Greetings! As we earn more loyal readers to our blog, I thought it was timely for us to re-introduce ourselves and share a bit about our professional journeys in dentistry. The last time we’ve given you a formal introduction was when we started The Pre-Dental Guide in 2020. It’s been about four years of life since then, and I’d love to share some insights I believe will help your pre-dental journey to dental school with you.
That being said, let me introduce myself. I’m Dr. Jenny Giao and one co-author of The Pre-Dental Guide Blog. I started this blog with my dear friend of over a decade, Dr. Wilson Ng back in 2020 to provide a timeless archive of advice to help you gain acceptance to dental school. When I found success in gaining acceptance to 5 dental schools in 2018, I was eager to pay it forward by becoming a dental advisor at UC Davis Pre-Health Advising and later continuing my work in outreach as the Student and Outreach Liaison at UCSF School of Dentistry Office of Admissions & Outreach. In these capacities, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet pre-dental students all across the nation and globally, hear their unique life stories, and help guide them to a dental school acceptance. Currently, I am working as a general dentist in the US Navy Dental Corp through the HPSP Scholarship.
Our greatest strengths are utilizing our knowledge of the dental profession, professional writing abilities, and interpersonal skills to closely mentor our students. We do this by first getting to know each student and helping them actualize why dentistry is the ideal profession for them, and secondly, verbalizing their passion for service to ultimately create a competitive and unique personal statement. My fulfillment in sustaining this blog and working closely with pre-dental students, IDP students, re-applicants, and even high school students is creating a reflective space for students to understand their “why”. I find that many college students become fixated on checking off all the boxes of tasks to complete to apply to dental school and often forget to ask themselves, “why dentistry”? If you are reading this, this is the first insight I will share with you and something I wish I knew 10 years ago when I started the journey to dentistry.
College is stressful and often feels like drinking water out of a firehose. I want to remind you that your adulthood is meant for much more than simply going through the motions of what an application dictates you must do. While I am a firm believer in gaining necessary experiences prior to applying to dental school to be a competitive applicant, I encourage you to do so with intention.
For example, if you are are interested in dentistry because perhaps you or a family member lacked access to dental care growing up, volunteer at a local community clinic ie. UC Davis Student-Run Health Clinics/ CDA Cares. You have a unique empathy that can be offered with this patient population and are now in a position where you can provide. Imagine not only the strength in writing this experience in your personal statement, but also living this experience to understand your motive for wanting to become a dentist.
For example, if you grew up loving to create/build things with your hands ie. leggos, construction, painting, art, etc., explore how you can utilize this skillset to provide a service to others. You may find yourself volunteering with global mission trips that rebuild homes after natural disasters or creating care packages for local homeless populations. It is a beautiful experience in life to take a practice or hobby that is so innate to your life and transcend it into a service for others, much like dentistry.
In a coming blog post, I will share with you how many of the experiences I pursued in dental school and now as a dentist were specifically curated to help me develop my professional and personal identity. Doing so has brought me to a place today where I find so much joy not only in my personal life and dentistry, but also in the creative writing space. I was drawn to dentistry for the unique ability to form connections with people by providing them a tangible service that alleviates suffering and improves their quality of life. Very similarly, blogging and coaching students offers me the same fulfillment as I have the opportunity to help students identify their goals and support them every step of the way. If you made it to the end, I hope this re-introduction offers you a warm place to return to this page and know you’ve got your trusted Pre-Dental Guides to help you tackle the daunting task of applying to dental school.
If you are a pre-dental student and would like to seek assistance in your personal statement or mock interview practice, please email us at email@example.com or send us a message in our chatbox to your right.
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