Krentist_72

5+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2016
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388
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  1. Pre-Dental
Hi all,

I plan on applying next cycle, already took the DAT, good GPA, EC, research, blah blah blah

My concern is that I haven't had much time to do a lot of shadowing.... During the summers, normal working hours were filled with research and taking classes, and when I come home for the holidays or weekends, most of the dentists I have connections to are closed (huge benefit of the job is a real hindrance for me right now lol). And I know many of you/adcoms would question why dentistry is right for me if I haven't shadowed that much. So before anyone asks, I've had crazy dental work done, and how it's impacted my life has absolutely steered me down this path. I've probably visited more dentists/orthos/omfs as a patient than anyone would as a shadow, so I definitely understand the profession and what makes a good or bad doctor. Trust me, I've been to both.

But I still realize that being in the chair =/= shadowing, so I still have to go out and rack up those hours. I have no connections to dentists in the city where I go to school, but I plan on reaching out to some random dentists because I know that I need more before June rolls around. Hopefully someone will take pity!

My main concern is if the majority of my hours being in the year/months before the application is submitted would be a red flag? I feel like my PS and dental-related volunteering will say otherwise, but I'm still nervous that my sudden shadowing would be a concern to adcoms that I don't know what I'm getting myself into?

I know this seems silly to worry about in comparison to all the concerns current applicants have, but gotta cover alll the bases! Thanks in advance!
 

acesofseven

5+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2015
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437
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  1. Dental Student
I don't think its red flag. I think what Adcoms want is to know that you've had some form of exposure to the field and know what to expect from a future in dentistry.
 

acesofseven

5+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2015
492
437
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  1. Dental Student
But if you're really desperate and don't have the time to shadow besides the months leading up to applications, then just talk it over with your dentist and they can vouch for you in their LoR.
 
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Likkriue

5+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2016
2,934
4,346
New York City
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Got majority of my hours in 6 months and still have interviews. Start hitting the phone books and get those 100 hours in.
 

DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
2+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2016
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  1. Pre-Dental
Hi all,

I plan on applying next cycle, already took the DAT, good GPA, EC, research, blah blah blah

My concern is that I haven't had much time to do a lot of shadowing.... During the summers, normal working hours were filled with research and taking classes, and when I come home for the holidays or weekends, most of the dentists I have connections to are closed (huge benefit of the job is a real hindrance for me right now lol). And I know many of you/adcoms would question why dentistry is right for me if I haven't shadowed that much. So before anyone asks, I've had crazy dental work done, and how it's impacted my life has absolutely steered me down this path. I've probably visited more dentists/orthos/omfs as a patient than anyone would as a shadow, so I definitely understand the profession and what makes a good or bad doctor. Trust me, I've been to both.

But I still realize that being in the chair =/= shadowing, so I still have to go out and rack up those hours. I have no connections to dentists in the city where I go to school, but I plan on reaching out to some random dentists because I know that I need more before June rolls around. Hopefully someone will take pity!

My main concern is if the majority of my hours being in the year/months before the application is submitted would be a red flag? I feel like my PS and dental-related volunteering will say otherwise, but I'm still nervous that my sudden shadowing would be a concern to adcoms that I don't know what I'm getting myself into?

I know this seems silly to worry about in comparison to all the concerns current applicants have, but gotta cover alll the bases! Thanks in advance!

I have years of shadowing racked up just because of the relationships I've built since my first day shadowing. All I can tell you is that I know someone who shadowed for only one day and got many interviews and is now attending D-school. The timing of when you want to shadow has no bearing to adcoms. Just get whatever you need to get done. If you enjoy it as much as I did, you'll probably spend your free time being there unpaid.
 

Krentist_72

5+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2016
285
388
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
I don't think its red flag. I think what Adcoms want is to know that you've had some form of exposure to the field and know what to expect from a future in dentistry.

Got majority of my hours in 6 months and still have interviews. Start hitting the phone books and get those 100 hours in.

I have years of shadowing racked up just because of the relationships I've built since my first day shadowing. All I can tell you is that I know someone who shadowed for only one day and got many interviews and is now attending D-school. The timing of when you want to shadow has no bearing to adcoms. Just get whatever you need to get done. If you enjoy it as much as I did, you'll probably spend your free time being there unpaid.

I really appreciate all this... Just hate to go through everything and then have the poor timing on this screw me up. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
 

tinydancer510

2+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2015
14
13
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  1. Pre-Dental
I applied a few years ago and ended up getting accepted (long story short am reapplying next cycle) - all of my hours were concentrated in 2 or 3 weeks and I did those 2 or 3 weeks about 6 months before I applied, all at the same dentist. But because of classes and a part-time job and studying for the DAT and taking a semester off school for an internship (in engineering, not dental related), that was when it worked best for me. There are pros and cons to every different experience, and what will matter most is that you can speak to how your experience and what you did was beneficial to your future as a dentist.

Overall I had the number of hours needed, and I personally know that my learning style (being exposed to the same thing as much as possible with the shortest amount of time possible in between the exposures) matched well with how I did my shadowing hours. So when I was questioned about my shadowing experience during my interview, that's exactly how I responded. Ideally, yes I would have loved to spend a couple days in the office every week for a full year, but it wasn't practical, and I found a solution that worked best for me (and may have even set me apart from some other applicants). You just have to analyze every experience and make sure you can identify how it helped you specifically!
 
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Krentist_72

5+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2016
285
388
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
I applied a few years ago and ended up getting accepted (long story short am reapplying next cycle) - all of my hours were concentrated in 2 or 3 weeks and I did those 2 or 3 weeks about 6 months before I applied, all at the same dentist. But because of classes and a part-time job and studying for the DAT and taking a semester off school for an internship (in engineering, not dental related), that was when it worked best for me. There are pros and cons to every different experience, and what will matter most is that you can speak to how your experience and what you did was beneficial to your future as a dentist.

Overall I had the number of hours needed, and I personally know that my learning style (being exposed to the same thing as much as possible with the shortest amount of time possible in between the exposures) matched well with how I did my shadowing hours. So when I was questioned about my shadowing experience during my interview, that's exactly how I responded. Ideally, yes I would have loved to spend a couple days in the office every week for a full year, but it wasn't practical, and I found a solution that worked best for me (and may have even set me apart from some other applicants). You just have to analyze every experience and make sure you can identify how it helped you specifically!
Super helpful, thanks so much! I'll probably have to schedule like a one day a week thing, but idk still trying to figure it out. YOu're right, I think it's totally whatever works best, and being able to express that accurately under the pressure of an interview lol. Glad to hear its worked out in the past!
 
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