Sample Dentistry Personal Statement.
Dentistry offers the opportunity to combine my aptitude and interests in scientific study with my ability and desire to communicate with people and make a positive difference in their lives. Having balanced dedication to my studies with extensive voluntary work in a number of sectors, I believe I have demonstrated how this combination of intellectual stimulation and essential values can drive me to achieve a high standard in both aspects. Having observed my uncle practising dentistry, and sought out further opportunities to get hands on experience where possible, I am confident that the field offers the best opportunity to continue prioritising this mix of values and ability in the future.
In order to make sure that I am equally prepared for the practical, as well as the academic, aspects prior to undergraduate study, I have observed numerous aspects of dental practice. Shadowing Julian Kurer at The Dental Rooms in London, I observed a number of procedures, including clinical examinations, scale and polish, and crown and bridgework. I also had the opportunity to observe the administrative aspects of running a successful practice. Shadowing staff at The NHS Dental Practice in Palmers Green I was lucky enough to observe fillings, cleanings and normal check ups. Spending a week at George Pashias’ dental practice in Cyprus not only allowed me to observe dentistry being practiced within an alternative national context, but also offered ample time to observe a range of procedures, including fillings, implants and root canal surgery. Finally, shadowing Michael Norton at his practice in Harley Street allowed me to observe dental surgery, such as bone grafting and dental implant placement, in more depth. Each of these experiences increased my resolve to study dentistry while also allowing me to see the range within the field. Ultimately, I think I would like to pursue dentistry to postgraduate level and specialise in implants or orthodontics before setting up practice.
Through each of these experiences I observed the importance of communication skills in what is essentially a caring role. Having volunteered at both an old people’s home and as a teaching assistant at a primary school, I have gained experience of communicating with people of all generations and the importance of treating the differences between each individual with respect. My particular passion for children’s charities has also seen me work with the Envision charity scheme to raise money for Markfeild’s community centre for disabled children and be chosen to travel to Uganda with my school to participate in voluntary projects at a local school. Through volunteering in an Oxfam shop I have gained experience of administration and teamwork, maintaining strong relationships with colleagues and customers.
Attending Greek School twice a week since the age of three has allowed me to gain language skills and to integrate my important heritage into my life. I have also been heavily involved with my school council and have been elected as both Deputy Chair and prefect for Public Relations, requiring successful liaison between students, staff and parents. Being selected to participate in the Jack Petchy Speak Out programme helped me to gain the confidence in public speaking that has allowed me to successfully fulfil these roles. My interests in the medical profession have also extended to gaining St John’s ambulance training and attending various national society lectures to make sure I have gained an idea of the broader field before committing to dentistry. Sports such as netball and kickboxing allow me to remain healthy and improve focus, while singing in my school choir offers a valuable opportunity to relax outside of work and study.
Combining my interests in caring with my academic aptitudes, dentistry offers the best opportunity for me to continue working to the high standard I have set myself in voluntary work and study, at undergraduate level and into my career beyond.
We hope you’ve learnt a bit about writing a personal statement from this sample Dentistry personal statement.
The AADSAS Dental School application prompt seems fairly straightforward at first, but can be difficult to answer in less than 4,500 characters (including spaces), roughly a page. The prompt for the past few years has been:
Your Personal Statement should address why you desire to pursue a dental education and how a dental degree contributes to your personal and professional goals.”
Writing a personal statement for dental school can be one of the most challenging tasks in preparation for the application process. It is highly advised to start early and have many revisions over a long period of time. Strategy is also a big part of having a strong personal statement that compliments an application. Many schools will request the completion of a secondary application which often includes a few short essays. It is important to have a variety of experiences brainstormed in advance so you have a better idea on how all your writing accent one another and add on to to your application’s uniqueness. For this reason, I recommend using the following categories to plan out your personal statement and brainstorm your secondary application topics.
- Community Service
- Manual Dexterity
- Personal Interest (e.g. technology, music)
Create separate documents for each category and start listing all of your key experiences related to each group. After doing so, select several experiences from each category to further develop as possible experiences to use in a personal statement. Begin plotting out a basic outline and structure for your message. The goal of the personal statement is to emphasize your strengths without giving everything away. You don’t want secondary applications to seem dry and do not advance you as an applicant and future dental student. Address 2 or 3 of the following groups:
- Talents and leadership
- Commitment to something you care about
Using these groups ensures that your personal statement samples a variety of your characteristics that you feel make you a strong candidate for dental school. The personal statement should show what is important to you, why you want to be a dentist, and why you are a valuable addition to a dental class. Throughout your personal statement, discuss how and why your experiences have affected your decision to pursue dentistry.
Writing your first draft of a personal statement can be challenging. One of your priorities should be to have a strong opening paragraph that catches the readers interest. Members on the admissions council have thousands of statements to read and are not required to read each one in its entirety. The first paragraph decides if they will continue to review or put your application off to the side.
Often I get asked where to find examples of dental school personal statements, and while I have found various resources, I highly advise against reading any other dental personal statements until later in your writing process. I say this because reading other statements tends to make an applicant want to follow a similar structure to the statements reviewed. This is a problem because many of the freely available examples are used as templates by many pre-dental students and as a result are the most common structures. This can annoy admissions very quickly as there is no creativity to the personal statement when reading through hundreds of these in a few days. For this reason, I will not be supplying examples to read, including my own. However, I will discuss the content of my personal statement to some degree.
One of my first articles on this website, Why Dentistry?, had a writing exercise with an example of my answer to the question “Why Dentistry?”. While none of this writing exercise was used in my personal statement, it helped me first put my answer into words that others could understand. In the article I say,
This write up does not need to be perfect. The exercise is designed to “outline” what is important to your story and to help you stay on focus when telling your story to others. It is not meant to be memorized and regurgitated. Here are some key points of my story that together show my interest in dentistry:
- I mentioned my interest working with my hands.
- I looked into career choices and saw what appealed to me in dentistry
- Experienced dentistry by shadowing
- Took the initiative and started working as a dental assistant
- Memorable experience that explains the joy dentistry gives me”
Don O. over at Inquarta did an excellent job writing strategy guides for a dental personal statement. I recommend his article “How to Write a Winning Dental School Personal Statement” prior to starting to write a draft of your statement. You can check out the rest of his dental school personal statement posts here. I used his post to better understand what the personal statement means to dental schools and what to focus on in writing a well developed paper.
While working on your personal statement, be sure to have others read it. People with a background in dentistry tend to give the best advice since they could relate to the content of your personal statement. Keep in mind to keep all large edits in your own words. With plenty of writing in your secondary applications, admissions will be able to easily tell if your personal statement is actually written by you. If they differ, this may affect your applications integrity and possibly hinder an admissions decision.
Check out the Pre-Dental Student Doctor Network forums for FREE Personal Statement critiquing. Using this service will give you a good idea of how different people will react to your personal statement and to learn of your essay’s strengths and weaknesses and what changes to make accordingly. I would like to remind you to be courteous to these individuals and ask if they would like to review your personal statement before providing a copy. The thread for the last cycle was titled “Personal Statement Reviewing Service (2013-2014 Cycle)“, but is largely inactive now since the application cycle is coming to a close. Future reviewing services will be similarly titled and likely stickied at the top of the pre-dental forums.
If you have any questions during the process or would like to me review your personal statement, feel free to use the Ask Elias page! Good luck writing!