Until recently, I was certain that someday I wanted to own a private practice. The idea of doing what you love on your own terms and managing your own time is desirable to many, regardless of career choice. I currently work as a dental assistant at UHS Binghamton General Hospital. …
Job hunting is an arduous process. From struggling to find opportunities and evaluating your options to interviewing and negotiating your pay, finding your dream associateship is stressful. Asking the right questions helps you decide if an opportunity is right for you.
Dental school is not easy — and neither is getting into one. It requires hard work as well as smart work. I started applying to dental schools for International Dentist Pathway programs in September 2017. Soon, I realized how my ignorance of the process impacted my first Centralized Application for Advanced Placement for International Dentists (CAAPID) cycle. During my second and last application cycle, I was better prepared, which earned me multiple interviews and acceptances.
So you are a foreign-trained dentist who completed your Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) evaluation, received your DENTPIN, passed NBDE parts I and II, got a 100-plus score in TOEFL, and now you think you are all set for CAAPID. Before this part of the process, though, you need to get dental experience in the United States.
Being a resident has its highs and lows. I love being a resident — so much so, I became a pediatric dental resident after completing a one-year GPR. Completing a residency allows you to grow clinically, improve clinical thinking skills, and further develop critical interprofessional and communication skills. However, it isn’t for everyone.
Think back to your personal statement for dental school. What did you say in it? My bet is that you mentioned something about your desire to help people. About how you knew a dentist somewhere who helped someone in a way that only a dentist could. About how that experience planted in you a desire to do the same thing. That one day, you hoped to be a dentist who not only did that for every one of your patients but also for the world! OK, so maybe you said it with more tact or with less drama, but I have read enough prospective student personal statements to know that a good number of applicants include that to some extent. Now imagine if that dream came true.
I considered writing this post about obtaining the ideal associateship. I quickly realized, though, that “ideal” is misleading and different for everyone. Our goal should be a successful associateship — one that creates success for both the associate and the practice. This looks different across the board, but in my experience in several different environments, the following have been keys to success — or causes of failure.