Posts tagged Pre-Dental
Baby Dentists

12119502_10207403679632335_268881570_o Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the days before dental school- before the navy blue scrubs, the “conscious incompetence”, the juggling of patients and their demands [“I can only come every other Tuesday… and only in the mornings… oh, and can I come at 9:45 instead of 9?”].


In this sort of tunnel vision, I forget the days when I wanted nothing more than to know the direction my future was headed in Operation: Getting Into Dental School. Where would I live for the next four years? What would I do if I didn’t get in? What the HECK am I doing?


Untangling the confusing web of dental school requirements: prerequisite classes, letters of recommendation, writing a personal statement, studying for the DAT, interviewing…is enough to make my head spin, even to this day.


Although I didn’t decide I wanted to go to dental school until the semester before I graduated from college, the few resources that I took advantage of through my pre-health advisor and club were invaluable. I still have a copy of my mock interview on a DVD tucked away in a drawer in my desk [I’m not sure why I haven’t thoroughly disposed of it-few things are worse than watching yourself on camera].


Somehow I managed to finagle my way into a couple of dental school acceptances, and here I am today, three years later. During my first year, I began volunteering at the ASDA Pre-Dental Committee events and absolutely fell in love. There is no better motivation than to be surrounded by groups of eager pre-dental students dying to be in your shoes, picking your brain, and looking up to you as the All Knowing dental student. For the next two years I filled the role as the ASDA Pre-Dental Chair and continued planning events- wax nights, mock interviews, personal statement reviews, simulation clinic activities…anything and everything that could help these “baby dentists” grow and flourish in their quest to dental school admittance.


Seeing familiar faces in the incoming classes, getting email updates “I got in to dental school!!”, and following the paths of students that I have met during my own “Pre-dental” journey in dental school has been one of the most rewarding.


Bottom line:  You never know who you can inspire. Or who can inspire you.


Recap: Colorado ASDA Leadership Workshop

Attachment-1 Being a great leader is something that each of us strives for.  We all have a little bit of leader in us somewhere... we've always been driven for success, and we all hope to be our own bosses someday.  We're all pretty responsible -- I mean, we had to be to get into dental school, right? -- but I think I'd be speaking for many of us if I said that the idea of being a great leader is pretty darn intimidating.


This weekend, Colorado ASDA had the honor of hosting Dr. David Rice, founder of IgniteDDS, at our first annual Leadership Workshop.  Dr. Rice has been an immensely popular speaker at past ASDA events, such as regional meetings and the Annual Session, and we were fortunate enough to have him speak to us here, on our very own campus!


IgniteDDS is an organization that works to get people really fired up about dentistry, whether they're patients, students, or dental professionals.  As this workshop was tailored toward dental students and pre-dents, Dr. Rice focused on teaching us to be successful, and how we can really jump-start our careers in dentistry.  Prior to the event, each of us took a DiSC behavioral assessment, the results of which we discussed during the workshop.  Essentially, the DiSC assessment categorizes people into one of four different personality types: Domint, Influential, Steady, and Conscientious.  The theory behind the DiSC is that each of us has one of these personalities, which majorly affects our relationships and interactions with other people.  Dr. Rice described each of these personalities and how they relate to professionalism in dentistry.  In order to be successful in your business, you must build a solid rapport with many different types of people.  In order to do so, you must first know how to work with a range of personalities, and get each type of person to trust and feel comfortable with you.  Staffing a variety of personality types is a great way to maximize the likelihood that your patients will feel at ease being treated in your dental office.  Dr. Rice mentioned many times that treating others as you wish to be treated may have worked in elementary school, but treating others as they wish to be treated is what will get you far in the professional world.  Each patient brings their unique personality into your practice, and with that comes a challenge. Being able to read your patients and work with them on a level in which they feel understood and appreciated will get you far in your practice.


If you are interested in learning more about IgniteDDS or Dr. David Rice, please check out their website, and "like" them on Facebook.  If you'd like to know the specifics of the DiSC personalities, and are interested in finding out where you lie on the spectrum, click here.


Perspective from a Pre-dental Student

The mentorship program at the National Leadership Conference. No matter how much outside research I read about ASDA’s National Leadership Conference (NLC), I still had my doubts. Will this conference help me as a pre-dental student? Will I walk away from it feeling more energized about dentistry? I read that there were personal development opportunities available (but then again, that’s what my Bridezilla sister told me about being her Maid of Honor!)

I didn’t exactly know what to expect at NLC, but I had a general idea. I expected the conference to be full of informative breakout sessions and like-minded people passionate about dentistry. However, I didn’t expect to meet people who were sincerely interested in my journey to dental school. I didn't expect to be on the edge of my seat during the presentations and to develop a drive to be more engaged in ASDA. NLC went beyond the scope of my expectations and truly provided many unique opportunities for pre-dental students.  Here are three unique opportunities NLC can offer for pre-dental students:

1) Connect you with a mentor. There are no dentists in my family and few dentists in my life, so it’s hard to find someone who understands the journey to dental school. That’s one reason why the NLC mentorship program can be so valuable. Pre-dental students had the opportunity to be paired with a dental student from schools you want to apply to. It was extremely reassuring to share my challenges and triumphs with someone with prior experience. My mentors allowed me to pick their brains about their schools, gave me great advice on applying, and connected me with other leaders. Yet, I quickly learned that I didn’t have to go through the mentorship program to connect with leaders at the conference. The ASDA leaders, alumni and dental students were all very encouraging and had unique insights into the breadth of dentistry. Connecting with dental students is a great opportunity for pre-dental students to access a supportive community and to be involved in a strong network.

2) Prepare you to become a well-rounded professional. I was truly impressed by the variety of topics and lessons among the four education tracks offered at NLC. In the Business and Financial Leadership track, I learned how to build my personal brand. This skill is not only important for business professionals, but also for pre-dental students. We should be able to communicate what makes us unique from other applicants. In addition, the pre-dental workshop was one of the best comprehensive resources I have ever seen. The workshop highlighted how to enhance your application and how to be innovative in order to stand out. The wide collection of topics and workshops provide a unique training opportunity for pre-dental students and prepare you to become an outstanding applicant and health professional.

3) Engage you in issues related to dentistry. Sometimes as pre-dental students, we can become overly consumed with the details of applying to dental school. With the stress of submitting the perfect application, it’s hard to look past dental school and easy to forget current issues that dentists face. Dr. Shenkin’s presentation on how dentistry's hot topics impact your future quickly energized me and kept me on the edge of my seat. As aspiring dentists, we need to be aware of the dental landscape we will eventually work in. The presentation shed light into the growing number highly indebted dental students but a decline in adult utilization of dental services. Another challenge dentists are confronting is the increase in adult Medicaid dental benefits but stagnant government funding.

The advocacy breakout sessions at NLC allowed me to go beyond dental school basics and dive into policy issues regarding our future profession. As pre-dental students, we can be engaged in organized dentistry now and being an ASDA member is a great way to start. I never truly understood the magnitude of my ASDA membership and the unique opportunities it offers for pre-dental students until attending the National Leadership Conference. Though I walked into the conference with worries and doubts, I left feeling confident in my future career and in myself. I encourage other pre-dental students to join ASDA and to take your involvement further by attending national events.

~Lynn Doan, Pre-Dental ASDA Member

What ASDA can do for Pre-Dental Students

What ASDA Can Do

Like most students in the 21st century, you probably use the internet as your primary source of information. The downside is the abundance of information. Some good, some bad, and some that may not be applicable to your situation. A great solution to this problem is the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). ASDA memberships go far beyond getting the information that you need. They also offer helpful tips for bettering your chances of being accepted into dental school. You’ll also get their publications for free. The experiences, networking opportunities, and member discounts that are available are worth the membership fee itself.

If your experience online was anything like mine, you’ve probably spent hours reading information from various sources. Needless to say, some of these sources may have made you feel like you had no chance of getting into dental school. After joining ASDA, I realized that my chances of getting accepted were greater than I had first thought. All of their information gets right to the point. I learned that the road to dental school is not as confined as some websites would lead you to believe. They have advice on which schools may be best for you, how to write those pesky personal statements, DAT preparation, and the requirements for applying. Are you interested in the field of dentistry, but not certain about the investment? ASDA can definitely help, giving information on life before, during, and after dental school by dentist and dental students.

 As an ASDA member you’re never alone, with chapters all over the nation. Depending on your location some chapters offer great pre-dental programs that allow you to talk with current dental students and other dental professionals. These events are a gold mine of information and guidance. You get to meet directly with current dental students who have been where you are currently. I attended an event that met every Saturday, over eight weeks that was about two hours away from where I live. The drive was long, but definitely worth it with mock-interviews, DAT strategies, and prize giveaways. My favorite part was working with a hand piece to fill cavities on model teeth. The best part was the welcoming and helpful environment the dental students provided. Most even gave their contact information for any questions or personal statement reviews.

Being a part of ASDA can greatly increase your odds of getting into a dental school too. This is a nationally recognized association of dental students. So imagine how good it would look to put “ASDA Member” under the Professional Experience section, of your AADSAS application. You can also build your resume by being active within the association. For example, if you’re a writer, you can apply to write for their many national publications which includes Mouth, ASDA News, and the Mouthing Off blog.

In addition to all of this, ASDA offers discounts and their publications for free. The publications are very beneficial to pre-dental students.  As a member, you’re offered discounts on auto insurance and DAT preparation material. Trust me, if you’re not looking for insurance, the discounts on the test prep material are worth the membership fee itself. You also get Mouth sent to you quarterly and ASDA News monthly for free. As a pre-dental member, you will also receive Getting into Dental School: ASDA’s Guide for Predental Students. This guide gives you information about every dental school, career options as a dentist, and details about the loans and scholarships that are available

You already know that just the application process for dental school is a big investment. Out of all the resources available to you, why not use the one that will be the most beneficial? There are a ton of places where you can learn about dentistry. But, you’ll have to take time out of your already busy schedule to find what will actually help you. With an ASDA membership you’ll have what you need to succeed. Don’t make the process harder than it has to be. Join ASDA now to help you with your journey into dentistry.

~Reggie Perdue, Pre-Dental ASDA Member

Summer Pre-Dental Academy (DSB101)

Summer Pre-Dental Academy

My first step on the path to dental school was a confusing one. I was about as disoriented as I was the first time I assisted in clinic. I returned home from a two-year mission with my church and decided to start school again. My undergraduate university had just combined departments and, as a result, had gotten rid of all official pre-health academic advisors. Fortunately, I had a dad who was a dentist and could at least give me the basics, but I essentially had to figure everything out on my own. Eventually I made my way through the process and was accepted into dental school, but I can still remember the anxiety and distress that I felt while getting here. For this reason, I wanted to provide some sort of road map or compass to help other pre-dental students orient themselves on their own voyage to dental school. And so, with help from Dr. Samantha Moreno and former ASDA Pre-Dental Chair, Ryan Gonzales, Colorado ASDA's Summer Pre-Dental Academy (DSB101: Dental School Basics) was born.

This program was modeled after Harvard ASDA's Pre-Dental Lecture Series, but modified to what I felt were the most basic and essential topics that a pre-dental student would need in order to successfully apply to dental school and complete their first year. 40+ students sign up and over an 8 week period, we were able to cover everything from DAT prep and an AADSAS walkthrough to dental waxing, drilling, filling and more. As an added bonus to the students, Christian Piers lead a workshop on personal statements, Ryan Gonzales lectured on Pediatrics, and Christina Pham gave an overview of Oral Surgery. Because of these individuals and the many other volunteers throughout the weeks, our first Summer Pre-Dental Academy was a huge success.

Organizing and teaching this pre-dental course was such a great experience for me and I would like to thank everyone who helped make the Summer Pre-Dental Academy possible. We could not have done it without you!

~Kyle Luis Larsen, Class of 2017, Colorado ASDA President-Elect