Shadowing a Doctor

May 8, 2015

Observing at Kibosho dental surgeryReceiving a rejection letter from a dental school, especially one that you were hoping to get into, can be very upsetting. Most students applyandhope that they will get into the school of their choice. However, the fact dental schools receive far more applications than they can accommodate and have no other option but to reject the others. This means that every year, there are numerous students who get rejected even if they their application actually did meet all of the criteria.

If you have received rejection letters from all the dental schools that you had applied to, don’t give up hope. You can always apply for the next admission cycle. Many dental students apply for two or three cycles before getting admission. However, before you apply for the next cycle, here are some things you should do:

  • Work On Your Application

As soon as you get a reject, sit down and analyse your application to identify the possible areas that may have cost you a seat. Are your test scores too low? Is your GPA not good enough? Is your personal statement not impressive enough? Do not have sufficient work exposure in the dental field? Analyse every section thoroughly. Once you establish a few areas where you can improve, start working on these areas. You could give your tests again. Or you could even take some more classes at school to improve your GPA. If you think that your application lacks in a certain field, either try to improve on it or make up for it in another area. You should also ensure that you do enough with this free year because when you apply again, the admissions committee will want to know what you’ve done to improve yourself in the interim period.

  • Ask for Help

It is always a good idea to get an objective opinion of your application. Talk to your career advisor s and ask for their opinion. Also try to catch hold of other dental school students or dentists and ask them to look over your application and help you. There may be certain points that will stand out to them which you may not have noticed. It won’t hurt to also write to the admissions committee and ask them why your application was rejected. If they point out certain flaws in the application, it will help you because you’ll know exactly where you need to improve.

  • Get Some Work Experience

A year of work experience in the dental field will add a lot to your application. Instead of wasting time waiting for the next round of applications, you should try to get some good experience in the dental field. If you know any dentists, ask if you could assist them in their clinics or shadow them. Apply for any type of job that will allow you to work alongside dentists. Sign up with a placement organisation and do a dental placement in a developing country. Work experience in these resource poor settings will give your dental school application a huge boost as it shows the interviewing authorities that you have had some exposure to this field and are making an informed decision despite knowing all of the associated drawbacks.

Contact us on Facebook or Twitter, or email

Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.