PocketRocket

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2015
577
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Pre-Dental
Hey guys,

When I first became interested in dentistry I shadowed at a big practice with 10+ dentists. I came on the weekends and managed to get around 80 hours. It was super fast-paced, the doctors rarely had time to answer questions, and I just felt like I was getting in the way. I was having a blast learning about the profession and it was exciting but I wasn't happy not being able to build much of a relationship with any of the doctors. I started to shadow a different one. This dentist was great. He described what he was doing during the procedures, involved me in conversations with the patients, and thankfully wrote my letter for me. However, when he wrote me the letter I only had ~30 hours with him. I am going to continue shadowing him until I start dental school and will definitely have 100+ by then.

When I asked the "boss" at the first practice about the letter he told me to write the letter myself and he will sign it. I don't feel comfortable doing that so my question is.... Will dental school look down on me not getting a letter from the place I shadowed at the most? Am I okay just with the one from the second doctor? I have good letters from my professors.

Thank you!
 

RuffDay

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
775
356
Status
Dental Student
Just tell the admission committee about your situation when you are interviewing. Only if they asked though.

The dentist that I shadowed 80 hours asked me to write my own letter of recommendation. I like to consider myself ethical, and simply declined the offer. That's when I begin shadowing another dentist that was willing to write a letter of recommendation for me.
 

hellofuturedentists

2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2015
2,215
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Dental Student
You've done way more shadowing than me. I'm sure 30 is plenty for a LoR. If it were like 3 hours it'd probably look weird.
 
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RuffDay

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
775
356
Status
Dental Student
You've done way more shadowing than me. I'm sure 30 is plenty for a LoR. If it were like 3 hours it'd probably look weird.
I would say 50 hours at least for a letter of rec. Most schools require the number of hours in the letter of recommendation these days.
 
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PocketRocket

PocketRocket

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2015
577
423
Status
Pre-Dental
Yeah 50 is actually the technical minimum for alot of schools. I think some even require 100. I wasn't sure the hours were a must for a LOR. Though in my case, by the time I interview I should have at least 50 with the dentist that wrote me the letter.
 
May 19, 2015
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Yeah you should be okay. I don't think it will come up in an interview even. If so, you can always say the one you shadowed 10+ at didn't give you an opportunity to build a 1 on 1 relationship with any of them since it was so busy and you did not want to interfere with their work day. I find it crazy/hard to believe some people have well over 1000 hours shadowing!
 
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PocketRocket

PocketRocket

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2015
577
423
Status
Pre-Dental
Since when did the definition of "one school" become "most schools?" Only school that requires hours is Tufts.
hmm.... for some reason I was under the impression that that was the case.

Does working as an assistant or a receptionist qualify as shadowing?