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volunteering/ internships/ experience???

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Victoria, Oct 15, 2001.

  1. Victoria

    Victoria Junior Member

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    :confused: I was just wondering if anyone had any advice for finding volunteer/ research positions that would help me be a better candidate for dental schools? I still have a few years ahead of me before having to apply to any schools, but I figured I'd get the ball rolling on the extracurriculars. Also, when volunteering/observing @ dental offices, are you supposed to get some kind of a time sheet as proof of your work there, or do you just write what you've been doing on your dental sch. applications? If so, how do they know that you've actually been doing what you've said? (i know, strange question...). Well, thanks in advance, and good luck to everyone applying this year! :) :) :D :cool:
     
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  3. waiting

    waiting Senior Member

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    ok, here's what I did...

    First, I got in touch w/a dentist who had placed an ad in the paper looking for a dental asst. From there, I told her that I'm not a certified DA, just a pre-dent looking for some office experience...the dentist was very open to this and she let me come in for 5-6 visits and observe and also help out around the place (developing x-rays, cleaning & prepping exam rooms, sterilizing instruments (learning the names helps!!) and basic assisting work like suctioning and stuff). I didn't get paid for any of this and spent a total of 20-25 hrs. there over a couple months. This family dentist then put me in touch w/several other specialty dentists in the area since I'd told her I planned on specializing....I ended up going to work for an orthodontist, endo, and OMS. One of them also told me about a free dental clinic downtown where I've been working as an assistant. Next, I decided to try and get some research experience, so I just randomly called up the local dental school (UNC), told them I want to get research experience and am applying to dental school, and from there got referred to several diff. individuals whom I touched base w/via e-mail about diff. projects and how I could go about getting involved. It wasn't easy and took some perseverance, but worked....you just gotta be very friendly, provide a copy of your resume as an attachment on e-mails you send around, and let them know how much it means to you. I ended up landing a potential gig but then declined b/c I got a diff., behavioral medicine job offer I'd been pursuing.

    As for how to 'record' your hours....I never kept any formal 'log sheet' or had the docs fill anything out for me. On applications I just gave my best estimate of how many hours I'd spend at each office and with whom I'd worked. I really don't think the schools try to verify your hours by calling up the dentists and matching their estimate of how much time you spent there w/yours! They trust that as a potential professional-level student you have some integrity and won't make some outlandish claim of having spent 100 hours w/a doc you worked w/for all of 5!

    Hope this helps and let me know if I can give any further insight....

    46 days 'till 12/1st... :cool:
     
  4. Victoria

    Victoria Junior Member

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    Waiting, thanks so much for all the info, very helpful! You really cleared up my volunteer confusion :)
     
  5. BGEBROWN

    BGEBROWN Junior Member

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    Victoria,
    I started observing a local dentist just by calling and asking if I could come in for a few hours a week. I later asked him for some advice and he got me connected to a dental lab where I have worked for the past 5 months. I started by working in the plaster room pouring molds and doing articulations but eventually got to work on some bite rims and also even doing some repairs on dentures. It has given me great experience plus a hands on touch that I couldn't have recieved anywhere else. I definitely recommend it. Good luck
     

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