Sublimation

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2008
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Pre-Dental
Hi guys,

Well i have a problem and was hoping i could get some insight from everyone about this. Ok, my first question is, how much weight do dental schools put on what you do in your last year the year u are applying basically. I just received a position as an RA(research assistant) with a very prestigious study in the field of Tobacco research with the Moffitt Cancer Center at USF. The internship requires that i give them 10 hours a week and a one year comit. Now, im currently working two jobs btw 30 and 45 hours a week and im enrolled with 15 credits this semester. I have not shadowed in almost a year now, considering the fact that ive been soo busy, i just cant find the time...and the time i was planning on putting aside for the internship im thinking of putting aside for shadowing. My question is whether or not schools are gonna look into the research i would do even after i apply? should i shadow instead? (btw i have like 50+ hours of shadowing) not much i kno. I do have a semester of research under my belt already....will that suffice? I know for some dental schools its not required...however i was hoping it would give me an edge at schools like UCSF UCLA (not a cali resd.) harvard columbia....well as of now im just confused...i really wanna go to a school that i can have a good chance of specializing after dschool...and i know many ppl say it has nothing to do with the school u go too....and help is appreciated.


THANKS IN ADVANCE
 

Vicviper

Michael De Coro, DMD - AKA Steve McAwesome
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2008
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I'd say go for the research. I took a 5th year to graduate just so I could do research in my last year, and it was really worthwhile. I took maybe 8 units of academic classes each quarter. And yes, work I did after I applied I was able to talk about at my interviews, and I think it really helped. Also, 50 hours is alright, and it's not like it has to be extremely recent - I did the vast majority of my shadowing when I was in highschool. I'd try to shadow some different specialists as well, ortho is a totally different environment than perio.
 

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
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Jun 25, 2009
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I don't think shadowing (in your situation) is that important. the people reviewing your application are going to see you working that many hours AND pushing 15 credit hour semesters, they underestand you don't have much of free time for anything else.

If you've done dental shadowing in the past, thats probably enough. You don't need more shadowing.

As far as specializing after dental school, I don't think thats dictated by what school you attend, but rather how hard you work/study in the school you attend.

You can start the research position whenver you can, and during your D-school interview process, you can talk about it. It would make an interesting conversation.
 
May 12, 2009
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I only shadowed for about 25 hours, but I have done research for 1.5 years.

I feel like I got a really quality experience during my shadowing so it was enough. Got to sit in on business meetings, see and have explained a huge range of procedures (including implants), and visit a dental lab among other things. Even though 25 hours doesn't sound like much I felt like I had plenty to talk about at interviews.

I got into Columbia so I would go with the prestigious research position. Shadowing is never going to really set you apart.
 

Sublimation

10+ Year Member
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Jun 14, 2008
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Thanks for the advice guys....do you think it would be wise send my application two or three weeks after the day they open up so i can get some more shadowing in.

THANKS
 

adizzle87

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Jan 26, 2008
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2-3 weeks is fine, as long as you apply before August your app will still be considered early.