Advice from admissions officers

ADEA GoDental Recruitment Event Encourages Attendees to Pursue a Future in Dentistry

Posted by ADEA on March 29, 2019

Link to view ADEA GoDental Recruitment Event images at the end of this post!

An overflow crowd marked the beginning of the successful 2019 ADEA GoDental Recruitment Event in Chicago. Over 700 aspiring dental school students received tips on application and interview best practices, along with words of encouragement from ADEA leadership. Attendees were welcomed with remarks about the importance of dentistry as part of care for the whole human being.

2019 GDRE Wide Angle Room

This popular event offers attendees the opportunity to network with peers who are considering careers in dentistry and to learn more about applying to dental school. “Our annual event provides students interested in dentistry the opportunity to engage with admissions officers from U.S. and Canadian dental schools in one location. Attendees learn what different schools have to offer, and admissions officers share information and practical advice on how to tackle the all-important dental school interview,” remarks Elizabeth Johnson, Director of Recruitment for ADEA Application Services and co-organizer of the event.

Dentistry consistently ranks among the top professions in the United States, and Susan Rowan, D.D.S., Executive Associate Dean and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, shared her top reasons why dentistry is an exciting path to pursue. “The number one reason I think dentistry is a great career is the ability [of dentists] to develop life-long relationships with patients. It is an honor to be able to engage in individuals’ lives, people who trust you with their oral health,” says Dr. Rowan.

Dentistry provides employment flexibility, from research to academics to owning a dental practice. Engaging with other health professions and providing care for the whole person allows dentists to be on the cutting edge of many advancements in health and medicine.

Monty MacNeil, D.D.S., M.Dent.Sc., Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors, told attendees that they are going to be part of a different dentistry. “The golden age of dentistry is ahead of us, for some of the reasons you just heard. Because of technology, we can provide care to more people in a more effective way, and we are a larger player in the health care community,” says Dr. MacNeil. “There is no better profession to look at than dental medicine.”

After those encouraging words, attendees witnessed a mock dental school admissions interview. A student was asked a series of questions similar to what they would face in a real interview. The purpose of an admissions interview is to allow admissions officers to match a person with their application, and hear that person share their successes, challenges, and, most importantly, their motivation and passion for studying dentistry. The interview is a chance to shine, and providing honest answers, doing school-specific research in advance and being prepared with questions are sure-fire tips to a successful interview.

2019 GDRE_Interviewing

Other important information for a successful application and interview process include:

  • Pathway is important when looking at GPA. The overall experience of four years of college is taken into consideration—course load, trends of withdrawals, recovery from a tough term, work load, attendance at graduate school, etc. It’s important to share your entire story.
  • Disclose compromising situations up front and share lessons learned.
  • Each school gives DAT scores different weight. As an example, many schools look closely at reading comprehension as indicator of future performance—how quickly can a student take in information, synthesize it and feed it back to instructors?
  • Dental shadowing is very important. While each school has different recommendations for how much is done, shadowing shows the applicant has a solid grasp of what is involved in the practice of dentistry. Exposure to general dentistry is more important than building up hours shadowing a specialty.
  • Community service via mission projects or local outreach programs is also important to admissions officers. It shows a commitment to community and to the underrepresented in our society.
  • Create a personal statement that is strong and memorable, yet authentic. The statement allows a student to bring their application to life and share their passion for dentistry.
  • When collecting recommendations, choose people who know you well—whether a professor or a dentist you shadowed.

#GoDental19 attendees were encouraged to pursue their passions and to be fully prepared for a holistic review of their academic careers and personal backgrounds. Dentistry is the profession of the future, providing many pathways to a successful and varied career.

View the 2019 ADEA GoDental Recruitment Event Recap Album.

About ADEA:


The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is The Voice of Dental Education. Our mission is to lead and support the health professions community in preparing future-ready oral health professionals. Our members include all 78 U.S. and Canadian dental schools, more than 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, 50 corporations and approximately 18,000 individuals. Our activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings and communications, including the esteemed Journal of Dental Education®, as well as the dental school application services