Professional activities

Professional Activities

Dental schools want to see a commitment to healthcare experiences, especially in dental care or community health programs. Look into pre-health activities offered through pre-health student organizations as well as for free clinics in the area that offer dental services such as the Malta Medical and Dental Clinic.

Non-health care experiences are also highly valued and reflective of an applicant's interests, talents, and leadership skills. Many pre-health students dedicate themselves to on-campus organizations and service opportunities such as student clubs, sports, fraternities/sororities, residence life, and tutoring and mentoring, while others have charitable causes and community affiliations that they are committed to such as religious organizations, scouting, community mentoring, and employment. There is no "right" or "wrong" set of experiences. Just remember that they are a reflection of you, and what you choose to do with your time.

Job Shadows

Both in-state dental schools, the University of Michigan and University of Detroit-Mercy, consider job shadows a vital part of your professional preparation.  Most dental schools ask that you include a recommendation letter from either a DDS or a DMD in your application.  If you aren't sure where to begin, ask your own dentist if they would let you shadow them.  If they are unable to help out, they may be able to refer you to one of their colleagues.  Student organizations can also be a resource to connect with someone to shadow.  Please note, it is strongly recommended that you do not shadow a relative or anyone who works for a relative. Check out these tips (PDF) from retired physician, professor and advisor, Laurence A. Savett, M.D. on getting the most out of your shadowing experience.