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rdh/ predental need advice on getting into HSDM

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harvarddreams

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Hey everyone!
I am currently an undergrad, a first year, and I plan to graduate with a bachelors in dental hygiene and would like to work for a year while studying for DAT's and then plan to apply to harvard school of dental medicine. I really am determined to go to Harvard as I've been told it is the school to go to if you want to be involved in research, which is what my ultimate goal is. Is there more of a chance at getting into HSDM since I am going the dental hygiene route first? Also what sort of volunteer work should I do? I already have 5 years of experience as a dental assistant and have excellent/reliable references from my current place of work (dental office). If anybody has any advice for me or anything I should or shouldn't do I really would love to hear from you! I also am not sure if I should take my DAT's immediately after college or study for it while working post rdh degree.

I currently have a 3.77 GPA I'm not sure yet what science GPA is.
 

nonociceptors

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Lol. Come back in a few years after you take the DAT and we can reassess with where your GPA ends up, better or worse. Not to mention who knows if you'll actually want to do research a few years down the line. You didn't mention any research experience so I'll assume you don't have any. If that's the case, try it now because you might find it to be the most boring **** on the face of the earth, like me :)
 
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schmoob

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That is an incredibly specific goal with an incredibly specific plan on how to get there. You're planning out the next 10 years without knowing how any of it will end up.
If you want to be a dentist, go to dental school. If you want to do research, I really don't think it matters what school you go to. Harvard is a great school, but its not the end-all be-all. In fact, if you want to do research, who says you need to go to dental school at all?
 
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BeaverLover

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Why a bachelors in DH if you aspire to do dental research? Wouldn't you be better off with a science major?
 
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workofshart

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Isn't dental hygiene normally just an associate's degree? I think you should focus on getting into dental school in general and hope that you may be fortunate enough to be 1 of the 35 students admitted to Harvard. You are going to need to maintain a high GPA, kill the DAT, have awesome extracurriculars and letters of rec. I would personally get a science degree and get heavily involved with research. Why subject yourself to dental hygiene if you ultimately just want to do research?
 
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fogorvostan

Echoing the science major instead of DH if your ultimate goal is research.
 
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harvarddreams

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Why a bachelors in DH if you aspire to do dental research? Wouldn't you be better off with a science major?
I would like to go the dental hygiene route first because I would like to take some time off in-between and I need to have a stable job while doing so.
 

harvarddreams

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Isn't dental hygiene normally just an associate's degree? I think you should focus on getting into dental school in general and hope that you may be fortunate enough to be 1 of the 35 students admitted to Harvard. You are going to need to maintain a high GPA, kill the DAT, have awesome extracurriculars and letters of rec. I would personally get a science degree and get heavily involved with research. Why subject yourself to dental hygiene if you ultimately just want to do research?
normally yes, dental hygiene is an associates program, but I go to rutgers university in new jersey and they offer a dental hygiene degree in the form of a bachelors, and minoring in biology. What would you suggest, and how would I going about getting involved in research now?
 

harvarddreams

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Lol. Come back in a few years after you take the DAT and we can reassess with where your GPA ends up, better or worse. Not to mention who knows if you'll actually want to do research a few years down the line. You didn't mention any research experience so I'll assume you don't have any. If that's the case, try it now because you might find it to be the most boring **** on the face of the earth, like me :)
Is research really that horrible? Lol I have a friend currently in med school who says the same, but I just find it very interesting. I haven't had any hands on experience with research, and I'm not quite sure how to do so.
 

workofshart

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normally yes, dental hygiene is an associates program, but I go to rutgers university in new jersey and they offer a dental hygiene degree in the form of a bachelors, and minoring in biology. What would you suggest, and how would I going about getting involved in research now?
Ask your science professors if they are involved in any research and if you could be a part of it. You could also see if your school has a research office where you can find out about the research going on at your school.
 
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fayevalentine

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There are a lot of great research schools other than Harvard. And I agree with what someone else said about trying research before you go into a job solely for research. You should go to dental school because you want to become a dentist, because that will be your fallback if you can't solely do research. I can't speak for all schools, but some DH programs have science classes that are less intensive than those required for dental school, so look into that before deciding on a major.
 
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harvarddreams

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Ask your science professors if they are involved in any research and if you could be a part of it. You could also see if your school has a research office where you can find out about the research going on at your school.
Ok thank you for your advice I'll look into that come next semester.
 

harvarddreams

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There are a lot of great research schools other than Harvard. And I agree with what someone else said about trying research before you go into a job solely for research. You should go to dental school because you want to become a dentist, because that will be your fallback if you can't solely do research. I can't speak for all schools, but some DH programs have science classes that are less intensive than those required for dental school, so look into that before deciding on a major.
Research or not I really do enjoy dentistry now, and I love the profession, it is why I want to progress clinically.
 

schmoob

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Research or not I really do enjoy dentistry now, and I love the profession, it is why I want to progress clinically.
I apologize if it sounds like I'm bashing (I promise it is not my intention). But do you want to to progress clinically, or pursue research?
I'm sure there are PhD programs out there focused on oral health (I haven't done a search)
 

harvarddreams

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I apologize if it sounds like I'm bashing (I promise it is not my intention). But do you want to to progress clinically, or pursue research?
I'm sure there are PhD programs out there focused on oral health (I haven't done a search)
No not at all I appreciate your feedback. I would like to progress clinically, and I am interested in doing research but i'm not sure how much of my career i'll want to do research, because I do want to practice as well.
 

nonociceptors

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Is research really that horrible? Lol I have a friend currently in med school who says the same, but I just find it very interesting. I haven't had any hands on experience with research, and I'm not quite sure how to do so.
Ok no offense but you should just leave sdn until a little bit before you actually apply to dental school. I would have guessed you're a first year uni student just by your posts alone lol. Everyone thinks research is cool in theory but most people I know ****ing hate it in reality. Theres nothing wrong with it, but you can't say you love it unless you've spent a few semesters doing it.
Research or not I really do enjoy dentistry now, and I love the profession, it is why I want to progress clinically.
And then here you don't seem like you're really dead set on research, so I'm confused. If you love dentistry, go with the intention of becoming a dentist and decide on research once you get to that point.

Also I'll say it again, go to the cheapest school you get into. I personally know 3 people turning down Harvard for SF and LA. As CA residents it's way cheaper, name recognition really means squat in dentistry, and they're both excellent research schools as well.
 
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harvarddreams

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Ok no offense but you should just leave sdn until a little bit before you actually apply to dental school. I would have guessed you're a first year uni student just by your posts alone lol. Everyone thinks research is cool in theory but most people I know ****ing hate it in reality. Theres nothing wrong with it, but you can't say you love it unless you've spent a few semesters doing it.

And then here you don't seem like you're really dead set on research, so I'm confused. If you love dentistry, go with the intention of becoming a dentist and decide on research once you get to that point.

Also I'll say it again, go to the cheapest school you get into. I personally know 3 people turning down Harvard for SF and LA. As CA residents it's way cheaper, name recognition really means squat in dentistry, and they're both excellent research schools as well.
I understand your point, but that's no reason to tell me to leave the website...
 

redmau5

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I agree with a lot of what has already been said. You really need to get your feet wet before choosing the type of dental career you'd like to pursue, especially when it comes to research. And while Harvard is a great school, it certainly isn't the only—or even best—choice. If you want more specific advice, feel free to PM me.
 
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schmoob

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I understand your point, but that's no reason to tell me to leave the website...
I think what he's trying to say is you have a long way to go. I don't think he meant it in a mean way. (Unless I'm mistaken) What he's saying is you really need to figure out what it is you want to do.
In the meantime, take your classes and smoke them. Kick butt on your DAT. Get involved with research at your school to get your feet wet and to strengthen your app.
Learn more about the application process by going through threads, and DEFINITELY read Scumbag Steve's guide in the stickied section. It is an absolute MUST, especially at your point in the process. He put a lot of time and effort into the guide, and it will help you a lot.

Good luck!
 
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Likkriue

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Banking on Harvards 40 seats is not the greatest idea.
 
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nonociceptors

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I understand your point, but that's no reason to tell me to leave the website...
Lol I didn't mean it that way. There's just no reason to be here worrying yourself about something so far away. Go have fun, keep working hard, and come back later before you start applying.
 
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