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Application Tips from a Pediatric Resident

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

Hi, my name is Dr. Maury. I work with kids as a pediatric dental resident at Howard (so we use first names ) and I’m here to help! DM me with any questions about pre-dent, dental school, or pediatric dentistry.

My advice to pre-dents applying next cycle and preparing for the DAT:

Start Early

Applying can be a long process, so start early. Figure out who will write your letters of recommendation, complete your shadowing, and write your personal statement early. You want to have everything ready for when the application opens. The earlier you apply the better your chances to receive an interview. Also, you want to be smart about where you apply. The ADEA Guide to Dental School is a great resource to help you decide which schools you should apply to. Generally, you want to apply to your “in-state” schools because they will offer you in-state tuition and apply to some “out-of-state friendly” programs to fill up the rest of your list. If you have a strong application you can get away with applying to 8-10 schools. If you have a weaker application you might consider applying to up to 14-15 schools.

You are Unique

When you apply you should realize that each applicant is unique and has their own strengths and weaknesses. Stats are only part of the story. I’ve seen people get in with very low stats who are able to tell a good story about why they want to be a dentist. Believe in yourself, odds are you’re a much better applicant than you perceive. When I was applying, I believed I was bottom 10% of applicants because I was embarrassed about my GPA, but later realized my application had many strengths and that I should have been confident in myself. It would have made the application process a whole lot easier and less stressful.

Give Yourself Time to Prepare

In regards to preparing for the DAT, if you need a few months to prepare for it, again, start early. Student Doctor Network has a bunch of great tips, resource suggestions, and breakdowns to utilize, so it’s a good place to start. Take as much time as you need to prepare, create a study schedule, take practice tests, evaluate how you’re doing, utilize a variety of different resources, and take the test only when you’re ready.

Best of luck to everyone!! @maurydds

Which of Dr. Maury's tips did you find most helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

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