CUDental

10+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2008
52
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
I have logged a lot of hours (easily 50+, with more to come this summer) working in a free dental clinic and am to the point where I am assisting on procedures now. However, I only have about 10 hours or so of shadowing dentists in a normal practice. Will this hurt me on my application since the bulk of my experience is in an unorthodox environment or will schools not really care since it is still dentistry? I know it is hard to generalize about these things... I'm just looking for opinions from people who have been through all this before. I am applying this cycle and I am definitely going to try to get in another 10-20 hours or so in a normal practice this summer, but I am working full time so I'm not sure how much more I'll be able to do. I should have at least 100 hours in the free clinic as well by the end of the summer.
 

chitownsmiles

10+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2008
33
1
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
I haven't applied before but personally I would think it looks better to be helping at a free clinic than private practice.

I also had a similar question- I'm working this year at a dental clinic as an oral health promoter so it is mostly public health and outreach kind of work. When I have free time the dentists let me shadow/assist a little, but I don't have too many actual 'shadow' hours. Should I seek out other shadow opportunities even though I've been working at a dental clinic for a year??
 
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bounty101

10+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2008
161
0
Status
  1. Non-Student
Unless you're interested in learning how the front desk collects payments, I don't think there's any issue with shadowing at a free clinic only.
 

CUDental

10+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2008
52
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Great... thanks for the advice everybody!

chitownsmiles, I would imagine that as long as you get in to actually see some procedures every so often, you'll be fine. You're being exposed to many different sides of dentistry it sounds like, so that should be seen as a good thing. As long as you get some of the practical aspect too, I don't see schools having any problem with it. That's just my opinion though... no idea if the admissions people think the same way... hopefully they do!
 

dreaming2k5

Where's the beef?
10+ Year Member
Jul 20, 2005
195
0
Status
  1. Dentist
You don't need to overachieve by shadowing so much. If you know all the routine dental procedures, you're set in terms of Jaguar Paw shadowing. Apply the knowledge you gained from shadowing to the interview, and you'd be sure to get into dental school and face a life of hardship.
 
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