VCU School of Dentistry’s Interview Days provide a window to the next four years for prospective Doctor of Dental Surgery students

Applicants Kevin Mahon, Alex Adatsi and Rosalie Essimi-Menye get to know each other during a wax carving exercise.

VCU School of Dentistry recently completed its final fall Interview Day for 2021, an exciting process during which Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) applicants visit the school for a mix of orientation and interviews. While many dental schools are still conducting interviews virtually, VCU School of Dentistry has enacted safety measures to allow this tradition to continue in person so students can make an informed decision about their future.

“This is an opportunity for you to get to know us, to get to know Richmond. You are making a decision about the next four years of your life,” said Clara Spatafore, D.D.S., interim dean and chair of the Departments of Endodontics and Oral Diagnostic Sciences at VCU School of Dentistry, as she welcomed the students. “Think of the questions you want to ask—you’re interviewing us as much as we’re interviewing you.”

In the morning, the prospective students learned about various components of the D.D.S. curriculum from faculty, department chairs and deans. They learned about the clinic structure, the cutting-edge digital dentistry program, research opportunities and the school’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. A recurring theme was for the various presenters to name their favorite restaurant, in hopes of imparting a taste of Richmond’s thriving food scene.

D.D.S. applicant John Kit

“Originally I wanted to be an engineer, but through extracurricular activities I realized I could combine my love of creating and working with my hands with my desire to serve the community,” said John Kit, an applicant from Florida. “VCU’s commitment to service was a big part of why I applied.”

The admissions process is competitive. Each year, VCU School of Dentistry receives about 2,000 applications to its D.D.S. program. Of these, 300-350 are invited to take part in one of several Interview Days during the fall and spring semesters.

From mid-morning to mid-afternoon, the candidates broke out into groups and rotated through admissions interviews and several activities designed to help them relax as well as get a sense of their future education and profession, from carving teeth out of wax to participating in a guided exercise focused on understanding the unique nature of how people perceive the world. A lunch break provided an opportunity to engage with and learn from a panel of current students, followed by a tour of the clinics.

D.D.S. applicant Jenny Nguyen

“I love the blend of art and science that you find in dentistry,” said Jenny Nguyen, an applicant from Arlington, Virginia. “I majored in health sciences and came to learn that a lot of people neglect their oral health. I’d like to be part of a solution and help educate others on the issue.”

“We accept approximately 95 D.D.S. students each year,” said Mary Pettiette, D.D.S., associate dean for admissions at VCU School of Dentistry. “We strive to provide each applicant with an opportunity to meet their future educators and learn from current students. Success starts with the admissions process, and we try to do all we can to make sure each applicant gets a true sense of what it is like to become a dentist at VCU.”

Visit our website to learn more about the different programs and admissions requirements at VCU School of Dentistry.

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