As a former president of the University of Florida’s Predental ASDA chapter, I am constantly consulted by predental students for advice. After having more conversations with predental students than I can count, here are my top five pieces of advice that every predental student should know.
This past spring break, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Panama through International Service Learning with seven other members of Baylor University’s predental organization and one pre-optometry student from Ohio State. I’d argue with anyone that this was leaps and bounds better than your typical college spring break on the beaches of Florida or Cancun. If you have the chance to do a service trip during college, GO. Serve. Love. Learn.
During the month of March, I started my spring break attending the first Explore UTSD at the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston, Texas. It was such an intriguing way to start my spring break as a predental student. I first heard about the event through my predental club at the University of Houston and quickly reserved a spot. The day first started out with donuts and coffee where we were able to meet other predental students from across Texas and current dental students. It was fascinating to be around others who had the same dream as I did: to become a dentist.
As a predental student from Benedictine University, I am fortunate to be an active member of my university’s predental club. Through my involvement, I have the opportunity to engage in a number of events and activities to enhance my interest in the dental profession and develop leadership in my community. One event in particular that I attended with my university’s predental organization was called Smiles in the City. The purpose of this collaborative program is to teach elementary school aged children locally and in underserved communities about the importance of oral hygiene…
As pre-dental students we are always trying to be immersed in the scientific and medical world. The world of business and finances is far from the mind of the typical science student. But ask any dentist who has recently graduated and they will tell you, “I wish I had learned more about finances.”
It’s hard to imagine learning about things like investing, 401(k)s, retirement, etc., while we are in undergrad, but the earlier we start to investigate finances the further ahead we will be as practicing dentists.
Predental students are often consumed with how important their GPA and DAT scores are when applying to dental school. Although they are definitely crucial to gaining acceptance into dental school, the application contains other areas that students can use to strengthen their application. To ensure you are a well-rounded, competitive applicant when you hit the “submit” button focus on these important areas…
For a nontraditional applicant, the process of applying to dental school can seem complex and overwhelming. As nontraditional applicants ourselves, we have experienced the frustrations of uncertainty first-hand. Most resources are geared toward the large numbers of traditional applicants, who continue on to dental school immediately after college. However, as the pool of nontraditional applicants increases, it is vital to provide resources for these students to help them along their dental school application journeys. For some, this simply means explaining how to complete and submit their AADSAS application. For others, the road is a bit more nuanced, requiring guidance in necessary coursework, DAT preparation, shadowing and more. As part of ASDA’s Predental Advisory Committee, we have created a guide specifically geared toward nontraditional applicants to assist them in the process.