The radiographs have been taken, probing depths measured and it is time to present the plan to your patient. Behind the scenes, you have studied the patient’s case and know the ideal treatment. You’ve gotten faculty input and you are ready to discuss options with the patient. After presenting your ideas, the patient disagrees with your proposed plan and seems noticeably aggravated. How do you communicate effectively to help the patient understand the risks and benefits of treatment?
As a second year dental student at the University of Minnesota, I embraced the chance to participate in the school’s summer research fellowship without any expectations (except the promised stipend). I chose to spend my last free summer working in a research lab instead of traveling like most of my classmates. I thought I would miss out on the chance to have fun during the summer, but I failed to recognize all of the opportunities that would be available to me as a student researcher. Involvement in research has allowed me to travel across the country to present my research, which provided me networking opportunities, public speaking experience and an orientation to research within the profession.