Dentistry – a competitive field

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Dentistry is an increasingly popular career choice in Australia. With more dentists now graduating each year than there are jobs, many young dentists are struggling to find employment (Sydney Morning Herald, 2013). 

Spending time with hospital mentors The government has been urged by the Australian Dental Association to place a limit on student numbers, and stop new dental schools from being opened, in order to reduce the number of out of work dentists. However, so far, dentistry courses have remained a part of the ‘no caps’ rule on university places, which means as many students through the doors as the universities will allow.

The government currently does not have plans to comply with the Australian Dental Associations requests, as they state that there are still shortages of dentists in some parts of the public sector. These shortages are reported to be particularly in rural areas. Indigenous people are also less likely to have access to good dental care. 

For those students considering a career in dentistry, it is a great time to train – due to the increasing number of dental schools and research in the field of dentistry. However, whichever way you look at it, the number of dentists is increasing and on graduating, aspiring dentists need to ensure that they have the edge, if they wish to beat off increasing competition in the job market.

There are several ways to come out on top:

  1. Put the effort in. If recruiters have a choice between two similar candidates, it could come down to who has done better academically. Ensure that you do as much as you can to ensure yourself good grades in high school, and university.
  2. Get some hobbies! Employers like to see that they are hiring a well-rounded individual. If you’re only achievement is your degree, you might not impress much! Join some clubs and societies that you enjoy, and that will give you something to talk about on those all important job applications. Positions of responsibility or leadership also go down well, so if you’ve been captain of the football team or chair of the debating society, don’t forget to shout about it!
  3. Get as much work experience as possible. Getting work experience is not only a great way to learn more about becoming a dentist – it will also show that you have a real interest in the field. You can find opportunities at your local dentist, at hospitals in your area, and even overseas. If you’re interested in the differences between dentistry in the UK and abroad, a dental placement in another country could be the perfect answer – and is sure to make your job applications stand out from the crowd. Check out www.gapmedics.com.au for more information!
  4. Persevere! When the market is competitive, it can be easy to give up, and think there are no opportunities. Keep trying, and you’ll find you could be rewarded with your dream job! 
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