What kind of EC's do dental schools look for?

4 3rds Dr

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    I was wondering the same thing. I know I work for an oral surgeon, but thats not really EC. Im sure volunteering at a hospital looks good, but thats obvious. What else is there that looks good to a Dental school?
     
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    firecracked

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      Well, I haven't applied yet so I don't know from experience, but here's my opinion.

      I think community service is the best. Anything that shows you're willing to help about the community looks good since dentistry entails caring about people and providing them with a service in order to help them in some way. After school programs, Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens, etc.

      Clubs probably don't mean too much unless you have a leadership position. But if you TA a class or a lab section or tutor students, that would be good leadership experience as well.

      Dental experience looks good too -- shadowing, but I'm guessing assisting looks even better since you actually get hands-on experience rather than standing around just watching a dentist do all the work.

      I also would do something you're interested in to help set yourself apart. Every applicant does the standard shadowing and community service - pursue some of your own interests as well. Not everything has to be health/dental related. Go rock climbing if you're into that, or join a jazz band if you're into music. Even if it's not an organized activity that you do with a group or through your college, I'm pretty sure it still counts as an EC.

      Either way, whatever you do, quality looks better than quantity. Doing a million things for only 1-2 months each doesn't look as good as having 3 really solid ECs that you've participated in for a couple of years.
       

      topdent1

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        I volunteer at a local homeless dental clinic. My main duties include sterilizing equipment and tools, developing x-rays, preparing the operating room (get stuff ready) for the next patient, and i get to do some observing.
         

        EnamelCoating

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          EC's can be anything significant to you. I only say that b/c when you have the interview they can ask you why you did it, as long as you can justify why you did it or why you liked it, answer should be fine.

          Good EC examples: Volunteer work, some go to communities or other countries to help out with dental care or relief situations. Try joining a club, working, research, whatever you want, just be able to talk about it.
           

          jcdent27

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            EC's can really be anything that shows your a well-rounded person. Of course shadowing a dentist is always a good thing to have, but there are a lot of things you can do that aren't necessarily dentistry related.
            For example, I was a reading tutor for several years, was in a fraternity, and involved with some other leadership positions at my university. During my interviews it made for easy conversation because it was all things I enjoyed doing. My advice is do things that you are actually interested in... not just things you "think" look good. It's the only way you are going to stand out from everyone else who has shadowed a dentist.
             

            dr bojangles

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              i'd suggest definitely have shadowing. some schools want letters from who you shadowed as proof (e.g. tufts wants 30 hrs), so its not bad at all.
              after that, all EC's are pretty much fair game. research, volunteering, clubs, leadership, manual dexterity, etc. its quality, not quality.....as long as you're genuine about it, it'll show in your app or interviews.
               

              wigglytooth

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                as other have said, shadowing, any volunteering, and anything else you're interested are great for ECs. As long as you show you're doing something constructive with your time at college (ie. pack your sched to prove you're not drinking all the time) and are well-rounded, you're golden. Leadership experience is a super plus, too.
                 

                bennijai

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                  volunteer work is great, volunteer work in the dentistry field is even better.

                  but in my case...

                  i TA'ed, i shadowed, i am the president of my predent club, i volunteered in a hospital, retirement home, and pet shelter, and in the end, none of the interviewers asked me about my EC's. go figure.
                   

                  bounty101

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                    In addition to ECs, it's good to do things that show your manual dexterity. There will be a question on the app. to list things like this. So if you're planning early, take something in school that will help you with this. Musical instrument (guitar is great), art classes, woodworking, or whatever you like. If you want to really wow them, learn some gang signs and throw them up during your interview. That will leave an impression they won't soon forget.

                    1ff30644e1f7724cfcc087e4e77c26ab.jpg
                     

                    Aceofspades

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                      In addition to ECs, it's good to do things that show your manual dexterity. There will be a question on the app. to list things like this. So if you're planning early, take something in school that will help you with this. Musical instrument (guitar is great), art classes, woodworking, or whatever you like. If you want to really wow them, learn some gang signs and throw them up during your interview. That will leave an impression they won't soon forget.

                      1ff30644e1f7724cfcc087e4e77c26ab.jpg

                      Don't forget sculpting.
                       
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