It’s a long process taking tests, applying, and interviewing until you get an acceptance, and there are so many unknowns along the way for the international dentist. Especially starting form the application phase, each school and each program seems to want things done their way, complications from our home country arises and their requirements become difficult to fullfil, CAAPID is confusing, and you wonder if others think you’re doing things the right way. There doesn’t seem to be that much information out there regarding something so you decide to go to a forum to search for answers and ask your question, that’s where everyone gathers to discuss things after all. The International Dental forum on Student Doctor Network Forum is where it all happens.
Forums are great, it’s really the only way to connect with the world of international dentists that are in the same boat. Thanks to the forum people can share their experiences, support each other through hard times and ask questions regarding what they don’t know; truly an amazing community, a place to vent, share struggles, and also gain information and inspiration.
I’m not disregarding forums in any way, I too have gotten so much support from forums myself when I was in the journey.
But there are a few things that an international dentist should NEVER ask on a forum
1. Difficulty meeting school’s requirements because your dean isn’t writing you a recommendation letter, or due to transcript issues?
-Each program will have a different way of dealing with such issues. Some will dismiss your application and some may be more understanding and try to work with you; advice on what can be done and decisions are made from each program, nobody on any forum is qualified to give you an answer. Even if you got an answer, I’d never trust it. You need to explain in your words what has happened and why you cannot fulfill their requirements, and ask if they can make an exception. Don’t be lazy about it, do your part.
2. Wanna know if you have a chance for making it this year?
-Nobody can tell you. Period. Even if you share your whole CV on the forum, nobody can tell you. If you’re just looking for reassurance and support, then go ahead. But if your really wondering if you have a chance or not, don’t bother.
First of all, people that are reading don’t really know much more than you do; it’s a community forum.
Second, if you’ve been reading my articles you probably heard me say this several times already, but your personal statement and the way you write your CV matters a LOT. Have high standards for that and your life will be so much easier. Your stats show nothing related to your essay. Another interesting thing is that most people think their essays are good. Please come out of your ethnic community and get feedback from American people. Not just any American people, but at least a college-educated people that know how to write. This is an essay to get you into graduate school, by default it comes with high expectations.
3. Not sure if you should take the NBDE II or retake the TOEFL?
-Guess what, you probably already know the answer to these questions, taking part 2 and having a higher TOEFL score will increase your chances. So why are you asking? What answer are you seeking? Do you want someone to tell you that you’ll probably make it without doing those things?
4. Want to know how to apply to a particular program?
-Do the search yourself on CAAPID and the school’s website. If anything goes wrong because of misleading information, it’s you that won’t be making it this year maybe along with the person that gave you the wrong information. Never ask crucial decision making questions on the forum. Communicate directly with the programs to get accurate information.
If you still decide to ask, and do get an answer, please double-check yourself. It is your journey and your responsibility to make sure the application process is going correctly.