Your journey to becoming a dentist starts by choosing a dental school. The dental school you enroll in can affect your ability to gain education and training about the dental industry and serve patients and the community. In general, the dental school you choose plays a significant role in your long-term success as a dentist.
But since there are countless dental schools in US and the world, choosing the best one isn’t always easy. This process will require you to look into hundreds or thousands of dental schools, which means spending a lot of time and effort.
Expedite the process of choosing the best dental school by following these tips:
01. Assess Your Priorities And Goals
Yes, you’re eyeing to enroll in a dental school because you want to become a dentist in the future. But keep in mind that dentistry is a very diverse field, and your priorities and goal will likely be different than others.
To choose the best dental school, think about the things you value. Do you already have a location in mind? Are the costs a deal-breaker? Are you looking for a dental school that implements a medically-integrated curriculum? Do you want to gain clinical experience early? List all of these factors and rank them based on their importance. This will make it easier for you to determine which dental school meets your priorities.
It’s also crucial to think about your goals for the future. This doesn’t mean that you already need to figure out your field of specialization in dentistry, but having an idea of what you want to do in the future can help. Don’t forget to think about where you want to practice being a dentist.
02. Reach Out To Alumni Or Current Students
Websites are excellent sources to learn more about dental schools—what the school looks, the facilities it offers, and the type of curriculum it uses. However, the information you can get from online sources is often limited and isn’t enough to gauge your suitability for the school.
If you want to gain in-depth information about a specific dental school, reach out to alumni or current students. They are great sources of information as they have first-hand experience attending a dental school. You can ask them all sorts of questions about the dental school, so you can easily manage your expectations.
If you have friends who attended or currently attend the dental school you’re eyeing to enroll in, talk to them to learn more about the school. If you don’t have any, email the admissions of the school and inquire if they can connect you to alumni and current students.
03. Consider The Location
The location is an important factor when choosing a dental school. This affects your day-to-day living as a dental school student and the amount of money you’re going to spend for the next four years.
Assess whether you want to enroll in a dental school located in a rural, urban, or suburban area. If you’re going to enroll in a dental school outside of your hometown, think about the cost of living, availability of on or off-campus housing, and accessibility of public transportation. If you have a car, consider the price of gas and how this will affect your daily budget.
You need to consider all of these when choosing a dental school, especially if you have a limited budget. In general, the farther the location of the dental school from your hometown is, the more money you’re going to spend.
04. Think About The Costs
Attending a dental school is expensive. On average, you need to spend USD$67,087 for a private dental school and USD$37,877 for a public dental school. These still don’t cover your cost of living.
To choose the best dental school, determine the estimated cost of attendance of the school you’re considering while taking into account grants and scholarships you might receive. Using this information, compare the dental schools based on costs. If you’re going to take out a loan, don’t forget to consider the amount plus the interest rate you’ll have to repay every month.
Make Sound Decisions
The dental school you’ll choose can make or break your success in the industry, which is why it’s important to make sound decisions. Instead of making a name as one of the best dentists, picking the wrong dental school might put all of your resources down the drain.
If you don’t have any idea on how to narrow down your options, follow the tips mentioned in this article. These tips can guide you in choosing, so you’ll end up enrolling in a dental school that will catapult you to your success in the dental industry!