Please give me advice, any input helps

Sep 14, 2020
17
3
  1. Pre-Dental
    Hello, I hope all is well
    I have come to SDN to ask for advice on what to do, as I feel lost and confused on what my next move should be. I have been trying to apply to dental school (3 cycles now) and unfortunately I have never received an interview. Now I know this is probably because my stats are not as competitive as others, so I am trying to prioritize what I should focus on, and hopefully I will gain some insight on what to do after posting this.

    A little background info on myself: I graduated college with a degree in biomedical sciences and I had a REALLY rough start balancing athletics and academics(I was a college athlete). Pretty much my freshman and sophomore year I averaged a 2.00 gpa (i know, its rough) and when I finally figured things out and prioritized academics over athletics my junior and senior year of college I averaged a 3.8 gpa (in harder classes too). This brings my overall bachelors GPA to right about 3.2 overall. Oh also, my DAT scores (which I took without studying that much since I had 2 summer classes and an internship that summer) is 20AA, 18PA, 18QA, 20RC, 19BIO, 20GC, 24OCHEM, 20TS. I already plan on taking the DAT again and studying for it this time, but had to delay my test date due to covid. I also have been shadowing and interning at multiple offices and have about 700+ hours of hands on experience. On top of that shadow experience, I also picked up a full time job at a medical laboratory extracting viral rna/dna for pcr analysis, I was hoping this would show I have the dexterity needed to attend dental school.

    I also know that dental schools need to see how capable I am in school so on top of all the work and shadow experience, I am also a full time masters student majoring in Biology. I have attended for 1 full year and have a 4.00 GPA

    I know it does not sound like I've been working that hard these past few years, but the words do not tell the full story. My final years in college I had to learn everything from previous years to ace my classes upper level classes(since i pretty much just trolled around my first two years), as they build on each other. I had to take two hard science summer classes(physics and virology) on top of an internship at a dental office and try to study for the DAT at the same time. And even now, I'm working full time, extracting COVID during a pandemic and going to my masters class after my 10 hour shift.
    It just feels like I'm going 100 percent full throttle all the time and not getting any closer to my goal of just landing 1 interview.

    What should I do? I know I should retake the DAT so that is on my bucket list
    Also the masters classes I have been taking and are planning to take are like, biostatistics, Advanced molecular genetics etc... just more upper level science classes, you get the deal

    Any advice is appreciated
    sorry for the long read
     
    Last edited:
    Sep 14, 2020
    17
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    1. Pre-Dental
      Where have you applied in the past?
      Hi, I try to apply to schools that have similar average accepted stats so schools like Boston, lecom, ASDOH, midwestern-IL, NYU, Roseman, VCU to name a few. Basically any school that has an average entering class of around my gpa I have applied to. I even apply to the private schools that cost way more but are supposedly "easier".
       
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      macsak

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      Aug 16, 2018
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        Hello, I hope all is well
        I have come to SDN to ask for advice on what to do, as I feel lost and confused on what my next move should be. I have been trying to apply to dental school (3 cycles now) and unfortunately I have never received an interview. Now I know this is probably because my stats are not as competitive as others, so I am trying to prioritize what I should focus on, and hopefully I will gain some insight on what to do after posting this.

        A little background info on myself: I graduated college with a degree in biomedical sciences and I had a REALLY rough start balancing athletics and academics(I was a college athlete). Pretty much my freshman and sophomore year I averaged a 2.00 gpa (i know, its rough) and when I finally figured things out and prioritized academics over athletics my junior and senior year of college I averaged a 3.8 gpa (in harder classes too). This brings my overall bachelors GPA to right about 3.2 overall. Oh also, my DAT scores (which I took without studying that much since I had 2 summer classes and an internship that summer) is 20AA, 18PA, 18QA, 20RC, 19BIO, 20GC, 24OCHEM, 20TS. I already plan on taking the DAT again and studying for it this time, but had to delay my test date due to covid. I also have been shadowing and interning at multiple offices and have about 700+ hours of hands on experience. On top of that shadow experience, I also picked up a full time job at a medical laboratory extracting viral rna/dna for pcr analysis, I was hoping this would show I have the dexterity needed to attend dental school.

        I also know that dental schools need to see how capable I am in school so on top of all the work and shadow experience, I am also a full time masters student majoring in Biology. I have attended for 1 full year and have a 4.00 GPA (woulda been nice if I had tried in Gen Chem and Bio 101 am i right? but I got c's/d's in those lol)

        I know it does not sound like I've been working that hard these past few years, but the words do not tell the full story. My final years in college I had to learn everything from previous years to ace my classes upper level classes(since i pretty much just trolled around my first two years), as they build on each other. I had to take two hard science summer classes(physics and virology) on top of an internship at a dental office and try to study for the DAT at the same time. And even now, I'm working full time, extracting COVID during a pandemic and going to my masters class after my 10 hour shift.
        It just feels like I'm going 100 percent full throttle all the time and not getting any closer to my goal of just landing 1 interview.

        What should I do? I know I should retake the DAT so that is on my bucket list
        Also the masters classes I have been taking and are planning to take are like, biostatistics, Advanced molecular genetics etc... just more upper level science classes, you get the deal

        Any advice is appreciated, if you choose to roast my stats, put some heat on that roast (jk please don't i know it's pretty bad)
        sorry for the long read

        please list when you graduated, when you applied each time, and how many and what schools you applied to each time
        we need to know a bit more...
         

        frenzysword

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        1. Pre-Dental
          4.0 master gpa is perfect. DAT 20 is great, too. I believe you will be fine this cycle if other parts of your application are good. If a worst case happened that you will not receive interview invitations still, then it should be something other than your stats...But, overall, I think you are good.
           
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          VladiAVB

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          Jul 25, 2020
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          1. Pre-Dental
            I agree with the other posts above, your stats seem fine to me, including your DAT. If I were you I would look closely at your personal statement, activity descriptions, supplemental, and LORs. Perhaps there’s something in one of those that’s causing you to miss out on an interview. You can always also contact the admissions department of a school and tell them that you’ve applied to their school before and want to know if there’s any specific portion of your application you can improve upon. Not all schools will give you a real answer to this question but some will go as far as to meet with you and discuss your entire application. Good luck to you!!
             

            doc toothache

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              Asking the schools you applied to how you can improve your application might be a heck of a lot better route than asking SDNers. Keep in mind, however, that such an approach should not be done while a cycle is open.
               

              YoAuntJemima

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                Is it a possibility that you would have a red flag pop up on a background check or something? I can’t imagine how you wouldn’t have received at least 1 interview with your resume. Know somebody personally that had excellent stats but unknowingly had something pop up on their background check that kept them from getting interviews.
                 

                luisfigo

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                  You're doing everything right, just need to up that DAT score. BTW I retook it after getting a 23 if that shows you how dedicated I was to getting in. You're probably very young compared to where I was starting dental school at 31, keep at it.
                   
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                  aubreyjokes

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                  May 17, 2012
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                    1. Your stats are better than mine. I applied for 2 years with no interviews, took a year off from applying worked on my app/employed at an OS office/ did dental research/volunteered. Applied a 3rd time in 4 years and got 2 interviews and 1 acceptance. It only takes one.
                    2. Later in the cycle - nov/dec - I sent an "update" pdf of stuff I had done since applications. A few days after that is when I got my interview invite (Christmas eve actually). So keep the pedal to the metal doing stuff you can add to your app.
                    3. I'd drop any excuses (the amount of hours you work, they fact you "didn't study" for he DAT etc) unless asked.
                    4. With the right stats, like you have, it still sort of a crap shoot so keep trying to prove that you're committed to dentistry, be pro active, and it'll work out
                     
                    Sep 14, 2020
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                    1. Pre-Dental
                      please reply
                      Hi sorry for the late reply
                      I graduated 2018 with degree in Biomedical science.
                      I usually try to apply earlier in the cycle so around a week or two after the cycle opens im usually done with all my apps (except for this cycle I finished in July).
                      I apply to around 10 schools each time give or take and I usually apply to the same schools each cycle although one or two may be different.
                      This cycle I applied to 12 schools:
                      UNLV
                      ATSU
                      Western University
                      NYU
                      UB school of dental medicine
                      Case western
                      Roseman University
                      USC
                      Meharry
                      Howard
                      Lecom
                      University of Minnesota
                      Every cycle I have applied to Lecom, Howard and meharry but im not getting any luck with those schools so I added schools out of my reach in this cycle.
                      Please let me know if you need more info
                       

                      macsak

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                      Aug 16, 2018
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                        Hi sorry for the late reply
                        I graduated 2018 with degree in Biomedical science.
                        I usually try to apply earlier in the cycle so around a week or two after the cycle opens im usually done with all my apps (except for this cycle I finished in July).
                        I apply to around 10 schools each time give or take and I usually apply to the same schools each cycle although one or two may be different.
                        This cycle I applied to 12 schools:
                        UNLV
                        ATSU
                        Western University
                        NYU
                        UB school of dental medicine
                        Case western
                        Roseman University
                        USC
                        Meharry
                        Howard
                        Lecom
                        University of Minnesota
                        Every cycle I have applied to Lecom, Howard and meharry but im not getting any luck with those schools so I added schools out of my reach in this cycle.
                        Please let me know if you need more info

                        are you URM?
                        what is your state of residence?
                         
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                        macsak

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                        Aug 16, 2018
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                          you are right, I didnt apply to Howard or Meharry this cycle for that reason. I figured my chances would be really low.

                          that's not what you said

                          "
                          This cycle I applied to 12 schools:
                          UNLV
                          ATSU
                          Western University
                          NYU
                          UB school of dental medicine
                          Case western
                          Roseman University
                          USC
                          Meharry
                          Howard
                          Lecom
                          University of Minnesota
                          Every cycle I have applied to Lecom, Howard and meharry but im not getting any luck with those schools so I added schools out of my reach in this cycle.
                          Please let me know if you need more info
                          "
                           

                          frenzysword

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                          1. Pre-Dental
                            yes, that is correct. I do need more volunteer hours. Do you know what I should do to get volunteer hours during these times?
                            I see. For volunteering, I feel should you pick something besides dental/ medical related since you have done much of these. It will be kind of boring if you repeat and do these activities again without compensation. Any kind of community service should be fine. For example, become a companion volunteer at a local geriatric /veteran center, a volunteer in a red cross team as long as it is a formal organization that you are interested in and you can get proof and track hours.
                             
                            Sep 14, 2020
                            17
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                            1. Pre-Dental
                              that's not what you said

                              "
                              This cycle I applied to 12 schools:
                              UNLV
                              ATSU
                              Western University
                              NYU
                              UB school of dental medicine
                              Case western
                              Roseman University
                              USC
                              Meharry
                              Howard
                              Lecom
                              University of Minnesota
                              Every cycle I have applied to Lecom, Howard and meharry but im not getting any luck with those schools so I added schools out of my reach in this cycle.
                              Please let me know if you need more info
                              "
                              Oops sorry, I just counted the schools I had on my adea but I didnt actually submit for those schools. Sorry for the confusion. It is not my intention to misguide you. I actually applied to 10. All applications prior to this current one I have applied to Howard and meharry**
                               
                              Last edited:
                              Sep 14, 2020
                              17
                              3
                              1. Pre-Dental
                                I see. For volunteering, I feel should you pick something besides dental/ medical related since you have done much of these. It will be kind of boring if you repeat and do these activities again without compensation. Any kind of community service should be fine. For example, become a companion volunteer at a local geriatric /veteran center, a volunteer in a red cross team as long as it is a formal organization that you are interested in and you can get proof and track hours.
                                I see, ill look around to see if there are any community service organizations like those around me that are still open and see if I can go. Most places in my area are still closed due to the pandemic unfortunately.
                                 
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                                Sep 14, 2020
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                                1. Pre-Dental
                                  Unfortunately, I went another year without any interviews and I think it may be my final application cycle. As heartbreaking as it is I may just have to accept the fact that I won't get into dental school. I cant financially afford to pay so much money every cycle for no reason. Good luck to everyone that reads this, I wish you all the best but I've finally decided to move on with my life and pursue a different path. Probably a C.S degree tbh.
                                   
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                                  macsak

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                                    Unfortunately, I went another year without any interviews and I think it may be my final application cycle. As heartbreaking as it is I may just have to accept the fact that I won't get into dental school. I cant financially afford to pay so much money every cycle for no reason. Good luck to everyone that reads this, I wish you all the best but I've finally decided to move on with my life and pursue a different path. Probably a C.S degree tbh.
                                    there are still tons of post december interviews left...
                                     
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                                    dental_babe

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                                    Jul 10, 2019
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                                    1. Pre-Dental
                                      If you are really passionate about dentistry then look into dental assisting/hygiene! Take some time to get experience and make some money and apply later on if that's still what you want to do. You're young and there's nothing wrong with going to dental school later on. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!
                                       
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                                      natemckeown2

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                                      Nov 19, 2020
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                                      1. Pre-Dental
                                        Really emphasize in your personal statement your improvement in academics from beginning of college to now. Explain how you matured dramatically and how you are now more prepared than ever to take on the rigor of dental studies. Also, keep trying and do not give up. With perseverance and patience comes reward :)
                                         
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                                        Sep 14, 2020
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                                        1. Pre-Dental
                                          If you are really passionate about dentistry then look into dental assisting/hygiene! Take some time to get experience and make some money and apply later on if that's still what you want to do. You're young and there's nothing wrong with going to dental school later on. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!
                                          I was actuality a dental assistant for 2 years! It was a really cool experience
                                           
                                          Sep 14, 2020
                                          17
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                                          1. Pre-Dental
                                            Really emphasize in your personal statement your improvement in academics from beginning of college to now. Explain how you matured dramatically and how you are now more prepared than ever to take on the rigor of dental studies. Also, keep trying and do not give up. With perseverance and patience comes reward :)
                                            I feel like I've done that, I just find it so sad how I haven't gotten any interviews after all these cycles :(
                                             

                                            frenzysword

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                                            1. Pre-Dental
                                              May I read your personal statement if you do not mind.

                                              I am not a current student but currently applying and have received 3 invites so far from private schools.

                                              You can private msg me if you want to.
                                               
                                              Sep 14, 2020
                                              17
                                              3
                                              1. Pre-Dental
                                                Hey everyone, at this point I've given up on dental school and am going to try a pursue a different career path. Thanks for all the input and maybe someday I might try again. This cycle I also received all rejections with no interview. Ironically, I did recieve one interview from a PHARMACY school. It looks like the dental school must have forwarded my application over to them or some sort. However, I have no plans to pursue this as I have no idea about pharmacy lol.
                                                 
                                                Sep 14, 2020
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                                                1. Pre-Dental
                                                  Life doesn't always go as planned so don't get discouraged! :)
                                                  There are lots of good careers out there (both rewarding & high-paying). Get plenty of rest and recharge yourself.


                                                  By the way....what school offered you an interview for pharmacy school ? (Roseman?....)
                                                  Pharmacy school is probably not a good option though....
                                                  Yep it was roseman
                                                   

                                                  JMK77

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                                                  Jul 13, 2020
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                                                  1. Dental Student
                                                    If you have time, ask the schools you applied about how you can improve your application. I asked few schools before and I received some good feedbacks about my application. For me, the problem was the interview. The advisors told me I scored quite poorly for it. I prepared extra hard for the interview this cycle and managed to score a spot. The only way to know the exact answer is to ask the schools you applied. Say that you were rejected and want to receive some feedbacks to improve your application.
                                                     
                                                    Sep 14, 2020
                                                    17
                                                    3
                                                    1. Pre-Dental
                                                      If you have time, ask the schools you applied about how you can improve your application. I asked few schools before and I received some good feedbacks about my application. For me, the problem was the interview. The advisors told me I scored quite poorly for it. I prepared extra hard for the interview this cycle and managed to score a spot. The only way to know the exact answer is to ask the schools you applied. Say that you were rejected and want to receive some feedbacks to improve your application.
                                                      Thank you for the input. Well at least you know what you need to work on! I haven't had the chance to do any interviews so I haven't gotten that far. As for the feed back I always get the generic responses. "Raise gpa, raise dat, shadow more, etc".
                                                       

                                                      shjdk1921

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                                                        Hey everyone, at this point I've given up on dental school and am going to try a pursue a different career path. Thanks for all the input and maybe someday I might try again. This cycle I also received all rejections with no interview. Ironically, I did recieve one interview from a PHARMACY school. It looks like the dental school must have forwarded my application over to them or some sort. However, I have no plans to pursue this as I have no idea about pharmacy lol.
                                                        dont give up! i have lower stats than you and got 3 interviews. you really need to emphasize how you grew as a student to get that upward trend in ur gpa-write a disadvantage essay and explain your situation. apply first day the cycle opens and show interest, some schools like nyu really like that. Whatever you do, do NOT go into pharmacy, not a good idea..
                                                         

                                                        SkinnyT

                                                        UNE CDM 25', UCONN 12' B.S., RDH,
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                                                        May 12, 2011
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                                                        1. Dental Student
                                                          Keep applying man, it took my 3 tries, similar stats (actually some lower) and be consistent with reapplying to the same schools so they know youre trying. I took DAT 3 times. I applied 3 times. I was also offered the PharmD position but declined, because i knew deep down I have always known that I have committed to dentistry. I also did DA and RDH, with tons of hours of experience. Your DAT is great, and so is the GPA, so make sure other aspects of your app have no red flags and be consistent dont give up! I am 32 going into dental school! Good luck!
                                                           
                                                          Sep 14, 2020
                                                          17
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                                                          1. Pre-Dental
                                                            Thank you all for your kind words, I decided I won't apply this cycle because my DAT is expiring and I don't have time to study and retake it before the cycle opens. I will probably take it later in the year and apply next cycle. Just out of curiosity, why do some feel so strongly against Pharmacy? I really have no idea about it. I guess it's time to hit up our good old friend "DATBOOTCAMP" lol
                                                             

                                                            2thPirate🦷

                                                            ECU SoDM ‘25
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                                                            Aug 1, 2019
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                                                            1. Dental Student
                                                              Thank you all for your kind words, I decided I won't apply this cycle because my DAT is expiring and I don't have time to study and retake it before the cycle opens. I will probably take it later in the year and apply next cycle. Just out of curiosity, why do some feel so strongly against Pharmacy? I really have no idea about it. I guess it's time to hit up our good old friend "DATBOOTCAMP" lol
                                                              Maybe try Dat Booster, I've seen some really good scores come from using that and the Destroyers lately. As for pharmacy, it's incredibly oversaturated and the future supply is heavily outpacing the demand, that's a pretty big problem when you have over 15K people graduating from pharmacy school each year. Just for context, dentistry has a projected growth of about 9% and we will still have a slight oversupply of dentists across the different specialties.I linked the data below, keep in mind the projections are from a few years ago so the numbers are slightly off but the point stands for the most part.
                                                              Dentistry projections: https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/...force/data-research/oral-health-2017-2030.pdf
                                                              Pharmacy projections: https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/...force/data-research/pharmacists-2016-2030.pdf
                                                               
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