Junior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2005
Hi all. I'm new to the forums but I have been reading all day long and I think it is very neat to have a place like that.

I just started shadowing an awesome dentist. He's very cool and loves talking about dentistry and explaining stuff to me and showing me everything.

1)My first question is what did/do you guys do when the dentist is taking a call or is being busy? I am asking because I am following him for most part and when he goes away I am wondering around pretending to be looking at something or just standing up there and I bet I look kinda stoopid. So what did you do during those 5-10min?

2) Do you think it is appropriate to carry a notepad with me to take notes? Why do you think it is not good?

3) What specific procedures should I definitely observe? Anything specific I should learn about? Suggestions on the whole thing?

I am in my second year in college so I have enough time for shadowing and I really like it so far. I have been there 3 times for few hours and it is a lot of fun and the Doc is funny. It's really giving me confidence that this is what I want to pursue as a career.

Thanks all.


10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2004
You should ask if you can assist.

When you have some down time you can talk with the front desk, chances are they aren't doing anything but eating and reading "Entertainment weekly"

TX Hopeful

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2004
1. You don't have to always follow the doc around like a puppy dog. If you find the dentist has to be away for 5-10 minutes or whatever, then I'd recommend definitely interacting with the assistants, help them strip a room, help them prep trays for the next patient, just BS with the front office assistants, BS with the patient if the doc was in the middle of a procedure, check out x-rays, observe hygienists...there are a number of things that you can do that doesn't always involve the dentist.

2. Carrying around a notepad isn't necessarily inappropriate, but I wouldn't bother. I did that initially and wrote down some notes here and there, but now I just remember a couple of key conversations of subjects that may come up during interviews, and I write them down when I get home. I find it a bit of a hassle, and you eventually end up seeing the same stuff over and over again.

3. Don't sweat too much about the specifics of procedures...let's hope we learn all that in dental school. Just figure out that this is what you want to do. Observe how the dentist interacts with patients, you, and their staff. As for what kind of procedures, check them all out...extraction, root canals, crowns, fillings, Invislign (if the do that), aesthetic (if they do that), bridge work. Also, don't be afraid to just sit with an assistant and watch them prepare a temporary crown or something like that. It's a definite plus if they do a bit of labwork in their office that you can watch too.
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