Dental student creates guide to help others apply to dental school

A dental student has made a 15-page guide to help prospective dentists get into dental school after her own challenges with the application process.

Siwan Philips, a fifth-year dental student at the University of Bristol, put together the guide ‘So you want to go to dental school?’ after her own challenging experience.

Siwan started dental school in September 2019 – but only after she had overcome a number of obstacles.

‘Challenging for many’

‘The application process for dental school wasn’t easy for me and I experienced many barriers getting into dental school,’ she said.

‘I struggled through chemistry A-level, had no idea how to navigate the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), and got two rejections pre-interview. But with resilience and hard work, I got accepted into Bristol Dental School.

‘Of course, there is no “step by step manual” to the process – this was my inspiration. After speaking to prospective students in person and online, it seems that the dental school application process is challenging for so many. I felt compelled to use my experience to create a guide to the application process.’

‘So you want to go to dental school?’ is a 15-page comprehensive document that aims to outline all the steps of the dental school application. It covers all aspects of applying – from deciding to pursue the career to UCAT, personal statements and interviews.

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Ever-changing world

Siwan added: ‘It is written in a methodical and informal way with all the key deadlines, websites and steps explained. The guide includes tips and hints that I wish I’d known, as well as some reflection points before writing personal statements or answering interview questions.

‘I’ve also included some key trending topics in dentistry so that applicants can see what’s happening in the ever-changing world of dentistry.

‘I hope prospective dental students can use this document and see a methodical approach to a seemingly turbulent process.

‘If my 17-year-old self had this type of guide, I think she would have been less anxious about the process and able to have a more clarity. That is the simple aim of this guide – to provide clarity and reassurance to prospective dental students.’

To access the document see Siwan’s Instagram Linktree – @siwandentalstudent.

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