By Ian P. Murphy
About 350 people attended the ADEA GoDental Recruitment Fair for Predental Students and Advisors on March 16, making the event one of the most popular in the 2013 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition program.
“The turnout has been fantastic,” says Sandy Flash, Executive Director of Academic and Student affairs at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. “The ADEA recruitment fair is always an excellent opportunity to meet students.”
Intended to help demystify the process of applying to dental school, the program is seeing success. Only in its fourth year, “we get a lot of letters thanking us,” says Drake Washington, Senior Director of the GoDental program for ADEA.
Students were pleased to have GoDental’s resources at their disposal. “It’s a little overwhelming for me, because I haven’t done much research outside of Washington,” says Jessica Renfro, a student at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. “I’m trying to figure out what sets the out-of-state schools apart from one another.”
“Everyone is warm, welcoming and more than happy to answer any questions,” says Omid Barekatein, a student at the University of Washington who hopes to attend New York University or a West Coast school.
“There is good traffic, a lot of good questions, and a lot of educated questions,” says Annette McMurry, Director of the Office of Admissions at Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry. “A big part of the process is doing the observation hours—getting into different practices and making sure it is a good career fit.”
“Until you’re in an office context, you can’t really understand what it’s about,” agrees Anthony Palatta, ADEA’s Senior Director for Educational Program Development, advising students in informal “Meet a Dentist” chats. “The health care profession means dealing with people, dealing with a staff, and running an office. It takes more than caring about people, but that is at its core.”
“If you want to be a dentist, make sure you have the prerequisites planned and have a competitive GPA,” advises Eugenia Mejia, Senior Director of Admissions at New York University College of Dentistry. “We take everything into consideration and want to make sure you have the basics to succeed.”