yearof08

10+ Year Member
Jan 18, 2008
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How important is it to have shadowing and volunteer hours?
About how many hours of each should you have?
Are there any other activities that are recommended for getting into dental school?

Thanks in advanced :)
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
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Dentist

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
7+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2009
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Sterling Hts, Mi
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Dentist
Well every one is different. Some think shadowing is a good idea, others think its kinda boring to stand/sit around and just watch someone do thier thing.

I'd say do some shadowing, and no I don't mean 100's of hours of it. Maybe 30-50 hours total of general practice dentistry wouldn't be a bad idea. You get to see how dentists interact with patients. If the dentist you shadow has good people-skills, your going to really enjoy watching him do his thing. If they are boring/dull and dont' really interact too much with the patient, your probably going to not enjoy the shadowing process too much, and in which case, its probably best if you switched and shadowed another dentist.
 

sfrice80

Blood, Sweat, and Beers
Jun 11, 2009
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Minneapolis, MN
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Personally, and this is just me. I dont like quantifying volunteering in "hours." Honestly, when it comes to volunteering, I would just stay involved throughout college, dont make it look like a last ditch effort at the end. Also, take on a few big projects of volunteering instead of dabbling in everything just to make it look like a lot on your application. For instance, try getting really involved with a group or two on campus and work your way up to an office and make it your own, do great things with it, not only does it show leadership but commitment to a project and pride. I think it sounds silly to say well I have 200 hours of volunteering, it just sounds to me really disconnected and thats not what volunteering is about.

Now on the other hand, shadowing is another thing. That you basically have to quantify and should because it just shows you've got some serious hours of shadowing and getting the hang of how a dental office works. It also shows you have a relatively good idea that you really want to be a dentist.

Theres my 2 cents!