Please feel free to utilize this log to track your shadowing hours.
Shadowing is an important part of a Pre-Dental student’s undergraduate experience, and it ranks among the top of misunderstood topics for DS admission. Shadowing is designed to acquaint the prospective dental student with the daily life of a dentist. It is about observing the atmosphere in a dental office, the interaction between staff, practitioner and patient. More importantly, it is about the procedures performed in a dental office. It is for this reason that the number of hours required/recommended for shadowing is reasonable. It should not take months or years to make a determination that dentistry is for us. Shadowing most certainly is not intended for it. Ideally, an applicant should shadow a general practitioner for 4-8 hours/day for about 3-4 days. Since not all offices are created equal, whenever possible, shadowing should not be limited to a single office, especially when the practice may be limited in scope. We should observe restorative, prostho, oral surgery, perio, endo, pedo and ortho procedures. For the more demanding applicant, shadowing a specialist is recommended.
Seeking a position as a dental assistant for the sole purpose of shadowing is counterproductive and should be avoided. The time would be better spent improving the gpa and/or the dat scores.
This list was compiled from information obtained from the 2008 ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools.
* The above information was borrowed / adapted from the Student Doctor Network. Please check with your planned institution to confirm.