sm1nty

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Alright... I know this has been discussed before, but I really need step-by-step help.

There is a dentist right down the street from where I live, and I would LOVE to shadow there -

What do I do? Can I just walk in and ask the receptionist? Is it better to call? Should I ask to talk to the dentist?

Plus I know it varies by school, but how many hours of shadowing would be enough - 100?

THANK YOU FOR ANY ADVICE YOU MAY HAVE!
 

LadyxJC

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I don't think there is any one way to go about it. All of the possibilities you mentioned sound fine... do whatever it takes to get the shadowing position. Personally, I would go in person instead of calling them... and you'll probably have to go through the receptionist, being that they're usually the ones to greet people at dental clinics. Just explain to her that you're a pre-dent student who would like to speak to the doctor to discuss possibly getting a shadowing position there. I don't know about how many hours of shadowing would be "enough" but I guess the more the better. I personally have 100 hours at a private practice and I did additional volunteer work at a hospital's dental clinic. Good luck~
 

superchris147

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sm1nty said:
Alright... I know this has been discussed before, but I really need step-by-step help.

There is a dentist right down the street from where I live, and I would LOVE to shadow there -

What do I do? Can I just walk in and ask the receptionist? Is it better to call? Should I ask to talk to the dentist?

Plus I know it varies by school, but how many hours of shadowing would be enough - 100?

THANK YOU FOR ANY ADVICE YOU MAY HAVE!

be sure you go in early (ie: morning) because the dentist will probably want to talk to you but he/she probably won't have free time to talk until lunch. and don't get discouraged if they say no, just move on to the next one
 

sumozmom

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I wouuld definitly do it in person.

Be polite and friendly - not shy.

Tell them ur situation and requierments. If they cannot help ask if they know who can.

Otherwise Try a city/county clinic.
 

howui3

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Sometimes its hard to get the doctor on the phone so I think its better to see him/her in person. Also, dress nice, it will help and make you look more professional.
 

supahdupah22

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I just got through going to a lot of dental offices and giving them my resume. Funny how all the asian ones only want females instead of males and others were already full on highschool interns. Took me a long time and lots of going around but I finally found one that is letting me observe. Just keep trying, theres lots of dental offices around. Let them know that you're willing to help out for free. It's always nice to have an extra hand and in return you get knowledge and experience.
 

zriceman

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sm1nty said:
Alright... I know this has been discussed before, but I really need step-by-step help.

There is a dentist right down the street from where I live, and I would LOVE to shadow there -

What do I do? Can I just walk in and ask the receptionist? Is it better to call? Should I ask to talk to the dentist?

Plus I know it varies by school, but how many hours of shadowing would be enough - 100?

THANK YOU FOR ANY ADVICE YOU MAY HAVE!
i just called a few; talked to a few receptionists who talked with the Dentists who told them to tell me i could shadow them.

I only called. No resume. No going in person.
 
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sm1nty

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Thank you for your advice!
I will dress up nice, and go in person early one Friday/Saturday.
Luckily I'm a girl...maybe I should be targeting the Asian dentists! Haha...
 
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sm1nty

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I went to this one dental practice - it was super busy - I spoke to the receptionist, and nobody got back to me. I figured, she probably didn't understand what I was requesting, she probably didn't pass the message on, and it was just a zoo in there, they probably didn't want somebody in their way. I am so sure that the message wasn't passed on to any of the dentists.

So I had a change of plan - I typed up a nice "cover letter" introducing myself, where I went to school, where I'm taking my post-bac science courses right now, what I did for the past 5 years, what kind of "shadow" experience I'm looking for etc; And I put it in an envelope with my resume.

I went to another dentist right down the street from where I live, luckily while talking to the receptionist, I managed to catch the dentist on her way to her office. The whole office seemed really busy, but I managed to have a quick 2 minute conversation with her, and she was agreeable (yay!). Still, I handed her my resume and cover letter so she has more detail on me, plus it made the whole process of asking so much easier and quicker because my contact info was all there, so I took up less of there precious time.

So basically - my advice to anyone who needs it is - definitely type up a sort of letter of introduction if you're approaching a dentist you don't have a relationship with, because everybody in the office is busy so you can't count on your message getting across if you only pop in for a few minutes to ask about shadowing.

Good luck everybody!