Words From Your Peers

The Challenges of the “Career Changer”

Posted by Maj. D.J. Ward on January 21, 2021

“Flying as part of a Search and Rescue team in the United States Air Force (USAF) has made up the last two decades of my life. Whether it was flying near the Arctic Circle to deliver medical care to help save people in isolated areas or landing on makeshift dirt runways to pick up patients and transport them to hospitals, these years included some of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences of my life,” says Maj. D.J. Ward, USAF. “As the end of my military career approached, I started to consider new career options. I loved how rewarding it was to be a part of the search and rescue community in the USAF, so when it came time to evaluate other careers, I looked for something that was challenging and rewarding, where I could be a part of a great team.”

Read on as Maj. Ward describes his career journey so far and how he decided to make the switch to dentistry.

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Predent Perspective: Start Thinking Now About Shadowing in Dentistry

Posted by Omer Siddiqui on August 26, 2020

“Shadowing a dentist is perhaps the single most important and defining step to take when considering a career in dentistry. There is no experience that is more beneficial than personally seeing and, in some cases, even participating in the day-to-day work of a dental practitioner to help inform your decision regarding whether dentistry is the right career path for you,” says Omer Siddiqui, a graduate the University of California, Riverside, and predental student.

“During this unprecedented year, in-person shadowing has obviously become less of an option for us predental students, especially in certain areas of the country. Fortunately, based on my conversations with multiple admissions offices, colleges seem to understand that there will be little to no shadowing being done during the COVID-19 pandemic. At some point though, when dental offices do reopen fully, it will be our responsibility to make up for lost time.”

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How to Study for and “Crush” the DAT

Posted by Kyle Groberg on January 28, 2020
If you’re planning on applying to dental school this cycle or next, chances are the Dental Admission Test (DAT) has been on your mind a lot. You may have questions, such as “How do I best prepare? When is the best time to take the DAT? Do I really need a 25 in order to be a competitive applicant?” Not to worry. With the right plan, resources and effort, you can be prepared to do well on the DAT. You might even surprise yourself when you receive your final score. Also, be aware there is no one-size-fits-all solution regarding DAT preparation. First-year dental student Kyle Groberg has some tips and tricks you can use to make sure you are calm and ready on test day to do your best. 
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Predent Perspective: The Value of a Gap Year to Reset a Career Path

Posted by Elizabeth Wright on October 27, 2019
For some, dentistry has been a childhood dream. Sometimes, it’s the result of a shift in self-confidence after months or years of wearing braces. Others pursue dentistry later in life following years spent in the professional world and, impressively, tackle dental school while balancing families of their own. “Then, there are those in the middle—where I found myself as a junior in college pursuing a career in business, about to study abroad in Copenhagen under the Department of Economics. Yet, I was still drawn to dentistry,” says predental student Elizabeth Wright. Read on as she details her thought process for deciding to take a gap year before enrolling in dental school. 
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Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer From a Predent’s Perspective

Posted by Aileen Cruz-Lezama on June 20, 2019
“During the school year, every day we spend hours upon hours balancing classes, studying, extracurricular activities, leadership roles and, for some of us, jobs,” says predental student Aileen Cruz-Leazama. “Factor in the time we need to eat, sleep and maintain personal hygiene (don’t forget to floss!), we’ve established a lengthy quotidian routine and, before we know it, summer is upon us.”
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Strategy for Success: Using a Grid When Selecting Dental Schools

Posted by Matthew Manly on May 20, 2019
“Preparing for dental school is a lot like driving a car, making adjustments to your speed and direction,” says predental student and Army Reserve Engineer Officer, Matthew Manly. “For example, while you’re driving your brain takes the information from your speedometer, views of the road through the windshield and mirrors, gas gauge and any light indicators (e.g., Check Engine light, etc.) to help you determine how you will get to your destination safely. While preparing for dental school, I created a spreadsheet grid to eliminate some of the ambiguity in the application process and to help me know which schools might be the best fit and offer me a higher chance of acceptance.” 
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