Clinical Experience for Pre-Dental students

Pre-dental students should note that competitive UMBC pre-dental applicants have been averaging 300 shadowing hours prior to applying to dental school. In addition, students who are trying to decide between a career in medicine or dentistry should be aware that when compared to the medical schools, dental schools place a much higher priority on long-term clinical shadowing experiences. It is imperative for pre-dental students to demonstrate volunteer hours and in turn, to garner a letter of recommendation from a practicing dentist; whereas pre-medical students are not expected to obtain a letter of recommendation from a practicing physician. In other words, the threshold for clinical related experience hours is lower for pre-medical students when compared to pre-dental students.

Within the United States and Baltimore, there are endless opportunities for observing health practices and shadowing licensed professionals. Although, if a student is interested in global volunteerism, there are serious ethical issues to consider as detailed in the following links: The Risks and Benefits of Medical Volunteerism, How to Volunteer Abroad Ethically and Avoid Scams, Dental Volunteering Abroad and Medical Mission Trips, and ADEA Guidelines for International Predental Experience.  If you go abroad, make sure your experience does not exploit people in other countries, does not undermine the infrastructure of other countries, and does not perpetuate the myth of “any help is better than none.”

How to Document Clinical-related Hours
Documenting shadowing or other types of clinical-related experiences is very informal.  There is no official paperwork to complete, nor is there official paperwork to obtain from the clinic or hospital.  Students should track their clinical/shadowing hours in a personal notebook.  For each experience, it is suggested that students log the date, number of hours spent observing, the name of the professional(s) they shadowed, the name of the hospital or clinic where the experience took place, and what they learned and observed (in general, what procedures or surgeries did the student observe, what career advice was given by the professional, patient-doctor/dentist relationship observations, unusual diagnoses or patients, etc.)

ADEA Dental Shadowing articles

What is shadowing and how do you get started?
Shadowing in a Dental Office
Five tips for the best dental shadowing experience

Special Dentistry Programs that include a clinical experience component

Rutgers School of Dental Medicine’s Gateway to Dentistry Program
Summer Medical Dental Education Program
University of Pennsylvania’s Introduction to Dentistry Course

Students can use these sites to find dentists to shadow

Find a Pediatric Dentist

Below is a list of some of the dental offices where UMBC students have completed clinical related experiences. A student’s family dentist, a dentist-friend of the family, or dentists listed within a student’s health insurance directory are some other potential mentors to shadow.

Abdul K. Jadun, DDS (Washington, DC) 202-269-3387
All Smiles Dental Care (Westminster, MD)
Arthur E. Vail, DDS, PA (Arbutus, MD) 410-242-5111
Dental One Associates (various locations)
Elite Family Dental (Ellicott City, MD) 410-461-1166
Grace Dental Clinic (Columbia, MD)
Harold E. Landis, DDS (Silver Spring, MD) 301-681-7061
H.R. Janloo, DDS, PhD, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (Eldersburg, MD) 410-795-8878
Jun Y. Park, DDS (Eldersburg, MD) 410-781-7188
K & C Family Dentistry (Baltimore, MD) 410-525-0100
Katkow Dentistry, LLC (Columbia, MD)
Laurel Bush Family Dentistry (Bel Air, MD) 443-512-8703
Matthew Dow Family Dentistry (Taneytown, MD) 410-751-1770
McDonough Dental Associates (Owings Mills, MD)
Owings Mills Oral Surgery (Owings Mills, MD) 410-363-4422
Papillon Dental Care (Largo, MD)
Pearlfection Dentistry-Urbana (Urbana, MD)
Scott, Pitrone, Sorkin, and Jarvis Orthodontics (various locations)
Smiley Dental Care (Rockville, MD) 301-984-1095
University of Maryland Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates (Baltimore, MD)

Summer Opportunities for Pre-Health Students
Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)
Summer Enrichment and Pipeline Programs
National Science Foundation

The UMBC PreMedical & PreDental Advising Office does not officially promote, sponsor or recommend any company or organization.  Information is gathered for students and made available to them.

NOTE: During the COVID-19 Pandemic, clinical opportunities may be severely restricted or non-existent. We encourage students to use this time to connect with Health Professionals in their area of interest through virtual career fairs, informational interviews, or service opportunities.
Students may also wish to use this uncertain time to strengthen other areas that are critical to their Health Profession preparation. For recommended activities, read through the rest of this Holistic Preparation section as well as the Activities and Opportunties during the COVID-19 Pandemic section!