From an early age, the importance of brushing your teeth was always drilled into your head. Your mom may have watched with hawk eyes while lent up against the bathroom door to make sure you cleaned each tooth as well as it should be, or having you blow the little pffft of air into her line of scent so she could see if it was minty fresh.
Lots of people in the world take their teeth very seriously. As humans, we must wonder about the process people take to be able to take care of our teeth, and the different steps or small organizations that may help get them there.
The Pre-Dental Club at Northern Michigan University made it its goal to not only connect pre-dental students to local dentists and dental specialists at the bi-weekly meetings, but to also provide guidance and awareness with the dental school application process. The Pre-Dental Club is willing to work along with students to see if dentistry is a good fit for them.
A typical meeting with the Pre-Dental Club averages 10 students ranging from freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Meetings start by discussing important topics regarding the dental school application process like personal statements, the application process, the Dental Admissions Test and interviews, said Lauren Elmblad, senior biology major and Pre-Dental Club president.
“Applying to dental school can feel very scary,” Elmblad said. “I do my best to give all of my club members as much information as possible to help them succeed beyond their undergraduate studies.”
The Pre-Dental Club has already paid off in multiple ways for president Lauren Elmblad. She was able to grow as a leader with the help of the club, and guided underclassmen to solidify their path in dentistry. Thanks to this club, Elmblad was recently accepted into two dental schools: University of Detroit Mercy and the University of New England.
“I am over the moon excited to begin dental school in the fall after I graduate from NMU in May,” Elmblad said. “I don’t think I would’ve been accepted into two dental schools if it was not for all of my hard work I put into this club.”
At one meeting with the Pre-Dental Club they learned how to do impressions and worked on dental school applications, said freshman Malone Jepsen, member of the Pre-Dental Club.
The Pre-Dental Club is working to change the view some students have on it. The ratio of pre-dental students enrolled at NMU and the amount of members in the club does not match up. They may not realize the useful information that is provided, or the amount of resources given and the accumulation of sources that come out of this club, Elmblad said.
“Being the leader of this club means a lot to me, it is kind of like my baby,” Elmblad said. “Ever since I became president I wanted to organize the club in a way that everyone will feel included and involved. I feel like I have done a great job making the club much less intimidating than it used to be.”
A goal that the Pre-Dental Academic Advisor, Suzanne Williams hopes for students to take from this club is that becoming a dentist will be a rewarding career despite all the work it takes. Students can meet other pre-professional students by joining this club, who Williams called a “great group of students,” and even develop forever friendships or future professional contacts.
“[The Pre-Dental Club] is a way for me to meet the students interested in pre-dental studies and help them achieve their goals,” Williams said.
The Pre-Dental Club meets at 6 p.m. on Mondays 2309 Jamrich Hall. Updates about meetings are provided on the NMU pre-dental Instagram page: @nmupredental.