Specializing in Endodontics

Interested in pursuing a specialty in endodontics? Read below for an interview of my colleague, Cassandra, who is an Endodontics Resident at the University of Maryland! She provides some great advice for dental students who are considering endo!

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

I would say that endodontics is a wonderful specialty filled with challenging cases. Endodontics requires attention to detail. It is exciting to work with complex diagnostics, teeth, and surgeries. The best part about endodontics is being able to relieve a patient from pain.  If you think endodontics is for you, practice endodontics in dental school. Shadow endodontists in private practice. Try to learn as much as you can about dentistry so that you can become a well-rounded practitioner.

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

I would focus on doing well in your classes. 

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

Spend time with the endo department at your school.  Get to know the residency director as you will benefit from their mentorship and recommendation when you apply.  I recommend shadowing endodontists in private practice to see their day to day.  Join AAE and attend a conference if possible (student rates are reasonable). Visit programs and spend time with the residents and faculty. This will help the potential program get to know you, and it will help you in evaluating their program. 

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

You will be asked to explain “why endo?”. They may ask you about your previous experience in endodontics and what you are looking for in a residency program. 

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

Most endodontics residencies prefer a GPR, AEGD, and work experience.  Work experience helps you to pick the specialty that best suits you.  Practicing as a general dentist provides you the opportunity to understand what referring dentists experience in their offices.  Practicing before residency teaches you about restorability, periodontics, restorative and fixed prosthodontics, which are all part of the endo experience!

I hope you enjoyed my interview with Cassandra! Be sure to check out my other posts on AEGD vs. GPRPeds ResidenciesOrtho ResidenciesPerio Residencies, and OS Residencies.

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


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