Tuesday, April 3, 2018

dental school lately: vol. 4

This update of dental school lately is long overdue. I've been so busy and overwhelmed and it's only going to get crazier over the next couple of months. 
My last and final year of dental school kicks off at the end of April, which is hard to believe, but so exciting too. So while things are a bit more manageable right now, it's good timing for a dental school update. 

Brushing up On
Literally brushing up on all the dental things right now with prepping for my National Board Dental Examination. This exam is given in two parts so I've already gone through this process once before, but it doesn't feel any less stressful to be taking round 2 of the exam. I've been studying whenever I can, even studying on-the-go. I'll share more details on my progress soon. 
Studying in Palm Springs 

In the Classroom 
We've had a few classes on advanced topics and dental surgeries. I just finished up two big class projects that actually involved lots of time out of the classroom. One was writing a full-blown business proposal for a dental practice with financing, marketing, etc. The other involved a community service project that required lots of time in the evening and on weekends. Thankfully, both were group projects, but still so much busy work that I'm glad to be done with now. 

In the Lab 
Let's just say, I'm getting so much more comfortable with lab work thanks to lots of late nights in the lab working on making my first denture. 

In the Clinic 
It seems like overnight, I've come to the phase where I actually know what I'm doing. Well, sometimes anyway. I've been given more freedom and less supervision with simpler procedures like restorations and extractions. And I've been allowed to start tackling more complex cases. 

All at once, some really big things have been happening. Here's just a glimpse at a few: 
  • Rotations: My dental school follows the medical school model where the final year is a mix of rotations/intern year. I just found out my rotation schedule that I'm so pleased with. After the summer, I'll be headed off for 6 months of away rotations. 
  • Graduation Requirements: With the final year approaching, I'm feeling the clock ticking. I really don't want to be one of those seniors feeling frantic and stressed out at the end so I'm attempting to get these done early. 
  • Volunteering: I'm going to be all kinds of cryptic for now, but I have some really great volunteering opportunities in the works that I'm so excited to share more on soon. 
  • Vertical: I've been assigned an underclassmen to guide. I'm supposed to help them with starting out in clinic with seeing patients. Ultimately, we will share patients with me giving them my easier cases so that I can have more time to focus on the tougher ones. I actually love any opportunity to mentor so this is been a great experience for me so far. 

I'm still having trouble believing that my final year of dental school is just around the corner. I am feeling a mix of pure joy and terror all at once. But for now just trying to take everything day by day. 


  1. How exciting! It sounds like you have a great year ahead with some interesting experiences lined up. It's always interesting to hear the similarities and differences between professional graduate educations. I don't feel like you get nearly as much hands on, independent work in medical school; it's more like exposing you and the real work starts in residency. I bet it's at times scary but nice that you get so much preparation before you graduate school.

    1. For dentistry, residency programs are optional so they have to expose you to as much as possible while in your in school. It is definitely terrifying at times, but so rewarding too