “unfair” or having any malicious intent haha it was an effort to be helpful. I wasn’t aware that only current dental students have enough experiences to offer helpful advice, and I personally would enjoy hearing opinions from different types of people if I was OP.
 
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doc toothache

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Dean B. Miller may be echoing the sentiment of not being too sympathetic to applicants who will wake up on June 15, 2020 and decide dentistry is their career choice. How lenient/understanding ds that require shadowing (as opposed to recommend) will be a function on the composition of the applicant pool. If there are enough applicants that have the requisite pre conditions, leniency on shadowing may not be part of the equation.
 
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S_Diamond_DDS

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Jun 24, 2015
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What do you mean? I was under the impression that OP was simply seeking advice/opinions from anyone in the predental forum since the post didn’t target a certain type of person.

I had a few friends in undergrad who were predental until they got more experience shadowing and talking with people in the profession and they realized there were better career choices for them. I also shadowed a dentist for years whose wife became a dentist before they implemented shadowing requirements and she realized she hated the field so much that she only practiced for one year after dental school and then went into a different field. I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to go into dentistry, but now that I’ve been assisting for the past 2 years and have a couple hundred shadowing hours, when I look back I truly feel like I hardly knew the profession before those experiences and I’m so glad that I got them. Not everyone needs to assist or shadow that much obviously, but my point is that I’ve realized why schools have shadowing expectations and I’ve realized it’s more than a tedious requirement because it’s actually beneficial for the applicant.

In any case, no, I didn’t post my response thinking that it was “unfair” or having any malicious intent haha it was an effort to be helpful. I wasn’t aware that only current dental students have enough experiences to offer helpful advice, and I personally would enjoy hearing opinions from different types of people if I was OP.
I’m sure OP will appreciate this thoughtful post. Couldn’t tell if your first post was trying to “psyche out” the competition, so to speak. And as assistant, you have a better understanding compared to another predent who might have shadowed say 50 hours and “knows it all.”
 

pookey123

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have you been a consistent patient and diligently show up on time for all of your dental appointments? Do you have a LOR from a dentist? Use what you got! List all the dental experience that you have. Also good idea to say you intend to shadow and want to learn more
 

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