“Health is wealth” is not just an expression, but a truth of life. Someone in good health can accumulate wealth, but illness can bring down even the wealthiest of empires. Every dentist longs to provide the best possible treatment to all their patients. However, in doing so, they may neglect their own health.
Your first experience interacting with a patient face-to-face can be a little intimidating. It may be the first time you feel like a real dentist, even though you’re still in the middle of your studies. You’ll always remember that first patient. As your clinical knowledge grows, you may even think back to how that first visit could have gone smoother. Despite all the pre-clinical training we receive, interacting with real patients is different than sitting in a lecture with other students. Here are five tips to make the first experience a positive one.
Extracurricular learning can give students an edge. I started dental school in 2013. Classes started at 8:30 a.m. sharp and continued until 4:00 p.m. I was pretty excited with class work, but unfortunately my curriculum didn’t have any patient interaction in the first year. I decided to go in search of a medical & dental clinic where I could observe. At first I had trouble finding the right fit, since I was just a freshman in dental school and still had a long way to go to complete my studies. Then I found a hospital that allowed me to observe in the general, emergency and surgery departments. I went to the hospital for four hours every day after school. I would study late into the evening. My day typically began at 5:30 a.m. and went until 12:00 or 1:00 a.m. It was very hectic, but the learning opportunities I found were amazing.