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10+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2008
Status (Visible)
Hi, I'm new and would like some advice from this forum!

I have recently graduated from college and plan on taking a year off before applying to dental school.

I think this could really be a good opportunity to strengthen my application but I am unsure about what I ought to be doing... I know that the adcoms will be asking how I spent the year off after graduation, and i'm unsure what they might be looking at.

I am contemplating taking a job working as a receptionist in a dental office? But this is mostly desk work and I wonder if this could actually help my application..

I have also been considering a research job, but I feel like I do not have many skills/techniques that they want. And I wonder if a job in a dental environment might be more beneficial..

Any suggestions and thoughts would be much appreciated!


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2008
Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
I would suggest anything where you get to use interpersonal skills. I myself have been a teacher for 4 years and I think it truly helped my application substantially. I was able to shadow different dental offices and specialists over time off during the summer.

If you are going to just take 1 year, teaching might not be the best call (first year is hard). However, I still think using interpersonal skills will strengthen your interview significantly.

I think a receptionist job would be great!


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2006
Status (Visible)
  1. Dentist
^ you could teach for kaplan. it pays well, you set whatever hours you like, and you develop the skills.

you could also get an internship at the NIH (national institutes of health) for one year. they have programs designed specifically for people who are looking to take a year off doing research in between college and grad/med/dent school. doing this you can boost your research street cred. dschools love that.

i am doing both of the above. let me know if you have any questions about either and i can be more specific!


10+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2008
New York
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Dental
Being a receptionist would definitely give you a lot of good insight into the business side of dentistry but if you really want to boost your application I personally would do something a little more hands on. I think working in a dental lab would be really interesting and a great experience. Also, assisting might be a little cliche but it teaches you the basics and could potentially help you out a lot in dental school.
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