Congratulations! You have arrived at a new country with great opportunities and hope to pursue your passions. But it can certainly get overwhelming and challenging if you don’t receive the right guidance and support at every step. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more!
- Select the right career for yourself. Decide if you plan to pursue clinical dentistry or other facets of healthcare
- Clinical dentistry would include but not be limited to, going to dental school to pursue a DMD/DDS (both are the same degree with different usage by different schools), and/or going to school to pursue AEGD or direct residency. For more information on these programs, please visit https://www.adea.org/dental_education_pathways/CAAPID/Pages/ADEAPASSApplicants.aspx
- Non-clinical fields in healthcare might include pursuing MHA or MPH programs or Health IT programs. Visiting various college websites for pre-requisites and exams can help you plan better when choosing this route.
More about the Application Process:
- PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! Your planning after thorough research will help you shine and reserve a seat in your dream dental school.
- Shortlist the schools that take international dentists and make notes on what are their admissions criteria and requirements (Google or Excel documents are a great way to keep track of these!)
- Some basic and common requirements include taking the National Boards (NBDE Part 1 and NBDE Part 2/ INBDE), TOEFL and ECE evaluations for your GPA.
- Once you are ready with the basic requirements, half the battle is won, but remember that all applicants will have this fulfilled, so what next?
How to set yourself apart as a Dental applicant:
- Your personal statement and letters of recommendations are your best friends. They reveal a side of you that your GPA and DAT score can’t show!
- Personal statements should be about your unique story, struggles and achievements. Don’t be afraid to be honest. After all, dental schools are just trying to know the real you!
- Your letters will talk volumes of your integrity and work, and so it is important to find someone who knows you well and can spend time to share incidents which are unique to you and not just generic
- Other various experiences such as research, volunteering work, and extracurriculars are also important components in your application. It does not have to be only in the dentistry field! It could be in any field, as long as you can show your commitment and dedication to what you do.
- If your visa allows, gaining dental shadowing and dental assisting are a great way to get exposure as well!
Ready to Apply?
- Make sure you apply as early as you can because those interview spots start filling up quickly! (Dental schools are basically on a first come first serve basis)
- The link below gives a list of colleges that accept international dentists, along with the links to each school’s website. Applying to schools that align with your philosophy and future career goals is very important in setting up your career as a dentist so remember to do your research!
- Once you finish the applications the wait game begins, but make sure to use that time wisely. Start preparing for your bench tests and interviews. There are tons of free resources available on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, to help guide you on these topics.
To sum it up, never underestimate any of your strengths. You are a true fighter. It’s not easy to start all over again in a new country. Kudos if you got this far! Take one day at a time, and your dream will come true. Always remember there is nothing to fear, and hard work and persistence goes a long way!
Meanwhile, say cheese, a bit louder please!
Written by: Riddhi Shah