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University of Pennsylvania Dentistry Interview Questions

Past Interview Questions & Tips

University of Pennsylvania Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

According to previous students, interviews take place at the school itself. They are therefore in-person, and are typically one-on-one and closed file. They last around 30 minutes on average. Invites for interview are normally sent out at the end of August or start of September. 

University of Pennsylvania Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

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University of Pennsylvania Dentistry Past Interview Questions

Motivation and Insight into Dentistry

  • I see you have a lot of experience in another field. Why not stay there?
  • You applied to medical school as well. Why dentistry?
  • Tell me about your research.
  • Why not medical school or phd?
  • What do you want to do as a dentist with an honors in ____?
  • Why dentistry?
  • What was your most academically challenging course?
  • Why do you volunteer?
  • Tell us about your community service.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • You don’t have many bio courses listed in your transcript, do you intend to take additional courses in biology?
  • How will you manage your debt?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • Why dentistry rather than medicine?
  • Why dentistry rather than law?
  • How do you think your work experience will prepare you for dentistry?
  • What would you do if you didn’t get into dental school?
  • What was your favourite subject in high school?
  • What class do you like the most?
  • What do you see in the future of dentistry?
  • Explain your research to me.
  • Why study here?
  • What is your take on oral bisphosphonate drugs and the development of osteonecrosis of the jaws?
  • Why do you want to be a dentist?
  • What motivated you to pursue a career in dentistry?
  • Tell us about your favourite class.
  • What other schools have you applied to?
  • How will you deal with a tough schedule and coursework in dental school, and how will you manage the stress that is sure to be a part of studying dentistry?
  • What do you want to do with your career in dentistry?
  • Why the health field?
  • Tell us about your research?
  • How does art relate to dentistry?
  • Dentistry is stressful. How will you deal with that stress?
  • Would you do dentistry if it were not profitable?
  • What does dentistry offer you?
  • What is sleep dentistry?
  • What other careers have you considered besides dentistry?
  • How and why did you choose your undergrad course and college?
  • Why is research important & necessary?
  • What do you like about dentistry?
  • What was your epiphany that led to you wanting to study dentistry?
  • What did you learn shadowing Dr ____?
  • Tell me about your experience in dentistry.
  • Why did you research the topic that you did?
  • Do you have any family members in dentistry?
  • Would you like to specialize?
  • What is the least appealing part of dentistry?
  • What role will music play in your dental career?
  • Rank your readiness to join this program on a scale of 1-10 and tell us why.
  • What is the difference between medicine and dentistry?
  • If you had a class II amalgam patient how well are you prepared for that?
  • How will you continue the research that you have been conducting?
  • Why do you think that suicide rates for dentists are so high?
  • What are your favourite and least favourite specialties in dentistry?
  • What do you look for in a dental school? And what do you not like about some dental schools?


Manual Dexterity

  • Tell us about the musical instrument that you play.
  • So, you play guitar?
  • What do you do with your hands?
  • What hobbies have you got that show your manual dexterity?


Ethical Scenarios

  • If there was someone in your practice that was causing problems with patients and other staff members, how would you react?
  • Describe an ethical situation that you have encountered.
  • Say you own a private practice and you have an employee who has a bad attitude and isn’t working hard – what would you do with this employee?

U Penn Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why are you interested in the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine?

My interest in the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine is driven by its innovative and flexible DMD program, which emphasizes both oral science and oral health care. The program’s unique approach of integrating four clinical and four didactic curricula in parallel offers a comprehensive learning experience that aligns with my desire to gain a deep understanding of dentistry in both theoretical and practical aspects. Additionally, Penn Dental Medicine’s location within a larger urban campus presents unique opportunities for interdisciplinary study, allowing me to broaden my perspective beyond traditional dental education. This environment fosters a culture of excellence in dental medicine, encouraging individual interests and strengths to flourish. The combination of a strong academic foundation and the opportunity for specialized focus areas makes Penn Dental Medicine an ideal place for my professional development.

How does Penn Dental Medicine's curriculum align with your educational goals?

Penn Dental Medicine’s curriculum aligns perfectly with my educational goals. Its four-year fully integrated program, which combines clinical and didactic curricula, is designed to develop knowledge and skills in oral science and health care comprehensively. This approach ensures that I gain a well-rounded education in dental medicine, with an emphasis on both theoretical knowledge and clinical practice. The curriculum’s flexibility to tailor education to individual interests is particularly appealing, as it allows me to focus on areas of dentistry that I am most passionate about. Furthermore, the opportunity for interdisciplinary study across other professional disciplines at the University of Pennsylvania will broaden my understanding of health care, enriching my dental education. This curriculum structure is ideal for building a solid foundation in dental medicine while also nurturing my specific interests and strengths.

Discuss how you plan to use the interdisciplinary study opportunities at Penn Dental Medicine.

At Penn Dental Medicine, I plan to fully engage in the interdisciplinary study opportunities available. The school’s unique position within the larger University of Pennsylvania campus offers a depth of opportunities to collaborate with other professional disciplines. I intend to take advantage of these collaborations to gain insights into areas like public health, biomedical sciences, and healthcare management. This interdisciplinary approach will enhance my understanding of the broader healthcare context and how it intersects with dentistry. By integrating knowledge from these diverse fields, I aim to develop a more holistic approach to patient care, preparing me to be a well-rounded dental professional who can effectively address the multifaceted needs of my patients.

Reflect on the importance of a flexible curriculum in your dental education at Penn Dental Medicine.

The flexibility of the curriculum at Penn Dental Medicine is crucial for my dental education. It allows me to tailor my learning experience to align with my specific interests and career aspirations within dentistry. This flexibility means I can delve deeper into areas such as cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, or dental public health, depending on my evolving interests. The ability to customize my education not only enhances my engagement and motivation but also ensures that I am well-prepared for the specific career path I choose to pursue. This adaptable approach to learning is invaluable in a field as diverse and dynamic as dentistry, where staying abreast of evolving techniques and specialties is key to professional success and patient care excellence.

How do you envision applying the knowledge and skills learned at Penn Dental Medicine in your future dental practice?

The knowledge and skills I will acquire at Penn Dental Medicine will be the cornerstone of my future dental practice. The program’s comprehensive coverage of both oral science and health care ensures that I will be well-equipped with a deep understanding of dental medicine. The hands-on clinical experience, combined with the theoretical knowledge gained through the didactic curriculum, will enable me to provide high-quality, evidence-based care to my patients. Additionally, the interdisciplinary study and the flexibility to tailor my education will allow me to develop a unique approach to patient care, incorporating broader healthcare perspectives. This well-rounded education will enable me to be not just a skilled clinician but also a dental professional who is adaptable, innovative, and prepared to meet the diverse needs of my patients in an ever-evolving field.

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