You think you are finished. After surviving your classes and practicals and passing boards, you prepare for graduation and then you realize you have yet to figure out what exactly you’re supposed to do next. That was me in summer 2016. I had been so consumed with my school work and extracurricular activities that I neglected the reason why I came to school — to get a job.
This post is the first in a week-long series called Residency Week. All this week, we’ll share tips on getting into a residency. To see posts from previous years’ residency weeks, click here.
Some of us entered school knowing we wanted to specialize. Some discovered we enjoyed a particular specialty while in school. Many others still aren’t sure (see our post here on deciding whether to specialize). In either case, the competitiveness of specialty program admissions demands we push ourselves to excel. How many social events did you have to pass on to complete that research poster? How many times did you ask for understanding and forgiveness from loved ones who supported you in your goal? Working so hard to achieve a goal and missing the mark hurts. In my case, only my wife and a few friends were aware of the depths of my disappointment when I didn’t get into a perio program last fall.
As May 18th approached, I began receiving the “don’t forget PASS opens” texts from my parents. Like I needed the reminder: I already had nightmares of the application process. One night, I actually herniated a disc in my neck from the stress and insomnia that came from applying. Thankfully, I can laugh at that now.
While my application process was atypical, I feel many of my experiences are relevant to those using the American Dental Education Association’s Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS) and even the Match system. There are plenty of things I wish I’d known or done better, and I’m happy to share them below:
So, you’re interested in pediatric dentistry? I know the feeling! It’s an exciting specialty with opportunities to practice on young patients in a variety of settings. There is a unique joy in setting up patients and families for a lifetime of optimal oral health. I am just about half way through my residency training at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. As a first-year resident, the majority of my time is spent treating patients in a hospital-based clinic, as well as an urban health center in the area. My advice on the application process…
If you’re wondering how several of our future dental specialists and physicians are placed into their residency, then you will be pleased to know that the backbone of this process is a Nobel Prize winning theory. In 2012, Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley were awarded the Nobel Prize in economic sciences for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design. Here’s a little background on the his idea…