More than four dozen undergraduate students from universities throughout the northeast got a taste of life at the first Pre-Dental Day program at the Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM) at New York Medical College on April 23. Administrators, faculty, and student ambassadors presented D.D.S. hopefuls with information, tips and hands-on experiential learning. In the testing center, Jay Goldsmith, D.D.S., founding dean, spoke about TCDM’s mission, the forthcoming 135 seat dental clinic, unique and joint programs with NYMC and the popularity of the dental profession. “I am gratified by the incredible interest there is in our profession,” said Dr. Goldsmith. TCDM received more than 2,800 applications for 110 openings this year. View the photo gallery here.
Student representatives Farihah Khan and Tracy Liang presented an overview of the application process, insider tips and a video to help students ace an admissions interview. “Dental school admissions officers look for candidates with excellent communication skills because dental medicine involves teamwork,” said Ms. Khan.
Proof of manual dexterity is also critical, the students agreed. “Whether it’s artwork, jewelry-making, sewing or piano playing. You need to show the interviewer you can work with your hands.”
Some of the students participated in practice interviews, which they said were helpful. “It was important because the interview is one of the most crucial ways to allow faculty and administrators to get to know you and how you conduct yourself,” said Helen Canals, a sophomore from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
Ronnie Myers, D.D.S., right, senior associate dean of academic and administrative affairs, discussed the strict criteria that TCDM must meet to maintain academic accreditation and addressed what happens when dental students reach the finish line.
“General dentistry students learn all aspects of oral health care when they graduate so that they are capable of independent practice,” said Dr. Myers, noting that each faculty member brings an area of expertise.
“We have the awesome responsibility of assuring that you are competent in these areas when you leave,” said Dr. Myers.
The afternoon concluded with guests participating in a “wax up,” a hands-on exercise using dental models to fabricate teeth out of wax in TCDM’s state-of-the-art simulation lab.
Dr. Myers also discussed the financing of dental education and the costs involved. He made it clear that it is most important to understand the financial aid system and what’s available before students get accepted because it is a complex process. Keidelyn Abreu, a biology major from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, was impressed that TCDM “brought the financial aspect to the presentation,” she said, adding “That’s not something that’s usually talked about but it’s really helpful.”