An Excellent Dental Personal Statement Helps You Get Admitted
While most people dread going to the dentist, some instead feel drawn to the profession and decide to embark on a career working with teeth. Just as with medicine, however, becoming a dentist requires some of the most challenging and in-depth education available today. With careers in dentistry demanding perfection from their practitioners – and paying very well in today’s world – it’s no surprise that earning admission to a dental program is extremely difficult.
Even after taking the requisite undergraduate course load, securing quality recommendations, taking the DAT, building a strong base of relevant experience, and gathering all of those elements together into a strong packet, dental school applicants must still take the time to write a dental personal statement that ties their application together and helps the admissions committee get to know them on a more intimate basis. Without an essay that shares your motivations, qualifications, and aspirations as they relate to this rigorous career choice, you may find that even near perfect grades and test scores aren’t enough to earn you admission to your top-choice dental program.
EssayEdge Helps You Write a Great Dental School Application Personal Statement
Even though there is no guaranteed content that will make your dental essay outstanding, there are some general rules that can help guide you as you prepare to write. Keep these in mind.
First off, ensure that the content you decide to include in your dental personal statement is intimately connected to you. One of the most common ways in which dental school applicants weaken their personal statements is by including vague generalizations about “brightening smiles,” “improving lives,” “spreading good brushing habits,” or some similar statement. Such content will never help your essay and instead will make you fade into the crowd. Like many medical fields, dentistry is full of generalizations, and you should take special care to avoid using them in your personal statement.
Secondly and on a related note, be honest. The admissions committee wants to get to know you better, and they’ll be reviewing your personal statement in concert with the rest of your application. Thus, you should avoid the temptation to embellish your credentials or otherwise lie. You will almost certainly be caught, and today’s focus on academic and professional integrity means that your application will be dead in the water. Don’t embellish, don’t lie, and don’t plagiarize. It’s as simple as that.
Lastly, avoid repeating information. As I just noted, your personal statement will be reviewed as part of your overall application. Thus, if something is already covered in some other part of your app, don’t waste time mentioning it in your dental personal statement. You need to construct a unique narrative based on personal experiences that aren’t detailed in a resume.
If you have any questions about your dental personal statement, the expert editors at EssayEdge are ready to help you today. From proofreading to in-depth consultations, our highly educated admissions professionals from schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford are ready to help you with personalized guidance that ensures your writing is as strong as it can be!
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The personal statement is a very important aspect of the application process for dental school. It is a great opportunity to display facets of an applicant that cannot necessarily be seen in the rest of the AADSAS application. This is an opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of in order to help set oneself apart from other applicants.
There is no official prompt for the dental school personal statement, but it is widely known that the essay should primarily address the question of “Why dentistry?” While there are many ways to go about answering this question, I believe that the applicant should rely heavily their unique experiences that have inspired them to pursue a career in dentistry and their distinctive attributes that will contribute to their future success in the field of dentistry. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when starting to write your personal statement:
- What have I observed while shadowing/volunteering/as a patient that has inspired me to pursue a dental career?
- What common qualities have I seen in successful dentists?
- How will I incorporate these qualities and ideals into my future career as a dentist?
- How have my experiences prepared me for a career focused on serving others/the community?
The following is a list of some my Dos and Don’ts for personal statement writing:
- Have an attention-getting introduction.
Admissions committees/staff read HUNDREDS of personal statements over the course of the application process. It is important to be able to spark their interest from the start and hold their attention throughout the entirety of your personal statement.
- Be personal.
Don’t be afraid to show emotion in your essay. This is not a lab report. Showing your empathy, compassion, passion, or other feelings in this essay helps give the reader insight into your personality.
- Make a statement!
Make your commitment to dentistry obvious and show that you are ready to take on dental school and the challenges that dentistry presents.
- Be original.
Chipped front tooth and braces stories are very commonly used anecdotes. Use unique or original experiences so that you don’t blend in with the rest of the applicants.
- Relate your experiences to how you will practice dentistry in the future.
Take what you have seen/experienced/learned and share how you plan to incorporate it into your own dental career. This is a good way to wrap up a paragraph before moving onto the next topic.
- Use dental terminology.
Show that you are knowledgeable about the profession by using accepted dental terminology. For example, use central/lateral incisor instead of front tooth or maxillary left molar instead of upper left molar. Don’t go overboard though.
- Be organized.
Have a good structure to your essay that is easy to follow: Intro, Topic 1, Topic 2, etc., Conclusion/Summary. Use strong concluding sentences in your topic paragraphs and make smooth transitions into your new topic paragraphs. This also gives the admissions committee insight into the level of your organizational skills, which are extremely valuable in dental school.
- Have your paper edited for grammar and punctuation.
Have a professor/teacher/student evaluate your paper. Many campuses have a free writing center that offers these services.
- Have several people give you feedback on your essay.
The more feedback you get the better. You don’t have to accept every piece of feedback that you receive, but it’s a good idea to have different sets of eyes evaluate your work.
- Talk about your grades or other statistics.
All of this can be seen in your application already.
- Include irrelevant details.
Space is limited in this essay (4500 characters including spaces) so don’t waste it by including unnecessary information. Admissions committees don’t necessarily need to know what kind of mouse model you set up in your research or what food you served at your club meetings.
- Get ahead of your training.
More and more students are taking advantage of health care mission trip opportunities in order to boost their resume. Some of these students have asked me if they should reference their experiences in their essay. The answer is pretty simple, if you did something that is usually only done by a licensed dentist, do not reference it. It’s okay to talk about your experiences, observations, or assisting works on the trip, but don’t reference anything that might border on practicing without a license. It probably won’t be received well.
- Rush yourself.
Writing a personal statement takes time. Don’t expect to write one draft and submit. Start writing down ideas early and refine them as you go along. I usually recommend starting your personal statement around January of the year you plan to apply. This will give you time to make any revisions or changes based on the feedback you get. (I personally made 16 revisions before I submitted.) Having a draft of your personal statement available to give to whoever is writing your letters of recommendation is also helpful.
If you have any further questions about dental school personal statements, applying to dental school, or dental school life you can interact with me on twitter @askaDDSstudent or email me email@example.com.
UMN DDS ‘14
Writing a Personal Statement?
Ben Frederick M.D.
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