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Volunteering not important?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by sdnmember, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. sdnmember

    sdnmember Member
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    I read somewhere on this forum that NON DENTAL volunteering wasn't that important. i'm applying to dental school pretty soon (for next year) and I don't have any volunteer experience. How important is it to have NON DENTAL volunteer experience like in a hospital? I understand shadowing AND dental related volunteering is much more important, so i may need to concentrate on that instead of say volunteering in a blood bank?

    Also, does volunteering in the dental dept. in my hospital count as shadowing?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. ecdoesit

    ecdoesit DDS/MS
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    I hope you are doing volunteer work not bcos you want the experience to get into a dental school. i.e. I donate blood bcos there is a need. I volunteer my time bcos the volunteer work is meaningful while I gain experience. Obviously, volunteering is not a requirement to get into a dental school, but it is worthwhile.
     
  4. Serge718

    Serge718 Member
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    Volunteering in my opinion is not important. I was asked at a few of my interviews whether I volunteered anywhere and I truthfully answered no. I explained that my research and my job at the dental office left no time for that. I suppose that answer was sufficient since I was accepted at those schools. If you have time to do things outside of dental related stuff go for it, if not then i would say working in a dental office is more important. This is my opinion and a lot of this really depends on all your other stats. Is your GPA hight, what are you DAT scores, did you do research of any sort and etc...
     
  5. HBomb

    HBomb Senior Member
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    I think volunteer work can only help you. It will never hurt you as a candidate. In the big list of things, though, it might not even make it to the top. But certainly it makes you a more well-rounded person and provides insight into your character. I think about it this way: when you practice dentistry, you will be a contributor/leader in your community. So have you shown that characteristic previously before entering dental school? It shows a precedence that you've built foundation that you can further extend.

    Please don't be offended (anyone) if you don't previously have any volunteer work. I'm not saying you don't have character. What I'm saying is that if you do have extensive volunteer work, it helps show the adcoms that yo do. There are obviously many other ways to do this.
     
  6. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer
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    ...Or one can kill two birds with one stone:

    Volunteer at a medical center with a dental/OMFS/Peds unit. That's what I did to get shadowing experience.. :D And at the same time you can also split your volunteer time in other units too (geriatrics, oncology, emergency, whatever).
     
  7. Dr.BadVibes

    Dr.BadVibes Membership Revoked
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    I agree with Tom, yet I also believe you should have some non-dental volunteer work as well....having dental related volunteer work is essential so you know more about the profession you are gonna dedicate your life and bank account to.......but having non dental is very worthwhile as well, cause it shows adcoms that you didnt just volunteer at the dental office just for your application, and it shows that you are a good hearted person overall.

    However, if you have stellar stats, you could go into interviews drunk and still get acceptences, so if you are gonna do volunteer work to look good on the application, not necessary.....if you are gonna do it cause you want to, then go for it.
     
  8. quickfix

    quickfix dental resident
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    i think there is some philosophy that has to do with dentistry being a service oriented profession that is centered around the care of other individuals and how volunteering shows a candidate does not solely posses a 1-foot radius mode of thinking. therefore, the dental schools, in general, place a value on volunteering.

    although its nice to be able to put a few major events down on your cv, i think this category is the hardest for a dental school to evaluate. how can the adcoms successfully judge the magnitude of altruism when there are lots of individuals that do a few "volunteering" events and write it off ?

    so does volunteering matter? in short, i don't think it was the most important parameter in anyone's admissions decision, but if u want to be a well rounded, liked, and appreciated person that is not nicknamed ebineezer :smuggrin: ... then u might want see what volunteering can do for u.
     
  9. ToothMonkey

    ToothMonkey Senior Member
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    It's not important for admission to dental school. I think adcoms are aware that so many applicants only volunteer to pad their application anyway.

    I never volunteered during college and only one school even asked me about it. I told them the truth--that I volunteered extensively during high school (probably more than anyone) but deliberately chose to concentrate on my studies during college. I said that I wasn't sure whether I would do much volunteering during dental school, but that after graduation I would certainly get back into the swing of things.

    Really, if you have good stats then at most the school will just want a token explanation for the record (something other than "I hate people" or "The underpriveleged can rot in hell for all I care.").
     
  10. akathisia

    akathisia gait plagerist
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    Really the preception goes beyond just the act of volunteering. Regardless whether one is doing it to "pad" their resume or because they actually enjoy giving to others what is impressive is the action put forth by the individual by actively seeking out, setting up and donating their precious time to helping others who need a hand. It says a lot about a person. Ask anyone who has had to read more than a few hundred resumes..... a person who appears to care about others (ie. volunteers thier time) definatly stand out from those who do not, regardless of numbers. But, it depends on the person who is reading your application. I think, in general that the majority of people put a high value on alturism. And, I seem to remember in one of my social psych classes that we as humans tend to like people more if they appear alturistic. Assuming you want to be "liked" by the admissions comittee it seems that it would in your best interests to volunteer a reasonable amount of your time. Your call.
     

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