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DrowningInWork

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I recently began considering dental school after discovering that despite loving research, I don't want to do it as a career. I've done some cursory internet surfing about dental school admissions procedures but wanted to ask for advice among fellow pre-dents/whoever else is on these forums. BTW I'm a rising junior (yes, kind of late to be making this decision unfortunately) at UNC-Chapel Hill in the biology major.

GPA: 3.25
I have a couple of REALLY crappy grades (a D+ and an F) in science classes but I retook them and did well. I got a C in both Physics I and II. I was immature and not ready for college when I started. However, I got straight As with one B+ last semester in difficult courses and plan to continue in that vein. I know that I am capable of this. I estimate that I can pull my science GPA up to ~3.5.

DAT: Obviously no DAT yet, but I have always been a good standardized test taker.

Extracurriculars:
Research: I have been doing neuroscience research for 3 semesters (15-20 hrs/wk) and 2 summers (40 hrs/wk) including this one. I have one second author publication and will most likely have a couple random middle author ones by the time I graduate. ~1200 hrs so far. Plan to continue until I graduate.

Music: I have played the violin and the viola since I was 10. I was ranked #1 in the state as a high school senior. I have continued in the University Symphony (it has accompanied multiple Grammy winners, 5 hrs/wk over 2 years, ~300 hrs so far) and the University Chamber Ensembles (2 hrs/wk over 2 years, ~100 hrs so far). I volunteer with an organization that teaches free music lessons to low-income kids in the area (2 hrs/wk over 4 semesters, ~130 hours so far). I also work for a pre-professional music ensemble for middle/high school students where I organize and assist in rehearsals (4 hrs/wk over 3 semesters, ~200 hours so far). By my senior year, I will most likely be the #1 or #2 violist at UNC, including music majors.

Hospital: I have volunteered for a year at the UNC Children's Hospital doing art projects with kids. (2 hrs/wk over 2 semesters, ~50 hrs total). I will transfer to the dental clinic for the 3 remaining semesters that I am eligible to volunteer here.

Awards/Honors:
-UNC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
-Department of Music Scholarship
-Honors program

Other than my lack of shadowing, am I on track to get accepted to dental school (hopefully UNC as an in-state applicant)? What else should I be doing to maximize my chances.
 
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ajj70

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If you do well on the DAT you should be fine if you get your GPA up like expected, but even the upward trend will be good. Before you get too far into committing yourself to dental school though, I'd get some shadow hours in at a general dentist soon. Start calling around today and see if you can get into shadow for a few days in the next week or two. I'd try to get at least 40 hours in over the next few weeks so you really get a feel for what it is all about, maybe 6-8 hours/day 3 days/week for the next few weeks?
 
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ajj70

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How do I find shadowing opportunities? Do I just cold call/email?

Start with your own dentist, then if that doesn't work out, stop by some dental offices, bring a couple copies of your resume and talk to them in person.
 

Incis0r

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I would call before visiting, just in case the doctor has a really busy day and can't see you, or the doctor has a preferred time to meet with you. It doesn't hurt to give a heads up that you're coming.

Many times, you can secure a shadowing opportunity just over the phone.
 

DrowningInWork

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Start with your own dentist, then if that doesn't work out, stop by some dental offices, bring a couple copies of your resume and talk to them in person.
You submit a resume just to shadow? Dayum.
 
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DrowningInWork

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What made you decide dentistry over medicine?
1) I deal very poorly with dying people. I'm overly empathetic. (It's a real problem--literally, I cried when I watched Finding Nemo.) My little brother has a rare, potentially fatal bleeding disorder and I know other people who have died because of this illness. I have experience with death, and I know that it has a very negative effect on my mental state. In dentistry, I can treat patients and help people, work in the healthcare setting, but largely avoid dying people.

2) The aesthetic focus/working with your hands--if I didn't go into science, I would have gone into viola performance (but no job market boo). I'm an artist at heart, and I love making things beautiful.

3) I don't really want to admit this one, but--lifestyle. I want a family, including kids, and I want to actually get to know them, help them with their homework, go to their recitals. Stuff like that. Depending on specialty, I probably won't be able to do that as a doctor.
 
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bitethebullet

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1) I deal very poorly with dying people. I'm overly empathetic. (It's a real problem--literally, I cried when I watched Finding Nemo.) My little brother has a rare, potentially fatal bleeding disorder and I know other people who have died because of this illness. I have experience with death, and I know that it has a very negative effect on my mental state. In dentistry, I can treat patients and help people, work in the healthcare setting, but largely avoid dying people.

2) The aesthetic focus/working with your hands--if I didn't go into science, I would have gone into viola performance (but no job market boo). I'm an artist at heart, and I love making things beautiful.

3) I don't really want to admit this one, but--lifestyle. I want a family, including kids, and I want to actually get to know them, help them with their homework, go to their recitals. Stuff like that. Depending on specialty, I probably won't be able to do that as a doctor.
thats good just was wondering if you were settling on dental bc grades werent as strong for medicine. i hate when people think dental is something to fall back on
 

DrowningInWork

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thats good just was wondering if you were settling on dental bc grades werent as strong for medicine. i hate when people think dental is something to fall back on
Nope, I wanted to do a PhD in neurobio before this haha. That's why I have hella hours of research. I briefly entertained medicine before deciding it just isn't for me.
 

bitethebullet

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Nope, I wanted to do a PhD in neurobio before this haha. That's why I have hella hours of research. I briefly entertained medicine before deciding it just isn't for me.
ah kk . I just looked at your post history earlier since you had all those volunteer hours. your mcat score was actually pretty good so i guess and your gpa was very high at one point. but ive had a bad semester damage my gpa too so it's understandable. good that ur predent now if u got a 33 mcat ur dat should be pretty solid
 

DrowningInWork

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ah kk . I just looked at your post history earlier since you had all those volunteer hours. your mcat score was actually pretty good so i guess and your gpa was very high at one point. but ive had a bad semester damage my gpa too so it's understandable. good that ur predent now if u got a 33 mcat ur dat should be pretty solid
Yeah...I'm Indian so parental pressure to be a doctor is up there. I was basically forced to take the mcat. But good practice for that dat I suppose
 
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andreadds

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I recently began considering dental school after discovering that despite loving research, I don't want to do it as a career. I've done some cursory internet surfing about dental school admissions procedures but wanted to ask for advice among fellow pre-dents/whoever else is on these forums. BTW I'm a rising junior (yes, kind of late to be making this decision unfortunately) at UNC-Chapel Hill in the biology major.

GPA: 3.25
I have a couple of REALLY crappy grades (a D+ and an F) in science classes but I retook them and did well. I got a C in both Physics I and II. I was immature and not ready for college when I started. However, I got straight As with one B+ last semester in difficult courses and plan to continue in that vein. I know that I am capable of this. I estimate that I can pull my science GPA up to ~3.5.

DAT: Obviously no DAT yet, but I have always been a good standardized test taker.

Extracurriculars:
Research: I have been doing neuroscience research for 3 semesters (15-20 hrs/wk) and 2 summers (40 hrs/wk) including this one. I have one second author publication and will most likely have a couple random middle author ones by the time I graduate. ~1200 hrs so far. Plan to continue until I graduate.

Music: I have played the violin and the viola since I was 10. I was ranked #1 in the state as a high school senior. I have continued in the University Symphony (it has accompanied multiple Grammy winners, 5 hrs/wk over 2 years, ~300 hrs so far) and the University Chamber Ensembles (2 hrs/wk over 2 years, ~100 hrs so far). I volunteer with an organization that teaches free music lessons to low-income kids in the area (2 hrs/wk over 4 semesters, ~130 hours so far). I also work for a pre-professional music ensemble for middle/high school students where I organize and assist in rehearsals (4 hrs/wk over 3 semesters, ~200 hours so far). By my senior year, I will most likely be the #1 or #2 violist at UNC, including music majors.

Hospital: I have volunteered for a year at the UNC Children's Hospital doing art projects with kids. (2 hrs/wk over 2 semesters, ~50 hrs total). I will transfer to the dental clinic for the 3 remaining semesters that I am eligible to volunteer here.

Awards/Honors:
-UNC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
-Department of Music Scholarship
-Honors program

Other than my lack of shadowing, am I on track to get accepted to dental school (hopefully UNC as an in-state applicant)? What else should I be doing to maximize my chances.
I would consider doing a masters unless you get that gpa way up
 

Incis0r

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A 3.5 is competitive for many schools- do well on the DAT 21 or higher and you'll have an enjoyable application season!
 
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