Specializing in Pediatrics

Interested in pursuing a specialty in pediatric dentistry? Read below for an interview of my colleague, Monica, who is entering her pediatric dentistry residency this fall! She provides some great advice for dental students who are considering peds!

1. What general advice do you have for students interested in specializing in pediatric dentistry?

Volunteer, shadow, work in the peds clinic at your school, figure out what type of program you’d be interested in (hospital or school based), try to do peds research if possible, join your peds club, befriend pediatric dental professors and pick their brains about why they chose peds, see as many kids as possible to confirm you like it!

2. What can a D1/D2 (prior to entering clinic) do to make him/herself a competitive candidate for a pediatric residency?

  • Research
  • Volunteering is BIG
  • Shadowing
  • Get good grades (of course)
  • Assist!

3. What can a D3/D4 (currently in clinic) do to make him/herself a competitive candidate for a pediatric residency?

  • Treat more kids in clinic
  • Assist peds residents
  • Shadow outside dentists
  • Extern in a peds office
  • Research
  • Hold a leadership position in a peds club
  • Do something non-dental related with kids
  • Treat more patients with special needs, if possible

4. What types of questions can students expect in their interview?

  • Why peds?
  • Did you do research? if so, on what and what did you learn in the study?
  • Why THIS program over others?
  • What do you look for in a co-resident?
  • What is your ideal program?
  • Describe a difficult patient you’ve had and how did you handle it?
  • If you could be a dental instrument, what would it be?

[NOTE: That last question!! 😳]

5. How can students set themselves apart from other candidates interested in pediatric dentistry?

Once you get an interview, it’s all based on your personality. So, just being NORMAL and calm and friendly helps. Sometimes, residents have a say, so get to know them. Also, get to know your co-applicants because they can very well be your future residents!!

I hope you enjoyed my interview with Monica! She dished out some insightful advice (which doesn’t surprise me…she’s a peds rockstar)! Be sure to check out my other posts on AEGD vs. GRP, Ortho Residencies, Perio Residencies, OS Residencies, and Endo Residencies.

Are you interested in specializing in peds? How are you preparing for your future specialty? Comment below!


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