the dental residency application process

by ann

Partner s presentation 1

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re getting some well-deserved rest today. I got a recent email asking about the application process  for residency and realized I got ahead of myself discussing the interview. Let’s start here instead: how to apply for programs.

1. PASS is the application service used by most residencies.

2. MATCH is what determines what program you go to. The program ranks the candidates. You rank the programs. Based on a computer algorithm, you are matched to your future residency program.

2a. Not all programs participate in the MATCH (though many do). The list of what programs are participating should be posted August 1.

2b. If you participate in MATCH, it’s a binding agreement. Do NOT rank a program if you have no interest in going there. Generally, there is a high statistic that you will get your first or second choice BUT if you do end up getting matched to a lower ranked choice you are still obligated to attend that program.

2c. If you apply for a program that does not participate in the Match and you get an interview there, you may get an offer post-interview, which gives you a conundrum if you are applying to programs participating in the MATCH. If you decide to accept an offer at a non-MATCH school, you must withdraw from the MATCH prior to the rank list submission deadline.

3. Start thinking about recommendation letters once you enter clinic. If you’re doing the Match, you’ll need at least 2 letters of recommendation (LORs) and 3 PPIs. You will submit a request to your evaluator through the PASS website.

4. What are PPIs? PPIs, also known as Personal Potential Index, are evaluations. However, it is different from a LOR. The PPI asks a set of questions regarding personal attributes. Something important to note is that there is a section where your evaluator can add commentary to the questions. It is preferred to choose an evaluator who will add more to the evaluation beyond just answering the questions.

If you are submitting a PASS application, access the PPI website via the ADEA PASS which will re-direct you to the PPI site where you submit a PPI request to your evaluator. The request will tell your evaluator how to sign up for the site and how to do the evaluation.

5. To find out more about programs, I would check the ADEA PASS search engine. Additionally, I would visit the individual programs websites and contact the program directors because the ADEA PASS website is not always up to date.

6. Here are additional documents that you should check if the program is requesting:

  • Unofficial undergraduate transcript
  • Official dental school transcript
  • DAT score
  • Official NBDE score
  • 2” x 2” headshot
  • Supplemental application

7. Here’s a very general timeline:

  • pre-OCT: Register for Match.
  • JAN: Talk to doctors about your interest in residencies and writing a LOR/PPI.
  • MAR: Confirm with doctors who are writing your LOR/PPI.
  • mid- MAY: PASS application opens
  • late OCT- mid NOV: Phase I rank list submission (ORTHODONTICS)
  • mid-DEC-mid-JAN: Phase II rank list submission (AEGD, GPR, OMFS, PEDS)