With exams out of the way it is time to look at improving your CV to make you as desirable as possible to Dental Schools. Here are a few things you can do:
- Adding extracurricular activities that look good on the CV if you’re lacking in this department e.g. Duke of Edinburgh awards, volunteering, fundraising
- Get your CV in order and make a few notes of what you’d like to include in your personal statement, including past achievements, strengths, qualities etc.
- Work experience
One of the commonest reasons for candidates not being asked for an interview is a lack of work experience in dentistry. However, contrary to popular belief, work experience is not difficult to come by. Make some phone calls, send some (polite) letters and emails and I can guarantee that you will find people who are more than willing to accommodate a student on work experience!
What type of experience should you look to gain ?
- NHS dental practice- Essential work experience, this should make up the bulk of your experience of clinical dentistry
- Dental Laboratory- It might be your only opportunity to get hands on with dentistry and put your dexterity to the test, so you’ll probably have a great time
- Orthodontics- You won’t have a clue what’s going on and it’s a bit like watching paint dry but you might see some incredible results in short periods of time
- Community Dental Care- Treatment of individuals who cannot undergo treatment in the general dental care setting, such as very young children, disabled and elderly or housebound individuals
- Maxillofacial surgery- This type of experience is hard to come by but can be mind-blowing!
- Private practice
**If there is a dental hospital nearby you may be lucky enough to see all of these elements of dental care under one roof**
The key is to get out there and hassle people for work experience; ask your own dentist, ask any family friends who are dentists or simply turn up at a dental surgery and ask at the reception! What’s the worst that could happen?!