July 3, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Work experience is a crucial component of your application to dental school. If you are considering a career in dentistry, you should try to gain valuable work experience that will give you some leverage when attempting to convince the interviewers about your motivation and commitment to a career in dentistry.
Although general work experience is relevant provided that you can tie it up to dentistry in some way, it is a good idea to also consider other areas of dentistry such as hospital dentistry or orthodontics. Try to gain as much work experience as you can in different places and different settings.
It will help you get useful insight into the field of dentistry and reaffirm your interest.
It also allows you to develop many of the skills and competencies that are so essential to being a successful dentist. In addition to learning dental skills, you will learn to hone your communication skills and your ability to work as part of a team work.
The third and biggest advantage you can get from work experience is that is allows you to underscore your commitment to the profession, which will give your application to dentistry school a tremendous boost. Make sure you emphasise in your personal statement what you gained from this experience and how it has strengthened your motivation to pursue a career in dentistry.
Getting work experience is not always easy as several legal and privacy issues often come into play. If you are looking for work experience, these few tips will help you:
Contact as many places as you can, as early as you can – preferably as soon as you’ve made up your mind about dentistry. Hundreds of other interested students will also be competing for work experience placements for Dentistry and most places have a first come, first serve policy. The earlier you apply, the more time you have to contact other places in case your application was rejected.
Before you send out a letter with a CV attached, try calling up practices first and enquiring about available opportunities. Some places will give you a direct answer, either in the affirmative or negative, whereas others may ask you to send in a letter. Another excellent alternative is to go into the practice yourself and speak directly to the Manager. Showing some initiative will always impress the authorities as it shows your determination to make it in this field.
The best places to obtain work experience include hospitals, dental clinics, charity shops, primary schools and youth clubs. Gap Medics organises dentistry placements that allow you to get a first-hand experience in what being a dentist is all about. You can choose from placements in Chiang Mai in Thailand, Tanzania in Africa and the Czech Republic.