Joe Vaughn

Should the fist bump replace the handshake?

fist bumpAn article about fist bumps. Trust me, I never thought I would be writing this either. But the other day a friend of mine really got me thinking about this topic. Does the handshake have an expiration date? Bold statement, I know. And if my 26 years of schooling has taught me anything, it’s to not make a statement unless you can back it up.

Mela and Whitworth, in the August 2014 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, published a study comparing the hygienic effects of the handshake, the high five and the fist bump. I would have loved to have been there for that grant proposal. The study finds that the fist bump had significantly less bacterial transfer than did the handshake or even the high five.

What holiday cinema has taught me about the season


Spring can keep its flowers and its insects. Summer can keep its sweaty tank-tops and severe thunderstorms. Halloween can keep its blustery winds and candy-munching ghouls.

All I need is Christmas.

In this time of merriment and mistletoe and mocha lattes, I’d like to turn to film for a lesson on what the season is really all about.

The power of doing nothing

103582775I learn something new almost every day of my life.
I’m a 4th year student now, and I can see the light. I’ve practically made it out of the dental school tunnel. But I’m still learning. And I’ll always be learning, I suppose.
Recently, I learned about the power of doing nothing.

It’s a jungle out there [or reflections on clinic]

dental student clinicIt’s 8:30am on an otherwise lovely Tuesday morning in Birmingham, AL. I carefully peak my head around the corner . . . It seems so peaceful. So innocent. The calm before the storm.

For in a mere 30 minutes, what I see before me will transform into something quite terrifying. A black hole where chaos reigns and confidence and tranquility go to die.

Papers will be flying. Students will be running. Patients will be grunting. Ohhh the horror.

Dental school, what have you done to me?

i am a dental studentAfter all . . . I did, only minutes ago, compliment a complete stranger’s upper lip line. I do use terms like ‘beautiful’ and ‘GV-Black-approved’ to describe finely polished composites. I do secretly perform mental cephalometric measurements on innocent customers in the coffee shop I frequent. And I do spend hours surfing YouTube for the newest dental school parody video and call it ‘me time.’ “Who in the world am I?” Read on…!