Tips on writing personal statements for dental school

Why do I want to become a dentist? What qualities do I possess that will make me a good dentist? What experiences can I share that changed the way I see dentistry and confirmed my desire to be a part of the profession? Why is dentistry the only choice for me? Setting the tone Your personal statement should mirror your personality and your voice. It is important for you to be as honest and transparent as possible. The person they read about is the person they want to meet. This is the only piece of your application that enables you to really show your passion, drive and love for dentistry — so be yourself.

Dentistry Personal Statement Examples | Uni Compare

When you are beginning your opening paragraph, it is important to tell a story and, more importantly, your story. You need to be as descriptive as you can and creative in delivering it. You must also remember to tie your opening and closing paragraphs together to bring your reader full-circle. Make sure the main points of your personal statement echo throughout its entirety. You want to be at the top of the interview list, right?

Give your reader something they cannot wait to learn more about on interview day. So what makes you you? Talk about any special talents, skills or accomplishments that you may have. The son of a family who had been Dr. Despite familiarity with the family, the doctor painstakingly reviewed the extraction process to prepare them effectively. The procedure went well in the office; however, on the way home, the boy began haemorrhaging.

An artery had been compromised during the surgery. I watched as Dr.

Dental Personal Statement Purpose

Lee packed bone wax around the artery to stem the bleeding. What struck me about this experience was the standard of accountability to which the surgeon held herself, as she communicated with the family by phone, made a house call later that evening on her way home, and remained on-call over the weekend to ensure the safety and healing of the child. The family maintained their trust in Dr. Lee because of her open communication and sense of accountability. I also learned just how fragile and technical dental work is, requiring both dexterity and precision.

How to Write a Dental School Personal Statement: Winning Tips

Volunteering in a dental brigade in Haiti, Mirlande, 6, taught me about vulnerability and trust. Mirlande was scared and reluctant to open her mouth for her first dental exam. I took her aside and, as she watched, I carved a perfect tooth from soap using dental instruments. I carved slowly and precisely, and then presented her with the gift. She put the tooth in her pocket and then allowed me to clean her teeth.

I was immediately struck by the vulnerability of not only soft tissue, but of hearts, as she leaned back and opened her mouth in trust. This moment solidified my decision to become a dentist. Though the earlier comparison between baking and dentistry is merely an analogy, it is one that suggests I have developed key skills and am aware of the core competencies a dentist must hold to best serve their patients professionally and ethically.

Dentistry is my vocation, baking a hobby, but both speak to my investment in excellence, precision, and doing for others. In applying to a dental program, a personal statement essay is often required as part of your application package. This blog will help you understand the key things you must do and that you must avoid in composing your essay, with dental school personal statement examples that demonstrate these strategies, so that you can draft the strongest, most compelling dental school personal statement possible.

A dental school personal statement is your opportunity to show admissions committees who you are as a person and aspiring dental professional, aside from your CV, GPA, Dental Aptitude Test DAT score, and other quantitative data. As any personal statement essay, the dental school personal essay should be a narrative account that gives the admissions committee the opportunity to learn more about you than what can be conveyed in a dry document like a CV or transcript.

For dental school applications, the American Dental Education Association requires an essay of no more than 4, characters including spaces , which must demonstrate your key personal qualities, aspirations, and reasons for pursuing a career in dentistry to the schools to which you are applying. In doing so, you can also learn whether there are any specific requirements regarding the length of the essay, whether there is a specific prompt to which you must respond in your dental school personal statement, and whether there are any other application requirements.

Ideally, you will craft a story or detail a defining moment that helped you realize why this is the profession you want to pursue. To tell a great story, "show, don't tell" - here's a video that breaks down this concept:.


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Your dental school personal statement should also express why you are a strong candidate and a "good fit" for the school and program, while stirring the interest of your reader. Admissions committees will review hundreds of these personal statements, so draw on the values of the profession and the mission of the institution to highlight your alignment with the vision and goals of this vocation, and do so in a way that is engaging and enjoyable to read.

Again, narrative is a great way of doing this — people love stories and are often naturally drawn in by them. Bear this in mind as you begin drafting your essay. Here's a great video on where to look for inspiration when trying to demonstrate that you are a "good fit" in a personal statement essay:. In your personal statement, you want to present your very best self, emphasizing your genuine passion for the field and your enthusiasm for working in a healthcare profession like dentistry. Use polished prose that represents your genuine voice and reasons for pursuing the profession, and write in a way that will be comprehensible even to those outside this particular specialization.


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Quite simply, you need to explain why you will be a good dentist, in both practical terms and in terms of devoting yourself to patient care. What does it mean to you to dedicate yourself to the profession and to patients? What experiences have you had with the dental profession so far, and how have these impacted you? What are your priorities as an aspiring dentist? Thinking through these questions, while also pointing to concrete experiences or accomplishments that support your responses, will help the committee see not just who you are now, but who you are working to become as you pursue the goal of becoming a dental professional.

Referring to experiences discussed in those materials, for the purpose of expanding on them or contextualizing them, is fine. Your dental school personal statement shouldn't be a dry recitation of events in your CV. It should be a persuasive and engaging work that draws on just a few select experiences that epitomize your interests, priorities, and the work you've done so far in working toward becoming a dentist. For example, instead of giving names, dates, and general facts about your experience as a volunteer, you can tell a story of a particularly meaningful accomplishment or interaction, reflecting on how it helped solidify your desire to pursue this career.

Personal Statement

However, it is crucial that you reflect on this from a perspective of growth, resiliency, and capacity for improvement, rather than focusing on the negatives. If your grades took a hit one term because of extenuating circumstances, by all means, take some time to explain this, if you think it will be helpful and it often is. Rather, briefly describe the event, own up to your mistake or misstep if applicable , and then spend the most time explaining how you addressed the issue, how you moved past it, and why you will be a better future professional for having gone through it.

You must begin early — a strong personal statement essay can take months and numerous revisions to be the best it can possibly be. You need to put a lot of thought into this document, as it is a very important component of your application. This is your chance — and often your only chance — to address the evaluators on a human level, prior to dental school interviews.

Sample Personal Statement Questions

So, rather than thinking of this as a chore, think of it as an opportunity to demonstrate your best self to the admissions committee. Want a glimpse of the dental school interview? Check out some of the hardest dental school interview questions , with expert responses and analysis! Seek out expert feedback, and do so early enough that you can review, revise, and implement any necessary changes to make your dental school personal statement the best it can possibly be. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators.

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