Saturday, June 23, 2018

a day in the life of a dental student: boards study

The hardest part about prepping for boards wasn't the content, it was time management. My dental school runs on a very unique schedule where we get more clinical hours than anyone else in the country. But an unfortunate side effect of that is that we also get significantly less time off. 
So while most dental schools give their students anywhere from a few weeks to a month of uninterrupted study time-I got 3 days. As you might imagine, that doesn't even begin to make a dent in preparing for a 12 hour exam. So the name of the game became squeezing as much time as possible out of each day to make time for studying. Here's a glimpse of what my average day has looked like these past couple of months. 

3:45AM I swear I'm getting up earlier and earlier each day. Yes, I'm a morning person, but even I think that this is a little INSANE. I prep my first breakfast of the day-oatmeal, grab a cup of hot tea, and start reading my boards book. 

6:30AM I take the dog out and feed him breakfast. Then I shower, at which point I realize that I'm already failing at the day because I have no clean laundry. I toss a pair of scrubs into the wash, toss my hair into a bun, and decide to skip make-up again today-who has time? Then I start making my second breakfast-gotta get that protein. 

7:30AM I finish up my morning study session with breakfast #2-this time I have eggs and veggies. I toss on my half dry/half wet scrubs (hey at least they are clean right?), take the dog out one last time, and head out the door. 

8:15AM Clinic 
I have an early meeting with my faculty about a denture case that I'm working on, then set up my operatory for the day. Today's goal is to place as many protective restorations on my morning patient as possible. The patient has a lot of decay throughout, so I'm going through and placing temporary sedative fillings that will help the teeth hopefully repair themselves. We're trying to avoid having to do any root canals or extracting any teeth.
I get 4 large fillings done, which I'm happy with since I gave myself a goal of 3. Before I leave clinic for the morning, I clean my operatory and set up for my afternoon appointment. 

12PM Lunch & Study 
There is no food at home, so I grab a sandwich on campus and sit outside going though dental deck flashcards. While I'm sitting there, I realize that it is so nice out, but this is likely the only sunlight I will get today. Sigh... 

1PM Clinic
I'm back in clinic, I've scheduled a simple dental cleaning and exam with x-rays for my patient. It's a pretty easy appointment for me and I'm done fairly quickly. Clinic doesn't technically end until 5PM, so I should have scheduled another patient. But I'm not looking to pack my schedule right now and am glad to be done early fro the day. 

2:30PM I run around the school getting signatures for patient paperwork and then head home. 

3PM I'm glad to be home a little earlier to squeeze a few extra study hours out of the day. I start studying on the sofa and go through more dental deck flashcards with my favorite study buddy very close by. 

5:30PM I'm realizing that if I stay home studying, I WILL fall asleep. Also, it's time for dinner and there is no food in my fridge 😭 Someone really needs to go grocery shopping, do laundry, and clean the apartment. I decide to pick up Starbucks and fast food on my way to the student center.

6PM-10:30PM I spend the rest of the evening studying at the student center. 
Trust me, I'm not nearly as relaxed as this picture may seem. 

11PM Home and finally in Bed---my favorite part of the day. 

Day in Review 
Hours in Clinic: 5
Hours in Class: 0
Hours Slept: 5
Hours Studied:10
Steps on FitBit: 8,742
Meals Cooked: 2 
Hours Exercised: 0

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You are killing it. I'm sure it's super stressful now, but you can definitely be proud of yourself. Keep it up, girl!

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