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what to do during shadowing hours

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by joonkimdds, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. joonkimdds

    joonkimdds Senior Member
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    I did 20 hrs of shadowing about 2 yrs ago.
    I was just standing next the dentist and was watching what he did.
    I was not able to help him doing surgery, cleaning, x-ray...nothing.

    I happened to have another shadowing chance coming next week and I want to get prepared this time because this dentist will be the one who will write me a letter of recommendation in 2 months from now.

    Letter of recommendation is due on May1st meaning he has to send it early april and then he should start writing it around march...so I can only let him know about me for about 2 months and I wanna give him a good impression.

    what are the suggestions?

    At first, I wanted to ask him many questions but he said he will be too busy next monday but if I want to come in and observe him he said I can. That's why I am going but I know that he will be too busy to answer my questions.
     
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  3. Stephie3

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    do some more standing around and try not to break anything.

    the hardest part for me about shadowing was not coming home in tears because some of the women dental assistants were pretty bitter towards me.

    try not to pass out from just standing there the whole time doing nothing (lol i actually fainted once when i was shadowing).

    as for a letter of rec, just talk to the dentist. ask him questions about the profession, etc. etc.

    most of all, i would look at HIS personality. is he the kind of guy that would write you a good letter? or would he write you one that just says you're "ok"

    for example, there are two kinds of chemistry teachers at my school.
    1. the ones that think you are really smart, motivated, and have a lot offer to the world and write you awesome rec letters

    and

    2. the ones that don't really seem to be too invested in their students, don't really show any excitement in you being intelligent, and probably wouldn't write you too sparkly of rec letters.

    i think the reason why people from my school get into professional schools is because of example #1. i dont think anybody ever asks the example #2s for rec letters.

    it's all about their personality :)
     
  4. DROCKINDAHOUSE

    DROCKINDAHOUSE UTHSCSA c/o 2013
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    Hey stephie why are the assistants bitter towards you? Jw because I have the same situation going on right now at the place where I work. For me it's because my dentist is almost like one of my drinking buddies and he obviously treats me differently. Also, when some of them found out I got accepted they started to seem jealous.

    I couldn't help but notice the line in your response and just thought it was interesting.

    OP, just don't bother the dentist while you're shadowing him. Just make a good impression, be polite and personable, and let him get to know you so that he will write you a good rec letter.
     
  5. joonkimdds

    joonkimdds Senior Member
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    I think dental assitance can be angry because
    1. u will shadow and eventually become an assistance and take her spot
    2. u will shadow and eventually become a dentist and take her spot

    I heard that the person i will shadow has a dental assistance who wants to apply the same year with me. I hope that person doesn't get mad at me, or I will show my bicep and try to scare him/her.
     
  6. playa2652

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    That's a little extreme...I would just get a notepad and write down stuff for questions you ask him about the profession or the procedures he's doing. If you show the dentist that your really trying to know dentistry as much as possible, while occasionally joking around from time to time, i'm sure he/she will right you a great letter of rec. At least thats what happened to me
     
  7. JamesOSU

    JamesOSU Ohio State 2013
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    My shadowing experience was great. The dentist was a recent (3-4 years) graduate from Ohio State, an also my family dentist's son. There were 4 dentists in the practice and the days I was there I bounced around and got to see how each of them worked, but I worked mostly with him.

    He told me straight up that dentistry isn't for everyone, and I need to see if I can handle it. He said there is a lot more blood than most people realize, especially if they've only ever been the one in the chair. He had me assist for him my 2nd day, just suctioning during a root canal, and also during an extraction.

    He introduced me to all his patients first telling them I was thinking of going to dental school and most were fine with me watching. If they seemed a bit uneasy about it I would go to another dentist or a hygienist. During the procedures I did a lot of standing and watching, but he talked throughout the procedure about what he was doing, which was really enlightening. "Now I'm washing out the root with [something] to kill everything and sterilize it" etc etc. He would occasionally say "Here, look at this, see that? Thats [blank]." It was great.

    The assistants were lovely too, so maybe you just had a bad experience. Since he was young he had young assistant. He was just around 30 and his assistants were attractive, fun girls probably in there mid 20s. We went out to lunch during the days I was there, they always went to Applebees together on Fridays, and I was invited.

    At the end I dropped off a box of cupcakes with a thank you note, all the women in the office loved me! They started calling me Dr. Steve around the office and when I came back for check ups and fillings. This Xmas I dropped off another gift telling them I got in, and they were all so excited for me.

    Hopefully your experience is as good as mine!
     
  8. Stephie3

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    to drockindahouse....

    finally! someone that understands some of the agony i experienced

    ok this may sound kind of arrogant but i don't mean to...i think they were kind of jealous of me (except for one of the assistants that was super nice to everybody) because they were always harassing me about the stupidest things ever. like they were made that i am going to be a woman dentist

    one day i wore big sparkly earrings (that were totally cool lol) and one of the women was like "you can't wear THOSE earrings when you're a dentist"

    they also harassed me about my voice a LOT. i talk softly and they really raked me over the coals for that. they were like "you're going to fail your interviews b/c you can't talk loud enough" (which is funny to me now that i got into 4 out of the 5 schools i've interviewed at so far). but it wasn't so funny when i freaked out and applied to more schools then i needed to and spent a ton more money on the admissions process and got an incomplete in a lab last semester b/c i was so worried i wasn't going to get in and was struggling b/c people had been so hateful to me about applying to dental school. like who was i to believe that i could actually become a dentist, i'm just a little girl.

    they also treated me like i was socially incompetent. like i was one of those really smart people that couldn't carry on a conversation. it made me feel better to think of one of my friends that one time made a statement "i rarely talk to people i don't know because there's only a small chance that they are cool enough to be my friend"

    i'd just like to apologize to everybody in advance for being a dentist who wears cute earrings and talks nicely to people :)
     
  9. Stephie3

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    oh yeah, and one time i walked into a room and just said "Hi! How are you?" with a smile to a patient.

    the dental assistant was like "UGHHHHHH..she doesn't speak english." trying to make me look stupid, as if i was supposed to know that she didn't speak english when i had never seen the woman before

    so i was like "hola! hablo espanol?" hahahaha

    btw, how can you be in america and not understand "hi how are you doing" i'm sure the woman could at least understand that
     
  10. Stephie3

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    p.s. they would also tell me to like go fetch stuff (when i had no idea where stuff was b/c i had never worked there before) and one time told me to go take a pan x-ray or something and i was like "umm..they've never shown me how to even plug the patient's information into the computer let alone take a pan". no one really bothered to show me how any procedure was done or explain how anything works to me either or explain to me what or why the patients were diagnosed with whatever condition they had...luckily all this stuff only happened at one office, so i am not trying to in any way belittle other offices or whatever

    so the moral of the story is, don't worry..you'll learn all that stuff in dental school it'll become second nature to you eventually and don't let dental assistants try to stop you from reaching your beautiful attainable dreams
     
  11. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    With the LOR you need the transcript matching form that will be availible May 15th or so wheen AADSAS opens up for next year.
     
  12. doc toothache

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  13. smile101

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    I loved shadowing my dentists. They were all very kind in explaining what they were doing and letting me assist. I'd say, just be yourself, ask questions, and also talk about anything non-work related for him to know you more. Its even better when the dentists are also professors because both my oral surgeons are professors for the oral surgery program at MCG and they treat me like a student, ask me questions and explain everything, even show me x-rays from previous interesting cases if I had missed it. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience. Three out of four dentists I shadowed recently offered to write a recommendation for me.

    Good luck and I am sure you will love shadowing!
     
  14. diplo123

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    Wow I didn't know so many had bad experiences with assistants during shadowing. I'm a guy and all the assistants (all women) were extremely cool to me. The staff was great. The dentists in the practice were very helpful and informative. They would introduce me. Obviously there were times when the patients didn't want me there, but for the most part everyone was extremely cool and I got great letters from two dentists there.

    I think that the girls who posted here were having envy/jealousy problems with the assitants.
     
  15. DROCKINDAHOUSE

    DROCKINDAHOUSE UTHSCSA c/o 2013
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    Damn Stephie I'm sorry to hear about all that but I definitely know what you're going through. You need to keep your head up girl because you know that one day you're going to be a dentist and that all those small, hateful people are still going to be making 20k a year. Haha. I always think about telling those girls in my office "Just how much education does it take to be an assistant? Oh thats right. It's only a damn certificate."

    The funniest part about the people that hate on me is that I've always been super nice to everybody. Their jealousy simply gets the best of them. Four of the assistants and even one of the front office girls always give me dirty looks and make underhanded comments. I remember on Dec. 1st I was going to check my email towards the end of the day and one of the girls walked up and asked me what I was doing. I said "I'm checking to see if I got accepted. Dental schools are going to email us today." She replied in a very sarcastic tone "Oh. Well, what are you going to do if you don't get in?" I was just thinking what a b****. Who would come tell someone that on Dec. 1st? I looked at her, gave her my most arrogant smile, and said "Well, I guess I'll never know because I've already been accepted to one school." Lmao she returned the arrogant smile and walked away.

    It's good to know someone else knows what it's like to be hated on Stephie. Keep your head up girl, you know you're going to accomplish your dreams. I doubt any assistants ever dreamed about working some menial job for low wages.

    I'm hater proof.
     
  16. DROCKINDAHOUSE

    DROCKINDAHOUSE UTHSCSA c/o 2013
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    I'm a guy, and trust me, haters will hate regardless. I've noticed that people who have NOTHING going for them in their life don't want to see ANYBODY who is accomplishing their goals.
     
  17. Stephie3

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    that's true, i was always nice to everybody. in fact, i was usually quite and didn't say anything.

    even when i didn't like even interact with them at all and tried to minimize my interaction with them as much as possible, they still hated me.
     
  18. 206127

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    haha! What a legend! I bet that felt great...
    I've worked at many dental offices and people always hated on me if they knew I was trying to go to dental school. For my most recent jobs I haven't said a word about dental school to the assistants, the only person I tell are the dentists. Most dental assistants wish they were on the other side of the chair, and they will hate on us because they would like to be in our position. I remember 2 years ago I was assisting and some guy came to shadow how was accepted to D-school, you have no idea how jealous I was (I was nice to him though).
     
  19. BraceCrazy

    BraceCrazy Clinical Coordinator, RDA

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    i don't understand why you would "shadow" in a dental office that teaches you nothing. waste of time.
     
  20. doc toothache

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    It helps to understand the reasoning behind the shadowing requirement/recommentation.
     
  21. BraceCrazy

    BraceCrazy Clinical Coordinator, RDA

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    those of you that are "being hated on" by the assistants...

    maybe you just think you're being "hated" on. not all assistants wish they could be the dentist.. Being an RDA myself, most assistants really enjoy their occupation and are usually very supportive ( at least all that I've met..and thats a very large group of DAs). So maybe it's you doing something wrong.

    For example, all the assistants at my office are pre-dents, but one particular assistant, lets call him Bob, is all talk and no walk. He can sure talk himself up, but when it comes to doing things the right way, corners are cut and the other assistants and myself have to make up for his bulll****. It gets old really fast.

    When you are shadowing in a office, its good to ask the dentist as well as the assistants why things are done the way they are done, and uunderstand their role in the office. As a future dentist, you need to develop good chairside manners, good relationships with your team members, and how to efficiently function as a effective and productive team. Use the shadowing time to develop these skills as they are not taught in DS and are learned working with patients and other dentist/assistants/hygienists.

    As a RDA, and Clinical Coorindator of a large Ortho practice, I would really be annoyed if some pompous pre-dent walked in and thought s/he was "better" than the assistants, to me, that shows poor people skills and terrible respect.

    Pre-dents, you need to remember that the assistants are the most valuable assets in the office. Give them the respect they deserve.
     
  22. Jessi4eve

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    Wowww, and no Wowww. I didn't know so many people have had such bad experiences, so I'm surprised. BUt again, I'm not that much surprised since I have had my own.
    We all live in a world where you can find jealousy almost everywhere. I had the same problem as you guys, when I shadowed my dentist. I was SUPER nice and respectful to the dentist AND his two assistants, yet the I the assistants would never treat me with respect. Here is one of the incidents: My dentist would usually explain the procedure he was doing on a patient's teeth for me without me ever asking him to do so. I swear, I NEVER asked him to do that since I knew it could be an audicious expectation. Once, one of the two assistants (The b*tch's name was Ashley) pulled me aside and told me, "Hey, do not ask the doctor so many questions. You might be bothering him". I did not argue with her, cuz I didn't want to mess up the atmosphere, but this is how it went.
     
    #21 Jessi4eve, Jan 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  23. Jessi4eve

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    How do you explain the bad treatment of a not pompous predent by an assistant? (like most of these cases on this thread)
     
  24. BraceCrazy

    BraceCrazy Clinical Coordinator, RDA

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    well, let's just say it sucks to get a bitch of an assistant. it is was me, i would have brought it up to the dr.'s attention, not pointing any fingers, but ask if it okay to ask questions. But, again the doctor you were shadowing for should have taken the time to explain to his/her staff that you were there to learn. sorry to hear of so many bitchy assistants. I guess I'm really lucky to have an amazing team RDA/pre-dents.


    Stephie.. big sparkly earrings, are not appropiate. If you plan to be the dentist, look the part. Clean cut never fails.
     
  25. Stephie3

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    my point exactly..that's the WAY some of you guys think. people who are mature don't think like that.

    i don't think i'm "better" than other people and i have always tried to be really humble about all of my academic achievements.
    when i got accepted into a top research program that only took like the top 6% of applicants, i didn't tell anybody except people really close to me. i never advertise how i smash the curves in advanced science classes. i never speak eloquently.
    one time someone made a comment to me that i just look smart and that is why people get jealous. i have worked very humble low wage jobs in the past. i volunteer to do dirty work.

    my point: how could assistants get the perception that a pre-dent thought they were "better" then the assistants unless the assistants imagined that it their own mind, especially when the pre-dent ALWAYS smiles and speaks nicely to them. because that is why i did.



    i didn't say all of the assistants treated me bad, i even said one of them was really nice to me.
     
  26. Stephie3

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    it doesn't matter what you wear when you shadow as long as its not totally outlandish, because no one cares. of course i know how to dress like a dentist.

    i'd just like to point out that it's never appropriate for a person to use foul language even if they are a dental assistant.
     
  27. Plopper

    Plopper "This too will pass"
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    stephie, sorry to hear you had such a bad experience, hopefully the dentist and you got along fine, because that's all that matters.
     
  28. BraceCrazy

    BraceCrazy Clinical Coordinator, RDA

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    whoa, don't refer to me as some of you "guys". I'm a pre-dent, fourth year biochem major, working full time as the Clinical Coord. at a very successful ortho practice. I'm just saying, lots of makeup, big sparkly earrings, are not appropiate attire.

    I'm 21yrs old, got my RDA at 19, work full time, take 15+ units/sem and have a fabulous DDS/PhD research project in progress.

    Perhaps, you just need to find a different office to shadow at.

    I really get annoyed with pre-dents who have no idea what being a dentist really takes. Let alone what an assistant goes thru.

    Get over in some lame bitchy assistant "treated" you poorly, not all people are nice in the world.. believe me.. wait till you have to deal with real patients/patients parents.
     
  29. Stephie3

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    like everyone else in the world doesn't have something about their job that is hard? lol reminds me of the "i suffer, so i want everyone else to suffer and dont like it if they don't" mentality
     
  30. DROCKINDAHOUSE

    DROCKINDAHOUSE UTHSCSA c/o 2013
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    Wow, "bracecrazy" you sure do sound "awesome."

    Better watch that "phone", I bet Harvard will be calling any "minute" telling you to start "class" tomorrow, forget about DAT scores and interviews. Chill out dude. You're on SDN and trust me I bet ALL OF US are quite accomplished. For the most part everyone on this site represents the upper tier of the applicant pool so I doubt that you're impressing anyone.

    Btw, I'm a DA too. It's not a big deal. It's a fact of life though that people who don't have anything going for them will hate on others. That's what haters do.

    On a real note, congrats to you for achieving so much at such a young age. You have a right to have a little swagger. But seriously, if you knew what some of us on here have accomplished maybe even you would be impressed.
     
  31. lhtran07

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    Sorry to hear that your shadowing at that office was horrible, but it does happen. I shadowed at an office where the dentist was stand-offish and most of his staff was unfriendly towards me as well.

    Hence, I only shadowed there for 2 days. Then I shadowed at 2 other offices where the dentists and staff were extremely welcoming and supportive, and I stayed with them for the rest of my shadowing experience.

    It happens. Not everybody is going to like you and vice versa. Especially when it comes to patients.
     
  32. AggieDDS

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    Another case of mistaken sex by DROCKINGDAHOUSE lol. First drReo and now CrazyBizzie. Their phenotype might be male to you but their genotype is female. :laugh:

    This is a joke. The dentist I shadowed warned me that patients were sometimes hard to handle/angry for no reason/etc. I mean the worst I saw were some kids crying about getting local anesthesia injected and some stupid other patients. I completely ignored/laughed at this stuff. I guess some females are just oversensitive to this crap.
     
    #31 AggieDDS, Jan 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  33. DROCKINDAHOUSE

    DROCKINDAHOUSE UTHSCSA c/o 2013
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    Lmao yeah genetics ain't my strong suit man
     
  34. BraceCrazy

    BraceCrazy Clinical Coordinator, RDA

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    Nah.. you just got lucky with easy/nice patients. I have a few kids in my office freak out and cry becuase they are going to get braces on.. the process doesn't hurt at all. The majority of patients will be chill, but they are the random few who are simply a pain in the ass. Why do you think GP have the "cocoon" in their offices, so they can sedated the kids and finish dental work.

    I was talking with a refferring dentist once regarding a mutual patient, he told me they had to give them nitrous to do a cleaning! just one example of a difficult patient.

    And you stereotype females... I laugh all this off, most of it drives kills my patience and I wanna smack them and tell them to stop crying and sit still.
     
  35. predental33

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    :)
     
    #34 predental33, Jan 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  36. harrygt

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    I had a great experience shadowing my dentist. His assistant was always nice to me. She was thirty five years old though, so I'm sure there was no jealousy going on.
     
  37. Clubby

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    Be positive when you are there. Smile a lot and try to make the patient feel comfortable and not bothered by your presence.
     
  38. joonkimdds

    joonkimdds Senior Member
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    I made an appointment with two different dentists to make sure at least one of them welcomes me and has a good assistance :D
     

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