Extracurricular learning can give students an edge. I started dental school in 2013. Classes started at 8:30 a.m. sharp and continued until 4:00 p.m. I was pretty excited with class work, but unfortunately my curriculum didn’t have any patient interaction in the first year. I decided to go in search of a medical & dental clinic where I could observe. At first I had trouble finding the right fit, since I was just a freshman in dental school and still had a long way to go to complete my studies. Then I found a hospital that allowed me to observe in the general, emergency and surgery departments. I went to the hospital for four hours every day after school. I would study late into the evening. My day typically began at 5:30 a.m. and went until 12:00 or 1:00 a.m. It was very hectic, but the learning opportunities I found were amazing.
Volunteering in dental clinics is one of the most rewarding experiences predental students can have. The work can show you the clinical side of dentistry and also expose you to challenges you might face in practice.I started volunteering at a local dental clinic as a way to help low income and uninsured children. (The ADA wrote an article about the Kids’ Community Dental Clinic in 2014.) Volunteering here for more than a year taught me a lot about how to advance my career in dentistry. Here are some of the key concepts I learned:
Maybe you became interested in dentistry because your favorite holiday was your six-month check up. Maybe you skipped the Superman comics and saw your dentist as your super hero instead. Maybe your parents are dentists or you have a family friend that inspired you. Regardless of how you became interested in the dental field, getting into dental school starts with a passion of dentistry. Shadowing a dentist is not only a near universal requirement of dental school admission, but also a way to prove your passion and expand your unilateral vision of what the day-to-day life of a dentist looks like. Here are six steps to shadowing success.
So you’ve made up your mind that you want to be a dentist. Or you think you might want to be a dentist, but need to find out more about what that really entails. Where do you go to find answers to all these burning questions? Fortunately, the ASDA website contains a comprehensive collection of predental related material to help keep predental members well informed and on track to pursuing dentistry. While there are a myriad of resources that are all extremely helpful, the following resources are seven of ASDA’s most valuable ones (in my opinion, anyway.)