Alekshura2

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2009
147
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Pre-Dental
So i started shadowing a dentist today. I guess it went ok. I didn't get to do much, just stood around and asked a few questions. The dental assistant was there so i didn't even bother to ask him if i can help out with anything during the procedure, such as suction.
Has anyone ever found themselves out of place, when standing there and observing for like 4 hours. I guess it was my first time and i didn't feel all that comfortable. I also didn't want to ask him a lot of questions during the procedure, to not distract him from his work. It was a good experience but i can't see myself just doing the same thing, just standing around and observing to gain more hours.
 

cyrano

10+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2009
136
0
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Pre-Dental
So i started shadowing a dentist today. I guess it went ok. I didn't get to do much, just stood around and asked a few questions. The dental assistant was there so i didn't even bother to ask him if i can help out with anything during the procedure, such as suction.
Has anyone ever found themselves out of place, when standing there and observing for like 4 hours. I guess it was my first time and i didn't feel all that comfortable. I also didn't want to ask him a lot of questions during the procedure, to not distract him from his work. It was a good experience but i can't see myself just doing the same thing, just standing around and observing to gain more hours.
Just try to be active about it and find interesting questions. It is a lot different actually doing something vs just watching someone do something. i.e. I don't like watching people play video games that much, but I sure do enjoy playing them. Also, I probably wouldn't ask to help him do anything procedure wise or even suction. If he asks you then that is fine, but otherwise I'd just observe.
 

hs113891

5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2009
217
1
Northern New Jersey
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Dental Student
You'll get used to it... I felt the same way, but you'll start to feel comfortable. If you see a doctor without an assistant just ask him if he needs and hand and jump in. Otherwise you can help the assistant clean and sterilize the rooms.
 
OP
Alekshura2

Alekshura2

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2009
147
17
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Status
Pre-Dental
how many hours at a time do most of you guys volunteer. I shadowed for 4 hours today, and next week i am coming in again to see a few root canals and extractions. Today i just saw him do cavities. Which got boring after 2 patient. Each patient had about 3 cavities.
 

DrReo

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Jun 29, 2007
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how many hours at a time do most of you guys volunteer. I shadowed for 4 hours today, and next week i am coming in again to see a few root canals and extractions. Today i just saw him do cavities. Which got boring after 2 patient. Each patient had about 3 cavities.
It is the name of the game. I shadowed several general dentists to get a feel for a few office, but still put in over 30 hours with the dentist who wrote a LOR.

Ask questions about being a dentist, procedure, learn as much as you can from the experience. It may help in your interview. Be grateful that you have the opportunity.
 

hs113891

5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2009
217
1
Northern New Jersey
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Dental Student
how many hours at a time do most of you guys volunteer. I shadowed for 4 hours today, and next week i am coming in again to see a few root canals and extractions. Today i just saw him do cavities. Which got boring after 2 patient. Each patient had about 3 cavities.
I work full time so I can't do more than 2 hours a day. I usually come in on Tuesdays after work for a couple hours, and Saturdays for about 4 hours. I've been doing this for about little more than a month now. I'm trying to get up to about 100 hours of shadowing.
 

hs113891

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Apr 30, 2009
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Northern New Jersey
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so im seeing that for predental, around 100 hours is what schools want?
Depends on the schools. Some schools don't even require shadowing experiences, but if you have 100 hours, you pretty much meet the shadowing hour requirements for any schools.
 
May 21, 2009
28
0
Status
Pre-Dental
So i started shadowing a dentist today. I guess it went ok. I didn't get to do much, just stood around and asked a few questions. The dental assistant was there so i didn't even bother to ask him if i can help out with anything during the procedure, such as suction.
Has anyone ever found themselves out of place, when standing there and observing for like 4 hours. I guess it was my first time and i didn't feel all that comfortable. I also didn't want to ask him a lot of questions during the procedure, to not distract him from his work. It was a good experience but i can't see myself just doing the same thing, just standing around and observing to gain more hours.
Don't feel too bad--I had pretty much the same shadowing experience. You just always feel a little in the way. My dentist told me I could ask any questions I wanted while she was out of the mouth, but once she put her hands in, not to ask any questions! I think its a pretty good rule of thumb ;)

As for working with the assistant, pitch in and help sterlize the rooms--they'll appreciate it I'm sure! :)
 

DrReo

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doc toothache

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JPevzner

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I absolutely know how u feel. I shadow my orthodontist and i always feel like im following him and that im just "in the way". However, i know that its a necessary phase in my education and try to ask insightful questions and comments. Keep it up. Itll pay off. :)
 
Jul 9, 2009
571
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Try not to ask him question during the procedure. However after he is done, ask him specific questions, not only will this satisfy your curiosity but also show him that you actually paid attention during your time in the office.
 

bennijai

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May 23, 2006
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I shadowed 2 years ago but havent shadowed any since, think that will hurt me? I went to do my Masters so I didn't have any time.
 

hs113891

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Apr 30, 2009
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1
Northern New Jersey
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I shadowed 2 years ago but havent shadowed any since, think that will hurt me? I went to do my Masters so I didn't have any time.
I wouldn't think so...
Adcoms will probably see that you were busy doing masters. Plus, if you did your maters with the intention of going to Dental School, it'll show that you still know about dentistry and interested, and shouldn't matter when you did your shadowing.
 
Jun 1, 2009
380
0
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Pre-Dental
I guess it really depends on the dentist. The one I shadowed would ask me questions while he was doing a procedure (ie: what's the purpose of the etch?) and would talk about what he was doing and why, etc.
 

lovelyinpink11

5+ Year Member
May 27, 2009
60
0
Texas
Status
Dental Student
I guess it really depends on the dentist. The one I shadowed would ask me questions while he was doing a procedure (ie: what's the purpose of the etch?) and would talk about what he was doing and why, etc.
Yeah, I had that experience, too. The dentist I shadowed was awesome. He was happy to answer my questions and gave me a lot of advice. He even let me assist him quite a bit as well :)
 

DrReo

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