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How to shadow a dentist

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    Hello! I go to university in the US but I am studying for a semester in London. I am really interested in dentistry, so I wanted to shadow a dentist in London. How does one get a chance to shadow a dentist here? Is it okay to call a dentist's office and ask if I can shadow him or her? Google has not been helpful at all, so any help would be really appreciated. Thanks!
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    (Original post by madirocks)
    Hello! I go to university in the US but I am studying for a semester in London. I am really interested in dentistry, so I wanted to shadow a dentist in London. How does one get a chance to shadow a dentist here? Is it okay to call a dentist's office and ask if I can shadow him or her? Google has not been helpful at all, so any help would be really appreciated. Thanks!
    I searched for my local PCT on Google and rang every dentist on that list until one said yes, which was after approximately 15 calls. Normally the practice manager should be able to help, however some will say they need to speak to the dentist and will give you a call back (however the 3-4 surgeries which said this to me haven't actually got back to me). :lol:
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    I phoned the dentist I go to, explained that I was applying for dentistry and wanted to gain a bit of work experience and could I come in and observe. They were very helpful and the practice manager sorted it all out. Took a few days (maybe even a few weeks if I remember right!) to organise with the dentist but easy enough. I wasn't able to observe the hygienist (her choice) but she was happy for me to go in and ask her lots of questions.
    From there I was given a contact at the hospital so I organised to go along and observe there, they had a programme in place already so that was very easy to do.
    You could try orthodontists, dental labs, etc too. It's all good experience and shows you are keen (to the dentists too that you want to go along too), I was told that our dentist don't always do work experience as they got rather a lot of bored and uninterested people sitting in a corner! So only took on people who seemed very keen. Perseverence then!!!

    You won't have a dentist there (editing as I didn't read properly...) I'm guessing but going along personally to a few might make a good impression?
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    Thank you both for replying!! I really appreciate it!

    xioni- would it be okay for me to just walk into a dentist's office and straight up ask to observe them? or is it better to try to deal with this over the phone? I don't need to get any dental work done and I got my teeth cleaned about a month ago lol, so I probably will not be going to a dentist as a patient (bummer).
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    I would dress smart and go for it! Make a good first impression and show you are keen
    I just went into ours to ask if he will collect teeth for me
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    (Original post by xioni)
    I would dress smart and go for it! Make a good first impression and show you are keen
    I just went into ours to ask if he will collect teeth for me
    I've found private practices more willing to take on work shadowing students, was very surprised. Quite a few NHS practice managers have come across as very abrupt when enquiring about work shadowing placements.

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Updated: February 29, 2012
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