Jab! Cross! Hook! Uppercut!
I am no Muhammad Ali, but you can typically find me at a local boxing gym after a long day of clinic and classes pounding away at a heavy bag with my hot pink Everest ® gloves.
At a towering 5 foot 2 inches, I am not your typical image of an Ultimate Fighting Champion. Not to mention with pieces of plaster and alginate stuck in my hair from doing lab work, I certainly do not look the part. However, looks are deceiving. I pack a mean uppercut and one-two punch.
When a computer becomes overrun with more information than its processor can handle, it crashes. The human brain responds much the same. Take me, for example. I recently wrapped up an ordinary day in the life of a third-year dental student. I had lectures in the morning and treated patients in the afternoon. On the ride home, something felt off. Everything I needed to get done was passing through my mind. I needed to study, finish lab work and prepare a treatment plan for tomorrow’s patient. Aside from school responsibilities, my wife needed me to get groceries. I got home, dropped my bag and knelt on the floor. All at once, those thoughts flooded my brain and I could not move. I just sat there, emotional and frozen.
Chronic musculoskeletal pain is also one of the leading causes for dentists to retire prematurely. Dentists have reported increased prevalence rates of chronic neck pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain. It is vital to avoid these problems from the beginning of our careers to avoid its ill effects later. As dental students, we concentrate on improving on our clinical work. Seldom do we concentrate on our work posture. So how can we do it?
We all want to feel accepted, included and a part of something bigger. For most of us, becoming a dentist was once just a dream. Now we have the opportunity to learn, grow and develop skills to achieve our dream. Dentistry is a social, collaborative and interactive profession that requires empathy, compassion and respect. We work hard so that, one day, we can take care of our patients. However, the environment of dental school can exacerbate existing insecurities. As a consequence, we sometimes forget how to take care of ourselves and our peers.
Being a dentist seems glamorous, fun and exciting. There is always a new challenge around the corner with every patient. However, the process of becoming a dentist is not always glamorous and fun. A significant number of hours are spent behind a laptop studying for exams and quizzes. What’s more, there are assignments, simlab requirements, patients to treat and board materials to study. The rigors of dental school can cause you to sleep less and abandon socializing, ultimately increasing mental fatigue and stress.
ASDA has a host of resources on its website. You can find a glossary of financial terms, predental resources, ASDA publications and more. But did you know that ASDA also has resources specifically geared towards your wellness? Here are three wellness resources worth checking out…
My senior year of undergrad was filled with a mix of emotions. Many of my classmates felt relieved at finally finishing up coursework for their degrees and excited to move onto the next chapter in their lives. For me, however, it was about focusing my energy on applying to dental school, transitioning into the real world and making the most of what I had in front of me. One of the most formative experiences I had as an undergraduate was being a part of our school choir.
Music has always been an important part of my life, but being a part of my college choir felt like an elevated version of all of my past musical experiences. I missed this when I started applying to dental school.