In the midst of busy day where there’s no time to chat, sending a text message to communicate is a quick, convenient option we often use to keep our messages brief and to the point. But, how many people actually prefer texting over talking on the phone? According to a 2011 report by the Pew Research Center, approximately 83% of Americans own cell phones and of these, 73% use the text messaging function. Additionally, a 2016 survey conducted by OpenMarket found that 75% of millennials “chose texting over talking,” often citing the convenience of communicating on their own schedule. As students, we often text our family, friends and classmates to coordinate our daily lives, but many of us may also text our patients to confirm appointments and address questions. While texting might seem to be a convenient way to contact patients, it’s important to remember that this action raises many important implications for patient privacy.
One of the reasons that many of you have chosen dentistry as a profession is to establish autonomy. You’d like to set your own schedule, take vacations when you please and not answer to a boss. However, patients want to be seen early in the morning and late at night, so your workdays will be long. Patients want to be seen during the weekend, so your weekends will be short. While it’s tempting to believe that you will be able to schedule your patients to meet your needs, you may not be able to meet your financial obligations if you do. If you learn to balance your work and your life while you are in dental school, it may be easier for you to continue to do so once you enter the profession. We have some simple suggestions that might help.
Depending on who you talk to, choosing to specialize could be either a premature decision where you miss out on the satisfaction of practicing a broad spectrum of dental procedures, or a great decision that will enable you to refine a highly-honed skillset simply by investing in a few additional years of schooling. This often means spending some time sorting through advice and anecdotes from friends, family and mentors in order to form your own decision on the matter. However, I believe that the best way to make an informed decision about specializing is to honestly assess yourself.
Preparation, proper form and good hand skills – we must be talking about dentistry, right? Well, not quite: we’re talking about sports!
Sports and dentistry have more in common than you might think. If you’ve ever played high school or collegiate sports, you know that success on the field begins before the game even starts, with late-night practices, team huddles, proper coaching and of course, hard work. Similarly, as dental students, we know all too well how pre-clinical practice and adequate preparation before appointments are crucial components to being successful in clinic.
Tracking health and fitness through mobile apps and high-tech wearables has boomed significantly in the past few years. In particular, wearable devices, such as smartwatches, have evolved from simply tracking steps or heart rate to even monitoring glucose, breathing, blood pressure, cardiac arrthymia, sleep patterns and even head injury severity. When it comes to mobile apps, a 2015 study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that an astonishing 58.23% of all U.S. phone users surveyed had downloaded at least one health-related mobile app. Welcome to the age of the “quantified self.”
On my first day of Organic Chemistry, our professor handed each of us a packet containing the major functional groups and their corresponding pKa values. We were told to memorize them. Many students frantically made flashcards, and quizzed each other out loud. Meanwhile, I studied by watching football.
When I looked at the functional groups, I not only saw ketones, esters and carboxylic acids, but to me, each structure resembled an NFL team and my favorite fantasy football players. I make these associations subconsciously. It’s been second nature to me my entire life.
There is no denying that technology touches almost every aspect of our lives. The dental field is no different–it is constantly advancing due to all aspects of technology. However, it would be short-sighted to attempt to discuss this topic in totality because it is too expansive to cover here. Furthermore, who am I to inform you of the latest in dentistry? We are peers and generally have similar dental experiences thus far. Not to mention the information won’t be the latest by the time this is published!
Luckily, information on technological advances in dentistry are out there. The fact that you are reading this displays an eagerness to learn about them. In think an active approach to professional development is what will set you apart from other students when competing for those coveted dental school seats.
Read on to find out how ASDA’s webinars can help boost your application to dental school!