knowledge gaps by establishing relationships with key individuals/institutions.
Tap into the content experts at your institution or
in your local area. These experts can include a career/advising center, English
and Business departments, dental school admissions officers and local or state
resources aligned with the dental school application preparation timeline. Three
years prior to applying, encourage
students to start thinking critically about their choice of dentistry by
creating a questionnaire that can help them explain why dentistry is the right
career path for them. Additionally, encourage students to begin building a
solid relationship with potential evaluators as early as possible. This
includes science professors and practitioners they have shadowed.
Two years prior to applying, help
students demonstrate their knowledge of the profession by developing best
practices and guidelines around manual dexterity skills, shadowing and
During the application year, consider
hosting an ADEA AADSAS application kick-off session that offers information on
perfecting the personal statement and incorporates a mock interview session.
Additionally, create pre-application short answer essay questions to help
students more effectively prepare for the ADEA AADSAS application. The essay questions
should focus on shadowing/clinical experiences, explaining a gap year, research,
service to others, cultural competency, passion for dentistry, family and life
background, and teamwork.
During the months following an application submission, provide students with a dental school interview
checklist and as many mock interview sessions as possible. Additionally,
encourage students to use financial planning tools such as the National
Student Loan Data System or StudentLoans.gov.
students plan for financial expenses associated with applying to dental school. Advisors should discuss with students the
importance of planning early for both expected (e.g. DAT courses, application
fees, deposits) and unexpected (e.g. marriage, death of a family member, or
sudden illness) costs related to applying to dental school. Encourage students
to set-up a small “career” savings account as early as freshman year.
peer-to-peer engagement through a predental/prehealth club. Predental and prehealth club members are some of
the most engaged students on campus. All students interested in dentistry
should be encouraged to participate in a predental student organization, which
often can nurture leadership opportunities such as a peer-to-peer mentoring
program or a student-run shadowing network.
“Dental School 101” sessions each year. Dental school-specific workshops, including sessions on the intricacies
of the ADEA AADSAS application and the importance of strong manual dexterity
skills, can help applicants more successfully tackle their dental school
applications. In-depth workshops on preparing for the DAT can also be a
ADEA resources. ADEA
has several free resources to help students prepare for a career in dentistry,
We recognize how hard
you work as a health professions advisor to help your students fulfill their
dreams, and we hope these best practices prove valuable as you help shape the
next generation of dental professionals.