This year, our upperclassmen wanted to make a greater effort to reach out to incoming students. Our dental program at Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health is unique in that we have two campuses. For the first two years of our program, students attend courses and learn in our beautiful simulation lab in Kirksville, Missouri. Our students then transition to our St. Louis clinic for the final two years of the program.
Together our executive members created a welcome event to promote connections between first and second year students. We developed a photo scavenger hunt with teams consisting of small groups. It was very successful, and we learned a few key things about hosting this event.
A recent ADA Morning Huddle emphasized the importance of finding a dental home. The Orange County Register article specifically focused on patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). New this year, ASDA’s Council on Professional Issues began an initiative to regularly highlight at-risk populations for the next few months. This months’s focus is on special needs dentistry, particularly, treating IDD patients. For a better look into this population, I interviewed Katie Kline, an IDD hygienist from Orchard Park, New York.
In February of this year, your fellow students voted on an important policy update at ASDA’s House of Delegates. The resolution updated ASDA’s Policy E-4, Sensitivity to Diversity. Amid the flurry of a constantly changing immigration policy from President Trump, delegates wanted to take an official stance. ASDA delegates voted to include, “ASDA encourages the appropriate dental school admissions agencies to give equal admissions consideration to undocumented students with intent to seek legal permanent status.” This means that ASDA supports our diverse students and applicants without considering immigration status. Understanding the policy’s meaning and its relationship to the Trump Administration policy allows students to advocate.
I am at the start of my third year, wondering how I am going to survive through all the clinical requirements, when I am asked to be a student representative for the New Dentist Committee of the Southern Nevada Dental Society. I hesitated at first, having so much on my plate already. In the end I decided it would be a very good opportunity to get involved in a different aspect of dentistry. A year later, I can officially say I am glad to be a part of this group.
If things are going as planned, it’s likely that in the near future, you will (finally!) be searching for a job. While finding a job may be your next most difficult hurdle, once you find a job, you will get one chance, and one chance only, to negotiate the best job package you can for yourself. Your negotiating power ends the moment you sign on the dotted line. But when you know that you have no experience, and you’re completely ecstatic that you found a job that you like, how are you supposed to find the wherewithal to negotiate for yourself?
In February 2017, the Journal of Dental Hygiene published results of a study that found 19% of the sampled population had moderate to high dental anxiety. Dental practitioners are well aware of the clinical challenges posed by patient anxiety. But one situation in which its influence may be overlooked is during the informed consent process. Informed consent is an essential component of the treatment sequence as well as an ethical obligation of every practicing dentist. It rests on the ability of the professional to communicate effectively with the patient and on the capacity of the patient to understand and synthesize the relevant information. The ultimate goal is to allow the patient to arrive at an autonomous decision.
Whether you are at the gym or even spending a late night in lab, podcasts can be interesting and thought provoking entertainment. There are multiple podcasts that are available for entertainment, but many can be a learning tool. After my first year in dental school, I learned about the world of podcasts.