A little bit of background on Dr. Student Dentist

February 21, 2008 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

There are lots of places I could start. In fact, I started writing in reverse chronology like in Memento but opted to start where all good starts start, the beginning.

I can’t say I always wanted to be a dentist. The only thing I did know was that I wanted to provide a service. It wasn’t until I started working at my step-father’s dental office in 2003 that I began to see dentistry as a viable career choice. For all my life, I had seen dentists as television and movies set out to portray them. When I began working with actual dentists, that stereotype was shattered. I wanted to do what they did but how to get there was the million dollar question.

I wasn’t really committed to dentistry until the fall semester of 2005 and it reflected in my grades. I didn’t know that then. To me, I had poor grades but couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. Family troubles, an external locus of control mindset, a lousy record, and being able to mooch off my parents culminated in a general sense of apathy. I didn’t see why or how I needed to change while I continued to trudge onwards towards the mirage of getting into dental school. I had already taken all my prerequisite courses with B’s and C’s. There was also a D or two speckled in there for variety. Aside from the A’s I got as a freshmen and another I got in a summer business 101 class, my grades were that of a low B student.

Then during fall 2005, my senior year, I registered for physiology. This was my second upper division biology course; the first was microbiology and I earned myself a C+. I was a psychology major with a B and C in General Bio 1 and 2, respectively. Also, at my undergraduate school, this is rumored to be a tough course. It was. The professor was a huge b*llbuster and he liked to write exams asking for the most incorrect answer. With only 20 questions per exam, it wasn’t hard to have points lopped off left and right. I respected him right away. That wasn’t enough to get me to care, though, and I ended up with a 60 on the first exam. That was supposed to be the easy one. Then the second exam rolled around and I got a 30. With a lot of things in my life pointing to the fact that the only direction I was headed was to McDonald’s School of Burgers, a soul driving, passivity crushing discontent began to brew in my gut. I hated how things were going, the feeling of having little control over my life, and knowing I would never reach my dream of anything professional, let alone dental school. With that, I came to realize I just needed to start doing something, anything at all since there really wasn’t any place to go but up.

After my grade of 30, I spent some quality time with my good friend, box o’Kleenex. I made up my mind to not only not fail but to get an A in the course. I probably knew that was absurd with a 60 and a 30 but I set the lofty absurd goal anyways. My thought was, aim for the stars because even if I don’t get there, I’d still be amongst the clouds. I put everything into that class, really truly studying for the first time. It was different to say the least. For the third and final exam, I ended up with an 80. I walked out of that course with an A-. Later that week, I overslept and missed my a 200 level psychology final. I walked out with a C+ in that class. Baby steps.

With my appetite whetted, for Spring 2006, I signed up for as many upper division science courses I could see myself confidently handle. SuperC from the SDN forum once wrote about his academic turnaround and said, “… go big or go home…”. I made that my motto for getting into dental school. I knew if I could show that despite my lackluster performances of years past, I was capable of performing on par or better than those who’ve performed steadily then I had a good shot. And if not, I’d keep going until they noticed me. I put in another good semester with 2 As and 2 A-s in the upper division biology courses and a B- in my psychology statistics class. For the first time since freshmen year, I made the Dean’s List. For me, that was a big accomplishment and a notch in my academic bedpost. Confidence +1. I wasn’t overly excited since one great semester does not an awesome applicant make.

For the summer of 2006, I set out to apply and take the DAT. There was no point in pussy footing since I didn’t know what the outcome would be if I tried but I knew exactly what it would be if I didn’t. I studied like fiend, took my DATs and scored in the 99.9 percentile for my total science (TS) and 99.6 percentile for my academic average (AA). I applied and the rejections started piling up. In the end, I was interviewed at Columbia and University of Maryland. I was rejected from the former on December 1st and wait-listed then rejected from the latter.

I continued onto another year of undergrad and set out to show that I could do well and be consistent with my results. I did just that and reapplied later that year. I ended up with five interviews, one with the school of my dreams. I was accepted into my top choice, University of the Pacific, and now I’m waiting to start.


Entry filed under: About the Author, Application Process, Pre-dental. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

20 Questions with Dr. Lippman, DDS of Nova University

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