- General Biology - 8 Credits
- General Chemistry w/ Lab - 8 Credits
- Organic Chemistry w/ Lab - 8 credits
- Physics w/ Lab - 8 credits
- Biochemistry (no lab!) - 3 credits
- 3 minimum letters
- 2 science and one dentist
- Encourages 4 or more letters
- Remember that they want you to go ABOVE the minimum to stand out
- Animal or Vertebrate Physiology
- Cell Biology
- Non-science courses in Behavioral Sciences and those involving psychomotor skills
- Starts accepting applications the 1st week of June through November 1
- Send in your application ASAP - the earlier the better
- But you do NOT have to take your DAT before submitting, just make sure you send in your scores after applying ASAP
- Research is recommended
- 100-150 hours of dental shadowing (general dentistry)
- 100-150 hours of volunteering (can include shadowing)
- Current 3rd and 4th years can apply to VCU's Summer Academic Enrichment Program
- 2014 Program is May 21 - July 21
- Deadline to apply: Feb 15, 2014
- Introduces students to rigorous 1st year health professional courses
- Instruction in chosen track (dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy)
- Workshops on admissions and counseling
- Mock interviews
Humpback Hike Social on Friday, April 12 from 2-5pm. Rides will be leaving from Bonnycastle at 2pm. Be on the lookout for an email from Sarah to sign up!
University of Maryland Dental School Trip will be on April 13th. Further details will be announced. RSVP to Taylor (tsp3ag) by Wednesday, April 10th to reserve your spot! Please include your phone number and whether you can/are willing to drive (an extra point will be given to any drivers, along with money reimbursement)
PDS Bake Sale: Tuesday, April 16th on the Lawn from 11:30-1:30. You can get points for bringing baked goods and/or volunteering for half hour shifts! Be on the lookout for an email from Frances to sign up.
MOM Project on April 19th and 20th! This will be at the Covenant Church (1025 Rio Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901). Unfortunately, there are no more openings for volunteers, so look out for future events if you have not already registered.
4th Year and Grad Q&A Panel will be on Monday, April 22 from 8-9pm. PDS will be hosting a discussion style panel where members will have the opportunity to ask accepted dental school students about the application and interviewing process. There is still room for a couple more panelists. Email Sarah (sy4cf) or Taylor (tsp3ag) ASAP.
Dr. Healy’s Presentation
Dr. Healy had been in private practice for 14-15 years before he moved to academics. He said that this was one of the benefits in dentistry that you can do a variety of things with your degree.
One aspect that makes VCU Dental School unique is that students are able to take 2 simulation labs. The first is called DentSim and lets students use a tool that is recorded by a computer that graphically displays the cuts they make on models. This gives the chance for you to have your work compared to the standard and gives opportunity for a lot of feedback. The other lab is called the Mannequin lab where students work without software on models to refine their skills.
VCU Dental is unique in that they urge students to get as much clinical time as possible. While there is a lot of classroom time and opportunities to use the technology and simulation labs early, students get the chance to work with patients as much as four months earlier than at other dental schools (around the time of sophomore year).
In preparing yourself to be a stand-out applicant, pre-dental students are highly encouraged to take more than the basic requirements. This means going beyond the minimum credits for biology and taking immunology or microbiology for instance. Other classes that can help make you a more competitive applicant include cell biology, genetics, anatomy/physiology, histology, endocrinology, virology, embryology, etc. Not only will these give the admissions board a chance to see how you can handle higher level classes, but they will definitely prepare you for the rigorous curriculum of dental school.
If you have any class in which you have earned a C, you do not need to retake it. However, if you have any D’s or F’s on your transcript, you should retake these. This is because dental schools do not award D’s to any of their students—if you get below a C, then it’s a failing grade.
AP/IB credit can be accepted if UVA has accepted it for a requirement for you to graduate.
If you are a transfer from a community college, be sure to have at least 60 credits from UVA. It is okay if you took core classes like organic chemistry at your community college, but the admissions board will take this into consideration when reviewing your application.
In general it is not recommended to take prerequisite courses over the summer. When ranking the acceptability of taking prerequisite courses over the summer from most ideal to least ideal:
1.) Ideally at UVA
2.) If not at UVA, then at another university
3.) At a community college
4.) In another country
When filling out your application on AADSAS, be sure to fill out the categories completely. Make a list of all your awards, dental experience, extracurricular/community service, employment, research, and academic enrichment experiences. For instance, being on the Dean’s List, being an Echol's Scholar, having come to college on an academic scholarship, or being part of an honor society count as awards.
Use the extracurricular/volunteer/community service section to tell the admissions board about yourself! They see it as a guide to who you are and what interests you. You should show what makes you unique and a stand-out applicant.
VCU Dental School likes to see 100-150 hours of shadowing!! This is important because you can get a feel of if you really like the career field if you have done this many hours of shadowing. It will really solidify why you want to be a dentist. Of these shadowing hours, most should be from a general dentist and it is good to have variety in the number of practices you observe in. Be sure to get the letter of recommendation from the dentist from whom you spent the most hours shadowing.
It is okay not to have research experience; however, it will be a positive on your application. That is not to say though that you will not be accepted if you don’t have research. Many applicants are accepted who do not have this, but other positive aspects of their application.
In reading the application, the admissions board pays particular attention to the descriptions of your shadowing. Dr. Healy called these “tweets” because they are about the length of posts on Twitter.
The applicant pool for VCU has generally been about 2500 for a class of 95 students. The national pool is about 12,000 applicants for less than 5000 seats across all dental schools. For VCU the average GPA of the incoming freshman has been just shy of a 3.6 and the average DAT has been a 20 Academic Average, with a 21 Reading Comprehension and a 19 Math.
Monday, June 3rd 2013 will be when AADSAS opens for the 2013-2014 cycle. In mid-June, AADSAS will begin to forward these application files to individual schools. It is important to be early in the pool of applicants. However, the DAT is not required at the time of application (as long as your schools are sent to the schools within the next month or so).
November 1st is the deadline for applying to VCU. December 1st is when the first round of acceptances will be sent out. January and February are when the second and third rounds of acceptances will be sent out, and April 1st is when deposits are due.
In crafting your personal statement, include a “hook” first sentence and make sure it has positives from beginning to end. No need to include any negative perspectives of dentistry or your academic record. This is the time to explain why you’re passionate about pursuing dentistry. It should be about one page single-spaced.
-studied at McGill University School of Dentistry (class of 1989)
-during one summer while in dental school, he was one of 2 students selected to attend an anatomy dissector course. Dentistry focuses largely on head/neck anatomy
-1989-1990- general practice residency at the Royal VIC Hospital
-1990-1991- family dentist private practice and part time teaching at McGill dental school
1991-1993- orthodontics residency at VCU School of Dentistry
1993-1997- full time faculty at VCU
1997-2005- full time faculty at the Mayo Clinic
2005-present- private practice as well as a guest lecturer at VCU and UVA, journal reviewer, and volunteer dentist (Charlottesville free clinic)
-teaching, research, and practice as the 3 components of work people go into with a dental degree
-teaching can be at the undergraduate level of dental school (4 year basic program) or the graduate level (specialties)
-Dr. Rebellato then discussed some of the research he has been involved in
-lasers as a new technique (you can laser a tooth to make it resistant to cavities)
-Distraction osteogenesis-surgical procedure used to lengthen bones and reconstruct skeletal deformities (aka callus distraction)
-a Russian orthopedic surgeon popularized the technique
-used to close cleft palates in dogs using onplants as anchors; to attempt to close the bony structure of the palate
Advantages of Group Practice (Dr. Rebellato worked as an orthodontist with a pediatric dentist and oral surgeon)
-interaction with colleagues
-efficiences in cost management
-benefit to patient of multidisciplinary team providing care
Hey guys, here's a brief overview of last night's meeting.
Samantha Chao, a UVA '12 graduate, presented about the Medical Reserve Corps at the beginning of the meeting. She discussed what she does as the Coordinator of the Virginia Department of Health for the Medical Reserve Corps and the various opportunities for volunteers to get involved. There are orientations to attend to get trained and volunteers have the choice to be as involved as they want. You can visit their website at http://www.vdh.state.va.us/mrc/
For the rest of the meeting, members of the executive board went over different ways to get involved in the field of dentistry. Many of the resources and opportunities they shared were what convinced them that dentistry was the right career path for them. The powerpoint has been put on our website, under the resources tab.
Dr. Bickers was a great guest speaker and had a lot of helpful information to share with us!
-Making the decision: During his time at UVA, he was discouraged by his Organic Chemistry grades and was confused about his potential career paths. He took a special careers class that required him to take a career exam and interview 5 professionals in the suggested field. Upon taking the exam, he was recommended to look for options in the medical field, so he interviewed doctors and dentists. One of the main differences he found between doctors and dentists were that while the doctors he met emphasized the long hours and stressful shifts they had, and tended to end up with problems in relationships that ended up in divorces, the dentists he met had fulfilling and laid back work schedules with happy and thriving families.
-Tips for running a successful practice:
- Utilize visuals: Dr. B emphasizes using visuals such as intraoral cameras and picture books of different oral diseases--this gets the message across to patients much more efficiently and clearly when proposing potential treatment plans and introducing patients to what needs serious attention.
- Learn your numbers: Hire a financial manager or consultant when opening your private practice. Take business classes.
- Be social and confident: Get out and get to know people as much as you can. One of the hugest challenges upon graduating dental school and working on patients is earning trust from new patients, especially when they see that you are so young and assume that you are inexperienced and/or incompetent. Much of dentistry is also educating patients and translating fancy medical jargon into normal person speak to get the point across.
- Take care of yourself physically: Dentistry can be a little physically straining over the years, especially if you have a prior handicap or weakness (i.e. a slipped disc in your back). Maintain good posture and keep exercising while you're still young!
- Manage time and delegate duties well amongst your staff members.
- Be clear about finances with your patients: Let them know that they owe you $500 for a crown before they walk into the procedure.