Q & A with UPenn Third-Year Dental Student Allie Schroeder

Allie Schroeder is a third year dental student (D3) at University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry and is pursuing a DMD/MPH. She graduated from UMD in 2020 with a B.S. in Public Health Science.

Why Dentistry?

Allie Schroeder photo at Penn Dental Medicine
Allie Schroeder

While initially on the pre-medical track, I undertook a senior-year capstone project as a public health major that put me in contact with a research mentor in oral health literacy. This project was based out of the Center for Health Literacy at the UMD School of Public Health, and was focused on studying how low-income, expecting mothers navigate dental care for themselves and their children. My work on this project opened my eyes to the world of dentistry and inspired me to make the switch!

What extracurricular activity do you think best prepared you for dental school? 

Working as a resident assistant! This job helped me to learn communication and emergency response skills needed to handle patients in a clinical setting. 

How and when did you prepare for the DAT?

I took the DAT during the spring semester of my fifth year of undergrad with the help of DAT bootcamp.

What are some challenges you face in dental school?

Learning how to structure my time to manage academic and research responsibilities, and figuring how to leverage relationships with faculty members and fellow students.

What drew you to your particular dental school? 

UPenn is one of few dental schools that contains all dental specialties in-house, which, when combined with their research and community-outreach opportunities, made this program the right fit for me. 

What hobbies do you have outside of dentistry?

I like to read, do yoga, and run a dentistry-focused TikTok. Find me @DeterminedDentalStudent!

What’s the most interesting interview question you were asked? 

An out-of-state dental program asked, “If you were offered an acceptance, would you enroll here given the higher tuition?”

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I am currently doing research while pursuing my MPH to determine how provider-patient communication strategies influence the quality of care.