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University of Washington Dentistry Interview Questions

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University of Washington Dentistry Key Information

UWSOD provides the following overview information for applicants:

The majority of students who are given a place will be Washington residents (85% to 90%). The remaining will be from WICHE states (Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming). You must show a sustained commitment to community service in order to be successful. You must likewise show a demonstrated effort towards increasing your knowledge of the dental profession through shadowing and related experiences. 

Selected applicants will be invited for interview – around 180 in total.

Applicants generally report a one-on-one interview which takes place at the school itself. The interview is open-file in format. There may also be tests of manual dexterity. Interviews take place between February and April.

University of Washington Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)

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University of Washington Dentistry Past Interview Questions

Motivation and Insight into Dentistry

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • Where do you see dentistry going in 10 years? What can dentists do to improve this, granted your answer is negative?
  • If you were in charge of public health, what changes would you make?
  • What community service have you done?
  • How did you prepare for the DAT?
  • How would you compare the health care systems in the US and Canada?
  • Tell me about yourself and how you developed an interest in dentistry.
  • Why do you think dental services are inaccessible to certain groups?
  • What is your opinion on universal healthcare?
  • Tell me about your shadowing experiences. What would you change about how those offices were run?
  • If you owned a busy practice and were looking to bring in an associate, what qualities would you look for in that person?
  • What do you want us to know about you that’s not in your application?
  • Are you interested in rural dentistry?
  • Do you have research experience?
  • How can you contribute to the art of dentistry?
  • How will dentistry satisfy your creative side?
  • If you were accepted to another dental school, would you go or reapply here next year?
  • On a scale from 1-10, where would you rate your dentistry knowledge?
  • Describe your experience with dentistry.
  • Do you want to specialize?
  • We are your advocates to the Admissions Committee…how does your career translate to dentistry?
  • While in dental school a friend tells you they never took one of the pre-requisite courses but still got in, what would you do?
  • What non-dental related community service have you done since graduating?
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • What was the moment in your education/ life that made you decide dentistry?
  • Describe your ideal practice ten years from now.
  • Tell us more about yourself and end off with why you want to be a dentist.
  • Why do you want to go to UW?
  • Tell me about the defining moment you decided on dentistry. One, not a series of events.
  • Describe the process of you deciding on pursuing a career in dentistry.
  • What are the weaknesses and strengths of dentistry?
  • What was the most challenging event in your life?
  • What got you interested in dentistry as a profession?

Ethical Scenarios

  • How would you define professionalism?
  • Define and exemplify ethics.
  • If you found out in your 3rd year that your best friend never took one prerequisite course for dental admissions, what would you do?
  • Say someone looked online at some faulty information regarding X Rays and Fluoride, and refused to be treated with them. How would you treat this patient?

Teamwork Tasks

  • What type of leadership experience do you have?
  • How do you show qualities of leadership?

University of Washington Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why are you interested in the University of Washington School of Dentistry?

My interest in the University of Washington School of Dentistry is driven by its innovative curriculum, organized around core competencies of general dentistry. The school’s unique “threads” approach integrates essential aspects of dental education, providing a holistic and forward-thinking perspective. This curriculum structure, which includes the development of critical thinking, ethics, and a focus on diverse populations, aligns with my goal to become a dentist who is not only technically proficient but also culturally competent and ethically grounded. The emphasis on comprehensive care, including management of complex oral health conditions and surgical skills, prepares me for the multidisciplinary nature of modern dental practice​.

How does the curriculum at the University of Washington School of Dentistry align with your educational goals?

The University of Washington School of Dentistry’s curriculum aligns well with my educational goals by providing a comprehensive foundation in human health and disease, dental and maxillofacial surgery, and medical management of dental patients. The emphasis on integrating dental practice management and health promotion within the curriculum prepares me for the realities of running a successful dental practice and addressing the broader health needs of patients. The curriculum’s focus on caring for diverse populations and restoration of form and function aligns with my aspiration to provide inclusive and high-quality dental care. This comprehensive approach to dental education, combining technical excellence with a strong foundation in public health and ethics, is exactly what I am looking for in a dental program.

Reflect on the importance of ethics and professionalism in your dental education at the University of Washington.

Ethics and professionalism are fundamental to my dental education at the University of Washington. The curriculum’s emphasis on these aspects from the beginning of the program underlines their importance in dental practice. Understanding the ADA’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct, as well as laws related to dentistry, is crucial for providing high-quality patient care that integrates compassion and ethics. This focus ensures that I will be equipped to handle complex ethical and legal scenarios encountered in practice. Learning to practice dentistry in an ethical and legal manner is critical for patient trust and safety, making this component of my education essential for my development as a responsible and ethical dental professional.

Discuss how the thread of critical thinking in the University of Washington's curriculum will enhance your dental practice.

The critical thinking thread in the University of Washington’s curriculum is vital for enhancing my dental practice. It prepares me to practice evidence-based dental care and become a lifelong independent learner. The curriculum teaches me to ask focused questions, search for the best evidence on clinical problems, and critically analyze assumptions and biases. This ability to integrate knowledge and values into my professional practice ensures that I will be an effective problem-solver, capable of staying up-to-date with scientific knowledge and technological advancements. This emphasis on critical thinking is crucial for adapting to the rapidly evolving field of dentistry and making informed decisions in patient care.

You have a patient who refuses a necessary treatment due to financial constraints. How would you address this situation?

In this ethical scenario, my first step would be to empathize with the patient’s financial concerns while emphasizing the importance of the necessary treatment for their oral health. I would explore all possible options, such as phased treatment plans, to make the procedure more affordable. If applicable, I would also inform the patient about available financial assistance programs or payment plans. Additionally, I would seek advice from a mentor or a senior colleague to explore any other viable options. The key is to balance ethical responsibility and patient care, ensuring that the patient understands the implications of delaying treatment while respecting their financial situation. This approach aligns with the University of Washington’s focus on ethics and professionalism, underscoring the importance of compassionate care and ethical decision-making in dentistry.

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