The VCU Orthodontic Externship Program is suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this difficult period, our most important concern is for everyone to remain safe and healthy. Please check back here in the weeks to come for updates. Stay safe and be well.


The Orthodontic Externship offers third-year (Junior) dental students an opportunity to visit, observe and participate in the Virginia Commonwealth University Orthodontic Program.  This program is designed for current dental students only, not for dentists who have already graduated from dental school.  During the externship, students spend time in the clinic and attend class and seminars. Visiting students interact with orthodontic residents, faculty and staff and observe the unique teaching environment that VCU Orthodontics offers. The externship is a very dynamic and successful program. We host approximately 40 students from U.S. and Canadian dental schools each year. Students considering a career in orthodontics are encouraged to visit our program, as the externship will provide them with a unique learning opportunity and an enjoyable experience.

The program can be custom-designed to fit the needs of students who are visiting. Dr. Bhavna Shroff is the graduate program director and will assist you in organizing your externship at VCU School of Dentistry.

Externship application process

To apply for the externship, we require the following items:

  1. A letter of intent (include the desired length and time frame of the visit - anywhere from one-day to one-week visits only)
  2. An updated curriculum vitae
  3. Proof of professional liability insurance from the dental school that the student is attending.  For the professional liability insurance, we generally see coverage for $1,000,000 per claim/occurrence and $3,000,000 aggregate.

Requests are accepted only between January 1 and June 1 of each year for externships scheduled between March 1 and August 31. Some times are not available in our schedule because of meetings and/or special departmental events (for example, the entire month of July is not available for externships). The externships are set on a “first come, first serve basis” and we have been able to accommodate most requests in the past. After review of your information, Dr. Shroff will set up a time for the externship that is most suitable to you. Candidates are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements. Darlene Johnson, executive administrative assistant for the Department of Orthodontics, can provide directions to our school and area hotel information upon request.

On the day of your visit, please report at 7:45 a.m. to the Orthodontic Clinic, which is located in the Lyons Dental Building at 520 N. 12th Street, Second Floor, Room 222. Our dress code is business casual (no scrubs please). 

We look forward to your visit and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Please mail or email completed applications to the following address:

Bhavna Shroff, D.D.S., M.Dent.Sc., M.P.A.
Department of Orthodontics
VCU School of Dentistry
Box 980566
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566
Email: bshroff@vcu.edu

Further inquiries about the externship program may be directed to:

Darlene D. Johnson
Executive administrative assistant
Department of Orthodontics
VCU School of Dentistry
Box 980566
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566

Phone: (804) 828-9326
Fax: (804) 828-5789
Email: ddjohnso@vcu.edu