Impressing Future Dentists: UCSF Hosts Undergraduate Impressions Conference

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One hundred and thirty undergraduates from all over California and even some out of state, came eager to learn about the future of dentistry on February 28 here at UCSF. Each year the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) in conjunction with ADEA and HSDA, host the Undergraduate Impressions Conference aimed at exposing students to the profession of dentistry by providing them with the tools and inspiration to pursue it as a career.  This year’s conference was particularly lively with a record  number of attendees in the 8 years the conference has existed.

The day was filled with various presentations on dentistry, how to successfully apply to dental school, as well as a number of dental students sharing their knowledge and experiences. Associate Dean of Academic, Research and Graduate Affairs, Dr. Peter Sargent, gave an enthusiastic welcome speech in which he highlighted the top five reasons why UCSF is an amazing place to be.  The keynote speaker, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Dr. Mark Kirkland, gave a testimony as to why dentistry is a great profession to pursue.  Both Drs. Sargent and Kirkland represented the best of what this profession and UCSF have to offer leaving pre-dental students enriched and motivated.

The most anticipated part of the day was the middle of the day in which the participants were taken to the dental simulation lab to get hands on experience drilling tooth preparations, taking impressions and restoring typodont teeth with composite material.

Participants also had the opportunity to speak and interact with current dental students.  Conference participants also received a tour of the school, which included a stop in our anatomy lab. Here, participants had the opportunity to view a number of pro-sections and were able to hear some of the dental students’ lab stories.  Participants really enjoyed getting to interact with the students and seeing how it felt to hold the drill for the first time.

The day also included presentations on the application process, scholarship opportunities and a student panel.  Many participants stayed for the optional personal statement and mock interview workshops that were held after the conference ended.  Overall, the day was a great success filled with a great spirit of camaraderie and memorable moments.

The SNDA team would like to thank all the volunteers and organizations that made this day possible.   The participants loved interacting with everyone and hearing everyone’s experiences.  Many noted the welcoming atmosphere and amicable people. They were inspired by our stories and propelled to pursue dentistry.