Bulletin of Dental Education

High School Students Learn How to Jumpstart a Career in Dentistry

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On October 6, more than 100 people tuned in to “Jumpstart Your Dental Career in High School,” the second webinar in the new ADEA Predental Webinar Series. High school students, middle school students, health professions advisors and community college students attended the webinar and had the opportunity to hear from a panel of experts about what they should be doing now to prepare for a career in dentistry.

Jocelyn Lawrence, a first-year dental student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, encouraged participants to assess their personal interests. She shared, “It’s ok to reconsider your options. Explore what you’re interested in so once you’re on your path, you have that certainty to drive you through. There are going to be times that are very challenging, times that you may consider quitting, but you won’t because you know this is exactly where you want to be.” Ms. Lawrence says dental school has been “the most fun I’ve had in my life.”

Attendees gained valuable insights into pursuing a career in dentistry, such as tips on approaching a dentist for shadowing opportunities, the need to prepare early and thoroughly for the DAT, and the importance of self-awareness and perseverance in the journey toward dental school. Students left better informed, inspired and armed with tips and advice to help them use their time now and throughout their educational paths to maximize their chances of joining the profession of dentistry.

TJ Pinto, a freshman at the University of Delaware, advised students to “challenge themselves in high school, take good notes and figure out how to study.” He also urged students to never give up. “There will be bumps in the road, many bumps, but you know where you want to be in the end,” he says.

Todd Ester, D.D.S., M.S., an Endodontist and the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, highlighted the impact the next generation of dental students will have on the profession. “Young, bright, educated, compassionate individuals. Men and women. Of all walks, of all creeds, of all colors, of all sexual orientations, of every possible diverse area. There are not enough dentists right now to serve our U.S. population. Our profession needs you,” he concludes.

Published on October 14, 2015.
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