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What else should I do?

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HardWorknMan

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First of all, I want to say that Im an optimist. Ive always been a person that gives it his all and never quits. However, Im at a point in my pre-dental career where Im very frustrated and really need help from real people that know(firsthand) what Im going through. I graduated this past summer 07 with my BS in Biology, and more recently, I finished my dual associates degree in Business/Biology. Also, I have already completed 3 courses in my masters program in route to obtaining an MSM in Healthcare Management. I will also note that Im the first person in my family to graduate college, therefore, I have absolutely zero in roads with the dental school in my state. I have shadowed a few dentists since 2003 and I know in my heart that I would be a great dentist. In a perfect world, a person would be able to get into schools with just his merit and hardwork. Unfortunately, I have came to the harsh reality that politics may be the deciding factor in dental school matriculation. Im not asking for you to feel sorry for me because I knew from Day 1 that it was going to be a long tough road. Instead, Im asking for you to give me any advice you may know to get into dental school. I would appreciate any of your wisdom. Below, I have listed my grades along with Dat scores. I must also mention that I am not "clutch" when it comes to taken standardized tests, for some reason I seem to get "sweaty hand" syndrome go blank.

Undergrad Overall GPA: 3.52
Biology GPA: 3.8
Chemistry GPA: 3.4
Physics GPA: 3.5

Grad School GPA: 4.0

DAT #1(2005): 16/16
DAT #2(2007): 18/18
DAT #3(coming in May 2008)

*I must also mention that Im very active in my community. I assistant coach high school football, coach recreational league baseball and football(2008 is the 6th yr), Mentor two kids with Big Brothers Big Sisters Little Buddies in School Program, and tudor high school for free when I can. I did get an interview this yr(my second time applying) however I found out just a few weeks ago that I wasnt accepted.
 

UCSF2012

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Politics may play a role in MCG's acceptance habits, but they also accept some candidates for no other reason than because it's the 4th time they've applied there. They look for various things, and the absense of any one thing may mean an automatic rejection. How many hrs did you shadow?
 

HardWorknMan

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I have shadowed 4 different dentists over a 5 yr period totaling approximately 575 hours. Just yesterday I applied for a job at a local dental office in hopes of gaining additional experience and a paycheck to boot. Up to this point I have only shadowed, I have not assisted. Also, I have to half some sort of income, therefore, continuing to just shadow without pay is not an option.
 

NewMexDent

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How many schools did you apply to?

What were the individual breakdowns for your second DAT?

How are your LORs?

It looks to me that your application looks fine, the only thing that could be holding you back is your DAT score. You obviously know how to study and work hard - just apply those two principals in your preparation for the DAT.
 

HardWorknMan

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I applied to Nova, U of L, UAB, Memphis, Penn, and ofcourse MCG. Ultimately, I got rejected at every school and only had one interview. As for my score breakdowns I cant remember exactly, however, Im certain that my chemistry scores are what killed me. I know I made a 14 on the Organic Section. What do you mean by LORs??
 

DrSmiles12

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I wouldn't give up. Sounds like your GPA is good, the 18 on the DAT isn't amazing but it isn't a 16. If you apply early next year you should have a shot, especially if you can bring you DAT up with the next retake. Kick some butt man!
 

NewMexDent

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I applied to Nova, U of L, UAB, Memphis, Penn, and ofcourse MCG. Ultimately, I got rejected at every school and only had one interview. As for my score breakdowns I cant remember exactly, however, Im certain that my chemistry scores are what killed me. I know I made a 14 on the Organic Section. What do you mean by LORs??

Sorry, LOR=Letter of Recommendation - Are they from solid sources?

A 14 on any section can really hurt your application, some schools even have minimum cut-offs.

It may have helped to have applied to more private schools - I suggest buying the ADEA Offical Guide to Dental Schools. Find the schools that accept a lot of out-of-staters and schools that match your GPA/DAT.

You should call the schools that rejected you and ask why - they should give you an answer and offer suggestions to improve your application.

Ok, so here are my suggestions:

1. Call the schools that rejected you and find out why.

2. Retake the DAT and score at least an 18 in every section (preferebly higher - shoot for the stars)

3. Apply to more schools and apply to the right schools.

I think you have a great shot at getting into dental school, it may just take another year.
 

HardWorknMan

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I appreciate all of you taking the time to help me out. I will employ all the tasks you all have suggested and keep fighting to get in. Thanks again for all your responses and If you have any other suggestions please feel free to reply.
 

HardWorknMan

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And as for my LORs, I tried to the people that most respected me and know how hard as work as a student and employee(2 teachers, 1 dentist, and 2 of my employers). Do you think this was the right combination or do you think I would have been better off sticking only with dental proffessionals?
 

NewMexDent

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And as for my LORs, I tried to the people that most respected me and know how hard as work as a student and employee(2 teachers, 1 dentist, and 2 of my employers). Do you think this was the right combination or do you think I would have been better off sticking only with dental proffessionals?

That sounds just fine.
 

denticus

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I wouldn't give up. Sounds like your GPA is good, the 18 on the DAT isn't amazing but it isn't a 16. If you apply early next year you should have a shot, especially if you can bring you DAT up with the next retake. Kick some butt man!


Hey DrSmiles, Congrats on your Nova acceptance. It's about time you heard some more good news considering all of the interviews you've had...geez!
 
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