It seems like just yesterday I was a predental student, attempting to navigate my way to dental school. What is the application process like? How does one prepare for the DAT? Dental school costs how much!? Filled with so many unknowns and questions, the path to getting accepted was overwhelming. Without a “how to get into dental school” manual to reference, I was constantly searching for mentors and experiences to help guide me on my way.
One such experience was Dive into Dentistry. This all-day event put on by UWSOD, gives students insights into dental school that are unparalleled. Participants get hands on experience waxing, taking impressions, drilling, placing composite, and suturing. They also are exposed to the MMI interview format that the University of Washington School of Dentistry, as well as many other institutions, have adopted in recent years. All the while, attendees are surrounded by dental students, faculty, and dentists from the community. This program not only gives predents a greater understanding of the field of dentistry, but also provides them with the opportunity to develop crucial mentor-mentee relationships to guide them on their journey.
As a D1 student, just three weeks into classes, the stress associated with the process of getting into dental school is still very fresh in my mind. Looking back, I’m reminded just how much of an impact mentors had on my own path to dental school. Being able to pay this forward by sharing my experiences and knowledge with others is imperative. So, when the opportunity to spend a day helping with Dive into Dentistry arose, I obviously signed up. Finally being on the other side of things and giving advice was a whole new experience. When I left that day I knew I had eased someone’s uncertainty, provided insight that they otherwise might not have received, and became that mentor that I once needed. This was rewarding, as expected, but I wasn’t prepared for the impact the day would have one me. Seeing students’ eyes light up when learning more about dentistry reminded me of where my journey began and made me sit back and appreciate where I am today. It's all too easy to get wrapped up in the stresses of dental school and often we find ourselves wondering why we volunteered to pay copious amounts of money to lose sleep and our social life. But it’s participating in events like Dive into Dentistry that remind us why we’re working so hard and allow us to re-focus on the ultimate goal, helping others.
About the Author: Morgan Sample
Morgan is a D1 RIDE student. This summer she studied head and neck anatomy with her entire class in Seattle before she heads to Spokane for a year. Good luck Morgan!!