May 19, 2009
Las Vegas
I'm kind of having a dilemma here so I need some advice from you guys...

I just recently finished my undergrad degree and was looking to apply to medical school next year. So, I have done most of my volunteer work in the emergency department, Alzheimer's Association, Hospice care, etc... I have also become an EMT.

Now here is the problem. Lately, I have been really tired of the way I am treated by patients in the emergency care setting. I mean, I'm not even in medical school and I am already fed up with these people.

I mentioned all of this to my General Dentist and she laughed and said that I should come shadow her... well, I did... and I loved it. She had a great relationship with all of her patients. There was no yelling or spitting (on me, that is) or cursing. As weird as it sounds, I kind of felt like I was at home in her office.

So, if I were to apply to dental school next cycle, should I mention the volunteer work that I have done? Or should I just try to get as much dental experience as I can within the next year? I just don't want it to seem like I am choosing dentistry as a second choice, but rather a better suited career for myself.

Any thoughts?


Flaccid Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2007
Dental Student
The answer is definitely yes to both your questions. A strong medical background will server you well for the dental admissions process, but you also need actual dentistry experience. Dentistry and medicine are very closely related and ADCOMS know that many students consider both careers before choosing dentistry, so they will be happy to see that you have considered all your options. In my opinion, any dental student who hasn't ever considered a career in medicine hasn't made an informed choice about dentistry. Don't worry too much about not giving the impression to ADCOMs that dentistry is a second or back-up choice for you. To get into either type of school requires extremely competitive stats, and after you shell out x-thousands of dollars for the admissions process, complete all the requirements, and fill out all the applications, they'll know you're committed. (Although I wouldn't recommend applying to dental and medical school at the same time). Get some dental experience and tell them about all the medical stuff you've done.

Doh Boy Fresh

10+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2007
I would show them that I have volunteered at a hospital because at the end of the day, volunteering is volunteering.

I would also try to get in a bunch of dental experience, shadow a variety of dentists if u can...not only a general DDS, but maybe an ortho, pedo, perio, what be able to speak knowledgeably when u go for interviews, etc.