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Medical/Dental Articles: Making Your Application Standout

Updated: Jun 12, 2021

An essential part of making your application standout is to read about your degree. As discussed in my previous post, this is much easier for certain degrees like medicine and science in comparison to dentistry. Nonetheless, see that post where I have compiled the few books that I could find about dentistry and this post for medicine.

Further to reading books, a great way to strengthen your application is to read scientific articles on topics in dentistry and medicine. The benefits of this are threefold. Not only do you learn new things about the area you're hoping to get into, articles are an excellent thing to put on your personal statement and talk about at interviews. Furthermore, not many medical and dental students read scientific papers which is why doing this will definitely help you standout. I am certain one of the reasons I received all four interview offers was because I talked about the papers and research I read about on my personal statement. Similarly, there's always a research section for each course- look into this!! Having knowledge about about the university's research shows that you are very interested in the degree.

What articles should you be reading?

Just whatever you find interesting!

Scientific papers are inherently a bit boring, especially if you've read a lot of them . So it's important that you read ones that you find interesting and can talk about fluently in and interview. This is the most important thing to remember: you need to be able to talk about it fluently (if you mention that you've read it). Personally, I read articles on British Journal of Oral Surgery since this is a field I am very interested in and let me link to the book Face-to-Face and found articles from a variety of other journals I found interesting. Here's a list of a lot of these dental journals. A lot of them a free, but someone of them do have a pay wall- check with your school to see if they have access to them. I would recommend going through the journals that resonate with you and flicking through the articles, looking for ones that you find interesting.

Google Scholar is a great tool for looking up specific articles. Search up keywords and Scholar will find a list of articles with those key words. A great tip for when looking for articles to read is to try and find those that could be the most versatile. For example one common interview question is tell me about any modern advances in dentistry (check out my post here on this) so it would be very useful to read articles to help you answer this question but also to put on your personal statement.

Tips on reading articles

It's no secret that reading scientific papers is hard and very much a slog. I would advice mostly reading the abstract (a short summary of the entire paper written at the start) and conclusion of the paper and maybe reading the body if the paper resonates with you. What's very important is that you take notes on what you read for if you get asked about what you have read in the interview. Again, it is essential that you are able to talk about what you have put in your personal statement with fluency. I liked to use Remnote and Notion for my note taking with Remnote perhaps being the more useful tool.

To summarise, reading scientific papers and articles is perhaps the best thing you can do to strengthen your application and make it standout since most other candidates don't do this. The only con with this is that it is pretty hard to understand a lot of what you will read hence talk about it fluently in interviews. However, if you are diligent, reading articles could be very valuable indeed.

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