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Just curious as to what my chances may be

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by OralWizard, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. OralWizard

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    Hi guys. So I just took the DAT this week, and I definitely slacked a bit and only started studying about 2 weeks ahead of time and am a touch worried about my score. I got 17 PAT, 22 reading comprehension, 18 AA(20 bio, 17s on both chemistry sections), and a 16 QR. I graduated with a bachelor of Science in Human Physiology a year ago, ended with a 3.5 overall GPA, and a 3.63 science GPA from Iowa. In my year off I worked at my dads veterinary hospital full time, where I worked about 1 to 2 days a week doing dentals on animals(dental X-ray's, cleaning, polishing, teeth counting, yada yada) which totalled between 4 and 8 hours a week for a year. I had never even considered the field of dentistry until after that experience. I also volunteered about 200 hours in a sports medicine clinic, as well as many other leadership activities throughout my undergraduate career. I don't really care where I get in, but will be starting to send in applications over the next month. Just wondering if you guys think I'd have a good chance of getting in somewhere this application cycle, or whether I should schedule the dat again. If I don't get in this year I'm already planning to retake it next year and actually put a good amount of time in preparing for it. Thanks for any help in advance guys. Sorry for any grammatical errors, posting this from my phone haha.
     
  2. whitepapertree

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    I concur with applying now. People may bash the GPA for whatever reason, but it's only because they went to a small private university that gave out A's like candy on Halloween. DAT is iffy, I won't lie. What other EC's did you have during your career that made up for the amount of time besides for the 4-8 hours week working?
     
  3. OralWizard

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    That was 4-8 hours a week of just straight dentistry at the clinic. The other 30 to 32 hours a week were spent doing other general animal care, assisting in surgery, managing anesthetic machines, placing IVs, assisting the vet in appointments With clients, and more. I had done dance Marathon for 3 years, including serving as a morale captain for 1 year, and I had several other activities that were smaller in nature such as ski club, pre-med society, thinks like that. I had applied for leadership all 4 years in ski club, but it was decided via elections which I never won. I also volunteered about 40 hours in the ambulatory surgery center in the hospital, which I didn't enjoy as much because it was far less patient contact than in sports medicine. I had also done University of iowa Tae kwon do for 3 years, and the collegiate team for 1 year, and then taught children's tae kwon do with one of the instructors for approx. 3 hours a week.
     
  4. Typical Average Student

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    Considering the only thing over a 20 is your bio and reading, your AA is just average, and 16 on QR, your DAT isn't that stellar. Your GPA is competitive and ECs are good. THOUGH... If you're just starting to submit your app and considering you still need to get 4 letters of rec in, I don't think your app will be finished until early to mid October which will most likely give you only post December interviews (which are even more competitive).

    I would highly recommend continuing to volunteer and shadow, retake your DAT as soon as possible, and be in front of the line next cycle.
     
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  5. OralWizard

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    Yeah, that's kind of what I thought. I'll submit an app this year, but I know it's late so my chances are slim. And by saying I didn't prepare for the dat, I didn't really take any full practice exams, and for PAT I had just done some practice problems 3 months ago and reviewed strategies this past week. So if I re-take it, I know I can vastly improve my score. I know that was irresponsible, and completely my fault, but I can't change that now so need to focus on what I can do. Total I have approximately 200 hours of dental experience(using digital dental X-ray's and teaching myself proper positioning to capture the necessary roots, used PeriOptix dental headgear during cleanings, hand scalers, and the iM3 elite dental booth), 200 hours of experience in surgery(assisting, not just watching), close to 400 hours of client interaction in appointments, and more that I have broken down elsewhere. So I know that's an area where I stand out among some of the applicants. It was a phenomenal job to have for the year I took off after undergrad.
     
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    #6 SXCoronado, Aug 2, 2015
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  7. strep mutans

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    Your experience cleaning animal teeth is nice, but schools will want to see that you have shadowed a general "people" dentist. Most schools require a letter of recommendation from a dentist that you have shadowed or worked for. I'm sure you understand that there is a difference between working with sedated animals and people (who are usually not sedated), in addition to the difference in scope of procedures provided.
     
  8. OralWizard

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    Absolutely, one of our best family friends actually owns the dental clinic in our area and I have been shadowing him. It's slightly different, and the patients being awake does add a different dimension to the procedures. From what Ive experienced, human dentistry focuses far more on reconstructive procedures while veterinary dentistry focuses more on extraction procedures. However, in veterinary dentistry the severity of periodontal disease was on average far, far worse than anything I have seen in the human field. The best feeling I've had is after a full mouth extraction on a min-pin that literally had a quarter inch of tartar buildup on its teeth, with feces lodged between the roots(gums were so far receded that there was space for it to get caught in), the owner specifically contacted me to tell me how much better the dog was acting and how much more lively it was than it had been the past few years. One of the first things that actually made me feel like I really, really wanted to pursue this career.
     
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  9. Typical Average Student

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    Your experience with animal extractions is nice and unique, though just a fair warning, based on several seminars I've attended, some adcoms frown upon unlicensed and non-properly trained individuals who do permanent treatments on humans. I'm not sure how they'll look at veterinarian extractions but if you happen to go on a mission trip or somewhere that allows you to extract human teeth, expect harsh interview questions on ethics. So try to avoid pulling any human teeth any time soon :pirate:
     
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  10. OralWizard

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    Oh that absolutely would not happen. The work done in the vet clinic was completely legal in my state, as you can work in the position uncertified, it's just difficult to land a position. I had kind of an in with that. I only ever watch human dental procedures haha. Extractions and surgical procedures were performed by the veterinarians, because of that exact reason, we just had to clean the teeth, fill out dental records, spot any issues we could and prep the sites for them to perform said procedures because often they had to balance clinical work and dentals while one of the 3 vets was scheduled strictly in surgery. I also have experience using DVmaxx computer scheduling/record keeping software, which is structured very similarly to many medical and dental computer systems in use today.
     
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  11. strep mutans

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    It sounds like you're doing everything right, except for that darn DAT! Just to echo another poster, if I were you, I'd study hard, retake the DAT, get 20+ in every section, and apply next cycle. I understand the urge to apply now, and it's possible that you could get in this cycle, but you should weigh that against the possibility of having to be a reapplicant next cycle. Word around SDN is that reapplicants are sometimes judged more harshly than if they were first time applicants... not sure how accurate that is; just something to think about. I know you said you don't care where you go, but Iowa has a great dental school and if you're in-state that should be your goal (for financial reasons and it's a top program with unique opportunities)!
     
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  12. swindoll

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    I wouldn't stress yourself over, and just apply next year. Retake DAT, find recommenders, shadow some more..why rush!
     
  13. RuffDay

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    Actually, if he plans on submitting his application like this week or so. His application should be finished late August or early September, no?

    Oh.. I might have forgotten about the 90 day retake rule.
     
  14. Greyangel6

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    I don't know how adcoms would see it but if it were me, seeing a reapplicant, i'd have to see how much improvements were made, and if it's competitive for the school. so that in my view is harsher since you can't change your undergrad GPA and your ECs are a ton so unless you're adding a significant amount for reapplying, it won't be an improvement in my book. Also, be aware that many schools have GPA and DAT cutoffs so your 16 QR might not farewell in selection. Just retake, apply next cycle early and add more ECs (more human dental related) in the time you're waiting.
     
  15. DocVaquero

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    Is my mind in the gutter or is your name just hilarious?
     
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  16. Pro-Dentite19

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    You would be competitive if you retake the DAT and improve your score to about 20/20. Just as a reference the lowest DAT score in my incoming class this year was a 17 so it can be done! If you decide to apply this cycle make sure you do it asap, otherwise wait until next year.
     
  17. jb305305

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    I'm 20 years old. My science GPA is 3.03. Non science is 3.04. I am a chemistry major. I go to Florida International University. I have shadowed a pediatric dentist and general dentist. I've done a total of 120 hours. I have good letters, & I am doing the pre health committee process. I'm taking the DAT in a week. On practice exams, I have been getting: bio- 19, chem- 18, orgo- 18, math- 20, pat- 20, reading- 21. For natural sciences, I can boost up because I haven't finished memorizing some concepts. I will be sending my application late August. What are my chances of getting into any dental school? I plan on applying to schools that don't ask for a high GPA.
     
  18. jb305305

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    I agree. Thank you.
     

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