Top 5 Qualities of Successful Dental School Applicants
So, you've decided that you want to be a dentist. You've always been interested in helping people, oral healthcare has always fascinated you and you have a few years of pre-dental studies under your belt. Now, it's time to apply for dental school and you're wondering if you have the kind of qualities that the institution is looking for.
If this is your story, then we have some of the answers. Below, we have enclosed five of the most important qualities that all dental school applicants need in order to be successful:
You need to know why you want to go to dental school. When filling out your application, one of the main things that you need to be prepared to address is why you want to go to dental school in the first place and honestly, it needs to be more of an answer than simply, "Because I've always wanted to be a dentist." Take the time out to think about why being a dentist is a passion of yours and how you being in the dental profession will better the community as a whole.
You need to be focused. Dental school is very demanding and detailed. Therefore, while you are pursuing your degree, you will need to make classes your top priority. There will not be lots of time for leisure activities and if you are holding down a job, then you will definitely need to keep a strict schedule in order to keep everything in balance.
You need to be a good leader. Just like a doctor, a dentist is someone who needs to have good leadership qualities. You need to be able to make quick yet well thought out decisions, you need to be able to keep your staff motivated and inspired, you need to be comfortable running an office (even if it is with a team of other dentists) and you need to be confident in making the best choices for your patients.
You need to understand dental school terminology. When filling out your application, abbreviations like "ADA" (American Dental Association) and "ADSA" (American Dental Student Association) and words such as bridge, calcified, deep scaling, endodontic treatment, impaction, filling, nitrous oxide (and so many more) should definitely not be ones that are foreign to you. Make sure that you brush up on your dental terminology so that you can answer all questions thoroughly and as accurately as possible.
You need to firm yet compassionate. Doctors and dentists are not just providing healthcare services; they also have to be a source of comfort and reassurance for their patients as well. The truth of the matter is that a lot of people are not fond of going to a doctor's or dentist's office and so although you may have all of the book knowledge (to do surgical procedures, run X-rays and order discount blood tests), you also have to be someone who can firmly-yet-compassionately deal with the scared 7-year-old or the indignant 70-year-old in your chair. That also requires being calm and self-assured, even in the midst of anxiety and nervousness. These kinds of attributes will definitely make you a good dentist, thereby one who can be confident in applying to dental school.