NoBraces

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Hi everyone,

I have a couple of questions...How necessary is volunteer experience in applying for dental school? Also, what kind of volunteer experience are admissions committees looking for?

Thanks!
 

Tzips

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NoBraces said:
Hi everyone,

I have a couple of questions...How necessary is volunteer experience in applying for dental school? Also, what kind of volunteer experience are admissions committees looking for?

Thanks!
The ADCOMs are looking for "volunteer" (which, btw, does not have to be pro bono; if you've been working as a dental assitant or something that's great too) experience just becuase they want to know that you've had SOME exposure to the field and aren't just blindly, blithely waltzing in to d-school, lured by promises of high profit margins and normal office hours. The kind of experinece you have - shadowing a general dentist, volunteering at a clinic, working for your endodontist - isn't all that critical, per se; neither is the exact amount of time (as long as it's significant - 5 hours of shadwoing won't impress anyone). The crucial thing is to show the ADCOMs that you know exactly what you're getting yourself into.

Just another point - the amount/type you need might vary by your stats. For example, if you've spectacular stats, then 30 hours of shadowing might be plenty, whereas if your stats are less stellar, many months of varied shadowing/volunteering/research experience might give your app a boost.

This has been just my experience, though, anyone else?
 

Nendo21

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Tzips said:
The ADCOMs are looking for "volunteer" (which, btw, does not have to be pro bono; if you've been working as a dental assitant or something that's great too) experience just becuase they want to know that you've had SOME exposure to the field and aren't just blindly, blithely waltzing in to d-school, lured by promises of high profit margins and normal office hours. The kind of experinece you have - shadowing a general dentist, volunteering at a clinic, working for your endodontist - isn't all that critical, per se; neither is the exact amount of time (as long as it's significant - 5 hours of shadwoing won't impress anyone). The crucial thing is to show the ADCOMs that you know exactly what you're getting yourself into.

Just another point - the amount/type you need might vary by your stats. For example, if you've spectacular stats, then 30 hours of shadowing might be plenty, whereas if your stats are less stellar, many months of varied shadowing/volunteering/research experience might give your app a boost.

This has been just my experience, though, anyone else?

either you didn't understand his question or I didn't. if you're asking about volunteer work in general, it's pretty important because it shows what kind of person you are. Shadowing is not volunteering, its there to give you a clue about what you will be doing in the future as a dentist.
 

v&andy_yankee

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it all depends on how competitive of an applicant you want to be. IMO, having a 3.4 gpa but with volunteering experience is better than a 3.5 with no volunteering experience. donating a few extra hours a week shows 1.you work well with others 2.you're not a selfish 3.you're willing to go the extra mile, outside of the required classwork.


plus, if you find a good place to volunteer, it truly can be fun and fulfilling. i'd do my current volunteer job (children's hospital) even if there was no personal gain/resume buffup whatsoever.

oh, and as to what they're looking for, i don't think that really matters as much, whether it be hospital, nursing homes, or ASB. i do think it is better if you volunteer at a regular basis (weekly) rather than only once in a while (in comparison, only during x-mas).
 

airvent

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I agree with Vandy Yankee. Thay aren't looking for any specific volunteering exp.. Just something that shows you are engaged in the world around, and not going back to your dorm to play on your X-box.

Best thing to do is try to get work experience in dentistry. The Sunday paper always has adverts for DA's. Call one and say your are a pre-dent and will be applying May 200X. Would like to work part time because you are a student.
 

sdnmember

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airvent said:
I agree with Vandy Yankee. Thay aren't looking for any specific volunteering exp.. Just something that shows you are engaged in the world around, and not going back to your dorm to play on your X-box.

Best thing to do is try to get work experience in dentistry. The Sunday paper always has adverts for DA's. Call one and say your are a pre-dent and will be applying May 200X. Would like to work part time because you are a student.
What exactly is wrong with someone who enjoys playing xbox? Volunteering as a definition should be based on altruism and not receiving ANYTHING in return. Doesn't that fact get contradicted when someone volunteers for something material (aka application padding?). And how many of the applicants can honestly say that they would have done volunteering if they weren't applying to a field like this? Perhaps volunteering should not be called volunteering any more and just be called "Application padding" work. So anyone who actually says volunteering demonstrates anything (in 99% of the cases) about a person's personality should perhaps reconsider...
 

airvent

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Volunteering in a Soup kitchen could probably be considered app. padding. BUt Vol. in a dental or health field would not. That is seeking experience in the your desired career path.

I'm sure whatever you do can appear as application padding. And I don't think that volunteering is the golden key for admissions either, but if you have two identical applications, i imagine the adcoms would lean torwards the one with the soup kitchen experience.