Sunday, January 8, 2012

How Hard Is It To Get Into Dental School?

How competitive is it to get into dental school?  I have addressed this in my book in some detail, but want to add this interesting chart (I hope you can see it-click it to enlarge slightly):

This is a long term view of the popularity of dental school.  The red line is the number of applications, the blue line is the number of positions available.  In the year 2010, there were 12,202 applications for 5089 slots.  There are times where applications fell and other times where the number of applications rose.  You can see the overall trend that there are more applications per opening now than in the recent past.  So, is this a more competitive environment?  Yes.  However, this is data can be somewhat misleading if you are to conclude one has no chance.  Decisions on entrance are made one student at a time.  If all the additional applicants in recent years have a less attractive resume than you, then it does not matter as much whether there are more applicants or not.  The striking thing to me is the greater desire of students to select dentistry as a career and the rather limited number of slots in dental schools to meet that demand.

I have talked to many a physician, and have seen medicine become a less attractive field than it might have been in previous years.  Also, in times of economic downturn, the stability of a profession like dentistry becomes more attractive--and more competitive.

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