By: Caitlin Bryan, Class of 2021 and Austin McHenry, Class of 2020.
This summer, Penn ASDA Pre-Dental Committee hosted its second annual Summer Pre-Dental Academy. The event is targeted at pre-dental undergraduate students interested in learning more about the field of dentistry, getting hands-on experience performing laboratory and operative techniques, seeking advice on how to become a competitive dental school applicant, and learning more about what the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine has to offer.
The Pre-Dental Summer Academy was created in 2017 by David Lieberman ‘19. Taking inspiration from the inaugural event, pre-dental co-chairs Austin McHenry ‘20, Courtney Lamondin ‘19, and future chair Caitlin Bryan ‘21 organized and executed this year’s Academy making it a completely student run event.
The event took place June 29th – July 1st and interest in the event was astounding. Event capacity was extended to accommodate the continual interest until it was finally capped at 60 attendees. The event had an extremely wide reach as the attendees represented over 25 different colleges and included freshman to senior students, recent graduates, and even an internationally trained dentist. Additionally, attendees flew in from all over the country with the furthest travelling all the way from California.
Fridays events consisted of attendees visiting Penn Dental to meet each other as well as the volunteers that would be assisting throughout the weekend. Saturday began early in the morning with breakfast and then began a full day of hands-on activities. Attendees waxed a maxillary canine, took impressions on each other, had a lunch presentation by the United States Army about the HPSP scholarship, poured stone models, prepared Class I and V preparations, restored prepped teeth with composite, trained on the Penn MOOG 3D virtual reality Simodont machines, and were given a tour of the school. On Sunday the attendees learned more about the admission process and requirements for Penn, competed in DAT Jeopardy, worked in groups on common ethical dilemmas experienced in dental school, had one-on-one mock interviews, and lastly had a chance to ask any questions at a lunch Q&A panel with Penn Dental students.
Although the event was focused on the pre-dental students, it was also a great weekend for the Penn ASDA community. ASDA board members, the general student body, and faculty all came together to make the event possible. With over 20 students volunteering at the event, the Summer Academy proved to be a great way to involve and engage Penn students in ASDA. Additionally, attendees and volunteers had the opportunity to network and meet PDM alumni and faculty as Dr. Peter Greco, DMD ‘79 volunteered to supervise the events. Overall, the second annual Penn ASDA Pre-Dental Summer Academy was an excellent event for promoting and cultivating Penn ASDA all while providing an invaluable experience for pre-dental students.
About the Authors: Caitlin Bryan and Austin McHenry are currently D2 and D3 respectively at Penn Dental Medicine and serves as Penn ASDA’s pre-dental committee chairs.