May 23, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
If you’ve done any research into the eligibility criteria and documents required for submitting an application to dental school, you would have already realized the importance of writing a compelling personal statement. Your personal statement is among the most important deciding factors for admission into dental school, along with your grades and your work experience.
Many dental schools will specify how long they want your personal statement to be. Within that limited word count, you need to sell yourself to the admissions panel and give them compelling reasons as to why they should pick you over the other applicants. Keep in mind they will be reading hundreds of personal statements, all of which will be just as inspiring. To make yours stand out from the crowd and get noticed, here are a few points that you should include in your personal statement:
This is the most crucial part of your personal statement. What is your motivation for wanting to be a dentist? Don’t give vague reasons about wanting to help people have healthier teeth. Be as specific as you can about your reasons. Let your passion for the profession show through. If there was any incident that triggered off your interest in dentistry, make sure you mention it.
By the time you are writing your personal statement, you should have acquired some type of work experience which may or may not be dentistry related. Essentially the admissions authorities want to know that you are genuinely interested in helping people and any kind of work experience that demonstrates this quality can give your application a huge boost. Work experience could include anything from shadowing a dentist in your neighbourhood clinic to working weekends in a local care home or spending a couple of weeks at a dental placement in another country. Talk about how you got involved in such work, how much time you spent doing it and most important of all, what skills you learnt and what you took away from the experience. This section can include anything you have done which contributes to your investigation of a career in dentistry.
All dental schools prefer well rounded students who also have keen interests outside their academic pursuits and who have taken the time and trouble to develop a few key transferable skills including communication and leadership skills. They want to know that you will be able to communicate and empathise with your patients. While these hobbies and interests may not be related to dentistry, look for a way to demonstrate how they may be valuable to a career in dentistry.
Finish on a strong note. Keep it positive. Giving the admissions authorities a compelling reason why you should be selected. If the reader has not already made up their mind on whether or not to select your application, the final sentence is your last chance to influence their decision so make it perfect.