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NLC and advice to Residency

By Jessica Camacho, Class of 2023


I had the opportunity to attend ASDA’s National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The conference offered many beneficial sessions presented by extremely accredited speakers. One of these was titled “Getting into Residency: Tips for a Flawless Application & Interview Process.” The speaker, Dr. Ehlie Bruno, is an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon and spoke about her journey to residency.

She split the process into four phases: pre-application, pass application and supplements, interviews, and match day. I will primarily focus on the pre-application process since most of us are at this phase. Dr. Bruno said it is never too early to begin compiling information that will soon be required. For testing, she mentioned that it is important to study early and study often. This will help alleviate stress in the long run and will help the information stick. For curriculum vitae’s (CV), I was surprised to learn that we can have multiple. For instance, one may focus on community service and another can focus on organizational involvement (AGD, ASDA, etc.). This helps keep everything organized while still including all the important information. Information from high school should not be mentioned unless it’s extremely impressive like being asked to appear on Ellen or winning America’s Got Talent. For the application essay, you should start putting your story into words now. The essay will need multiple revisions to polish it. For recommendation letters, you should strategically plan face to face time with potential future evaluators. Try to find someone within the speciality you are applying to. A strong relationship requires a minimum of six months of interaction. Persistence is key here so show your face often. Interviewers can tell if a letter is specific to you or if it is a generic piece that the evaluator writes for everyone. The popular faculty members usually get many requests for letters which prevents them from writing a special, detailed letter for every student. With this in mind, try to find someone who can truly speak on your strengths. Finally, visiting the specialty clinic you are interested in is important. Try to schedule an externship, spend time in the clinic, and/or schedule site visits. When doing so, make sure to schedule professionally, wear professional attire, and act professionally. They will remember you!

I hope this information was helpful! If anyone has any questions regarding Phase 1 or any of the next phases, I’m more than happy to share my notes and what I learned.

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