Preparing for Dental School
Updated: Aug 6, 2022
My name is Christopher and I am a D3 at Howard University College of Dentistry
Do Not Rush the Process
Some words of wisdom that I was told when applying to dental school was “Do not rush the process. When things seem hard or impossible, never give up!” If applying to dental school was easy then everyone would be doing it so make sure to congratulate yourself on how far you have come after taking a lot of difficult courses like Organic Chemistry and Physics!
Starting with the application process, create a cohesive list of the schools you would like to attend. Be honest with yourself and where you see yourself living for the next four years. From there, contact the dental schools and follow social media pages to see when their Pre-dental days are. This allows you to gain an inside perspective of the school while forging a relationship with admission directors!
Along with a good science GPA and DAT scores, extracurricular activities are a great way to show admissions committees you are involved while holding leadership roles outside of the classroom. It’s important that they can see you are able to juggle a full course load while holding an executive board position of a school club of your choice. Participating in events outside of school such as volunteer dental projects, community service events, and school clubs/ sports allows you to have a lot more to talk about in your interview, and personal statement and allows you to stand out as an applicant.
Shadowing is essential when it comes to applying to dental school. It allows you to learn the basics of dentistry, especially when managing a patient. During shadowing really try to learn how to read X-rays, understand different dental materials and their uses, and how to assist the dentist. Learning these skills will help you excel in your dental school journey. Also, make sure to shadow a dentist that went to a dental school that’s on your list to apply to. They may have relationships with faculty at the program, which may help during the process.
My final words for anyone applying this upcoming cycle: start reaching out to the schools you are interested in and see if they host any predental days, find a good mentor that is a dentist/ specialist that can provide advice and help you navigate the application process. Apply early, please do not wait until November, December, etc.. to apply! Applying early increases your chances of obtaining more interviews! Lastly, trust the process, good things come to those that wait!
Where are you on the journey to dental school? How can we help? Let us know in the comments below!
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