University of Iowa Dentistry Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

University of Iowa Dentistry Key Information

Iowa’s Admissions Committee will conduct a review of all materials submitted to determine whether an invite to interview will be given. Interviews are conducted from September to November, and focus principally on your motivation and insight into dentistry, as well as your understanding of ethics and thoughts on a range of ethical scenarios.

Previous students report a closed file, one-on-one and in-person format for the interview. 

University of Iowa Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)

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University of Iowa Dentistry Past Interview Questions

  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Why do you want to be a dentist?
  • How will you manage stress as a dentist?
  • Why do you wish to study Dentistry?
  • Why do you want to study at Iowa?
  • Are you a good teacher?
  • Rank yourself as a perfectionist. Is your level a good fit for Dentistry?
  • What 3 words would your friends use to describe you? Do these words sound like a dentist?
  • What makes a dentist successful?
  • What are three characteristics of a good dentist that you possess?
  • Do you like to spend time alone? Do you think dentists get the chance to spend much time alone?
  • Who has been your most important influence in your mission to become a dentist?
  • What worries you about the transition into dental school, other than coursework?
  • Why do you want to study at Iowa rather than your home state university?
  • You treated a patient with some oral disease. How will you continue treating the patient so that this doesn’t happen again?
  • How much of a perfectionist should a dentist be?
  • Should a dentist be the best at all aspects of their practice? If not, why not and who should be better than them?
  • What goals have you set yourself in the field of Dentistry for the next five years? Are you the kind of person that sets yourself goals in general?
  • What are your weaknesses? Would those weaknesses make it hard to work as a dentist, and if so how might you overcome them?
  • What information should you set out to get from a patient that comes in for a routine dental visit?
  • Should a dentist be the leader of their practice?
  • Should a dentist set the standards of work in their practice?

Manual Dexterity
  • In what ways do you exhibit manual dexterity?
  • Name something that you are proud of that you recently made with your hands.

​Ethical Scenarios
  • If one of your co-worker’s spouses called in sick for them, what would you do?
  • If an employee’s spouse called you the night before to tell you that the employee would not be coming into the office tomorrow, what would you do?
  • If you saw a kid hitting himself with a hammer what would you do?
  • What would you do if an employee repeatedly called in sick?
  • What is your experience with confidentiality?
  • What ethical principles do you use most in your day to day life?
  • Is there such a thing as a perfect patient? If so, describe them to us.
  • What are three ethical qualities every dentist should have?
  • A patient tells you that their perspective on their teeth, and their dental health, is more important than yours. Are they right?
  • How do you demonstrate compassion in your daily life?
  • What ethical principles will you bring to Dentistry?

Iowa Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why are you interested in the University of Iowa College of Dentistry?

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry appeals to me due to its holistic educational approach that goes beyond technical skills. The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, professionalism, health promotion, and cultural competency. As a future dentist, I value these aspects because they are essential for providing comprehensive patient care. The early clinical experiences from the first year and the innovative clerkship and comprehensive care educational model ensure that I will be well-prepared for real-world dental practice. This aligns perfectly with my goal to become a competent, independent dentist who is ready for practice upon graduation.

How does Iowa's dental curriculum align with your educational goals?

Iowa’s dental curriculum, with its focus on both foundational knowledge and early clinical exposure, aligns with my educational goals. The integration of biomedical and dental clinical sciences from the first year, along with hands-on experiences in the advanced simulation clinic, will provide me with a solid understanding of health and disease. The progression to more complex clinical experiences in the second year, including rotations in various dental clinics, is exactly what I’m looking for to build a comprehensive skill set. This curriculum effectively combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills, preparing me for a successful career in dentistry.

Reflect on the importance of developing skills like critical thinking and cultural competency in your dental education at Iowa.

Developing skills like critical thinking and cultural competency at Iowa is crucial for my dental education. Critical thinking is essential for diagnosing and treating dental conditions effectively, while cultural competency is key to providing equitable care to diverse patient populations. These skills will enable me to understand and respect different perspectives, leading to more effective communication and better patient outcomes. Iowa’s focus on these areas ensures that I will graduate not just as a skilled dentist but also as a healthcare professional who can adapt to the evolving needs of society.

Discuss how early clinical experiences in the D1 year at Iowa will impact your dental training.

Starting clinical experiences in the D1 year at Iowa will have a significant impact on my dental training. This early exposure to patient care is invaluable for developing my clinical skills and understanding the practical aspects of dentistry. Working in the advanced simulation clinic will help me to practice and refine various dental procedures in a controlled environment, building my confidence and competence. This early immersion in clinical settings is crucial for bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, making me a more effective and confident dental practitioner.

How do you plan to apply the comprehensive knowledge and skills learned at Iowa in your future dental practice?

The comprehensive knowledge and skills learned at Iowa will be the foundation of my future dental practice. The holistic curriculum, which covers biomedical sciences, clinical skills, and patient care, will equip me with the necessary tools to diagnose and treat a wide range of dental conditions. The emphasis on patient-centered care, health promotion, and interprofessional practice will guide my approach to treating patients, focusing on their overall well-being rather than just their oral health. Furthermore, the experience gained through various clinical rotations will enable me to handle complex dental cases with confidence, ensuring high-quality care for my patients.

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