Student Experience at The Center for Special Dentistry in NYC

January 14, 2011 4:59 pm Published by

I was a full time intern with Dr. Jeff Dorfman for about a year, and perhaps can offer some insight from personal experience. I have met many interns who stayed for two or three years, so they must also be learning a lot. The Center for Special Dentistry is a unique place that has offered dental internships for 25 years. I don’t know of any other place like it where college students with no experience can be allowed to watch and learn how to treat some of the most complicated cases in dentistry. I’ve been exposed to multi-specialty cosmetic reconstruction that I don’t believe I could have learned elsewhere because how many dentists want to take the time? There’s a great group of cosmetic dentists and specialists in the office who are willing to teach a lot after they get to know you and see that you are not transient.

New students do not initially get much one-on-one time with Dr. Dorfman because there can be many interns in the office and Dr. Dorfman wants to see which make the most effort before he decides to spend his time teaching them individually. In dental school, how many department chairmen or deans spend personal time teaching each student anyway? If you make a sincere effort you will learn a lot of dentistry.

Do not interview with him unless you are fully prepared and know all about the program and the practice from the website. Otherwise, you might get grilled and won’t be invited back.

When I first interviewed I had said that my father is a dentist and that I had some background and general knowledge about the field. Dr. Dorfman proceeded to ask me some questions that I should have been able to answer, such as the name of the final filling material used during root canal treatment (gutta-percha). Though I’m typically very calm and collected during interviews, on this particular day I froze and couldn’t come up with the answer. To make a long story short, while I knew the answer deep in the back of my mind, Dr. Dorfman could quickly tell that my knowledge of dentistry was very limited despite what I claimed to already know. I was fortunate enough to be invited back, but being honest with your experience and background can go a long way.

Dr. Dorfman can be really nice and funny despite new interns being frequently intimidated. He was always willing to help me. He wrote a nice letter of recommendation for my dental school application and even personally called each Dean of Admission before each interview.

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This post was written by Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman