By Caitlin Bryan and Austin McHenry
To commemorate ASDA Pre-Dental month this October, the Penn ASDA Pre-Dental
Committee created several initiatives to provide opportunities for pre-dental students to learn more about dental school. We had an outpouring of help from our classmates at Penn Dental Medicine (PDM), as they volunteered as mentors and assisted with our events. This was the second year that we coordinated the Penn ASDA Pre-Dental Mentor/Mentee Matching program,
and pre-dental students from around the world signed up to get a Penn mentor by filling out a survey with their interests and some background information.
We did our best to match PDM
students to pre-dental students based on their survey responses. This way, the mentors would
be able to answer specific questions the mentee might have about programs and feel more
comfortable and relatable through their shared backgrounds. We rolled out the mentor/mentee
matching in mid-October for over 50 pre-dental students and we hope to double this numbernext year!
Additionally, we hosted a Pre-Dental Day at PDM and had local pre-dental students tour
the dental school and attend a question and answer session with current Penn dental students.
Students toured the newly-renovated main clinic, the library, study rooms, lecture halls, and
much more. During the tour, students were able to use Penn’s 3D Virtual Reality Simodont
units. These units are part of the 1st year curriculum at Penn Dental and the students really
enjoyed being able to interact with these state-of-the-art machines. A highlight of the event was
a candid panel hosted by current dental students. This year, the panel reflected a diverse
student population with a variety of paths to dental school. This was very beneficial for the
students attending as they were able to identify with certain situations and learn from the dental
students’ various experiences.
A new and exciting part of Pre-Dental month was the Webinar Wednesdays series.
Three informational sessions were hosted through Instagram Live on the @pennasda account.
Our first session topic was “All About Penn Dental” where we talked about why we chose Penn,
how we’ve enjoyed our experience so far, and what Penn Dental has to offer. Our next session
was “Applying to Dental School”; we discussed preparing for the DAT, the application process,
interview tips, and much more. Throughout these sessions we would answer live questions that
our viewers submitted through the comments, hoping to reach a broader audience. For the third
webinar wednesday, we wanted to truly be interactive with our viewers so we hosted an “Ask Us
Anything” session and answered all the questions our live viewers submitted. This session went
on for almost an hour as we fielded questions from many pre-dental students excited to learn
about our experiences as dental students at Penn!
Overall, we exceeded our goals for Pre-Dental month and h ope that we fueled the pre-
dental students with excitement as they are preparing for their future dental careers.