Thursday, November 9, 2017

a few rough days in dental school

These last few days have been a bit overwhelming, an emotional rollercoaster really. The harder you try, the more you care and work towards something, the more difficult it is to deal with the setbacks. And dental school is nothing if not a constant of highs and lows.  
There has been so much craziness these last few days that this has turned into a mini update of dental school lately.

Brushing up on
We went from having weekly exams to nothing at all for months to suddenly having two major final exams within days of each other. It wouldn’t have been so bad except that there was only a few days notice to study and I’m a bit rusty at it. Definitely have had a ton of late nights and a few all-nighters over the last few days. Thought I was past those.

In the Lab
Craziest most ridiculous stressful situation ever to have to go through as a student. I took a practical exam last week, nothing new. Was told that I failed, which was devastating. I thought that I had done good work and had no idea what I would do differently in the future to pass. After 4 agonizing days of feeling like a failure, I was told that I passed. It turns out, there was a computer error in the grading system and not only did I pass, I did really really well. But I spent several days thinking the worst and trying to figure out what to do next. Even though the situation turned out fine, it was still tough to have to go through. Still trying to mentally recover from this one. 

In the Clinic
Last week, I had the worst and best day in the clinic one right after another.

Worst Day: My attending made me repeat a procedure over and over and over again until I did it their way. It was so frustrating and heartbreaking to put the patient through. I’m always open to constructive criticism because I want to learn, but it was more of a “my way is the only way” scenario than teaching. Demoralizing, not educational. It was all I could do not to cry in the middle of the clinic floor. Unfortunately, people do and there's no shame in it. But as a woman and a minority trying to enter a field dominated by white males, I really didn't want to be the one crying in clinic that day. Definitely left for the day feeling pretty incompetent because situations like that really rock your confidence.

Best Day: The very next day, I had planned for multiple restorations, something that is honestly a bit overzealous for my current skill set, but I did everything I had planned and more with nothing but constant praise at every turn. I was actually embarrassed by all of the positive attention because my nearby classmates could hear. 

When I look at the big picture, things are going ok. I may have thought that I failed my practical, but I actually passed and did well. And while I had a miserable day in clinic, those just happen sometimes. Plus, the next day more than made up for it. But I've literally been taking it hour by hour the last few days. Feeling elated one moment and defeated the next. Oh and I'm sure the sleep deprivation isn't helping me feel grounded. But the back forth is what has really made the last few days so rough. Hoping I can get through the rest of this week relatively unscathed and that there are brighter better days in the future. 


  1. I am so sorry this has been some week for you. I'm really glad the test situation worked for you but I would have been going nuts for days too trying to figure out what went wrong. I wish more teachers realized the impact they had on people. Those that truly teach and help educate someone make all the difference. Hang in there girl! Sierra ~ Beautifully Candid

    1. Thank you! Yea it was the worst situation to be put through as a student and they were so casual about it but I'm just thankful it all worked out because I was so confused about what I had supposedly done wrong